4 Reasons I Love the Thrift Store Bag Wall!

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Does your local thrift store have a ‘bag wall’? Around here, the thrift store chain Value Village has them. (aka Savers or Unique Thrift..in different parts of the country)
They are my favorite part of the store!4 ReasonsHere’s why.

1). The thrill of the hunt.
You never know what you will find in a bag. They are found in various sections of the store. Bags of collectibles. Bags of housewares. Bags of toys. Craft bags. There may be one item that jumps out at you right away but you have to dig a bit to see what else is in the bag. Fun stuff!

2). Value.
Many items for one money!
IMG_64023). Easy No sticker removal!
The items are all in a bag, with a price tag stapled to it. Remove the staple, open the bag and everything is good to go! No large, pesky stickers on every single item that throw off my listing mojo!!

And lastly, my favorite.

IMG_64044). Hidden surprises!
There have been several times where I have gone after a certain item or 2 in a bag and plan on just donating the rest of the items. Only to take a second or third look at those items and decide to throw them real quick up on Ebay. Guess what sells overnight? That last minute item!
Here’s an example.
I can’t remember what else I wanted in this bag but I remember there was one of these:

DSC_0010Teak Handled Cheese Plane by Spar Norway

This utensil is one of my bread and butter items I sell in my Etsy shop. Not super exciting, I just grab them when I see them and usually have at least one listed in my shop. There must have been something else in the bag…another vintage utensil or something.
But as I was going through the bag, I came across these recipe cards that looked handmade.

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I hadn’t even looked twice at them in the bag in the store. Then I looked at the original sticker on them.

DSC_0008-001I was like…”huh. Williams-Sonoma. Good brand. New in package….why not?”. Took me a few minutes to list…and BAM! no kidding. Overnight sale of $12.99.

Okay, so yeah..not getting rich. But $13 for those, $15-18 for the cheese slicer…and who knows whatever for the other thing I found in there. lol. Let’s say another $10. That’s roughly $35 for a $3 bag investment. Works for me!
That actually would be a fun kind of challenge…can I sell EVERY item out of a bag? Hmmm….What do you think? Maybe we’ll do this in video format.

So what about you? Does your thrift store have a bag wall? Any great scores?

 

Friday Finds ~ To the (Vintage) Hunter Goes the Spoils

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It’s been all about the Scandinavian lately.

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Which, of course, makes the Recycleista happy.
Hey y’all!! How’ve you been doing? I won’t bore you with another ‘why i haven’t been blogging – life crisis – what am i doing with my life’ kind of post. Let’s just get back into what’s important! Thrifting!

Yes, I’ll admit…my thrifting has slowed down a bit. I am trying to avoid the bulky, breakable, hard to ship type items. Can’t you tell from the above picture?!? HA! I laugh so hard I cry.

But yes, I do make exceptions for a good Pentik Finland “Kahvia” coffee canister. Or a Bjorn Wiinblad vase. You do understand. I know you do.
I mean, look at it.

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“Duet” vase by Bjorn Wiinblad

How could I resist?
The other items in the picture are a Berggren tile trivet…not strictly Scandinavian but in the Swedish style.
Berggren Swedish Tile Trivet I’ve bought and sold a few of these Berggren tiles and items but this was the first time I saw this one. It translates to “Best of All is Your Own Home”.
The little spice jar is by Knabstrup and is for cinnamon. I’ve had that one knocking around on my desk for awhile so I was glad to finally get it cleaned up and listed.

Well, I’m going to leave you with one last find. I’m keeping this short and sweet so as not to overwhelm myself and to gently ease myself back into this blogging world.
I went to an estate sale and this was one of my scores.

Lenox Butler's Gourmet

It’s a full service for 8 in the Butler’s Gourmet pattern by Lenox. I got it on the second day for 1/2 off. I ended up dividing up the pieces into sets of 4. I just sold my first set of 4 salad forks this morning for $55. What’s sweet is that the set also came with the tray which is also by Lenox. I have that listed separately. I’ve put together some flatware reselling tips and tricks in these posts.
My goal this season is to hit more estate and yard sales!

Want to read more thrifting haul posts or Friday finds?  Click Here.

