It’s easy when you blog or vlog to focus on the positive side of life and business. Most of us paint pretty pictures on social media–smiling family and friends, exciting travels and outings, fabulous career moves and achievements, stupendous finds.
But yesterday was a different reality. After packaging up one lone sale (in a lackluster sad sales week), I spent hours listing items in my store and updating my Excel spreadsheets. Pure tedium. Then I started pulling myself together to head over to Shelley’s condo.
Over a year ago I bought a few items from Shelley, a downsizing senior citizen. Shelley had contacted me last week with the message, “I have some Georges Briard pieces I want to sell. Are you interested?”
Yes and yes! Jascha (Yascha) Brojdo created wonderful mid-century glass serving pieces in patterns like “Forbidden Fruit” and “Persian Garden” under the name Georges Briard. They are not valuable, but they are fun and sellable. Very Mad Men. (I have this tray in my store.)
Here’s a covered dish I previously bought from her (and sold) a while back.
At her condo, I looked at the various pieces: three small rectangular trays, two larger round trays, a few napkins and one large dish. As I inspected them and started mentally figuring out an offer Shelly said, “Well, I’m not selling ALL of these. I think I’ll keep those smaller ones and the two round ones for cookies.”
Uh oh. “So, which ones are you selling?”
“Oh just the big one. Which I love, but will never use again.” And she proceeded to tell me stories of using this wonderful 15″ dish to make Caesar salads at dinner parties many decades ago. I was equally enchanted and frustrated.
She also wanted to sell a Spode Christmas tree cookie tray with a handle and a lackluster molded glass bowl that she kept saying looked good with strawberries in it. Sigh. I passed on the glass bowl. Honestly, I wouldn’t have taken it for free. I asked if she had a price in mind for the other two. She shrugged, “Not really.”
I made an offer and she looked disappointed. She thought the Briard alone was worth more. I told her I wasn’t comfortable offering more. (Unfortunately due to anomalies in her condo, cell phones don’t connect to the internet so I couldn’t look up stuff.)
In the end I took photos and agreed to get back with her about pricing after I had done some research. While it was nice seeing her again and visiting for a bit, I was disappointed. She had sent me four photos in her first email, but none of those items ended up being for sale after all. (This has happened in previous visits to a lesser extent.) She is one of those sweet people, full of memories and good intentions, but when push comes to shove, she doesn’t really want to part with her things.
After doing more research at home on the Briard piece and the Spode tray I think my offer at her condo was a fair one and I won’t be offering more. There just wouldn’t be enough profit to make it worthwhile.
So that’s my day in a nutshell. No great sales or scores. Just a lot of slogging and some wheel spinning! But as I’m writing this on my front stoop, the sun just set. It’s finally cool outside and my family is just beyond the front door watching a movie in the living room. The crickets have started up and I smell a hint of a fire, a beautiful wood incense scent. In it’s own way the day is ending quite magically. (And tomorrow is another day!)
Hope your day was full of fabulousness and great finds!