Second Guessing Myself…

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.

Of all the things I passed up, these are the ones I most regret not buying.

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.

I paid $9.99 for each lot. Will list each lot of four for $50.

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,

Karen

6 comments

  1. I like your ship pictures much better than the bull fighting, so good choice! You always find the most wonderful items. Wish I had a neighborhood thrift store that was as good!

    Liked by 2 people

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