Sourcing Online for Unique Stuff

A few days ago was President’s Day here in the U.S. and it started early for me with my 8:00 a.m. gym class (a grueling routine that left me quite knackered) and then a stop at my neighborhood thrift store (25-50% off) to hunt up a few treasures. The store was busy when I got there but I was optimistic. I hunted high…and low. I even made three passes down the china/ceramics aisle, but there was nothing good enough! Well, nuts!  On the plus side I run into estate sale acquaintance Diane at the store. Hadn’t seen her in yonks since I haven’t been going to many estate sales so we chatted for a bit. She told me the sales have been hit or miss lately which is frustrating after you’ve been waiting a few hours to get in. That’s part of the biz I don’t miss!

Though my in-person store experience on President’s day was a bust I did win an online auction for a vintage hat (1920s-1960s) by Carson Pirie Scott. I just couldn’t resist this hat because it was equal parts weird and fabulous.

I could picture this being worn on the TV show “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” set in 1920s Melbourne, Australia.


Photo from “Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries”

I also won a pair of  Foree sterling silver Victorian-style “luggage tag” clip-on earrings. These are big (almost three inches long) and weigh a hefty 44 grams.


Designed by artist Foree Peterson Hunsicker (1932-2015), in 1987 she started a company that employed up to 50 people making these Victorian-era styled luggage tag earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Her jewelry is so convincing that unwitting folks sell it as “antique.” But make no mistake these pieces are not old, though they are well made and charming. Foree earrings typically sell from $25-$100. Currently another seller has this same pair listed at $155. Hmmmm.

And I bought this Egyptian choker necklace of scarabs. Apparently it belonged to the seller’s aunt who had received it as a gift from friends who had traveled to Egypt in the 1980s. He was uncertain as to whether the scarabs are stone or ceramic but I should be able to figure that out when it arrives. My plan is remove the handmade scarabs and sell them as jewelry supply or individual pendants.


The Bottom Line

The plus side to sourcing online is the ability to find good, unique things from the comfort of your home. No fighting traffic, waiting in lines, digging through dirty stuff, etc. And if you’re knowledgeable you can get some amazing deals.

The downside is that you don’t see the goods in person before buying them and you have to factor in shipping costs. I’ll admit I’ve been disappointed a few times. Most recently this purchase of an “original watercolor” which in reality is a print! It is professionally framed and I haven’t opened up the paper backing yet, but even without taking it out, looking at it in person it’s obvious. Rats!


I still like the picture, but I wouldn’t have bought it had I known it was a print. Does it have any value beyond decorative? To be honest, I don’t know. I need to do more research and take a look at it out of the frame. Potentially I may lose money on this purchase, but that’s part of the biz too.

I wouldn’t be doing this if I was adverse to a bit of risk!

Would love to hear about your stellar online finds or busts.

Happy hunting,



  1. That’s too bad about the “original watercolor”.


    1. Yes, it’s a bit maddening. I am going to let the seller know his/her mistake, but it wouldn’t be worth it for me to mail back if I have to pay the return postage. – Karen


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