Making Enemies at the Thrift Store

At the early hour of 7:50 a.m. I was standing in a line of folks waiting for the thrift store to open for their Memorial Day Sale. I ran into one of my old thrift store buddies and it was good to see him alive and well after all these months. Once we all poured in I found quite a few things, but ended up putting half of them back on the shelves. I’m definitely more choosy these days. And I also, quite unintentionally, ticked off one of the employees while I was there! I think I’m on her list now.

Here’s that story…

I was looking at the locked jewelry cases and found something I wanted to look at, but it takes a miracle to the get the staff to notice you at this case. I only saw two employees on the floor and one was working the cash register so I headed over to the other who was taking clothes off a rack. (I have made small talk with this woman before and always found her friendly.) Well today I asked if she could help me at the jewelry counter and she hemmed and hawed and obviously didn’t want to help me. But she finally put clothes back on the rack and muttered under her breath “Ya waited till I had my arms full of clothes.” And it dawned on me as we were walking over to the counter that she was mad! She thought I was inconsiderate asking her for help when she was busy.

Oh dear. I just wanted a little assistance and I asked nicely. It didn’t get better at the jewelry counter. After picking a necklace she started relocking the case and then saw me spot something else. She said with a sigh, “You want to look at something else?” I replied “If it’s no problem.” Well she showed me a bracelet and I said thank you and that I was done. “Are you sure?” she replied sarcastically. I’m sure I’m now in her repertoire of stories about “bad customers.” 🥺


Well, I rarely buy jewelry at my neighborhood thrift store, but I did find this vintage carved bone bracelet. These are fairly common still it’s an interesting, wearable piece.

This 1950s/60s Italian glass bead hand-knotted necklace was what I really wanted. The beads are fabulous and it’s long enough (36″) to double up and wear as a choker. It closes with an old barrel clasp.

Listed for $75.

This Portmeirion (made in Britain) porcelain globe vase was pricey, but the sale made it doable. As it turns out, it is one of their lesser-value items, but it’s a pretty thing and a quality brand, so it won’t take long to sell.

Other than selling antique sterling silver souvenir spoons, I rarely deal in flatware. Just not my thing but I spotted this heavy (nearly 7 lbs.) bag of vintage Reed & Barton silverplate pieces. Hmmm. To be honest I wouldn’t have bought it if it hadn’t been on sale, but I thought they were worth the gamble.

At home I discovered it was a 5-piece place setting for 12 people…or nearly so. There were a couple of pieces missing so I’ll sell it as a full10-person lot and throw in the other pieces as a bonus. The pattern is called “Socialite” and it was designed in 1937 by George Turner. You can really see the Art Deco influence. It is monogramed “J” or “G” and used, but still has a lot of life in it. (I think it would be perfect as movie prop silverware!)

Will list for $125.

In the end I spent $41.31 on these four items. Overall I’m happy with my purchases.

Things I Passed On

Some things just weren’t “good enough” to buy…even on sale!

This adorned Egyptian-motif brass vase was interesting but crudely made and not the quality I wanted.

This vintage vase was made in California, but it was surprisingly light and I didn’t like the glaze or the colors.

This large Estes pottery platter was a strong contender but in the end I decided against it. The colors and motif was very like Tonala, Mexico, pottery though it was from Italy. I think if the design had been more modern or like one of the popular Deruta pattens I might have gone for it…though the shipping would have been a nightmare!

Not all Kittens and Rainbows in Reselling

While I love this biz, it’s definitely not all fun, Here are a few of my recent annoyances. It’s minor stuff, but perhaps some of you will relate and be amused…

The other day I received an offer on an Etsy listing. That’s not usual, but here’s the short message I received for a $70 item: “I can do $35 on this.” Normally I respond to every person who messages me as part of good customer service, but I decided not to waste my time on this cheeky offer. Still part of me wanted to respond “Well, good for you, but that’s not the price.” 😂

I decided to list a vintage empty Chanel perfume bottle. This belonged to my mother (who’s been gone for almost 20 years now) and I finally used the last of the perfume a few years ago. I decided it was time for me to let this go. I kept trying to throw the bottle away, but I couldn’t. Since some folks collect vintage perfume bottles I decided to try and sell it.

Well, as soon as I listed it on Etsy, I received this message: “Our system has deactivated one or more of your listings as a potential counterfeit or unauthorized item.” Apparently it’s under review by their legal team, but here’s the thing, it is neither counterfeit nor unauthorized. And if you go on Etsy you’ll find other Chanel bottles as well as unauthorized merchandise. Their deactivations are often very capricious.

Sales last year and this year so far had been good, really good, but then poof…my sales dried up the last week of May. Drat! I think the summer sales slump has started. Hopefully June won’t be too dire! On the up side it’s given me plenty of time to list “new” items and get caught up on my expense tracking!


I’ll close for now wishing you happy hunting,

Karen

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