Boston’s Not Afraid of You.Share on Facebook
As I continue to learn how to be a decent picker for my vintage shop. CallMeClever. I’ve discovered my biggest problem is buying. I like to buy . . . too much. You hear people say, “It’s the adventure of the hunt.” Well that is true and I find it to be especially true at estate sales. I’ve sussed out which Estate Sale agencies price fairly in our area but I still have this problem of what NOT to buy????Share on Facebook
“Seal pup slide” goes viral.Share on Facebook
Well what do you know . . . Emma Rosen LOVES Etsy too
Etsy. It’s such a time suck. I’m buying all these vintage brooches to use as hair ornaments, decoration, every-thing. They make it very easy; it doesn’t feel like you’re really even purchasing things. It’s a better eBay.
And as long as you are looking . . . check out my shop of re-purposed vintage.Share on Facebook
Where Do I Find my Vintage Stock?
My name is Shawn Underwood. I’m a picker. After posting my last story, I came to the realization that I pretty much know nothing about picking. Sigh. But as luck would have it and after my article came out in Handmadeology, I heard from Sally (VintageOnTheRidge) who not only offered to help me identify some of my items but directed me to a picking class. I love the camaraderie of the Etsy community : ) So without further ado I’ll pass on my local knowledge and my cheat sheet from the first section of the online class; “So you Want to be a Picker” www.udemy.com/make_money_picking/
1. Thrift stores are great if you shop around. You can find glassware, vintage toys, cut / pressed glass, sterling silverware, vases / planters, cast iron and more if you have a keen eye. I have found that charity thrift stores are the best for finding hidden treasures. The best time to bargain shop at thrift store is Tuesday – Thursday. During the weekends, thrift stores are swamped, and they usually don’t put out new merchandise until Mondays afternoons, or Tuesday morning. Look what I found at Barking Basement in Hailey, Idaho, a thrift store that gives 100% of profits to keep and adopt out homeless animals. https://www.etsy.com/listing/119181675/vintage-cyclone-seeder-farmhouse-decor
2. Check out www.auctionzip.com. Attend only live auctions that have no minimum bids on items. Obviously this would have to be somewhere close to your hometown unless you want to ship purchases home—kind of defeats the purpose of saving money! I’ve not actually been to a live auction but I plan to follow this great lead. The auctionzip website lists auction dates on a calendar it’s super easy to figure out.
3. Estate and yard sales on Craigslist or local paper. I know I know Craig’s list can be a bit dicey. I recently searched out a Craig’s list ad, and after tromping through someone’s backyard in the rain and mud and a dog was barking and nipping at my boots . . . I came across a hoarder goldmine!!! Kind of spooky going down those basement stairs but it was worth it!!! However, in hindsight I think I’ll bring a friend with me. Two is better than one when fending off a barking dog!
4. Try not to go to “dealer sales” since they typically sell at full price. Hmmm. I’ve been to quite a few “dealer sales” and I’ve found some great stuff at reasonable prices. It pays to return on Sunday, typically the last day of sale because items are usually at least half off. Obviously some dealers have better prices than others. I like “Going Going Gone” dealers in Seattle.
5. Look for “estate fresh” items at liquidation prices. Huh? After further review I learned; “Estate fresh” = estate sale with NO DEALER or middleman. Obviously, better prices.
6. Offer “free in-home evaluations” for people who can’t get out. There is no fricking way I would do this . . . I may tromp through peoples backyards but I draw the line at “Free in-home evaluations”.
7. Go through “for sale” items in classified. Call about item and ask if they have anything else for you to look at. Interesting idea. But again, I’d bring a friend if I were to actually going to go to someone’s home.
8. Offer “clean out” services. Offer your time and labor to clean out the attic or basement. It’s possible you will find an old trunk full of antique maps a basement full of skeletons. Don’t go to a home where you need a dumpster. This is definitely a last resort idea to find treasures. Again, not something I would do.
