Revealing what I know about selling and decorating with vintage goods and offering vintage items for sale.
Here, under the “Learn” umbrella, I share the knowledge I’ve gained through the years and things I’m still learning, because there’s always something more to learn, about finding and selling vintage goods. I share items that sold each month, things I buy to sell, pictures of the booth, online selling tips and anything else I find that will help you succeed in your vintage reselling journey, whatever your goals in that journey are.
The booth has a totally, completely different and fresh look, both the fall arrangement as well as in general. During the shut-down, when the mall was closed and there was no pressure to think about it – why things weren’t selling, why I wasn’t happy with the look, etc. – I had an epiphany. It suddenly felt like I should take out all that stuff that had worn out its welcome a long time ago, take out most of the color and do whites, neutrals and the farmhouse look as best I understand it. So I did. In July.
And July turned out to be a very good month for sales. I was convinced that was the correct thing to do. The booth would finally be a hit. Or at least more pleasing to see and perhaps draw more people in. Also, it complements some of the other booths around it, as in, the people who like those should enjoy mine. A lot of things sold, which left August a bit sparse. And sales tanked. I still think things are on the right track. I just need to get more of the right stuff in there. (But isn’t that always the case?) Anyway, here is the booth decked out for fall. The china in the center back has already sold as well as some other, smaller things.
I sound like a broken record, but gosh darn it! I just wasn’t into the resell game last month. I only visited the booth twice! Or maybe it was once? I did renew some Etsy listings and added a couple of new things. But my preference for life was, as it has been for several months, to hole up in the sewing room. Why in the world can’t I discipline myself to divide my time?! But all that’s neither here no there. The point of these posts is to share the things that did sell. Because that’s what we all want to know, isn’t it? What’s selling for everybody else? So, here it is:
These nightstands were given to us. Ricky put a quick coat of paint on them and we took them to the booth.
One White Nightstand $27.00 (The other sold a couple of months earlier.)
This pottery flower frog is a planter, too. And it’s just the green thing, not the candlestick it’s sitting on.
Green Flower Frog Planter $8.00
Yellow and White Drinking Glass $6.00
Okay. So. I sold this old fireplace surround for $25.00. Before you berate me for selling it too cheap, mine was one of several in the mall. The others were at least $50.00. All of them, including mine, had been there a looooonnnnngggg time. The others are still there. I had actually decided to bring mine home and find a use for it but never got around to it.
Hint: Want something to sell? Decide to keep it but don’t take it home immediately.
Fireplace Surround $25.00
I bought two of these copper-colored, iron plaques and kept one. I loved it! Haven’t put it up yet, but there’re a lot of things waiting to find their place here. I was so surprised that this one took quite a long time to sell. Guess I don’t have to worry about selling – or not selling – my taste.
Goddess Plaque $25.00
I bought this bird cage looking thing at the Country Living Fair in Atlanta several years ago. It is not old and there is no bottom. It’s like a bird cage cloche. I decided to let it go. Probably lost money on it. I have no idea.
Also, sold in this picture is the silverplate tray it’s sitting on.
I watched so many people stop and look at this old cart. They’d look at the tag ($59.00) and walk on. My husband had to make the wood insert. I wondered if we had painted the wood in different color layers and distressed it, if it would have sold quicker? However…. I’m not the painter in the family and decided not to mention it. After nearly a year, it found its new home.
Flower Cart $59.00
Headboard Lamp $17.00
Refrigerator Dish and Lid $12.00
White Planter $8.00 (I don’t know which white planter. I’ll have to figure that out later.)
6 Cans of Paint total $97.00
4 Pieces of Jewelry total $25.00
4 Postcards total $4.50
3 Books (Old antique price and ID guides) total $10.00
2 Old Photos total $3.00
And the biggest goof I made this month — A set of 4 chairs $45.00. These chairs were newer, made in Malasia. I paid $10.00 for the set, took them straight to the booth, slapped $45.00 on them because, well, when I’m chair shopping that’s the price I hope to see. Didn’t even bother to get a picture. And I was hoping they would help sell a table we have no seating for at the moment. A couple of hours later, they sold. Sigh. Yay? Sad face? Head slap?
