My eBay Store

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bargain in The Hamptons

Hard to believe one can find a bargain in a town where a bagel with lox will set you back $17 (you read that correctly). But a Saturday morning yardsaling in East Hampton turned up these four lanterns for $2. They're lovely kerosene lanterns made in Czechloslovakia. The seller wanted me to take the bottle of kerosene as well but I declined. With hurricane Irene at our doorstep, that probably wasn't a wise decision.

I also picked up a few pieces of costume jewelry at the Annual Fisherman's Fair for a few bucks. Could have scored some nice furniture for very low prices, but unfortunately the kids' bikes took up the back of my van.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

127 Virgin Takes the Plunge!

I've wanted to check out the Route 127 Sale for years, but I live in New England, several states away. This year I finally made it! A carefully timed visit to relatives in Toledo gave me a full day at the sale. It was fabulous, exhausting, bizarre and well worth the long drive to Ohio.

My first mistake, planning an overly ambitious route. I started in West Unity, directly west of Toledo.

I thought I'd head south as far as Van Wert (about 60 miles) and then head east along the Lincoln Highway which happened to be having its annual sale at the same time. I thought I'd go as far as Upper Sandusky (about 75 miles) and then head back north to Toledo. I didn't account for all the sales and the visiting time. Although I've lived in the midwest, I forgot how friendly everyone is. I had to stop and chat, sign guest books, and report on my finds. In the end, after 8 hours travelling along 127, I made it about 30 miles from my starting point.

Here's my first stop at a church in West Unity...

I am still having trouble deciding what I enjoyed most--the sheer volume of treasures, the odd scene along a rural highway lined with yard sale signs and RVs and U-Hauls displaying license plates from all over inching along, or the sporting-like sense of community the whole event sparked complete with local signs to cheer us on "Welcome 127 Garage Salers!"

In any case, I've never enjoyed thrifting more! Despite the ever-present dusty exercise equipment circa 1980 and the piles and piles of used clothing, I managed to fill my trunk with treasure. Here's a peek at my thrHaul:

One of my first purchases, a pair of vintage troll earrings: $2.

It was Christmas in August for this Jewish thrifter. I just love these vintage plastic elves. The pair: 50 cents.

Notice the price tag on this new box of Hershey's Kisses ornaments from 1990: 10 cents!

I found four of these mid-century glasses with a gold and red design for 50 cents. That's 50 cents for all four.

I also found a load of cross stitch and needlepoint kits for $1 a piece, some vintage tin boxes for $2 each, a few vintage tablecloths (50 cents and $1). All told, I spend less than $40. Well, not including gas of course!

I'm already dreaming of next year.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Treasure in a Sock

First I will apologize for my absence, if anyone is reading this. I've been busy and crabby. But I won't digress. I'm back, and hope to post quite a bit in the next few weeks.

Next week I leave for a road trip to Ohio and the Route 127 sale. Also found out that the very same weekend of the 127 Sale is the Lincoln Buy-Way, which hosts yard sales all along the Lincoln Highway. The two sales converge in Van Wert, Ohio. I will be there, hopefully gathering treasure and posting from the road.

About the socks. I was at Saver's recently with my kids (in other words, a brief trip) when I spotted these. They brought back memories of my youth, when I used to wear socks just like these for tennis. My cats loved to pull the pom poms off and chase them around the house. "What's .49 cents for a little nostalgia?" I thought and dropped them into my basket. My kids declared them "hideous," but I was undeterred.

Upon arriving home, I checked on eBay as I do with all my weird finds, even those I plan to keep. And there were vintage pom pom socks selling for $80! Well, that was the end of my walk down Memory Lane. I listed those puppies right away and sold them for $28 (the $80 was for a lot of 3 pairs). I have no idea why they sold like that. I checked it out and you can buy new pom pom socks for a normal price. But it's one of life's mysteries I won't question. Just deposited the windfall in the bank. The profit will help take me to Ohio next week, where you can be sure I'll have my eye out for any more of those vintage socks.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Amy Sedaris Would be Jealous!

If you haven't read Amy Sedaris' book "Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People," you should.  If you're cheap, like me, you can just go spend an hour at Barnes & Noble and leaf through it. It's hilarious. And completely wrong. She has a chapter on crafting for "shut-ins", which is why I thought she'd love my recent find. It's a Solitaire Play Board (in case you can't just use your table like most people).

I bought it for the box, which I plan to add to my vintage gameboard collection. Some day they will hang in my basement, when I figure out just how to hang them up. A few more from my collection...