Oh February! ~ Catching Up ~ And My Love/Hate Relationship with Vintage Fabric

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Oh February! – Catching Up
What a doozy this year. The PNW has seen more snow this year than usual. Early in February, we got dumped on with 15 inches all at once!! (Picture on left). We usually get maybe 1 snow event per winter, usually just a couple inches. We’ve had several…including earlier this week. My FIL has lived on this property for over 40 years and cannot recall getting this much snow all at once…ever.
The picture on the right is exactly 7 days later. It was in the 50s and most of the snow had gone.
This up and down with the weather totally matched how I felt. I had some doctor visits and so was a little preoccupied with that. I also had some family/home/community responsibilities that took the rest of my attention.
My online vintage selling business definitely took a back seat. I still thrifted…(of course I did) and I still listed some things and I still sold some things. So the business went on…but it was not my focus.
And honestly, that’s kind of how I see the next few years.
Since I wasn’t so focused on vintage or on the whole business…I hesitated to come here and blog…I felt like I didn’t really have anything helpful to say.
I’m afraid I’m at one of *those* points again…wondering whether the blog should remain part of my TO-DO list..or not. I know, I know, you’re tired of reading about my blogging crises..so I won’t natter on. I’m planning on continuing at this point- I just have to see where it fits in with my new online selling plan. More about that another day.

DSC_0013My Love/Hate Relationship with Vintage Fabric

So one of the things I can’t resist looking at in the thrift stores is the fabric/material aisle. It’s kind of like sewing patterns. I can’t sew a stitch to save my life but I’m fascinated by all of it. Of course, part of it is the thrill of the hunt..I do know what people like and what sells, so I’m always hoping to find some fabulous piece of atomic barkcloth or some Vera Neumann signed fabric.
But when it comes to the actual listing of the fabric, I slow down. I have no idea why. Some kind of mental block. Maybe it’s my lack of good set up for photos or something…kind of like my selling clothing aversion.
Recently I was at Value Village when they were putting out bags of fabric. Usually these bags are just scraps..but I could tell that these had larger pieces. I looked at one bag and discovered the theme of the whole bag was cowboy/western fabric. Definitely sell-able. I ended up buying 3 bags…mostly western fabric and some fly-fishing/outdoors type fabric.
DSC_0027This was one of my favorites..although it was more Fox Hunt than Western. It has a great color. Most of the pieces I got were from the early to mid 1990s and at least 2 yards. The smaller pieces I lotted up into one listing. I made myself measure the pile right away. Half the battle. And then so far I’ve listed the Western fabric.  I decided to list on Ebay although these are perfectly eligible for Etsy.

And I’ve sold 2 listings already! The piece up at the top was a totally random piece mixed in with the Western pieces called “Bow Wow Chow Mein”. I had exactly one yard and it sold overnight. I also sold this one:

DSC_0036Most of the brands in the packs were VIP by Cranston and Alexander Henry. Now, I don’t want you to run out and buy any and every piece by those makers that you see. You will find a lot of it. It’s not all created equal. Theme will also be important. I can get fairly good money even on just 2 yards because the cowboy/western theme is a popular one. Other themes might only be worth it if you can get it cheap and there is a lot of yardage.
So see the Love / Hate part? Lol. Love looking for it. Love finding it. Hate listing it. Love selling it. Love making money on it.
Actually “Hate” is kind of a strong word. Listing and selling is work. Plain and simple. Once I got going..it wasn’t any harder than any other item I sell and the photos weren’t that difficult. So…yes..it’s time to break out those other 2 bins of fabric I’ve been hoarding and just get to work!

 

My Top 5 Vintage Finds of 2016

My Top 5Vintage Finds

Well, it’s still January, right? Been meaning to write this post all month. I think part of the problem was that I was not SUPER excited about any of my finds this past year. Overall, there were fun things here and there. Definitely lots of good, solid bread and butter type items. But no “Bucket List” items.

But let’s go ahead and look at some highlights.

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Arabia of Finland Cat pitcher or jug.
This one was a good one. I’ve found these pitchers by Arabia of Finland before but never the cat one. You may remember it from an earlier post. What shocks me is that it hasn’t sold yet. Maybe my price is too high? I’ll have to revisit that soon. I think it takes me so long to find some of those *hot* MCM items that when I do, the demand has waned. Still a fun find.

