Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Garage and Estate Sales 9-12-2017

We didn't have much time to hit many sales this weekend because my son got married!!!! We are blessed and thrilled to have Alex join our family.   They had an awesome wedding with tons of good food, plenty of fun people and a fantastic DJ.  Everyone had a marvelous time!



But you know me, I can always squeeze in a few sales, just like I did 2 years ago when we went to Denver for my nephews wedding and a bunch of us trooped through a Good Will Bins store on our way to the ceremony.  You can read that post here.   So on Friday we hit a few estate sales in the morning before heading over to the church for rehearsal and the dinner afterwards.   Then on Saturday we dropped Chablis off at church so she could get ready with the other bridesmaids and Louie and I hit a rummage sale and a few garage sales before heading home to get dressed for the wedding.  I know, I'm nuts!!

Here's a few pictures of some of the things we picked up....

2 Lionel Barrymore Gold Foil prints.  Truth be told, I bought them because of the frames they were in and didn't realize what they were until I went home and looked them up.  Actor Lionel Barrymore did a series of these - who knew???




An enamelware tray...


a set of 3 hanging tea light holders...


Several pancake molds....




A brass Alpha Phi plaque....


A Willow angel - I may have to keep this one for myself....


A set of 8 napkin rings....


A set of Disney sheets.....


A sock darning tool - the 2nd one of these I picked up recently...


A set of Warner Brothers sheets....



And my favorite - this pink round sewing box.  How cute is that??


We also got a metal hall tree with a broken mirror that I'll be re-painting and fixing up, a pair of ice skates, and a set of end tables to flip.  My house is filling up with junk again!  Time to make a run to the lake.  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

How to Have a Successful Yard Sale

Yard sales, garage sales, estate sales - no matter what part of the country you live in or what you call them, they all amount to the same thing - cleaning up your house or garage and selling your stuff!

If you're just destashing stuff, we call them garage sales here in Chicago and yard sales in Kentucky.  Estate sales are usually held when the homeowner has passed away and their loved ones are trying to sell off their things before they sell the house.   The thing I like about estate sales is that you usually get to walk through the whole house and look in drawers and cabinets, poke around in the basement and crawl around in attics.  Some people think it's kind of morbid, but I actually like it.  I've found some great things at estate sales and you can actually learn a lot about a person by the things they collected and left behind.  I prefer to think of it as passing on items for others to use and enjoy.



Since I sell on Etsy and also at an antique mall, I'm always on the lookout for unusual items, vintage things and stuff I can paint or repurpose.  I'm lucky that my husband also enjoys the thrill of the hunt altho that was a long process because at first he thought I was just crazy.  But now he enjoys it almost as much as I do and he's starting to develop quite an eye for what will sell.  We usually spend 2 or 3 days almost every weekend driving around and hitting sales, so I have a pretty good list of pet peeves that will hopefully help you to plan your next successful sale.

1.  Advertise!  The week before your sale you will want to advertise.  Either run an ad in your local newspaper or list your sale on Craigslist.  Other great sources are Gsalr.com for both garage sales and estate sales or Estatesales.org for estate sales.  Be sure to list the dates and times of your sale as well as your address.  Try to post some pictures if you're able to because pictures speak a 1000 words folks!  I spend hours scouring the websites and checking out the pictures so I can map out which sales will have the best junk.   A start time of 9:00 am is nice, don't wait until 11:00 am.  Hello...That's almost lunchtime.  Early is always better.



2.  Signs!  Signs placed around your neighborhood the days of your sale are super helpful.  One thing I cannot stand is a sign with the writing so small that I cannot read it.  People - get a colorful sign and write in large letters.  Remember, people are driving down the street and cannot slam on the brakes to stop and read the fine print.  List the dates and your address.  And for pete's sake, don't just write the main 2 streets - this drives me nuts.  I cannot stand to get to an intersection and have to crane my head around like a spastic owl trying to find your sale - give me the stinking address!  It's also helpful to draw some arrows pointing the way.  Place lots of signs - it's well worth your time.  You want people to come so make it easy for them to find you.



3.  Organization!  Try to organize and clean your stuff.  Don't put out things that are dirty and full of cobwebs and don't just toss stuff on the driveway.  Get some tables and shelving units to give your items some height.  Spread things out so people can see them.  Stack furniture near the street.  And here's a good one - have a lot of stuff for sale.  My heart skips a beat when I pull up to a sale and see lots of items lining the driveway and packing the garage.  Believe me when I tell you that my seat belt is unbuckled before Lou pulls the truck to the curb and I'm half way up the driveway before he's even out of the truck.   I love to stroll along and look at everything.  One thing I cannot stand is to get to your house and see only 25 things sitting on a table.  Really?  You're going to sit outside all day for 25 items???   Why bother?



4.  Pricing!  For heavens sake - price everything.  Nobody wants to ask you what you want for something.  You will lose out on a lot of sales because, believe it or not, most people don't like to ask what something costs.  Stick a price tag on it.  And use some common sense - don't put a gooby sticker on the front of a glass picture frame or the front of a vintage item.  I do not want to go home and swear at you because I can't get the damn sticker off the front of something and I ended up scratching it.  Another thing to keep in mind about pricing is that, hello..... this is a garage sale.  People expect good prices.  This is not Ebay or Etsy and we don't want to see retail prices.  If you think your treasures are worth so much then open an Etsy account and list them there.  Don't sit there and tell potential customers what something is worth on Ebay.  We....don't...care....  


