Stupid Buys and Lessons Relearned

I’ll admit I was in a dangerous mood when I walked into the Goodwill. I was in the mood to buy. In fact, I was determined not to leave the store till I’d ferreted out something to buy. I. Had. To. Buy. Something.

Which led me to Stupid Buy #1…a no-name, generic copper bowl for $8.99.


The craftsmanship was a tad crude and unappealing and it had no maker’s marks (not good!), but still I tried to convince myself “Well, it’s copper and heavy. It must be worth something!” But my gut was telling me this was probably cranked out cheaply for Pier 1 Imports or some such store. Well, I bought it despite my misgivings (stupid, right?) and it turns bowls like this sell for $10 – 15 on Etsy and eBay…as my gut was telling me! Arrrgh, now I have to take it back for an exchange.

Now, here’s the kind of copper bowl I’d love to find (and own!)…a classy Roycroft (early 1900s).


I went to a second Goodwill still in a dangerous mood and succumbed AGAIN!  

Stupid Buy #2…a carved/painted wooden tribal flute for $8.99.


I don’t know why I kept picking up this little flute. I knew the price was ridiculous, but I liked it. I asked if there was any “wiggle room” in the $9.99 price and even though the item had just hit the floor the day before, the sales clerk took off 10%. So I bought it for $8.99. At home I researched it and discovered it’s from Peru and sells for about what I paid for it. Of course! I KNEW it was a stupid buy. Then I pulled back the sales label to see if there were any markings on it and the little label ripped in a couple of pieces.  $%#! Well, that’s done it. Now it’s not returnable 😦 So, for the time being, I own a Peruvian flute! (Maybe I’ll sanitize the thing and give it a few toots.)

I did find a few good things, like this old, signed etching “Courtyard in St. William’s College, York” by E.J. Maybery. It’s not the most exciting subject matter, but it’s nicely rendered (matted and framed) and on the back there’s a note that reads “Xmas gift from Elizabeth Swallow, Springville, Calif.” Not a long-lost Picasso, but there is a little room for profit and someone will want this!


So, half of my picks the other day were “stupid buys” but thankfully not too expensive and I relearned some valuable lessons:

  • Don’t go out picking in a “dangerous” mood.
  • Listen to my gut.
  • Be willing to walk away.

Any “stupid buys” of your own to share??


  1. It reminds me of “Don’t go food shopping on an empty stomach!” At least it was minimal loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I bought a Christian Dior men’s tie at the very first estate sale I went to for about $5, but I thought I could re-sell it for at least $20. Turns out eBay is FULL of them! And they’re selling for about what I paid for it. Womp womp, lesson learned! I’m a terrible re-seller.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing Cat!! It’s the same for me. I’ve bought a few cool ties I thought would be easy sellers and haven’t sold a one!! I’ve stopped buying ’em for now 😦 – Karen

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I always buy things that I am interested in, without considering any possible value. I have however looked things up online (ebay, and antique sites etc) on a few things once I got home, and have been quite shocked. I bought an old lace tablecloth for $3.99 online value was $165. If only I could part with it lol. I really love using vintage pieces in my home, and trying to start a little business is going to be rough for me. I don’t know how ya’ll do it with such hreat finds!


    1. I have to admit I am sometimes a little sad when something sells…but mostly it’s helped me loosen my grip on things because I realize there are always more and it’s just stuff. But I do have things I won’t sell…favorites and heirlooms that, for now, are sacrosanct!

      BTW, well done on the lace tablecloth!!! If you ever want to share your great finds on my blog as a guest blogger, do let me know 🙂 – Karen

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Karen, I have been ridiculously behind in my blogging posts. Sadly, so much to write about, but haven’t had the time . I hope to get back in the swing of things real soon, so I may just take you up on your offer 😉 (Thank you for that😊)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. […] I bought another copper bowl! For those of you who read my post about stupid buys, you’ll know I recently bought (and returned) a no-name copper bowl of dubious make (shown […]


  5. Would be wonderful Pam!


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