9. Sign up for www.estatesales.net. I often find good sales on this website and not all are dealer sales.
10. Set up a page on www.iantique.com I did this but thus far I’m not a fan of the website because it’s overwhelming. I need to dig in a bit more to figure it out.
11. Outdoor flea markets. Try and find the “once a month” dealers who are looking to make some quick cash. My Craig’s list basement lady (#4) was a flea market dealer looking to clear out some of her stuff at bargain prices!
12. Try misspellings when typing your item into Google to lessen the competition and have a better chance at getting the item you are looking for at the lowest price possible. I found this idea on the Internet. Brilliant!
Please feel free to submit ideas or comments about how YOU find your stock for your vintage store : )Share on Facebook
Have you ever watched American Pickers? I’ve watched every show. Mike Wolfe move on over . . .
I’m Mike Wolfe. Shawn Underwood. I’m a picker. I travel the back roads of America looking for rusty gold. I’m looking for amazing things buried in people’s garages and barns. What most people see as junk, I see as dollar signs, though my husband rarely agrees with me. I’ll buy “anything” I think I can make a buck on (as long as he isn’t hovering over my shoulder J Each item I pick has a history all its own and the people I meet? Well, they’re a breed all their own.
I make a living telling the history of America…one piece at a time.
I honestly think I get as excited as Frank or Mike just about the time they literally trip over some disintegrated tire in barnyard back 40 and unearth great grandpa’s rare Atlantic Coast Line Railroad 1900’s silver plated teapot in great condition!!!! I mean I totally relate. Let me tell you about my last estate sale adventure.
The estate sale sign is parked in front of a sixties one level home. Hmmm. Not my favorite decade but you never know. Right? My cousin and I cursed ourselves immediately for not getting up earlier, because a long line serpentines down the driveway. You know the old saying, “The early bird gets the worm.” Well there are a lot of worms walking out the door. I couldn’t contain myself with my “ohhhs and ahhh’s and how much?”
So here is the thing. Sometimes I find something that’s super cool but I have no idea what it is. I’m sure it’s happened to you too. My go to tactic is to ask pretty much anyone who is around me. “What is this thing? Do you know what it’s used for?” And because my fellow pickers get tired of listening to me . . . someone usually answers. I picked up a solid, yet small brass piece. It looks like a metal cylindrical lollypop minus the stick. The sign above the table read, “19th Century Shipwright Tools.” The man next to me explained that a shipwright builds ships and boats however he doesn’t know the use for this particular tool. No matter. I plopped the brass lolly in my bag and combed through the rest of the sale. I can hardly wait to get home and research my treasure.
It turns out my brass lollipop is a Vintage Brass Plum Bob. Whaaaat? The plumb bob is an old-fashioned tool that is still in wide use today because of its accuracy. A simple brass or metal bulb with a point on the end uses gravity to help builders determine exact vertical alignment. Whenever you need to straighten a doorway, wall or other tall vertical structure that is longer than a conventional level, try a plumb bob. It’s easy and inexpensiveRead more: How to Use A Plumb Bob | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2120279_use-plumb-bob.html#ixzz2EbaBQGJB
Here is a website devoted exclusively to p.b. collectors . . . www.plumbbob.de
So I’ve discovered that though my plumb bob rates high on the “look cool” scale it is not overly valuable because it’s not in original packaging, it’s missing it’s string and it’s not made of a unique material like wood or ivory. I don’t care. I still love it and I’m sure someone else will too.
And yes I have it listed in my shop:) https://www.etsy.com/listing/117404687/vintage-brass-plumbob-with-steel-tipShare on Facebook
Wow. Super easy tips for SEO from Megan WardShare on Facebook
Men Are Just Happier People –
What do you expect from such simple creatures?
Your last name stays put.
The garage is all yours.Share on Facebook
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Irma Bunch was kind of like the “welcome lady” for those of us who lived near Three Tree Point and Gregory Heights.Share on Facebook