And speaking of being cheap, sometimes being a thrifter can tarnish one's reputation. Just last week my eldest came home claiming she broke her finger. It wasn't swollen, just barely bruised. Still, she was jonesing for an X-ray. I agreed to a splint and promised her we'd go to CVS that afternoon to get one. Then I said all I really needed was a popsicle stick. To which she exclaimed "Mom! You can't be that frugal that you're going to splint my finger with a popsicle stick."  Needless to say, I shelled out $6.50 for the CVS model.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chasing The Dream...House

When I head out for a morning of yardsaling, I'm usually hoping to recreate one of my golden thrifting experiences. This morning, my mind was on the Boy Scout sale.

Several years ago, I headed out into the far reaches of Rhode Island for a Boy Scout sale. I don't remember the exact month, but it was pre-yardsale season, and there was still frost on the ground. I remember heading out into the country, the roads empty, the hills rising in the distance, and the feeling of anticipation tingling through my fingers.

I drove perhaps a half hour (which in Rhode Island terms is like crossing the country) finally weaving my way through an old New England town to my destination. Inside some old VFW hall were ten tables or so piled with the usual junk. I wandered around, picked up a few items, and was getting ready to pay when I decided to circle one last time. As I perused the toy table, a hand decended to place down an original Barbie Dream House. My heart pounding, I grabbed it.

At the checkout line, the man in front of me was buying a small suitcase. He opened it and inside were all these vintage Barbie items. He just wanted the suitcase, so he offered me its contents. Then a middle-aged woman appeared at the checkout table. "I see you have the Barbie house. There's another identical one.  It belonged to my sister. Do you want it?" Does Barbie love pink? Bring it on. By the time I left, I had two Barbie Dream Houses, and a load of accessories.  Then the Dream House owner chased me down in the parking lot with another plastic container filled with more Barbie items. I spent $65, which for me, was a fortune.

I don't remember the return trip home. But I do remember the hours I spent pouring over my haul. There were early 1960s Barbie and Ken dolls, the original stands for the dolls, miniature catalogs of all the outfits so I could go through and compile what went together. These two sisters saved everything. There was a complete bridal outfit with bouquet, necklace and shoes, skiing outfits with skiis, poles and boots, and all the tiny cardboard record albums that went with the Dream House. I made several hundred dollars off that haul, but it's not the money I remember. It's the thrill of pouring through those tiny treasures and starting a foundation of vintage-Barbie knowledge.

I've never seen an ad for this sale again. But I think about it all the time. So several weeks ago, when I saw a posting on Craigslist for a Boy Scout troop sale, I made sure it would be my first stop of the day. Again, I travelled far from home to get to the sale, certain the Boy Scouts wouldn't let me down. Alas, nothing close to my dream house was there. Just a few Wilton cake decorating books and vintage Halloween candles for me. And once I arrived at my second stop of the day, a church sale much closer to home, I realized spot number two was a place I'd had success at before, but now I was late.

Oh well.  The dream lives on.  As does the chase. 

Here's some of what I did find this morning:

Two lovely mid-century Pyrex-like dishes for .50 cents a piece.

A very-70s embroidered owl to add to my daughter's wall of vintage animal-themed art. Paid .50 cents.

A vintage cake plate to replace the one I broke. Paid .50 cents.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's Either Really Ugly, Or Worth a Lot of Money

I have a friend/neighbor who I call my "mentor".  He's a big-time yard-saler and really knows his antiques.  He's the kind of guy who arrives at the flea market at 5:30 a.m. with a headlamp and wellies.  It he sleeps in until 6:00, he won't go because all the good stuff is gone.  He once told me that when he spots a hideous piece, he takes a second look figuring it's either really ugly, or it's worth a lot of money.

These words of wisdom were with me on Thursday when I made a quick tour of the Salvation Army in North Providence.  I was empty handed when I spotted these (in my humble opinion) ugly slippers.  As soon as my eye passed them, I thought--they may be really ugly, but they could be worth a lot of money.  And they looked to be in good shape.  So I picked one up for closer examination.  Never heard of the brand "Stubbs and Wootton", but right beneath the brand name I see "Palm Beach".  Things are looking up.  And the shoes are new!  Not a sign of wear on either one.  But the price on the bottom says $12.99.  A bit much for me.  I punch  the brand name into my eBay Droid app and see several pairs selling for upwards of $100.  Then I look inside the shoes and find a yellow tag.  It's half price on all yellow tags, so I leave the Salvation Army with my pair of shoes for $6.50.

