Monthly Archives: September 2011

I’m only blog slacking


I didn’t go to garage sales at all. I’ve been having some insomnia. The other morning, I finally fell asleep at 7:30am.
Yesterday, I did the show on 2 hours of sleep. Kevin helped me unload and went to what was to be his first day of work.

The show was quite successful in my opinion. We had just under $600 in sales, and got cards from a collectors of German steins and from a jeweler. We marked items down quite a bit, but that’s the nature of this business. Negotiation.

Plain and simply, if I buy stuff, and I don’t sell it, that’s just my money sitting there, not able to be reinvested in more items, or even paying my rent! Being set on a price can really hurt! Heck, sometimes it’s even better to sell at a loss and re-coup cash, and keep in mind that an item isn’t what you want to buy!

So I’m exhausted today. I packed up the show by myself, and while glass is pretty, it’s heavy. Also, glass collector’s don’t buy at that show. I did sell some glass at a huge discount. But, I wish I had sold more. It’s all military & scrap silver at that show.

I did sell 2 bags of the costume jewelry lot for $20 to the one jeweler. She repairs older jewelry, so she will harvest clasps and stones. 🙂

I’m rambling because I’m still tired. 🙂


No trades either


Well, we drove out to Otis. I knew things were bad when I saw it was a Caballero, not an El Camino. Not much difference accept the El Camino name gives more desirability to collectors.

Then the guy started the car. It had some trouble at first, and it belched some black smoke. Not horrible, but not good. The body was mostly solid. Some of the molding on the windows could have been better, but I’ve seen worse. The choke light would not go off.

Then Kevin started checking the lights. Brake lights were faint but operational. So were the turn indicators. Then he turned on the headlights.

The gas gauge went to empty!

I’ll say that again. He turned on the headlights, and the gas gauge read empty!

And the right turn indicator went on as a constant light on the dash!

Not a big deal. Make sure you have a full tank of gas when you drive at night.

I noticed exhaust from the right hand side. Still not a huge deal. Eventually, the exhaust started smelling hot. Not a huge deal, but another issue.

So we took it for a test drive. Kevin put the car into reverse and started cutting the wheel. Wake your neighbors squealing from the steering.

He put it into drive. The V8 engine tried to roar, but it couldn’t quite do it. The automatic transmission shifted hard. The steering was loose. We quickly decided that it wasn’t the car for us. We found a drive way to turn around.

We pulled in at a slight incline. Kevin put the car in reverse, started backing up, and the transmission slipped into neutral on it’s own!

We went back to the guy’s place. He didn’t even care about why we didn’t want the car.

Trading is good, but our goods were more valuable than the car.

So we came home, after a brief stop at the Spirit Mountain Casino. We tried the buffet. We tried our hands at the slots. I lost $28. Kevin walked away with $80. All in all, a cool adventure. Beautiful Oregon farmland was seen.

No sales for us today


We aren’t going to sales today. Instead we are making a trek out to Otis, OR. We’re trading some non-antique items for a 1983 El Camino. It’s some gold & diamond jewelry, an iPad 2, a metal detector, my Walther P22, and Kevin’s Bersa 380 cc. He made the deal through Craigslist.

The ability to trade items for other items is also a picking skill. Sometimes one person has an item you want, and there’s no available cash, and you really want it. Maybe you have something cool you found, and you don’t typically deal with that subject matter.

Trading for something better, something more valuable is the way to go. Again I am not an experienced trader. I’ve heard tales of awesome trades. My father-in-law regularly trades items he buys at sales for items that are worth well more than he paid for the initial item. The eventually trading one or two of those items for something high end.

Sadly, we don’t have the networking connections here in PDX/Vancouver for trades.

Yet. Time will improve that. 🙂

Rosco & Mundlos


One of the fun and cool things about being unemployed, if you see a good deal on Craigslist, you can pounce on it like a cat, well so long as you have cash. 🙂

Today’s awesome finds are some German blades. One is a hunting association dagger, the other is a K98 bayonet. The dagger is pretty, it has a cool little clam shell and acorns on it. It has a very nice leather scabbard and was made in Germany by Rosco. A similar one sold at local auction for $400 recently.