Note that I usually charge shipping, only occasionally offering free shipping.
First Etsy sale of the year? The last of the 6″ Tupperware doilies. Ya know? I didn’t make a killing off these things, but considering the cost, which, if I’m not mistaken, was free, it was a very good profit. It was just slow and a little at the time.
Tupperware Doily $3.50
I had a lot of vintage flour sacks listed over the last few years. All had sold but this one and I let it sit in the expired listings for quite a while before renewing it again in January. It sold a few days later.
Windmill and Dutch People Flour Sack $8.00
Meat Slicing Tool $14.00
I did give free shipping on this vintage Vogue pattern. Shipping was $2.76, so take that off the $15.00 selling price.
Vogue 8878 Pattern $15.00
Pair of 6″ and 4″ tall brass deer $27.00
Web Site Sale
I’m always sooo appreciative of sales from the blog shop!
Vintage Mock Turtle Neck Sweater, still with its tags $25.00
So that’s it for my January sales. Hope you did better! I’m having to pay five dollars and 6 cents rent at the booth. Allllmost made it! If I’d charged just $10 more for those stinkin’ chairs, I’d have got a $5.00 check! Pooh!
You guyyyys! My goodness, I just can’t seem to make myself blog! This booth sales report is actually September sales. That I wrote at the end of October. And never hit “publish” because I was too lazy to create the picture for Pinterest. As if that even mattered. Sheesh!
If you’re remotely interested in what’s been going on around here, keep reading. If not, just skip on down to the first picture.
Blogging? Selling? Frankly, I just haven’t been in the mood. I haven’t been in the mood to booth, I haven’t been in the mood to sell online, I haven’t been in the mood to blog, I haven’t been in the mood to junk, I haven’t even been in the mood to house! I’ve been in the mood to sew.
Back in the day, I sewed a lot of my and my daughter’s clothes but over the years got out of the habit. The sewing bug has bit hard lately and I’ve really been enjoying sewing again. I even wondered if I’d ever want to do anything else again. Ha! Like, fer real, yo. But of course, as with most things, I’ll get to the point that I can tear myself away for a bit.
You see, I really only have 3-4 hours in a day to do…. things. I pick up our now 6-year-old granddaughter after school and in an effort to keep her head out of the electronics, I play with her every afternoon. We throw the Frisbee, we play board games and card games and we draw. I’m ready to teach her to sew but want her to show some interest first. I do so wish I could do the same with our other 6-year-old granddaughter, but she’s several hundred miles away. Makes me so sad.
I don’t resent any of this. I feel like she’s a huge part of why I’m on this earth and that it’s God’s will for me to spend this quality time with her. She won’t be little for long. I hope I can be half the influence on her that my grandmothers were on me. So, I’m just going with the flow. If that means not blogging or posting on Instagram much, then so be it. If it means not putting in the effort to sell, well, okay. While I do love all this, (Not taking the pictures for it all, mind you.) I’m just not putting them priority at the moment. It’s too, too frustrating to try to fit it all in.
I also want to say why I blog or show pictures of the house on IG. It’s obviously not to brag. I’m just a regular ol’ girl with ideas that might or might not work. That you may or may not like. Usually nothing special. No, it’s always my hope that something I do or say, no matter how small, might trigger someone’s imagination to go on to greater things for themselves. Or that my mess might make you feel better about your life – or business – or home.
So here’s a recap of September. If you remember, August was quite a good month. September? Ummmm…. not so much. That’s how it is in this business, though. Hot one month, cold the next. And too often the next and the next after that and on and on. We didn’t make rent in October and, as of this writing, we’re still $100 short of rent for November.
Three things in this first picture sold.
The small tobacco basket I bought at a church yard sale. I had it priced at $15, not realizing that Hobby Lobby still had it in the stores regularly for half that. So I lowered the price to $5. It didn’t take long after that to sell. (I just saw it in someone else’s booth. They had whitewashed it. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what price they put on it.) The 7-UP/Texas Drifter advertising promo and the large pottery snail.
Tobacco basket $5.00
Texas Drifter/7-Up advertising promo 3.00
Large pottery snail 12.00
Three things in the next picture sold, also. The green tray, the old doorknob plate and the Judson Thompson tin box.
