I am usually confident in my buying choices for my Etsy store, but on a few short sourcing trips this past week I was struggling making decisions. I flip flopped. Hemmed and hawed. Put stuff in my basket and took it out. I don’t know why.
Have you ever done that? Felt racked with indecision? I’m guessing it’s partly because I am stressed and distracted by events here in the U.S. (It’s a nightmare.) But it’s also likely because I’ve started clearing out remnants of unlisted inventory and am donating more items than I would have imagined. Some I bought rather recently!! What a waste.
So I wandered around two stores and found myself eventually deciding against items and then later at home fretted that I’d made the wrong decision. It’s a bit maddening.
Take this framed print. It’s beautifully done and dated 1957. But it was big and gosh I really don’t like bullfighting. I went back and forth but in the end couldn’t bring myself to buy this. (Didn’t check the price.)
I liked the looks of these ceramic Asian figures, possibly Chinese immortals, but were they “mass-produced, made yesterday” items or did they have age and value? Knowledge is so key in this biz and I know nothing about Asian items. There was an impressed mark on the bottom, not just a sticker, which was good. But at $7.99 each I decided against them.
I found two Durand (France) crystal pyramid candlesticks like this one though without the box. I thought they were cool, but at $7.99 each, I put them back on the shelf. Later I discovered that this one in a box sold for $31.47. Could a pair without a boxes sell for $45-$60? I probably should have picked these up!
I found this bag of glass dresser knobs but doubted they were vintage and they seemed like the kind of thing that would linger in my store forever. (Price $9.99).
This tiny handmade lace piece of Mary and Jesus was sweet, though the frame was nothing special and I didn’t want that. But at $5.19 I took a pass.
I liked the looks of this long geometric silk scarf. It’s just a Worthington Sears brand, so not valuable, but I bought it for myself. It was $7.99! (That seemed to be the magic price today.) They used to price scarves like this at $4.00.
I did buy two lots of glass seed bead placemats, for a total of eight. This is normally not something I would buy but they were nice and I know they can be worth some money thanks to The Niche Lady on YouTube. The eight mats weigh over five pounds! I can’t even imagine how long it takes to string all these little seed beads to make this.
These are two tiny (6″ by 5″) Italian framed ship prints in gilded plaster frames from the 1980s. I really paid too much for these, but I was charmed by them. Absolutely smitten.
This fun gilded plaster shamrock trinket box in the Borghese style was the only no-brainer.
Now for something wacky…this purse was sitting on top of the newspaper box as I picked up a paper. The logo said it was a Hermes, Paris purse! I peeked inside and it was empty except for a new door handle in packaging. Weird right! (I thought if it had ID I’d take it to the police station.) But it was obviously not a real Hermes Birkin purse…it couldn’t be right?! No one would leave a $20,000 purse around. I left it there hoping the owner would come back for it. My husband thinks I should have taken it. I probably should have. Why was it left there and what if it was real?!!! It doesn’t bear thinking about!
So all in all it was a weird sourcing week. Hopefully I’ll get my buying MOJO back!
On the sales front, January is picking up. This past Wednesday alone, on a very ordinary day, I had five sales. Which for me is very unusual.
Here are the most recent. The last sale, a vintage Masonic piece, was particularly gratifying. Over a year ago I was contacted by a potential buyer who offered me $25 for it. It was listed for $65. He said he never pays more than $25 for these. I declined and he said, “Well, consider this a standing order if you ever want to sell it for that price.” I knew I never would because 1) I knew it had more value than that and 2) I would lose money at that price. Well, the other day it sold for $65. It had been in my store for 18 months, but was worth the wait.
The large Huebach piano baby was another gratifying sale. I paid $8.29 for it back in November 2020 and sold it for $112 (on sale). I could have priced it higher, but it had a few dirt marks. Packaging it for shipping to go across the country though was a 20-minute nightmare, which included finding a huge (alive) spider that had crawled up into my bubble wrap. That traumatized me for the rest of the morning.
I’ll close for now wishing you happy hunting,