I got to the thrift store 30 minutes after it opened and spotted these stone bookends right away. No one was giving them a second glance, but I always look at items made from stone. First because I love them, secondly, they sell! And these were not just any stone. These were petrified wood. BINGO!
Over the years I have sold many a stone piece, from vases to wine coolers to figures, obelisks and yes, bookends! And even though I have to package pieces carefully, I love buying and selling them.
Truth be told I have kept a few pieces…like these small marble spheres (paid between $2 and $3 each) that fit perfectly in your hand like big worry beads. Aren’t these lovely?
Samples of My Sold Items
This handsome black marble vase had a few tiny chips on the foot, but I still felt it was worth buying. (It sold for $48.) The tiny 2″ carved buffalo was a $5 flea market purchase that sold for $35. The 8″ obelisk was an attractive piece that sold for $68. Could I have sold these for more? Possibly, but I still made a fair profit.
But this is a tricky market for online sellers. Stone items tend to be heavy so they have to be “good enough” to warrant the buyer paying a hefty shipping cost. Half the stone items I find just aren’t good enough.
What I Look For
- Exceptionally pretty natural stone
- Unusual shapes
- Trendy items like obelisks, pyramids, boxes
- Timeless busts
Just think about the find Laura Young found at a Goodwill…a long-lost ancient Roman marble bust. After years of working on finding out its origins, she learned it was over 2000 years and and, alas, a stolen piece. Young had enjoyed it for four years, but it’s now in a museum. (I do wonder if she ever received a finder’s fee for it!)
What I Don’t Buy
I steer clear of dyed geodes (like those hot pink and neon turquoise ones) and the common green-striped or yellow-striped onyx pieces. I don’t buy crudely made animals, like elephants and turtles, which seem a dime a dozen to me.
So What are My Petrified Bookends Worth?
Like anything, these bookends are worth what someone is willing to pay for them, but many are listed for $95 and up. You’ll see a variety of prices in the screenshot below and in some cases it’s hard to tell why. Yes, some are bigger than others, some prettier, but does that really warrant a $750 price tag or $495 one? I don’t know, I’m not an expert in petrified wood but I was surprised.
I’ve listed mine at $125.
Here they are in a brighter light.
All this to say this is a good little “bread and butter” niche. People appreciate things made of natural stone (mineral and crystal), regardless of whether they are usable or just decorative. I know I do!! I likely picked that up from my dad. On trips to Canada we would go rock hounding–scrabbling around sites looking for garnets and exceptional rose quartz and mica. All of us kids thought it great fun and a nice change from fishing!
Wishing you happy hunting,