Green tole tray $24.00
Old painted doorknob plate $4.00
Judson Thompson tin box $8.00
Small rose tin $5.00
The bottles in the picture below may or may not be the ones that sold. I had several groups of three bottles.
3 small bottles $5.00
I was surprised this tablecloth didn’t sell in the spring or summer and almost took it home to come out next year!
Strawberries tablecloth $17.00
This is a fairly new, large metal urn I had picked up at…. uh…. I don’t remember. Somewhere.
Large, newish urn $10.00
I also picked up a pair of small metal urns at an estate sale. One sold.
Small metal urn $5.00
These old photos, (tintypes?) were in an antique frame. I believe original or close to it. I priced them kinda high – for my booth – based on online sales of similar items. I was beginning to think I’d have to sell them online, too. Every time I went to the booth, I could tell someone had looked and checked the price. After two or three months, someone came along who also knew their worth.
Antique framed photos $37.00 (Actually $33.30 after the buyer took the 10% discount.)
Two things from the next crummy picture. The french fry cutter, which I actually used when I served potatoes — okay. Okay. When I cooked. Sheesh! — And the McCray, enamel tray. I had two of those and kept one.
French fry cutter $9.00
McCray enamel tray $15.00
Two things from this picture as well. The little, black Mary Janes and the lamb picture behind them.
Mary Jane shoes $3.00
Lamb print $9.00
I was in my least favorite thrift store back during the summer. Why is it my least favorite? They think they’re some kind of boutique/antique shop or something. They had a colander just like this for $12.00!! I sold mine for $8.00.
Star colander $8.00
So. The story of this chair. It was given to me, along with a trailer load or two of stuff, after my best friend passed away. I’m sure she had planned to refinish it. We shuffled it around a few years before we put it in the booth.
Directly across from it in the booth across the aisle sat its big sister. A rocking chair with the same, chippy green paint. The vendor had found it at the dump. But nowhere near where mine came from.
So one day I was working in the booth and a couple of ladies walked by. They saw the more prominent rocking chair and one said, “Why would anyone do that to a chair?” The other said, “Or at least fix it up or something.” I was kinda hiding wondering if they were going to spot its little sister in my booth? They didn’t, but we all got a kick out of that. A couple of weeks later, my little chair sold.
Chippy green chair $24.00
Two oval frames $8.00
I’ve only sold one bundle of these old tobacco pouches so far.
Bundle of 3 tobacco pouches $1.00
Mid century ice bucket still with tags $10.00
I was afraid I was going to have to put this cowboy ceiling shade online, too. I sold a similar one years ago but I don’t like shipping things this fragile. I was nervous with it sitting around in the booth! I knew I’d take less for it just to not have to worry about packing it. It hung around the booth for several months. Funny thing, there was another in the mall identical to it. They priced theirs $49.00. I don’t know if it has sold yet or not.
Cowboy ceiling shade $29.00
That’s it for the pictures. Also sold were:
Vintage brown geometric fabric. Might have been a flour sack. I couldn’t tell for certain. — $8.00
Large shallow basket (Yeah. I have no idea.) — $5.00
Small peach lustre dish — $5.00
Piece of black and white check fabric — $8.00
Old blue watch or bracelet box — $4.00
Lovely bundle of 3 antique, cream color books — $9.00
Rusty green plant stand. A newish, but badly weathered, Hobby Lobby type planter that I got off the side of the road — $14.00
Small “Drink Me” bottle — $4.00
White, McCoy tulip bookend — $18.00
Tiki bottle opener made of Hawaiian lava — $7.00
5 cotton bundles. The real deal. That I separated out of about a bushel of cotton. — $55.00 total
Paint totaling $313.80
$7.00 worth of old photos
A bunch’a books
I think I got it all. My check total after rent and credit card fees was a measly $221.03. But I’m ever so thankful to have got a check! Some didn’t.
I hope I’ve given someone out there some ideas or hope. At the very least it kinda satisfies our curiosity about how other dealers are doing. Don’t you deny it! We’re ALL nosey curious!
And now I’m headed up to the sewing room. See ya!
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