Ceramics, Sticker Shock, Sales

Long before I started reselling I was enchanted with fun ceramic things, particularly handmade ones. My eldest daughter and I have a long-standing tradition of attending our city’s annual clay and glass festival and over the years I’ve bought a number of creative pieces. One of my favorites being this tiny bird.

I haven’t been buying ceramics for myself lately, but while I was doing some research I found an eBay listing for three mid-century modern pieces. They’re are not handmade or valuable like some pieces (think Bitossi), but I thought two of them were darn cool with their chunky textures–a vase and a pillar candleholder. The listing had an opening bid of $5. No one bid against me so I paid a grand total of $14 with shipping.

This vase has a faded tag on the bottom which appears to be an Otagiri, Japan, sticker.

The pot that came with these two was a “throwaway” for me. It didn’t seem the same age and while the shape is appealing, I’m not fond of the ugly leaf? design which appears on all sides.

But I’ll enjoy using the vase and candleholder…and if we get tired of them they’ll head to my store. 🙂

Now, at my neighborhood thrift store I spotted this two Japanese ceramic vases and swooned. Love their cool, crisp, modern vibe.

Aren’t these great? Turns out they are Ryu-Ho vases from Sanyo Toki (info courtesy of this website), likely from the 1990s.

I also found a small handmade blue vase in deep blue with flashes of green. (In the back on the left side.) I decided rather than try to sell it on its own to pair it with two other vases from my collection that I was willing to let go. All are artisan-signed pieces.

And my last purchase was this small signed hand-made pot, possibly a student piece. Still it’s darn cool with a fat-lava texture and metallic glaze.

Thrift Store Sticker Shock

If you frequent thrift stores, you know that prices have been climbing. And while I can’t blame the stores for wanting to make more money for their programs, there’s a point where the price increases will backfire on them.

Think about it. Who are the typical thrift store customers? In my neck of the woods it’s about: 60% resellers, 30% folks with limited means and 10% thrifty folks who want a bargain. I’ve seen stuff sit on the shelves week after week, because it’s priced too high to appeal to anyone. Eventually a staff member clears it away and it heads to the outlet.

But I’ll admit I was surprised at the changes in one local thrift store, a St. Vincent de Paul. They have created a boutique area within the store and areas with high-end goods accessible only by a staff member. The store also has an abundance of “Smile, you’re on camera” signs. Jeez Louise.

The clothing in the boutique area was nice enough, but nothing tempted me. For example, I found this classy vintage Ashley Scott wool coat. Price $75!

The goodies in the silver cabinet beckoned me but I didn’t bother to ask to see anything. It was all antique-store prices without the benefit of being able to negotiate. I think they’re dreaming on some of the silverplate prices.

The store also has the usual low-end junk, but even that was priced up.

I found a little wood trinket box that needed some TLC priced at $8. I would have paid up to $3. I was tempted by this Charles and Diana teacup, but by this point I decided I didn’t want to buy anything here.

I wish the store well, but judging by the plethora of unfavorable Yelp reviews complaining about the high prices and people who’ve said they won’t be shopping there anymore, I’m guessing the store’s going to have a lot of stuff collecting dust.

Sales

I’ve been encouraged by fairly strong sales this winter, which is good because summer’s coming when sales sloooow down.

Here are some items that sold this month.

Jewelry is doing particularly well and I’m pleased because it’s an area I love and am trying to grow. Sourcing, though, is challenging for the quality and type of pieces I like, so I’m exploring different sources and hoping to find a honey hole or two!

I’ll close for now, wishing you happy hunting,

Karen

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