DSC_0008Large Syroco Bonsai Tree Wall Hanging
We found this large wall hanging at an estate sale in the last couple hours of the sale. I spotted it right away and the estate lady and I marveled over the fact that no one else appreciated it like we did.
I don’t think I blogged about it yet because I’m planning on doing a separate post about Syroco and its history, etc. Some of their items can be quite collectible and profitable. I could probably sell this for $150 or so but so far it’s filling the space above my couch quite nicely. 🙂

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Vintage Braun Coffee Grinder Model KSM-1
Okay, this one I have not (to my shame) listed yet. I need to clean it up, etc and it just hasn’t made the top of the pile yet. But hopefully that will change this week. Money sitting on my shelf!!  But…this is one to keep in mind! Vintage Braun stuff sells! Great quality and design.
Click here to see the Etsy listings and types of things that are out there:
Vintage Braun appliances

fitzowlFitz & Floyd “Hooty” Owl Bathroom Accessories
This find just makes me smile. Fitz & Floyd has some really cute stuff and people are still looking for it! What made my day was that the buyer already had the toothbrush holder and now this completed her set! So perfect!

Fullscreen capture 1302017 40427 PMLot of Vintage Feedsack Fabric Scraps
So I posted about this one on Instagram and again, sadly, I haven’t done anything with them yet. Still researching and still deciding how/where to sell them. Analysis paralysis. Happens to us all at one point or another.
I will do a separate post on these as well. Suffice it to say for now that there are die hard collectors. There are prints that are reproduced but I think in my lot I can spot those because they have info on the selvedge. True feedsacks were just that….feedsacks…so no selvedge info.
I don’t think I have any full sacks…which would be worth the most. But plenty of scraps for collecting or quilting. Check out vintage feedsacks on Etsy. 

So all in all, not bad. I probably did slow down a bit on the thrifting end…so the less you’re out there, the less you find. Hope you had a good thrifting year and that 2017 brings us lots of more great scores!

 

How Many Etsy Shops Do I Need?

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Short answer:
It depends.

It really does. It depends on a lot of different factors. In the past, Hubby and I have had 5, (yes FIVE) Etsy shops. We are now consolidating down to two. Three. Maybe two. Here’s the quick update on our confusion. We had Hubby’s shop closed when his own carpentry/contracting business started taking off this year. He had no time. We were going to merge his items with mine. We did that with a few. Then winter came and things slowed down for him…a little. He reopened his shop. Sold a few things. But has had no time to keep up with adding anything more again. So we’re debating shutting it down again. Because, as I’ve preached before, you need to keep listing to keep selling.
We had good reasons to open the shops initially and we learned a lot about having multiple shops along the way. Here are some factors that we used when opening (and then closing) the shops.

If you are considering opening a second, or even third, Etsy shop ask yourself:

  • Is it a different enough niche or style to make having a separate shop necessary?
    In our case, I have a separate shop for sewing patterns and notions. I feel that the buyers of such would just like to look at craft supplies and not necessarily all the other vintage I have to offer.

  • Do I have the inventory to warrant another shop? 4 shops with 20 items in each may not be as effective as 1 shop with clearly marked shop sections.

  • Will it help my branding or promoting efforts if my shop is narrowed down to a specific niche? ex. sewing patterns or notions only vs a few sewing patterns mixed in with vintage home goods. You could brand and promote the shop as being a source of sewing patterns, etc…An eclectic shop will divide up your promoting efforts in many different directions.

  • Do I have the time to keep up with multiple shops? Major point. It takes time. It’s hard to get signed in to all the shops consistently and focus on adding new items on a regular basis. A plan is a must. 

  • Will I be able to consistently list new items on a regular basis in more than one shop? Again. Major factor. 

  • Will I have the time to promote the shops and their listings in social media and other efforts? Will you need to have different social media accounts to promote each niche? Or can you promote successfully from one central account?

There’s nothing wrong with giving it a try if you think it works for you. It worked for us for awhile but now we need to scale it back. The key was “us”. Two people, two shops each plus Ebay together. Now its just me doing the online stuff so we halved that. For now, we just have The Recycleista’s Retro Shop and Pish Posh Notions. I handle both of those and most of our Ebay listings.  Hubby’s shop, as I mentioned, is probably only temporary.
So if you do decide to give multiple shops a try, and it doesn’t quite workout for awhile, the nice thing is that you can just deactivate your items and let your Etsy shops sit. So if your circumstances change in the future, it doesn’t take much to get it going again. The listings will still be there, either in the deactivated or expired sections.
And there are a few things to keep in mind that Etsy requires if you have multiple shops, the main one being transparency. You need to disclose your other shops in your Profile. (now that I think about it, I’d better update mine!). Etsy has more information here: Multiple Shops on Etsy
What do you think? Are you contemplating multiple shops? Do you have concerns? Or have you already taken that step? Any tips or tricks to share? Feel free to leave a comment below.