Vintage Reseller’s Notebook: There’ll Be Days Like This!

Yesterday started off lovely with three orders and went downhill from there. After packaging up the orders I received a message from a customer. Two of the nine lab glass flasks he had bought had broken in transit. That surprised me as each piece had been individually bubble wrapped and there was extra cushioning on all sides. I have shipped many lab glass lots and other breakables over the past nine years and have had only one other breakage. One. Still it can happen. But what rankled was the customer’s comment that the flasks “hadn’t been well protected.” Which I know was not true. Still, I apologized for the breakage and refunded the cost of the two flasks.

Later I received my first 3-star review! I was gobsmacked at her reason. She had bought an antique metal vesta case that was used back in the day to house a box of matches. This one came with an old empty Swan Vestas matchbox. Even though I had written “AS IS” in listing title and description, the buyer took exception to the fact the the striker on the cardboard matchbox was unusable. And to be honest, it never occurred to me that someone would expect an old used box of matches to have any viable striking area left! But since I allow returns I’m not sure why she just didn’t opt to return it rather than leave a negative review. Sigh!

So I’m starting today grumpy. Really grumpy. And it’s not being made better by the fact that in October we are having our house tented for termites. (A necessity, alas.) There are a lot of little prep things to do and the termite company recommends that all important papers and valuables be removed from the property beforehand.

But holy smokes with my business I have an abundance of “valuable” things! So now I’m trying to think like a thief…what do thieves look for? Maybe the latest computers and electronics, jewelry, designer clothes/shoes/purses? I don’t know! But I am moving out my old sterling silver pieces as I’m thinking they might be targeted for their melt value and certainly my jewelry.

Our neighbors across the street are willing to house a few boxes of our valuables when we move out for the three days of tenting. I joked that they are going to be our own Gringotts Bank.

Harry Potter at Gringotts Bank.

But I don’t want to overburden them. And part of me is trying to remember it’s just stuff. Still I am hoping nothing bad happens. I’m not ready for that grief right now.

On a different note, after I dropped off my orders, I decided to have a rummage around my neighborhood thrift store. It got insanely crowded within the first few minutes (Who are all these people??) and turned out to be a challenging, somewhat unpleasant visit. There is an elderly man who comes in a wheelchair with his caretaker which I think is fabulous and I love that he is still out there thrifting, except that frequently he is placed where he blocks aisles and access to items. Usually I take it all in stride, but today in my grumpy state, I found myself sighing, a lot.

In the end I put a bunch of things in my cart and then took out all but two. Sadly I took out two cool Astrid, made in Norway cups and saucers. I loved them, but at $4.69 each I didn’t think they had enough meat on the bone.

But this mid-century modern West German Carstens Tönnieshof jug was so outrageous in its brown and gold with big chunky flowers that I couldn’t say no. I know there is someone who will adore this.

Now this cool vase had a tiny part of a more modern label on the bottom and no signature, but I loved its mid-century-modern look. While I was standing in the checkout line the guy in front of me commented on it saying “I really like that.” And I said, “Me too.”

Still these are heavy ceramic things that will take a while to sell. Hmmm…what was I thinking??!

To offset a bit of my grumpiness, I bought a “Country Living” Christmas magazine at the drugstore. It was pricy for a magazine, but I tend to keep my Christmas issues forever. And now I’m going to take my magazine (and likely my journal) and sit out on our stoop for awhile and decompress.

I loved all the interesting bits in this photo.

I’m hoping all your buying and selling has been happier than mine the last few days!



  1. Sorry about your termite situation and everything else that fell into place after that. I hope looking at your magazine left you in a better mood. I know how that can be. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Karen,
    I’m sorry for the bad day. The troubles from the customers make it harder because because you know the feedback was unfair. On the bright side, such clients are not many.
    Getting yourself a nice, cheerful Christmas magazine might have been just the right antidote to the grumpy state 🙂 oh oh oh!
    The three days out of your home will pass quick and you will be back to yours, ready for the winter selling season to start!
    I feel your worries about precious items. I would have the same apprehension. I try to remind myself that they are “only things” and everything is just temporary.
    Take good care xx G


    1. Thanks Gabriella. Most of my customer interactions are wonderful…so really I can’t complain. But it does hurt when I feel like I’ve let them down in some way.

      Thankfully I have a few neighbors willing to house some of my favorite things in case of a break-in during the termite tenting. But I am reminding myself, over and over, it’s just stuff.


      Liked by 1 person

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