Once home, I google Stubbs and Wootton.  There's my exact pair of shoes "Osiris Blue" for $395!  I have a new appreciation for these ugly shoes.  And thank you mentor!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Lord Has Appeared

 I just had to share these!  Found them this morning at the Salvation Army for 99 cents each.  In case you can't tell from the photos, they are vintage (probably from the 50s) Paint By Numbers.  Not in the best shape, but in my humble opinion, that just adds to their fabulosity.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Meat on the Bone

Baking seemed to be the theme of this weekend's ThrHaul.  I found a bag of plastic cookie cutters at Saver's for $3.19 and there were quite a few collectibles inside including the Wilton Batman set shown above.  A similar set recently sold for $30. The Wilton clowns shown below were also in the bag.

I also scooped up a vintage Wilton 3-D Wedding Bell cake pan for $3.19.  Already flipped it for $19.95. 

As I perused the aisles of Saver's I kept thinking of an episode of American Pickers I just watched. If you haven't seen the show, you should check it out. It's on the History Channel, but I also watch it on Hulu.  Anyway, in this particular episode Mike was looking through a bunch of stuff and commenting that he couldn't pay the prices because he's a "picker" and he needs to have "meat on the bone" so that he can sell his pick and still make some coin.  So this was my mantra as I thrifted last weekend "meat on the bone." And it helped me pass by a nice L.L. Bean coat for $9.99 and a beautiful pair of girl's cowboy boots from Nordstrom for $14.99.  Not sure if there was enough margin for me to make a buck.  I'm fairly confident, however, that there was enough meat on the Nanette Lepore dress I paid $4.99 for.  It goes to auction on Sunday.  Will keep you posted...

Monday, February 28, 2011

Retail. How it hurts!

Just returned from vacay, and am pleased to say I was finally able to stick my toe in the water of the L.A. thrift scene. More like a toenail, really.  My sister and I checked out this Estate Sale in Brentwood (hard to make out the sign above, but I did my best).  We were there on day 2, so pickings were slim.  But it was still fun.  Overpriced, but fun.  There was a sculpture (ugly) for sale for $7,500.  Cash only.  Who carries cash like that? Even in Brentwood?

I did manage to pick through the leftovers and retrieve these books.  And they only charged my 30 cents a piece! 

All in all, the scene was quite similar to any professionally run estate sale I've been to, with the exceptionof one upscale touch.  Right next to the checkout lady was a tray of FREE microwave popcorn packs that read "Thanks for Popping In."  I would have preferred a mint.  But it was a nice touch.

I also dragged my sister into two thrift shops.  I shouldn't say dragged, she went willingly.  We didn't find anything, but we didn't spend much time perusing either.  I give my sister credit--she tried.  But it annoyed her that a Banana Republic blouse was on the "Designer" rack.  And the smell was not the usual fragrance samples she's used to at Bloomingdales. 

So on to retail.  My girls were itching to go shopping with Auntie, and as Auntie only has boys, she was itching to go shopping with them as well.  As suggested above, Auntie's haunts trend more toward Neimans than Savers, , so we found ourselves at an upscale boutique in Brentwood just for girls and teen girls.  A store chock full of more party dresses than I have seen in an entire mall along with a full assortment of Stars of David necklaces, so after you've purchased the dress for the Bat Mitzvah you can buy the birthday girl a meaningful gift as well. 

Auntie convinced my eldest (who is 11) that her normal track-pant attire was not L.A. chic, so daughter #1 insisted on buying not one, but three pairs of leggings.  Actually, one was a pair of "jeggings" (jean leggings), another was a pair with pleather stripes down the sides, and the last was basic black.  I believe one pair was on sale, the rest were full retail.  And because eldest would now be wearing leggings, not track pants, she needed suitable shirts.  And a jacket.  I don't think I've spent as much on her clothes in a year as I did in one day shopping in L.A.

But the real kicker was when we got home.  Eldest tried on her new jeggings with a longish tee and then said "you know mom, I just don't think leggings are me.  But, I thought I'd give it a try."

Next time, she will be trying with a $3 pair from Savers.  They may have a small hole in need of repair, or a few stray cat hairs from someone elses cat, but when she realizes they are not for her, they can go right back to Savers.  For someone else.  And I will be out $3, instead of--I can't even say how much.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sticker Mania

Found these odd stickers at the Salvation Army this morning.  29 cents.  I'm not familiar with the Glomps from the 80s.  But I am familiar with selling vintage stickers for a boat load. 

