It’s a Hit-or-Miss Business

Sourcing for items to resell is hit or miss. When you walk into a yard sale or thrift store you never know if you’ll find anything or not. (Half the time not!) Even with estate sales advertised items may be snatched up before you get to them. And auctions, whether online or in person, are fraught with last-second bidders and run-away prices. That said, this unpredictability makes it more exciting when you do score. Don’t you agree? Additionally choosing items can be a bit hit or miss too if (like me) you’re willing to take risks on unique or quirky things. It’s definitely a funny old business!

Here are some of the risks I took recently.


Sterling Silver from a New Source

I’ve been poking around a new online source (well, new to me anyway) with a particular focus on vintage sterling silver items. I, sadly, got sniped on a number of really cool items, but I did win this lot of four souvenir demi spoons. (This is a photo from the listing.)

4-silver-spoons

And this lot of eight older sterling demi spoons.

8-spoons

I have an affinity for old sterling silver souvenir spoons and still have a small collection that brings me joy, but they are not in vogue. It’s not a hot market. Still there are collectors as well as folks who will buy a random spoon as a memento.

Prices for spoons vary depending on content, uniqueness, rarity, maker, quality and size. Black Americana and figural spoons tend to be more popular and command the higher prices. It doesn’t look I have any “home run” spoons in these lots (I haven’t received them yet) but still there are some nice ones and I will make a small profit.

When my daughters were younger, my spoon collection was pressed into service when we had coffee together. (Well, theirs was mostly milk!) They loved choosing a different spoon to stir their drink.

spoons


An “On the Fence” Find

When out sourcing I always keep an eye out for things made with onyx, agate, alabaster, marble or other semi-precious stone. So naturally I was drawn to a bag of what looked like polished rocks at my neighborhood thrift store. Turns out the rocks were fashioned as grape clusters and had metal leaves affixed.

Hmmm…to buy or not to buy. I was on the fence. For starters the bag was folded over and taped up in such a way that you couldn’t get a good look at them. (I hate when they do that!) Then, they were not something I would have on my coffee table. They just didn’t resonate with me. In the end, after much internal debate, I put them in my basket.

4stone-grape-clusters

But the question is, while they aren’t my cup of tea, are they anyone else’s cup of tea? I checked on Worthpoint and found a number of sales of similar grapes in the past few months, like this one…

stone-grapes-sold1

So okay, they do sell. I’m guessing not briskly, but still.

Most other sellers date these to the “mid-century” but I see these more as late ’60s/’70s. I could be wrong, but they just don’t fit the clean mid-century modern vibe to me. Prices vary greatly with most clusters priced between $25-65, some a bit less, some a bit more. But I found one listing that gob-smacked me…this was priced at $1,620!

stone-grapes1620

While it is nicer than the ones I bought, the price seems way (way) of out whack to me. Needless to say, mine will be more attractively priced. I’ve decided to sell the three smaller ones as a lot and the biggest one on its own, likely at $24.99.

1-big-stone-cluster

Okay, honestly, thumbs up or thumbs down?


As always, happy hunting,

Karen

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