Online Finds: the Good, the Bad and the Goofy

I love finding undervalued things online for my store, though, I do get some surprises when they arrive! Thankfully not often enough to deter me. I hope it’s the same for you. Here are my latest…

The Good

I recently bought this bohemian garnet bracelet. It’s a 20th century piece, likely 1920s-1940s, in a charming, timeless style that could be appreciated today by a young girl or an octogenarian.


Though it wasn’t a steal, the final price was reasonable and leaves room for profit. (Similar bracelets typically sell from $75 – $250. Bigger and more intricate bracelets can sell from $300 – $1000.) But considering that old garnets are one of my passions I’ll enjoy wearing this for a while before adding it to my store. [I wore this bracelet out today running errands and a young bank clerk (mid-to-late 20s) complimented me on it. Later my 21-year-old tomboy daughter asked if she could borrow it sometime. I’m feeling rather pleased these “younglings” see its beauty too!]

More Good–the Rescue

I bought this nicely priced 1940s sterling silver puffy charm bracelet with the intention of removing the three charms that didn’t “belong”–a frying pan, helmet and fire extinguisher–and replacing them with ’40s-era silver puffy charms I already own. I felt those three charms marred the  bracelet and they weren’t sterling.


Seller’s eBay photo.

While ’40s puffy charms are lightweight and not uncommon, they are nicely detailed. One of my favorites is the pipe with claws. With my replacements (shown below) it’s a better bracelet with all the charms of the same age, size and quality.


The Bad–an Online Purchase Fail

I loved the look of these signed, hand-wrought sterling cuff bracelets described as “edgy and can go with any & everything.” Actually they weren’t “edgy” at all, more classic, but at the price I paid they had the potential for a $40-60 profit. They arrived quickly and I was excited. When I opened the package my mouth dropped open. Can you see the problem?


They were child sized! How had I missed the size on these? Well, I hadn’t. The measurements listed in the ad were incorrect. Over an inch off. It’s obvious looking at them in person that they are not adult sized and yet they promoted them as such. 😦

I wasn’t sure if they accepted returns, but I had to try. Thankfully I heard back from them and they are sending me a postpaid return label and hopefully I will get a timely refund. But overall a disappointing transaction. [Just received an email from them and they want me to print out a wonky scan of the label rather than send me the actual label. I’m shaking my head. Not sure how this will turn out.]

The Goofy–What was I Thinking?!

Not sure what I was thinking when I made an offer on this small lot of Victorian/Edwardian-era vanity table items from an eBay seller. I mean honestly…glove stretchers and button hooks?


I just thought it was an attractive lot. The listing described these items as having plastic (but not bakelite) handles but I can see from the photos (they haven’t arrived yet) that the stretchers are bone, which is common, and to me more preferable than plastic. I got a good price so I won’t lose money on these, but I won’t make a lot either. Goofy right??

Which leads me to my confession…I sometimes buy more with my heart than my head. Well, if I was interested in just making money I would have stayed in my regular office job. Plugging away in a cubicle. But in semi-retirement, it’s been wonderful to pursue my passion for vintage things. A dream really…which I think is priceless. 🙂

Here’s to happy hunting in 2018,



  1. If the return on the child sized bracelets doesn’t work out, id be interested in buying them off you. My mother-in-law has ridiculously tiny arms 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jennifer…that would be cool. I’ll keep you posted. – Karen


  2. perhaps the last lot is made of xylonite rather than bone/plastic? that would be consistent with the age and looks like it in the photo.

    happy new year to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Edwina. Yes, I think the button hooks are likely to be celluloid. But will know more when I have them in hand. Happy New Year! – Karen


  3. Diana

    Great finds, Karen (except for the tiny bracelets, of course). My family and I are huge garnet lovers. Some beautiful gemstones were mined in the town my family is from (North Creek in the Adirondacks). My grandmother gave me a garnet ring for my HS graduation and my father often gives garnet jewelry to my sister and I for our birthdays. I’m also the proud owner of Bohemian garnet earrings and bracelet, both of which I love. Nice to have a kindred spirit 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Diana, what a wonderful legacy of garnet jewelry. I came to love garnets later in life but just adore them! I too I’m glad to have another kindred spirit. – Karen

      P.S. So enjoy your blog and the FB group. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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