Tuesday, October 13, 2015

What is Alpaca and Why Should eBay Sellers Care?


Time for an eBay vocabulary lesson! If you are not familiar with alpaca, it is time to add this to your vocabulary and your inventory. An alpaca belongs to the animal family Camelidae as a cousin to camels and llamas (and the lesser known vicuna and guanaco). Alpacas are native to South America. They grow long, soft, silky fleece which is made into wool. 

Alpaca wool is different than sheep's wool because it is warmer, not prickly like sheep's wool, and doesn't contain lanolin which makes it hypoallergenic. (Lanolin is a fatty substance and is extracted and used in ointments and moisturizing products.)  Alpaca is also water repellent and is hard to catch on fire - making is a safer textile than many other fabrics. 

Alpaca products are a major export of Peru - but don't be surprised if you sell a lot of it to Peruvian buyers. Products made from alpaca include sweaters, socks, gloves, ponchos, and blankets. And here is why you should learn about alpaca - it has a good resale value on eBay and sells well year round. Let's take a look at what the research shows:

eBay shows over 3,300 completed sold items in Clothing and Accessories in preowned condition.

eBay shows over 2.300 completed sold alpaca sweaters.

eBay shows over 2,700 completed sold listings for alpaca in the craft category (look for alpaca yarn at estate sales, thrift stores, and garage sales).

Alpaca isn't as plentiful as cashmere or regular wool, but keep your eyes open for it. Here is one of my best sales for an alpaca item - an Eileen Fisher cardigan that sold for $99 in August.



Happy hunting!

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