Vintage Reselling–It’s Not All Beer and Skittles!

I love reselling vintage and antique items because I am passionate about them. And I have fun doing it. Especially the hunting!! But it’s not all beer and skittles and lately I’ve been going through the remnants of my “death pile.” Most things are there because I haven’t been able to find out enough about them or they weren’t worth selling on their own or I’ve lost interest.

But whatever the reason, the pile (typically confined to one bin by my desk) needs to dealt with regularly. So for two mornings I put myself to that tedious task. Here are some of the decisions I’ve made so far.

These three little illustrated poetry/quote booklets (two from the early 1900s) are in poor to fair condition and really weren’t worth listing, but they were so charming inside that I thought someone might want them for artist supply or scrapbooking.

Listed for $15.

I had a wodge of well-used foreign paper money from 11 countries, but I know nothing about foreign currency. I made a few stabs at researching it and said “nuts” and put the 27 pieces in a lot marketed for beginning collectors and artists. Honestly, there could be some banknotes here worth some money, but I’ll let someone knowledgable make that score.

I still have boxes of unlisted lab glass (housed in our garage) and need to keep plugging away at it. I pulled together this group of small round-bottomed flasks.

This antique fork with stag horn handle hasn’t been in the pile long. It was bought as part of a set at an estate sale and then I discovered the knife was unsellable. 😩 (You can see the knife in this post.). Still the fork dated 1886 was sellable on its own.

I bought this old pewter tankard in New York City in May (paid $10!) and was never able to decipher the maker on the inside bottom. It has scratches and dents and in the end I’ve decided to donate it. Honestly, I don’t know why I bought it! There are tons of pewter steins/tankards/mugs available online (many at $30 and under) and I could see this one lingering in my store…forever.

And this small brass planter made in Hong Kong was a June yard sale find (paid $2) but really it just isn’t good enough or appealing enough to list online. It’s in my donate pile too.

For all that I’ve learned as vintage reseller, I still make mistakes. Sometimes I don’t look at things carefully enough. Or I try to convince myself it’s worth more than it is. Or I ignore my gut.

And sometimes I just don’t have the expertise. There is so much I don’t know!

It’s frustrating.

But I’m trying not to be too hard on myself. Even experts make mistakes. And thankfully my mistakes don’t involve much money. Just bits here and there. (Still I’d rather not waste money!)

Well, for a bit of fun I popped into my neighborhood thrift store while out running errands. I bumped into my dear thrifting friend Lisa and her daughter as the store was opening which was a delight. And I found two things…this Scandinavian-style wood bird candleholder which is just fantastic. It’s got a bit of red candle wax that I’ll try to remove, but otherwise it’s good to go.

And this Art Nouveau-era EPNS bon bon dish by Slack & Barlow (1897-1994), out of Sheffield, England. I know that silverplate items like this aren’t worth much, but it’s an old, beautiful, well-made thing and I didn’t want it to get trashed. Some things are just worth saving.

Think how stellar this will look with colorful foil-wrapped chocolates in it.

Another of my errands included the library. They have a little room where they sell some of their excess donated stock and by golly I got myself a bunch of art books. (Yes, I have a “book problem”! I may sell some of the smaller ones, but the Arts & Crafts book is a keeper.)

Well, at least the death pile is smaller now…and some of it actually made it to my store!

Happy hunting friends,

Karen

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