Looking to sell some of the Rae Dunn just collecting dust? Here’s eight tips on reselling Rae Dunn pottery.
A few years ago, Megan held up a coffee mug and asked me if I could believe people were reselling $5 Rae Dunn mugs for upwards of 40 bucks in secret Facebook groups and on eBay.
It was only after I started seeing very little of it at my Home Goods that I thought I should get in on the game of buying and selling Rae Dunn.
At first, I didn’t get what was so appealing about this farmhouse style pottery. Why are people clearing shelves, getting into arguments with other hunters and even accusing employees of taking first pick at the stock before putting it out for shoppers?
There was only one way to get to the bottom of this. I had to become a Rae Dunn hunter and reseller to understand the pottery phenomenon.
What is Rae Dunn?
First, a lot of people have no idea what Rae Dunn is. Rae Dunn, the person, is an artist who has been making clay pottery since the early 90s. She currently has a boutique line of items but it’s the Rae Dunn by Magenta line sold nationwide that people are outrunning each other for in stores.
These pieces are manufactured in China in her signature imperfect style and the most popular pieces are the ones with the large, skinny font known as Large Letters (or #LL in all those secret Facebook groups and on Instagram).
Where to Find Rae Dunn by Magenta Items
Rae Dunn by Magenta is sold at TJ Maxx, HomeGoods and Marshalls. I’ll admit, I thought I could find a few pieces there and resell those babies for profit.
One late afternoon after running errands I stumbled upon a full shelf of mugs! Jackpot!
Clearing most of the shelf and loaded my cart up with mugs that read Vacay, Relax, Sweetie, Out of Office and more. I bought 12 mugs that afternoon and walked out of the store feeling like I was going to make a million bucks.
What Are the Most Popular Items
The joke was on me. The most popular Rae Dunn items are the ones with the large letter, remember?
The mugs I bought had the fancier script font and was probably the reason why there were so many on the shelf that day. But, a quick search on eBay showed a few of these mugs for sale anywhere from $18 – $35. I figured there had to be a market for this particular line so I created a Rae Dunn specific Instagram account, snapped some photos and asked for $15 per mug.
When I joined a few Facebook groups to see what was being bought, sold and traded. I asked in a newbie group about the fancy script mugs I had bought and learned “nobody wants those.”
So what do collectors want? Canisters, small oval plates, trays, mugs and anything holiday themed are by far the most popular. Always with the large letters and mostly in the traditional bone and black colors (some bowls and mugs come in various shades).
What are the Rae Dunn duds? If there is an abundance of items on the shelf at any given time, it’s usually the dog and cat bowls and the office accessories.
Tips to Selling Rae Dunn
Tip #1: Keep all of your receipts and keep your items organized. TJ Maxx, HomeGoods and Marshall’s will give you a full refund with receipt within 30 days.
Join the Facebook Groups at Your Own Risk!
I was warned to stay away from the Rae Dunn FB groups mostly because of the strict rules and drama. But, I had product to move, so I joined four or five of them.
I’ve learned that there are a lot of rules but not anything out of the ordinary. Admins are especially sensitive to people criticizing resell prices. You don’t like the asking price, move on and don’t run up a thread with 150 comments complaining about a person asking $60 for a $12.99 tray. Just don’t.
Tip #2: Don’t overdo it with photos of your hauls. No one likes a shelf clearer and if you’re sharing pics of your cart filled with 10 of the same tray and 40 canisters, expect frustration to erupt especially if a person has been to four stores that day and hasn’t found one piece.
Understanding the Vernacular
Collectors and resellers seem to use a special Rae Dunn language in most of the groups and on Instagram. Get familiar with the following.
- NFT: Not for trade
- NFS: Not for sale
- ISO: In search of
- LL: Large Lettered
- B/S/T: Buy, sell, trade
- Unicorn: that one piece you really want but haven’t been able to locate
When to Shop
One morning, I sat in my car waiting for HomeGoods to open and saw two young women with carts at the ready. When we walked in, one went straight for the pottery section and the other tore off to the holiday section.
I never saw an empty shelf so I think they just smashed and grabbed from the stock ready to be put out. This was the first day I walked away frustrated at how competitive it can get between shoppers.