The bayonet is kind of an interesting piece. It was manufactured by Mundlos. Mundlos was a German sewing-machine manufacturer. It’s almost the American equivalent of finding a Singer .45. Yes, that Singer made .45 caliber pistols during WWII. The Singer .45 is pretty rare. So are the Mundlos bayonets. One site states only 25,000 were made. I will want to find more info to be sure. Sadly no scabbard, but they are hard to come by for the Mundlos. Kevin says it has 7 Waffenamts on it. Those are inspection marks to make sure it passed muster during WWII. It’s been harder to find any of them for sale.

We spent $50 for the pair.

In this business, you’re quick or you’re broke. For instance, the gold from the other night, someone beat me to it. I saw the bracelet up for sale today for 4 times the original asking price. They probably made $1,000-$1,500 on the gold. I found this deal 16 minutes after it went online.

The Free Antiques Appraisal Scam


I don’t condone this. I am not talking about The Antiques Roadshow. I’m talking about something entirely different. We’ve seen the ads. Sell your gold, silver, coins and antiques here at this hotel. There’s an infomercial called Treasure Hunters. Antique shops and malls do it.

They bring you into a place under the pretense of knowing what you have and they will give you top dollar for your item. Or they may recommend a shop that would be interested in your item.

Often times they do know what you have, but do not believe that they will give you the best price. Those people are out to make money.

The big difference, between a picker and a scammer is a picker says they are buying for profit. While we’ll try to get a better deal, we won’t tell you what your item is worth, well I will if I see you about to get scammed. As a picker, I don’t expect you to trust me, the appraisers do.

As a picker, the seller has the power. In the free appraisal scam, the buyer has the power. The seller goes to them, the “experts”.

Yes, I’ve been out at garage sales and stopped a seller from getting scammed. She had inherited her mom’s antique shop inventory. The prices were from the shop. There was a mystery item marked for nearly $300. I was curious about it, as other buyers tried to hammer her down about it. I found a similar item that had sold at Christies for $3000.

So seller beware.

Rose City Collectors Market


The show is coming up on Sunday. We still have some prepping and cleaning to do. It would be easier if the car could be parked closer to the apartment. Yes, I have antiques in the trunk of the car. Please don’t break into the car.

We have an awesome problem though. Kevin’s new job starts the morning of the show. He’ll be there for set up and for the early birds part of the show, but then he’s hopping into a cab to go to work.

This will leave me alone for packing up at the end of the day. Ideally, I’ll sell everything. Odds are I won’t. I hope to sell a large portion though, because glass is heavy. So are jukebox remotes! The jewelry, medals, and ephemera aren’t.

No we’re not bringing all 50 lbs of jewelry! 🙂 The costume jewelry will be on a $5 or less table. I’m thinking the less expensive glassware that’s in the trunk will stay there.

I’ve been recognized!


Today, someone recognized me from an email I sent in regards to a Craigslist ad. I use Craigslist as a learning tool as well as a way to find deals. I don’t do it often, but I sent an email just simply showing a much better price on an item on the retail site Ruby Lane. Somehow, the person, an absolute stranger new it was me!

I certainly hope this blog is not the reason I’ve been seeing jewelry by the pound in the jewelry section of Craigslist. I’m not making that deal again for a long time. :-p

I might be over sharing here. My friends will know I do that quite a bit, and I admit it freely. I hope I don’t miss out on deals because of it. But I feel obligated to share more about me.

I am new to picking. My husband Kevin bought and sold his first antique at the age of 8. Seriously, I find deals at sales by looking for quality, beauty, and condition. It takes me a while to look through things on table. My husband typically scans through and finds things quickly. I rely on him and my iPhone for research. I have a lot of catching up to do.

I do find things he misses though. Sometimes I wind up going back to the car, sitting, researching, discussing, and eventually buying. I’m working on being sure of myself and buying without hesitation.

I am learning though and I recognize some marks now. I can guarantee that when I sell you something I know a lot about it.