Some Real Life as a Vintage Seller

It’s been days since my last post in part because I’ve had nothing positive to share and then I realized I should probably share that. Between fun sourcing trips, good finds and exciting sales, there can be a lot annoying, tedious stuff. Here’s a sample…

Fed Ex, You are on My List!

Early last week I won a shopgoodwill auction for what the store called a tapestry, but was really a small, artisan quilt. It took several days for them to mail it and when they did it was supposed to be delivered on Saturday. Well Saturday came and went and no delivery. I checked the tracking number and the delivery status was now “Pending.” And every day since then it’s been Pending. I tried to contact Fed Ex through their chat system and just when I was #1 in the queue to chat with a real person I got kicked back to the virtual assistant. Poop! I called their 800 number and could never get a real person. So I waited. Day after day and the status never changed.

Finally in desperation after five days of “Pending” I went up to a Fed Ex truck in the street and asked the driver for advice. He couldn’t have been nicer. He told me the trick when I call…“Say ‘representative.’ You may need to say it a few times, but you’ll get a real person.” And by golly I did. She turned out nice too and has put a trace on the package for me. And now a few hours later, the shipping status has been updated and I’m supposed to receive it today.

Here’s a portion of a listing photo of this little quilt named “Strong Women.”

Throw Me a Bone Goodwill…

My last three visits to my local neighborhood thrift store have been empty-handers and I haven’t found anything worth buying. Wait, I take that back. I did find a very unusual figurine but it was priced at $6.99 and I left it behind. That was a mistake. Should have bought her!

Isn’t she sweet?

But in general the store has been tough picking lately. I know they put some of their higher-end, better quality items online. Perhaps they are doing more of that these days…which would be a shame because this small store has been a goldmine for me for seven years! And so convenient.

Fewer Sales 😦

Yup, summer is definitely here and sales are more sporadic. Even though I knew it was coming (as it does every year), it’s still demotivating. Listing new items becomes particularly onerous because of that little voice in the back of your head that says, “Why bother? It won’t sell.” Of course you have to ignore that voice. Stuff still sells, plus it’s good to get items listed and moved to storage.

Poor Choices at the Ephemera Sale

My local library recently had an ephemera sale. Even though I could have gone much earlier to get in line I didn’t. I ended up 40th in the queue. When they opened the doors to the small classroom we all poured in and it was mayhem. Absolute mayhem. I couldn’t even get to most of the boxes to look inside. I did get to one box that had some prints and selected a few things. But I overpaid and back at home I smote myself in the head. What was I thinking? For example, I bought two 1894 German botanical prints/book plates that I thought were cool, but I paid $6 each! Silly.

And I missed some crucial damage on the most expensive item, an $18 woodcut. (I may feature that in another post if I can find out more about it, like if it’s even worth selling!)

I should do okay with this vintage hand-tinted, signed print. (Paid $8.)

Inside there’s a note that reads “This Original Impression from a copper plate Made by the Parisian Etcher, Monel L. Angelikis….” So far I haven’t found any thing about him except there was Monel Angelikis who was born in 1904 and died in Los Angeles in 1982. I’ll need to do more research before I can price this.

On the Plus Side…

I’m traveling to Washington state tomorrow where my youngest will be graduating from university. Couldn’t be prouder of her. Despite some unique challenges in her young life she stayed focused and rocked her grades. And while I’m up there I’ll be able to pop into my favorite Bellingham antique and thrift stores one last time! Can’t wait.

So despite the fact that my vintage reselling life hasn’t been all kittens and rainbows lately, I still love it. Hope all is well in your world.

Happy hunting,

Karen

5 comments

  1. Hi Karen, I can totally relate. It’s so hard to get motivated with sluggish sales. Hope you’ve received the very interesting quilt. You have quite the eye. Love the signed print too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is like that here in Arizona right now and we have so many thrift stores. Slim picking out there. I did find an old entertainment cabinet to redo from the 80’s. I needed something to store my art supplies in and it only cost $10, a bargain for well made wooden furniture. I also found some pretty turquoise earrings for $2 at the same store. Next week we are headed to a giant church sale. We go every year. The Catholic church here in our city has a huge rummage sale every summer. They collect used and new donations throughout the year from all the churches and have a big sale at the end of the year. It is a fun sale to attend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so envious you are headed to Bellingham! Love that city, and would move there in a heartbeat if I could afford it. There are some great antique stores there. Enjoy your trip!

    Summer is tough for we vintage sellers. Though I guess pretty much all retail struggles in the summertime, which is why everyone runs big Memorial Day and July 4th sales. We never find anything at Goodwill anymore. Our local stores send everything decent to shopgoodwill.com, which usually means too pricy for resale – particular the cameras because everything in that category gets sent to the PNW, which means $20+ shipping to us. In fact, we don’t even buy an average of one thing a month at any of our Chattanooga thrift stores now, and our favorite church thrift store closed down last year. Bummer!

    Like

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