Craigslist Find: Vintage Medical Supplies

My picker friend Diane always finds great deals on Craigslist and I know others folks do too, but mostly I find things that don’t offer much “meat on the bone” for a reseller. But after talking with Diane yesterday I got inspired to search again on Craigslist. I ended up contacting a lady about a beaded flapper purse she was selling and haven’t heard back from her. But this morning I saw a listing for vintage medical supplies: two portable blood pressure devices, two leather doctor’s bags and misc. items.

COOL!! I contacted the seller right away and he got back to me fairly quickly and we arranged to meet that morning at his house in an hour. But alas his house was up in the mountains and the directions began taking on an Alice in Wonderland feel:

“After you wind up the road for a bit most of the houses will peter out. Then you need to look for a big green water tank on your left. You can’t miss it. It’s hideous. Then you’ll go up a sharp grade and at the top start looking for XXXX numbered on a post box. Past that you’ll see four post boxes with numbers XXXXX, turn there and then…” I chuckled and said “If I get lost, I’ll call you.” “Well, we don’t have much cell phone reception up here.” GULP.

Oh JEEZ..was I really going to trek up in the mountains to meet some Craigslist guy…at his house…without cell phone reception?

Thankfully he called shortly back and said he’d need to move our meeting to the next day as he had an appointment in town today and I said, “Perhaps we could meet before or afterwards, when you’re in town?” After a few more phone calls we agreed to meet at a public “Ride and Share” parking lot, which was much closer to me and felt much safer.

As it turns out he was a nice guy…late 50s/early 60s with an ex-hippie, laid-back vibe. The medical supplies had belonged to his dad, a pediatrician. He was concerned when I told him I planned to resell them (I was totally upfront about that) as he doubted the prices he had on things would leave me much room to make a profit. (I had confessed that vintage medical supplies were a new venture for me.) In the end, he offered me a 50% reduction and I accepted!

I think I will be able to make a profit. Hard to say how much, but I think they are great items. And though he said he had removed all the drugs, I still found a few. Phenobaribtal, Lidocaine 2%, and ampuls of Epinephrine and one Erythromycin tab that expired in 1978! (Can I even sell these??)

To be honest, the Baumanometer blood pressure gauge in the wood box is my fav, though the one in the metal box is the one his dad used most often and has his name taped on it!  And the leather Upjon faux alligator bag is pretty darn cool too. I’m going to condition the leather. If it doesn’t sell, I’ll use it as a plane carry-on bag.

So, I’m hoping my venture into medical supplies turns out okay. And thank you John for being such a decent guy. I hope your retirement plans in Thailand work out. 🙂

And do tell me dear friends if any of you have sold (or bought!) medical bits.  I’d love to hear about them!!


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