I went to my neighborhood thrift store the other morning and I found two things, though I wasn’t thrilled with them. (No happy dance in the aisle.) They were okay. Just okay and a bit pricy, in my opinion.
The watercolor painting by L. Gordon (?) was beautifully triple-matted but of a rather generic beach scene. It was $14, which for an original piece of art is not bad, but how much profit was left in it?? Could I sell it for at least $50? And how long would it take to sell?
My second item was a leather purse by Ora Delphine similar to this red one, but in light gray for $26.
It was a nice, usable purse, but they typically resell for $30 – $70, so paying $26 wasn’t ideal. Plus purses aren’t fast sellers for me. They linger.
Still I was up for buying both these items and I stood in line waiting for a cashier to show up. I kept looking around trying to flag down an employee to no avail. Finally after waiting five minutes to pay, I set the items off to the side and walked out! I just walked out. It felt rude and I’ve never done that before, but I had a “This is nuts” moment.
In retrospect I think was for the best. I would have spent $40 on two items that had dubious profit margin and were likely very long tail.
Back home, empty handed, I decided to look for personal items I could sell and hit the motherlode when I opened my scarf drawer.
Here’s the thing…I love, love, LOVE scarves but rarely wear them because I forget I own them. This was a perfect drawer to downsize. I haven’t gone through all of them yet but I have made some decisions. To be fair, I won’t make a profit on most of these as they were personal purchases, but it will be nice to recoup a bit of the $$.
This lovely long hand-printed silk scarf (by Christina, India) is in my kind of colors, but I think I wore it once.
This printed wool challis scarf was a fun piece that sold within five minutes of me listing it!! Literally.
This silk scarf was made in Turkey for Ustunler. I bought this for myself at a consignment store and wore it twice. (It has one tiny mark but is otherwise perfect and gorgeous.) It’s bit of wrench listing this one.
On the Fence
This fabulous, big Intiwara Bolivian wrap is made of alpaca and silk. It is so soft and warm. I have worn it a few times over a coat while taking a winter walk. It’s also a perfect wrap at night when the house is a bit chilly. Hmmm…keep or not??
This silk and rayon scarf/wrap is a Metropolitan Museum of Art purchase I made years ago. It was expensive and is so gorgeous that I’ve been afraid to use it!! Silly, right?!! But I really do want to enjoy it. I’m giving myself another year to use it.
This sheer linen and lace scarf was a gift from my eldest daughter. She bought it for me in Russia (or Finland) whilst on a college semester aboard. I do use this one!
This silky polyester scarf has great graphic appeal, rather a Piet Mondrian look, but also has one light stain and machine-stitched hems (as opposed to the higher quality rolled and hand-stitched hems). So while it is still usable, it’s not worth enough for me to resell.
That’s as far as I got with them! More to come.
I do feel bad about abandoning my Goodwill items by the checkout, but honestly I wish they paid closer attention to folks who want to buy things. Couldn’t they rig up a bell or light that customers could push to alert staff that they are ready to checkout? Because this happens a lot…waiting for someone to man the cash register. Yesterday I was done with it! I had no patience.
Still, despite my “This is nuts” stance I do recognize that some of my recent sales were Goodwill finds.
- vintage Rocky Bend glass ashtray (paid $3.19, sold for $24 plus shipping)
- Italian printed scarf (paid $5-ish, sold for $18, lowered the price for a repeat customer)
- linocut purple print (paid $4.94, sold for $45 plus shipping, the customer got it already and left me a nice review)
- large brass candlesticks (paid $20-ish, sold for $80)
Still the prices at my local Goodwill keep going up…and up. I see some of the same items on the shelves week after week because they’ve priced them too high. Which is too bad. I’m not worried because I do have plenty of other sourcing venues, it’s just this one is the closest and was my honey hole for years. Not any more.
Wishing you happy hunting,