Just realized that today is my six-year anniversary. No, it’s not the anniversary with my sweetie (which is now well beyond six years!), but the day I opened my Etsy store. At that time I was just selling off some items from my collections, but within a year I was buying stuff to sell, much to the consternation of my sweetie who thought it was a dubious venture.
But it’s turned out to be a fun, profitable, life-changing venture! Previously I had rarely set foot in a thrift store or went to yard sales. And I had never gone to an estate sale. Ever. I’ll never forget my first one…I was number 37 on the signup list and had to wait to get in. And when I did…oh boy…what a heaving, madhouse of bodies. But I loved it. And I discovered I loved researching items. I’ve learned about Mexican pottery, designer costume jewelry and mid-century Danish cutlery. I know to keep an eye out for micro-mosaic picture frames, Italian Bitossi pottery and interesting rusty cast iron bits. Truth be told, I wish I had done this sooner!
Will I still be selling stuff six years down the road? I don’t know. But my love for vintage things will never change. That I do know. 🙂
And what am I buying these days?? Not much!
I did buy this small painting (circa 1960/1970) by listed artist John Checkley (1922-1991). This former New Zealander moved to San Francisco in 1955 and had a fondness for painting it. Having lived in San Francisco for several years I have a fondness for it too!
Current online listings of Checkley paintings range from $150 to $420. Recent sale prices range from $30 – $300. Here’s a snapshot of a few recent sales…
I paid well under $100 for my painting so I believe it has the chance for a reasonable profit down the road. I find it appealing so I’m in no hurry to sell it.
While my taste in art is eclectic, I steer clear of “collectible” art. It just doesn’t appeal to me or hold its value. For example, a neighbor on Nextdoor.com was trying to find out the value of two Thomas Kinkade paintings she wanted to sell. (She had seen ones priced online for $300-$30,000.) I offered to find out some sold comps on Worthpoint for her. Her paintings were actually numbered prints, one from a print run of 20,000! It wasn’t selling for much (mostly under $100). She’s going to do more research but I think in the long run she’s going to be disappointed with what she’ll get for these. Here’s the other thing, despite the artist’s untimely death a few years back, the Kinkade enterprise is still cranking out these prints and canvases by the boatload.
Back to the subject at hand, I did find a few goodies at Goodwill today. Couldn’t pass up this colorful ceramic 1950s ashtray. Isn’t this fabulous?
And I spotted these chunky, hunky, petrified wood bookends. They are a rather bland golden brown on the polished, cut ends, but have a rough textured bark side that is so intriguing! Trying to find out what kind of tree these came from. Some of the colorful ones sell can sell for $300-$500. I’ll be listing this pair for $100.
And I finally found another cutting board to refurbish…maybe! It’s a Dansk cheese board but its cheese cutting wire tool thingy is missing. Is it worth it??
So I’m not buying much. (I am embarrassed to admit that I still have gobs of wonderful crystal (glasses and decanters), some bought over a year ago, that I have yet to list! Along with jewelry, baby clothes and books.)
As always, happy hunting,
Your success and enjoyment of your Etsy venture is inspiring to me. I’m thinking of going that route myself at some point, just because I enjoy the hunt so much and end up bringing too much cool stuff home. I want to share my finds while creating more space for the things I keep. Reading of how it’s been working out for you makes me think this is something I could do, too. 🙂
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Yes, sounds like you should open a store! I love it. My least favorite parts are keeping track of all the inventory and the financial piece but I am getting better at those too. All the best, Karen
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