Expect others to be there when the doors open. I promise you, you aren’t the only one looking for Rae Dunn.
Tip #3: Shop later in the morning but before lunch. This allows stores to restock items after hunters clear the shelves at opening (so says a former HomeGoods employee).
Where is the Rae Dunn inside HomeGoods?
Where the Rae Dunn items are located at any given store will vary. Some stores will pull out a metal rack stocked with product and sit it by the front entrance but mostly you can find it with like items. Mugs with mugs, canisters with canisters, dog bowls with pet stuff and holiday with holiday.
Tip #4: A Facebook member said to look for items placed upside down, hid under or behind other items and even buried in the pillow section.
Shop by clicking any of the photos below. Affiliate links.
Selling and Trading
Instagram, Facebook, eBay and Mercari are the most used platforms for selling and trading Rae Dunn pieces. I first used Instagram using a slew of hashtags and built a quick following yet I didn’t have much success reselling any items until I listed them on eBay.
The problem with eBay is they take a portion of your profits. It’s definitely a hustle in terms of promoting what items you have and if you are willing to sell or trade. Collectors want to trade, resellers want to sell.
Tip #5: The Facebook groups might sound intimidating but I was able to resell quite a few items there. You don’t need to post your items, instead find the collectors looking for certain pieces.
Someone might write that they are new to collecting mugs. Here is where you post the photo of all the mugs you’ve picked up. I promise, you will have one they want.
Tip #6: Don’t get greedy. I scored a set of polka dot mixing bowls that I saw listed on eBay for $90. If I could sell these bowls for that amount, it would make up for some other losses (see below).
I posted the photo on Instagram and Facebook and quickly got several messages about price. I went for it and asked $100 for the set of bowls. Every single person passed. Do the research.
Don’t rely on one eBay listing for your asking price. Search Instagram and within the FB groups for the same item and price it competitively. I now typically underprice my items so that they’ll get more attention.
Tip #7: Always, always, always indicate your asking price within your posts on FB or Instagram. Negotiations in the DMs are a hassle.
How to Ship Breakable Pottery
Shipping is where reselling Rae Dunn went sideways for me because I lost money on every sale. Sure, USPS offers flat rate shipping boxes but the sizes don’t really work for most items.
Trying to calculate shipping costs via USPS, eBay and Paypal were alway a fail for me. Instead of making a million dollars reselling, I was maybe making a couple bucks on each item sold after shipping costs and materials to ensure the item isn’t broken in transit.
Mercari is a great platform to sell Rae Dunn on because shipping is automatically calculated into the price. Expect to still shill out a good amount for bubble wrap, boxes and tape.
Tip #8: Get friendly with your local postal outlet. I was able to save a little bit in shipping materials because my local post office had extra bubble wrap and foam peanuts that they gladly gave me for free.
Is it Worth being a Reseller?
The Rae Dunn resell game isn’t for me. While I love the excitement of the hunt and walking into the store with the hopes of stumbling on that one item everyone is looking for, I hate everything else about it.
I don’t want to keep track of purchases and receipts, I don’t want a garage cluttered with breakable pottery, I don’t want to be a bookkeeper, I don’t want to spend my afternoons bubble wrapping everything and I don’t want to visit the post office everyday.
The extra couple of bucks I made reselling Rae Dunn is not worth my time and energy. I’d much rather pop into HomeGoods at my leisure and buy what I want for my own collection.
Did the RD Bubble Burst?
I stopped shopping for Rae Dunn to resell a long time ago but would occasionally browse for my own collection. I definitely bought into the hype at one point and starting collecting for myself. These days, there are shelves and shelves of RD pottery waiting for a buyer.
At one time, the supply was so limited and I think that’s what turned people into frenzied hunters. Now, you can find a cookie canister just sitting there on any given afternoon.
I am still looking for the elusive Icon measuring cups. Maybe one day I’ll stumble upon them.
Looking to Sell Your Collection of Rae Dun?
Are you totally over Rae Dunn and looking to get sell it? There is still a market there, especially for the earlier made pieces. Do you research on eBay and Mercari and see what has recently sold.
Related: 5 Ways to Sell Your Stuff
Rae Dunn Christmas!
Decorating for the holidays? Here’s a few of our favorite Rae Dunn displays for Christmas.