5.  Haggling!  Haggling is expected.  People want a deal and love to go home feeling they got a bargain.  Don't get all huffy when someone asks you if you'll take less than the sticker price.  On Friday I had a lady give me a very snotty "We don't do deals on the first day" response when I asked her if she'd take $ 2.00 less on a $ 20.00 item.  I placed the item back on the table and just said "No thank you" as I walked away.  She lost out on a $ 35.00 sale since we also put back the other 3 items I wanted to buy.  I told my husband as we walked back to the car "I hope she's sitting on that damn thing on Sunday."    Immature on my part?  Yes, but I still hope that item is sitting there because of her smart mouth.  Here's another thing - If someone is buying several items, give them a discount!  Everyone loves a discount, even if it's only a dollar or two.  You made some money and the customer is thrilled to get a dollar off.  We went back to one estate sale 3 days in a row for just that reason.  The sellers were motivated to sell things so they let them go at fair prices.  I was only too happy to keep going back there,  I got some great things and they unloaded a lot of items.  Win-win for both of us!

Image result for shopping bag

6. Wrap it up!  Have some shopping bags, plastic bags and newspapers to package things up for people.  

7.  Odds and ends!  Play some music in the background.  I usually like to hear a little soft rock playing in the background and it adds to the festive atmosphere.  If a Neil Diamond song from the 1970's is playing in the background it puts me in a good mood and more willing to spend some money.  Have an extension cord so people can plug in lamps or radios to make sure they're working.  Have plenty of change - especially dollar bills.  Don't lose out on a sale because you can't make change for a twenty dollar bill.   You'd be surprised at how many people will try to hand you a ten or a twenty early in the day.   And last but not least - have a smile on your face.  Talk to your customers even if it's just to say hello and comment on the weather.  Nobody wants to buy from a sourpuss!






Monday, August 14, 2017

Garage Sale Finds 8-14-17

This past weekend was a good one for sales.  We actually started on Thursday and hit one jam packed estate sale!  Thursday was also my birthday and I couldn't think of a better way to spend it than digging around through old stuff.  This house had 2 floors, plus the basement and the garage.  I was in heaven!  Here's all the stuff we got at that sale....

A nice sled....


A cute pair of brown baby shoes and 10 assorted size doilies....


A brand new glue gun, 2 embroidery hoops and a 13 star flag....


I loved this trunk!  It's in excellent condition and the side flashing is all copper.  I doubt I'll do anything to this except clean it up and air it out...


The bottom of the trunk was lined in old newspapers...



Check out the date - I bought this on August TENTH and the paper was dated August 11th, 1955.  That is only one day off by 62 years.  Holy crap!


I love looking at the old ads and articles...





A couple spools of ribbon for an upcoming project and another picture frame....


More ribbon and a cookie press in the original box....


2 beautiful half aprons that don't look like they were ever worn and a crocheted pot holder...


 2 rolling pins....

A pair of embroidered pillowcases....


I loved this - a hand cross-stitched tablecloth.  It is beautiful!  Can you imagine all the hours that had to go into making this??


This is a numbered and signed watercolor by Pat Coffmann Huss.  I need to do some research on this one...



And my personal favorite - this blue and white quilt.  It's so pretty that I am almost tempted to keep it for myself.  I found the tablecloth and the quilt stuffed in the aforementioned trunk.  They are rather yellowed and musty smelling but I'm working on fixing all that...


I hope I can get this stain out...

The back is rather dingy, but we'll see what happens...


And how cute is this?  Nancy was the name of the old woman that everything belonged to.  She recently passed away and her kids were cleaning out the house and getting it ready to sell.  Her daughter in law told me that she was quite the crafter and did all the hand stitching on everything we bought.  I hope I find a good home for Nancy's things.
  

Fridays sales were slim and we didn't find much.  A set of Christmas themed napkin holders, some cookie cutters, and 2 vanity mirrors....




Saturday was another bonanza day!  We started off by going back to the sale we hit on my birthday.  We figured that since it was the last day we'd pick up some bargains and boy did we ever.  We grabbed another sled at a real bargain price...


8 Christmas tree napkin holders...


The lady loved us and threw in a box of ribbon for free!




A sock darner and several pants hangers...



Christmas themed paper..


A set of blue and yellow napkins.  I don't think either set were ever used...
  


Several pot holders.  I love the sun bonnet ones...



More aprons.... 


Loads of doilies, embroidered table coverings, napkins, pillow cases and tablecloths...













How adorable is this pillowcase????








And finally a set of rooster dishes.  I'm hoping these will sell well at the booth...



We hit one other estate sale and netted this awesome Sunbeam Mixer....


A chair, desk with hutch and dresser to re-paint....




A pink Fiestaware pitcher, a cookbook holder, another pair of baby shoes and a picture frame...


That takes us to Sunday but since I haven't taken any pictures of that stuff yet, I'll have to save that for another post.  In the meantime I have plenty to keep me busy for the next week as I wash and iron everything, and then catalogue and tag everything.  
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