I love antique auctions. And flea markets, yard sales, rummage sales, and thrift stores. Every so often I get the bug to look for old stuff – you could say I’ve got flea-like symptoms.
Looking for antiques is like a treasure hunt. I’ve found a few big scores, along with a lot of white elephants. But I’ve had enough successful sales to keep me on the hunt. I don’t keep my auction finds – everything I buy goes up for sale. I’m looking for odd items of the vintage variety that have some resale value.
I specialize in “smalls” – little items that can be shipped easily. Bought a steamer trunk once… big mistake! When it sold I had to ship it via Greyhound Bus because it was oversized. It was wrapped in $45 worth of cardboard and bubble wrap, and after paying Greyhound, the whole transaction netted me only $10. Learned my lesson there!
I used to have a booth at Peddlers Mall, actually two of them, but they never were very profitable. Now I stick to online sales, like eBay and Etsy.
There’s lots of folks that buy stuff at auction and then shove it all in a barn or storage unit, never to be seen again. I’m going to guess it’s the thrill of fighting over an auction bid that drives them to collect so much junk. The act of buying becomes more important than the fact of owning.
My mom was a garage sale master. She collected craft supplies and had many projects planned. But at age 90 she ran out of time to get all those projects finished. Which left us with a basement full of stuff to clean out. Regrettably, most of it ended up in a dumpster.
Last month, after cleaning out another corner of Mom’s basement, I discovered a trove of 1960’s Barbie doll houses. Most were my toys, some were my cousin’s, and mom had stored them all those years.
I spent a week playing Barbie – assembling all the furniture and arranging doll houses for photographs.
Everything went up for sale online and a couple of items have already sold.
The lesson here is that there is value to saving stuff – but only if they are things of value. Keeping things just because you “might need it one day” is probably not the best legacy to leave.
So get cracking and clean out that basement. And if you get the auction bug, or develop flea-like symptoms, call me – I’ll go with ya!
(My Etsy shop – Booth88 )