A few years back I was scouring a garage sale and came across some unopened packs of Scratch n' Sniff stickers.  I scooped up all the packs they had (there were also some puffy stickers) figuring there can never be too many stickers in a house with young children.  I paid about 25 cents a pack.  When I checked on eBay later that day, I found that people were buying these stickers.  One of my packs sold for around $50.  Not sure the Glomps will do as well, but for 29 cents, I figured I'd take the risk.

Which leads to what I was going to post last week, but time got away from me.  Here are a few of my recent sales of items I've mentioned here.

The vintage flower loom lot I bought for $3.19, sold for $21.26.
The vintage Daisy Loom with patterns I bought for $1 sold for $22.
The vintage Boye Knitting Needle Kit I bought for $7.61 sold for $29.00.
The Patagonia Snowsuit I bought for $4.99 sold for $31.
The Minnetonka Moccasins I bought for $8.99 sold for $22.

And here's another cute Paint-by-Number I picked up today for my daughter's collection.  $1.99.  Sweet.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Oh Happy Day!

The new Saver's opened!  Hurrah!  I could actually walk to it if I wanted to, but will never do so as that would mean I would have to haul my bounty all the way home on foot.

The Saver's on Branch Ave in Providence opened on Thursday.  The same day the Nor' easter hit. But I was not about to let a snow day make me miss the Grand Opening.  It wasn't until after lunch that I was able to motivate the kids to head out with the promise of a $10 spending allowance each.  I was a bit concerned that we missed our window of oppotunity--an empty store during those early hours of digging out from the storm--but figured we'd still have the store pretty much to ourselves. 

How wrong was I!  There was a line to get into the parking lot, a police officer pretending to direct traffic in the lot, and no place to park.  I was so discouraged I suggested we turn around and try another day.  But the girls were not about to forego that $10 so easily.  So we forged on and found a spot.

Meanwhile, there were people with bags loaded full of stuff streaming out of the store.  What could be left?  What had we missed?

In a matter of less than an hour, I managed to spend close to $100, so that should give you some idea of how much was left.  This was truly a GRAND opening.  Saver's must have flown in employees for the event.  I haven't had so many offers for assistance at Nordstrom. 

So what did I buy?

My best find was a girl's North Face down 3/4 coat for $12.99. Normally more than I'd pay at Saver's, but this was really a steal.  The coat is in perfect shape except that it's missing the hood.  Will save it for my younger daughter. I also found several Mini Boden dresses ($3.99 and $5.99), a Hanna dress ($4.99), an L.L. Bean girl's winter jacket ($6.99), and various clothes the girls picked out including a leotard, two hoodies, and a dress.

Then I found some crafts including these looms...

The flower looms (photo on top) were $2.99.  The Crazy-Daisy Winder was in a bag for ($2.99) which also included a Weave Easy Hand Loom and a set of Magic Looms.  All now up on eBay!

We then headed to the toy section and scooped up a few games and several vintage puzzles including these two 1957 TUCO puzzles ($1.99 each).

I also picked up a Wilton Tasmanian Devil cake pan ($2.99), vintage Koala painting ($2.99) and a few other items.  And that was without perusing the entire adult clothing section.  I will definitely be back--once the crowds die down!

I'm going to try to start posting twice a week--once with what I've found (or my ThrHaul) and once with recent sales I've made on eBay.  So look for a second posting later this week!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Trending Foul

We're officially in a bad mood here.  Snow, then rain, now snow is expected again.  Yesterday I was listening to CNN and heard that the big story TRENDING the airwaves was about Regis leaving Live.  Then the anchor said "we'll fill you in on all the other trending stories when we return."  Trending?  Really?  Hence, my blogpost title.  Everyone is annoying me lately.

Well, maybe not the lady at Goodwill who always charges random prices in my favor. 

Here's today's ThrHaul:

  • This fabulous mint-in-box Kresge's hostess tray.  $1.49.
  • A vintage latch hook kit to make a flower rug. $2.99.
  • A brand new American Girl Doll jewelry making kit. $2.99. (Do NOT tell my kids!)
  • A new Black Diamond fleece vest. $1.99.
  • And a nice leather dog leash for $1.99.  We loose them all the time, so I find the thrift stores a great source for replacements.  I think Calvin will like this one.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My ThrHaul

Look what I found at Saver's today!  A vintage Boye Needlemaster kit in mint condition.  In case you're unfamiliar with such a thing, it's a set of knitting needles that can be configured in different ways so you can get every size and type of needle in one kit.  I paid $6.99. A similar one sold for $41 on eBay.

