Estate Sales? Garage Sales? Thrift Stores? It’s hard to say which of those I like best, but they all are fun and have great things to be found. I’ll talk about estate sales here, and do two other posts on garage sales and thrift stores.
I think estate sales are my favorite venue for finding things to resell. I still can’t believe the two awesome ones from last spring. I wish I knew then what I know now and I could have probably gotten tons more. But it was definitely a fun, profitable, and great learning experience. In my experience, the best ones are the ones run by older people who look at stuff and think of it as old junk, but others (ie: eBay shoppers) look at it as valuable vintage collectibles. It can feel a bit awkward going to estate sales run by family members of the home owner, so I always try to remain respectful. Ones run by estate sales tend to be less awkward. I have to remind myself that their goal is to get rid of stuff, and try not to hold onto things that might have sentimental value. Sales have been few and far between the past couple of months, but http://www.estatesales.net/ shows a few good ones coming up. So, my one loyal reader and I will have to make some plans! I’ll refer to her as Agent S.
Speaking of Agent S., last month we went to a promising estate sale which ended up being run by an extremely stingy homeowner who was asking waaaay too much for stuff (probably the same price he paid for things decades ago, including stuff like electronics - $250 for an old laptop). I did, however, get away with three vintage kitchen towels for $1 each. Two of them sold for about $12 each, and another for $45 (plus free shipping). Not bad! I really wanted to walk away with some of his vintage Pyrex, but he was asking way too much for it and he wouldn’t budge. I don’t know why I always feel I need to buy vintage Pyrex as it’s not always super profitable, but it’s just fun, I suppose. Hopefully 2013 will bring lots more estate sale fun!
Sorry for the sideways shot, but this one is a 1956 Francis Dearden dish towel. Paid $1 sold for $12.51.
This one is also from 1956, by Ivan Bartlett. Paid $1, sold for $11.51.
Finally, this vintage Tammis Keefe towel (again, sorry for the sideways shot). Paid $1, sold for $46.99.