Sunday, February 12, 2012

Thrift Finds ~ My Estate Sale Method

Before I get into my Estate Sale Method, I want to start with my finds from Friday. I hit a yard sale, a Goodwill and my favorite little thrift. The yard sale was okay...I did score two winter coats by MARMOT for $2 each. That's amazing. Goodwill was a bust. I was pretty picky.

Then I hit my favorite little thrift and struck paydirt.

Of course I love my rainbow stripe Polaroid camera.

I also found a Bell & Howell Super 8 Movie camera with movie light. That baby works- is bright and hot!
Finds also included:

  • Seth Thomas folding travel alarm clock
  • Westclox folding travel alarm clock
  • Some kitschy stationery by Hallmark called "Metrically Yours"
  • vintage tickets
And the last item. It deserves its own picture.

Sometimes I don't even know why I pick things up. Maybe the thought that UGLY SELLS is so ingrained into my psyche (from much real life experience) that I unconsciously reach for things like this.
Anyway I flipped it over and saw the name Louis Marx and a 1964 date so I brought it home.

Did my research. These are part of a line called Blame Its and this one has sold from between $35-$50 on Ebay.
Go figure.

Anyway, moving along to Saturday morning. There was an estate sale advertised for the next town over. I'd kind of been waiting for it, it had been postponed due to weather a couple of times. It was advertised as a Hoarder's Sale. I guess that just meant there was a ton of stuff, not that we'd have to climb over piles of boxes and risk finding dead animals. In any case, it was clean but packed full of stuff.

Now, I'm not an agressive person. Don't really want to elbow people out of the way to get to the vintage cameras. I also don't really like getting up early and waiting in line. So this estate sale company is just my speed. They're smaller and don't give out numbers.

I had a feeling this one would be busy however, despite it being out near me in the Boonies. Lack of yard sales this time of year means dealers are probably willing to travel.

I got there a few minutes after it opened and the house was pretty full. Full, of stuff and people. Being my usual un-aggressive self, I avoided the DOLL ROOM and wandered the house as it came to me. My Estate Sale Method is to look for under-the-radar, funky vintage items that no one else bothers about. These items are usually cheaper--50 cents to $1.

After an hour, my bag was full and I was ready to check out. Here is transaction #1

I also got myself a galvanized watering can that I'd been looking for. These don't look like much, but the sale of the label maker will cover the cost of this first transaction. The reverse painted silhouette picture, the perpetual calendar, vintage post office rubber stamps and the Old Maid cards (from the 1930s) will also sell well. The trivet is made in Israel and the black thing up top is a vintage 2 hole punch. These and the vintage playing cards are all great Etsy store fodder.

I stowed my purchases, drank some more coffee, grabbed another bag and headed back into the now thinned out house.
Here's the next transaction:

  • vtg Scrabble game
  • yellow Betty Crocker Fiesta Ware bowl (chippy..but still cute)
  • colored aluminum coaster and stir stick set (score!!)
  • small stoneware owls
  • silverplate baby spoon with clown
  • Limoges egg cup
  • mid century vase 
  • Mexican folk art snail by Carlos Villanueva (score!!)
  • unmarked stoneware woman with pot figurine (looks like Metlox poppet..but probably Japanese)
  • 1960s starfinder chart
  • Salamander lion bell
  • I also found some glass ink well bottles..but forgot to put them in the picture

It's hard to see, but in the bowl are these amazing BAKELITE drawer pulls.

Sorry for the long post, it was a lot to find in 2 days!
I may not come home with the furniture and antiques, but with my Estate Sale Method, I paid less than $50 (at just the estate sale) and plan on making a minimum of $350 from these items. Plus it's just fun!!

I'll be linking up to Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl


  1. That's my method when going to the Goodwill outlet.There are quite a few resellers in there and they get grabby when the new bins are rolled out.While they're fighting over shoes,books,& electronics, I'm stuffing my basket with vintage things, old craft supplies, yarn, and toys.Love your haul-I'm drooling over the handles.

  2. Wow! Great finds! Small items are so much easier to store if they take time to sell.

  3. I am with you, the quirky things that are cheap usually turn out to be the best sellers.

  4. great finds. do you do well with vintage games? i volunteer in the toy department at a thrift shop and these kind of games come up all the time for a buck or two. i'm wanting to begin a life as a reseller and thought vintage games might be a good place to start.

  5. I've sold a few here and there. I know some can be excellent sellers if they are complete!
    If you've got a good supply at a good price, that'd be a great place to start!

  6. I definitely need to schedule and hit up more estate sales. I do score a lot of good vintage at flea markets for cheap in the meantime, though.

  7. Yep! Your method sounds a lot like mine! Ignore the fancy schmancy expensive tables and go for the quirky stuff! Nice haul!

  8. I read your blog very good the same related During auctioning times, the help must be sought from antique auction . The mass appraisers will have knowledge of what kind of price something can have given the market situation. The ma appraisers will have to master the art of realizing how to conduct this event. The estate auction will have good popularity if something of great popular interest in on auction.