Other than the knitting needle kit, I'm still just stocking up on snow pants and jackets.  But I was thrilled to find a Columbia jacket for my daughter (her current jacket ripped and my repair was less than stellar) for $3.  She wanted a replacement from LL Bean, but when I checked the website, they were still selling at full price.  Just goes against my nature to pay full-price for a winter coat mid January.  So I dashed out to the Salvation Army and found this nice Columbia jacket in her size.  Her first reaction was "is it from a secondhand store?"--said with as much tween snarkiness as you can imagine.  But then she took a look at the jacket and said "Oh, Columbia!  It looks just like Rebekkah's!".  So we're back in business for $3 instead of $60 plus. That's what I call a good ThrHaul!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bliss After A Blizzard

I was not a happy camper this morning shoveling the back-breaking snow out of my driveway.  But the kids had school (luckily!) and I had to drive them there.  The silver lining was that school was delayed an hour, which meant they'd be arriving close to 9:00, which meant the Salvation Army nearby would be open. 

I nearly kept driving past the empty, poorly plowed parking lot fearing the store was closed due to the blizzard. Fortunately, I did not.  The Salvation Army store was open and (here's where the music would play if I could add it to my blog) I was the only one there! 

Nirvana struck.  Where to start?  In the knick-knacks room?  Arts and Crafts?  Upstairs in Women's and Children's?  I headed upstairs as my stock of snow pants in my eBay store is dwindling (OK, another silver lining to the snow storm). 

There on the rack were near-new Hanna Andersson bibs for $2.99 (green tag--making them $1.50), a Patagonia snowsuit for $3.99 and several more nice snow pants and jackets--nothing more than $3.99.  I spent around $20 and figured I'll at least triple my money.  More importantly, I experienced thrift-shop heaven with a good 20-30 minutes with no shopping competition. 

Just a few updates on previously noted purchases: I just sold the 3 pairs of Brooks Brothers socks for $30.  Probably could have held out for more, but doubling my money seemed good enough.  The Minnetonka Moccasins sold instantly.  And then unsold.  Yes, they were purchased by an Aussie who didn't think to ask about shipping before she repeatedly clicked the "BUY" button.  Good to know there are yahoos all over the world.  Anyway, I've had a few other inquiries so I'm sure they'll sell.  Again. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Out With The Old, In With the Old...

Took way to long of a vacay.  Sorry.  Actually wasn't vacationing, but was madly working on my eBay store over the holidays.  Glad that's over!

Now on to the new year.  From one thrifter to another:  In with the old!  That's going to be my motto for 2011.

So I was listening to public radio this a.m. and there was a piece about "Haul Videos" on youtube, where people (women and girls) make videos of what they purchased on their recent shopping excursions.  And other people watch them!  Now some retailers are even rewarding these haul video posters with incentives like coupons and other freebies.  So, I've decided to regularly post my "Thrhaul" (or thrifting haul--and you heard it hear first, so if Sarah Palin tries to co-opt it for her "consignment" finds, you'll finally know she's a liar!)  Savers, Goodwill, Salvation Army--take note!  I shamelessly accept shopping incentives in return for free publicity!

Today's thrhaul:

At the Salvation Army in Providence:
  • Brand new Minnetonka Moccasins for $8.99.  Yes, they're kind of ugly.  But they're new!  And if you can't quite tell from the photo, they're navy.  Some patriotic soul will want them.
  • An awesome LL Bean boys jacket for $6.99.
  • An Obermeyer boy's ski jacket for $4.50.
  • An LL Bean kids fleece bathrobe for $2.
  • Two vintage cross-stitch kits featuring new baby themes for $1.99 each. 

At St. Martin's Church thrift shop:
  • Unopened puzzle of Block Island for $5.  A bit pricey, but I'm hoping all those rich Block Island vacationers will be suffering from cabin fever right about now and will gladly pony up a hefty price for a fun, fireside activity that reminds them of warmer times.
  • A vintage snakeskin belt for .75.  Actually, I think the saleslady didn't charge me for this.  She thought it wasn't worth the 75 cent price.  I disagreed.  It's real snakeskin!  And it's a skinny belt--perfect for layering that cardigan over your shirt over your turtleneck. 
  • Three pairs of brand new Brooks Brothers men's dress socks for $12.  Also a bit pricey for a church basement, but they're brand new, made in Italy, and mostly wool. 
  • A vintage linen green floral tablecloth for $2.50. 
  • An awesome girl's ski jacket for $3.
  • A men's LL Bean fleece robe for $3.
  • A boy's GAP fleece robe for $2.

Are you jealous yet?  Or inspired?  Not sure which emotion you're supposed to be left with.  Whatever it is, happy thrifting!