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
Tag-Archive for ◊ shawn underwood ◊
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
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
Tom and I have reached our limits with running the Lake Chelan Boarding House for wayward teens. I don’t really like to cook and preparing meals for 15 plus people is my idea of purgatory. Our solution to this kitchen drudgery is genius—each of our three kids has their turn at a meal. How fun for them! Sort of like a new funny game. This of course includes, planning the meal, shopping, setting the table and of course, dish duty—no paper plates allowed and cold cereal does not make a meal. The first meal was rather tasty, teriyaki tri-tip, salad, and a fondue disguised as fettuccini.Share on Facebook
Okay, my first spa treatment is accomplished…….barely. Who knew that visiting a deluxe spa could be so stressful? Enter a “quiet room” which is the equivalent of a quiet tomb before my scalp massage treatment. Anyone who attends the movies with me knows that I am not able to maintain silence let alone hold still for more than two minutes at a time. I pay good money for a movie ticket and believe it is my right to repeat aloud the lines I find most amusing. My husband disagrees and we don’t go to movies much anymore. Take a banana from the fruit bowl, a perfect pre-spa snack. Begin peeling banana which makes a very loud cracking sound. Old man in comfy looking chaise lounge gives me the hairy eyeball. Ignore him and commence to chewing. Good God, what has happened to my chewers? They have suddenly become obnoxiously loud. I am sounding like my daughter, Smackers. Try a sip of my water and find that I am unable to sip quietly and in fact have soiled my nice robe. Look longingly at old man in divan next to me; he has the perfect pre-spa chair. Make mental note to arrive earlier for next treatment.Share on Facebook
Finally my spouse reached the ripe old age of fifty. I thought the day would never come, it is unsettling to be a year and a half older than your husband when the age of fifty draws nigh. Somehow my other half has a most unsettling way of looking the same as the day we married, some twenty-eight years ago. Almost like he has been preserved in bees wax at the ripe old age of twenty-one. What better place to celebrate than Amanpolo.Share on Facebook
Sometimes I wish I lived in Miami, I mean think how much easier it would be to get to a tropical climate—like Bonaire. I’m just saying. . .Share on Facebook
I recently returned from The National Society of Newspaper Columnist Conference, which was held in Ventura, California. My new writing group, BFF, Karen Rinehart, award-winning humorist and author, cajoled me into attending and I have to say I enjoyed every minute—except for that one time I waited in a long line for a drink, ordered a delicious beverage only to find I had no money, but I digress.
I’d like to say that I hung with all of my contemporaries at the Crown Plaza Hotel, but reality bit when I met Jeff Zaslow from The Wall Street Journal and co-author of “The Last Lecture.” I mean really, I write the humor column for the b-town blog (not that there is anything wrong with that) and I don’t recall winning any awards recently or for that matter have any other credentials that allowed me entrance to such an esteemed society. But times are hard and Karen said, “It doesn’t matter, they need people to fill the conference room, all the newspapers are shutting down or going Chapter 11, you could be a graffiti tagger and they’d let you in.” So I went.
So, I’m heading out for a much-needed warm winter break, which requires purchasing a few things, namely shorts. Shorts that cover the danger zone otherwise know as U.U.P. (upper lumpy leg.)Share on Facebook
We christened him, “Le Cork”, our Bora Bora scuba adventures continue . . .
Speeding out to the dive site, I struck up a conversation with one of my boat mates. Well, that’s not quite right, I talked and he nodded. I tried English and practiced my cave man French. No reply, only nods and grunts issued forth from my morose seatmate.Share on Facebook