Know When to Hold’em, Know When to Fold’em

The other day I was looking through my unlisted inventory trying to decide what to photograph next and list in my Etsy store and I realized there are some things that I keep setting aside in the “do later” pile.  And it hit me that I keep setting them aside because I know they aren’t worth the time and trouble to list! Simply put…they were buying mistakes!

I hate wasting money and I would feel worse about it, but I know even experienced resellers make mistakes from time to time. In one episode of the TV show “Thrift Hunters” Bryan and Jason had a garage sale to sell off all their “mistakes.”

Here are some of mine:

A small Marquis Waterford, Made in Germany, crystal bowl, complete with sticker and identification marks on bottom. Cute and Waterford!  Alas I did not check the item thoroughly assuming that since it still had its tag, it had been carefully stored or displayed. Not true! The bottom has five small chips. (How did I miss these?) Paid: $4.49.


An 1953 Otto Fenichel psychology book I recently bought in NYC. It has a few condition problems, but I was hoping it might be a SCARCE book. Turns out there are many copies of this book on the market and in much better condition, some selling for peanuts. Rats! Paid: 79 cents.


A small mid-century pewter plate/ring dish made by Brodrene Mylius, Norway. This would have been a good buy except for the pitting and scratching which I decided to ignore when I bought it. Still useable and cool, but a bit too shabby-chic to make any money. Paid: $3.29.


Lesson 1: Check and double-check the condition of each item. (Condition always matters.)

Lesson 2: Inexpensive mistakes add up! 

Lesson 3: When in doubt, don’t buy it.

Hopefully, over time, I will make fewer and fewer buying mistakes. But for now, it’s time to stop holding these items. Time to fold’em!  (Local friends, do contact me if you’d like one of these FREE items before they are donated back to the thrift store.)

Would love to hear your mistake stories 😉


  1. I’d suggest you find someone with a garage sale, at least for the bowl and plate….I bet they would easily sell for $5 each…would your garage sale lady take them on consignment?
    frnakly, I’m tempted by both.


  2. Hi Rosalie, they would make nice garage sale items, but I think I’d rather just give them away 🙂 Do let me know if you’d like either…or both!! – Karen


  3. I’ve made many mistakes but I’ve actually been able to sell some chipped and non-working items like radios, record players and very pretty glassware (a small chip is not so bad). A lot of people are looking for a restoration project or just think it’s cool looking decor. Works for me!


    1. That’s good to know Patricia!!! I did sell a non-working old camera, but it did have cool graphic appeal. – Karen


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