Saturday, April 9, 2016

An Auction + $50.00 = A Whole Lotta Junk

 As you smart people probably gathered from my title, I went to the auction today, and I spent $50.00 (actually $49.06 if we're being technical) Today was Saturday so it is a general auction, little bit of everything. They do a general auction every Saturday and an antique & collectible auction every other Wednesday. Both fun for different reasons. The general auction is usually cheaper and both outdoors and indoors. The outdoor stuff is mostly box lots so you can sorta see what box your bidding on but a lot is wrapped up or buried at the bottom so you always have surprises, fun!! I bought 6 boxes today. Warning: This post is long and picture heavy. 

Box one was BIG (so big that I had to break it down into several smaller boxes so I could lug it to my truck)
Made up of several smaller boxes. All full of these...
New (but vintage)  latch hook rug making kits.
There were 12 different rug kits. Complete with instructions. They didnt show a picture of the completed rug which was a bummer but still an awesome find. Total for the whole shebang was $3.00. When I looked them up on eBay I was shocked at what they sell for. I have them listed at $100 each and I had watchers within 5 minutes, score!!

Box two was also HUGE and was full of mostly new vintage Christmas items. Yes, mostly new vintage Christmas! Whoot!
. Yeah. A crap ton of stuff. Here are a couple highlights
Plastic (realistic) deer
Elves riding deer
Flocked, googly eyed, scary a$$ deer, (and some Santa's)

See what I mean? 

A pile of wooden new in package ornaments (75 of them, cuz of course I counted)

These birds were charming 

Also fond of the snowmen ones

Lots of these Woolworth faux stained glass ornaments (totally had these as a kid)

Lights. Not terribly old but they do have the little plastic petal reflectors on them

This was my favorite find in the box. A complete nativity set in original box marked Made in Italy. They are like chalk ware but heavier. (Plaster perhaps?)  Also stamped on the bottom Italy.  Love that green straw they are packed in. 

One box of Shiny Brites

And one box of these older ornaments. They are marked Austria and 5 were broken. So sad :(
Plus lots of random thing, tree toppers, wooden rocking horses, etc. Some will go to goodwill, most will go to eBay, and I am keeping ONLY the nativity set. Ok, maybe a random snowman. And the Shiny Brites. But that's it! 

Box three was called the Glass Box, and you guessed it, it was full of breakables. Not my favorite thing to sell and ship but I saw some promising items sticking out
Here's all of it unpacked. Most had antique store tags so my guess is someone closed their booth down and took the leftovers to the auction (I can relate) 
My favorite was the green Lusterware creamer and sugar. 

Vases and bowls and some fugly pumpkins 
Figurines, a Capodimonte bell, Stangl pottery handle tray, and white candle holder. 

I'm keeping two items out of the glass box lot. Can you guess which two? 
This super cute little pink pottery vase. 

And this. I didn't know what it was but luckily there was a sticker price tag on it that said what it was. Do you know?
It's an inkwell! Love it :)

Ok box 4 was Random box of crap. Truly, it was just full of oddball junk. I bid on it because a) it was only $3.00 and b) it had this inside...
A cute doll made out of vintage chenille pipe cleaners! Her muff is out of place. Must move muff, moving on...

Here is the rest of the "random crap" box .a few sellable items 
Marble base toothbrush holder. I think? 

Fitz & Floyd coffee cup
These weird little decorated boxes. Had no idea what they were. Turns out they are...
Matchboxes! S'cute :)

Also keeping these Holt Howard teeny tiny plates
Which are actually for butter pats! Who knew butter needed its own tiny plate? The things ya learn!
The rest of the box was mostly junk or stuff I didn't need but still usable so it's headed to Goodwill. 

Box 5 (are ya still with me?) was my priciest box. I was bidding against  another lady for it and it went up to $17.00 before she finally backed out and bowed down to my master bidding skillz. 
(Probably she just thought I was dumb for paying $17.00)

A whole box of those beaded ornament making kits. I got about 25 of them and they sell well so I'll easily make my money plus a nice little profit. So take that lady who bid me up. 

My last box was The Man Box. Some rando tools, rope, screws, nails, other stupid stuff. I'm sure there was a reason I bid on it but I can't recall why. Whatever, it was $2.00 and you can never have enough nails and screws right? I'll spare you pics. 

So that was my big adventure today. If you've never been to an auction and bid on a box of randomness, give it a try. It's sure fun finding out what ya got! But bring a guy with you, because the lugging boxes to your truck by yourself while many dudes look on but do not offer to help you is not fun. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Sometimes You Gotta Spend Money To Make Money (an eBay experiment)

Today is my eBay anniversary. 5 years ago today I first signed up with eBay and shortly after I sold my first item. I had NO clue what I was doing, everything I learned was from reading blogs and websites to learn how to sell. So today I thought I'd give you a little of my eBay selling history.
My first sold item was a Teddy Ruxpin bear that I bought for $5.00 at a garage sale and sold for....wait for it..,$10.00! WhooHoo! Yes that's laughable now but back then I was so excited! I've been selling ever since. My first few years was very part time. I started with auctions but quickly switched to BUY IT NOWS (I hate auctions) After a few years I nervously took the plunge to getting a basic store. Best desicion ever. For those first 2-3 years I had about 100-150 things in my store and did pretty well. I remember one of my first "big flips" was a set of Martha Stewart copper Noah's Ark cookie cutters. I found them in the original  
box at a thrift store for $5.00 and they sold for $200.00! I couldn't believe people would actually pay little ol me for crap that I found for cheap! Over the years I slowly built up my store to almost 500 listings. I am happy with that, I have a full time job as a respiratory therapist on top of eBay so any more than that is way too much work. (On a side note today is also my anniversary at my real job, started March 3, 2001, weird hu?) eBay has been great extra money, fun, frustrating, busy, slow, and everything in between. But I love to thrift, I love a great flip, and I'll probably always do it in some capacity. 
The title of this post is You gotta spend money to make money" First off you gotta know that, like most resellers, I'm cheap. I don't like to spend much money when I'm buying stuff to sell. Garage sales where everything's a quarter are my favorite, however sometimes you gotta trust your instincts and go for it. In November I happened to see a sign for an estate sale in the neighborhood next to mine. Huge house (6,000 sq ft) packed to the gills with stuff. These people had a SERIOUS shopping habit, and most of it was from the 80's and 90's. He was a lawyer, she was a socialite, and their favorite places to go were Las Vegas, cruises, and vacations. They bought everything from high end stores and they had more clothes and shoes than I've ever seen crammed into a house. Crazy amounts of stuff!! The whole basement was full of decorations for every holiday. One room was all Christmas, one room all Halloween, one all Easter. It was like they couldn't have one of anything, they needed 10. The estate sale people told me that the clothes alone were estimated to have cost (retail price) over a million dollars. I can't even wrap my head around that much money spent on clothes. Anyway, where am I going with this story besides rambling? Well I attended that estate sale, on day one when it was full price. On day two and 3 when it was 1/2 price, and yes on day 4 when it was 75% off. They had so much left that they had to do it the following weekend as well. I spent a total of $370.00. That's A LOT for me. More than I've ever spent at one time. It made me nervous, but I also figured if I was patient I could make some decent money. So how have I done you ask? Well, I've made back my initial investment plus about $980 in profit. I've sold quite a bit but still have around 30 items I haven't even listed yet. I thought I'd share some of the better flips with you.  
This was one of my favorite finds. I paid $8 for this robe and I got my full asking price of $150.00

80% of the stuff I bought was clothes but I did buy a few other items like this topsy turvy doll (a black baby doll that the skirt flips over to a white baby doll) I paid $10 (on 1/2 off day) I was asking $150 and took a best offer of $100.

Two vintage Ralph Lauren Polo beach towels, I think they were around $6.00 each.  Also sold an MGM beach towel for $40.00

Saint John 

More St John

Bought 3 of these linen Blazers, sold the green one and a blue one exactly like it, still have a red one to list.

There were several of these Exclusively Misook cardigans that sold on eBay for $20-$30. I knew it was worth more and I priced it high. It sold within a month for my full asking price. Patience pays off.

Found in the basement for $8.00. 

$3.00 jammies. 

This post is not to brag (ok, let's be real, I'm bragging a little) but really it's to show that sometimes you gotta roll the dice and go all in. My store is small potatoes compared to some people, I really am a very part time seller, but if you put in the work and do your research you can make some great extra money on eBay. And now I must go, there is an estate sale starting in 30 minutes;)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A trip to the Mall (the good kind of mall, antique!)

So sometimes you just gotta get out of the house and go where you know lots of good stuff is all conviently located in one spot, the antique mall. A few weeks ago I was feeling just such an urge. 
Here are some things I saw...
SCARY! This guy was about 24" tall and if he wasn't $65.00 I would have bought him just to scare my kids. Can you imagine waking up to this? Light up yellow eyes and all. 
Scary in a totally different way! I had this exact basket in my first apartment oh so long ago. Let's agree on a couple things, it's NOT an antique, and it's no cuter today than it was back then. (I had no taste at 19) 
GORGEOUS! The color, the shape, the price! It was $295 which seemed cheap to me, but I've never looked at prices so I could be wrong. But still out of my price range (get it? Range) so I sadly moved on. 

Uhhhm, I'm pretty sure this was mine. If you remember waaaay back I went to an auction and bought two of these wooden awning things. Well they sat in my garage taking up a lot of space for well over a year. In December we had our annual big trash pickup. Yep, I put these out on the curb and like most items out there, they got picked up before the trash man came. And apparently ended up in this antique mall. Which is a little hilarious. I paid like $10.00, this guy found them for free, and his mall price was $65.00. Which I guess was a good price because he sold the other one (the front ladies confirmed it) I say good for him, you gotta get your junk wherever you can. 

This came home with me. Cute, fun to play with, and I already have one so why not buy another. All criteria in a good buy ;)
My first one was hanging on my Hoosier door, so I put this one on the other door. Hard to get a good pic, the sun comes in that window. Speaking of Hoosier, I will show you one of my Christmas gifts. 
The repro green jadeite cake stand. And before you think to yourself, gee Marci sure is lucky, her family totally gets her and buys her cool gifts, lemme tell you how it really goes down. I'm cruising around World Market and spot this beauty. I've been wanting one ever since Shara showed hers she got at WalMart! It's the last one and I don't want someone else to buy it. Take it up to the counter to have them put a 24 hour hold on it. The next day send my husband to the correct store to get my exact item and wrap it for me. That's how that works. 
Doesn't it look perfect there?  I Agree. 

Lastly I got this giant plastic pig to go with my smaller plastic pig collection. The sad part is I got home and for the life of me don't know where I put the dang pigs. Maybe I sold them? Who knows
Sad piggy has no friends :(

Anyway, I'm leaving tonight for San Diego. My son is working for American Airlines so we get to fly free. He called me up and said lets go to the San Diego zoo on Sunday. So we're flying out tonight and leaving Monday morning. How fun is that? Did I mention its going to be sunny and 67 in San Diego? It is 22 here with snow on the ground. I'm out!