Friday Finds: Courage and Some Oneida Flatware

I am a 40 year old woman. I still have my wisdom teeth. Why?
Because I’m a big chicken.
Because I have an amazing ability to procrastinate when something unpleasant needs doing.
Because no dentist ever said “you need your wisdom teeth out, here, let me make an appointment for you”.
So days, then months, then years go by and I never pick up the phone.

But enough was enough.
It was time for the big girl panties. I picked up the phone and made my appointment for the consultation.
Went to said consultation. My face immediately flushed when I walked in. By the time they were taking my vitals, my temperature was 99.8. No clue why an X-ray and a bunch of talking made me a nervous wreck.
But then I was good. Appointment is set for June. Doctor saw no major issues. Yes, 2 are impacted, but they do this all the time. Easy peasy.
I’ll be knocked out and it’ll all be over in an hour. An HOUR!! Crazy.

After getting the cost estimate ($2400!!!…yup knew that was coming…another reason for procrastinating) I knew that retail therapy was in order. Good thing there was a Goodwill across the street!!
And I found some flatware.

Yay! I needed a good find, especially after getting that bill. I gotta start making some money!! 🙂
This is flatware by Oneida and the pattern is called Shelley.
You may remember how I identify stainless flatware from earlier posts…but the quickest way usually is with this book:


Love that book! Put off getting it for a long time since I like researching flatware and didn’t mind scrolling through pages and pages of the replacements.com website. But the saying goes Time is Money and there’s no denying this book is fast. (patterns up until the late 1990s…they need to print an updated version)
Anyway, I was excited at the thrift store because as I grabbed the first spoon, I could tell the quality was good. Handle enough flatware and you’ll know. I flipped it over and bam! There was my Oneida Stainless mark with the cube in the center. Heirloom. That is good stuff.

I found more pieces and more…then managed to unearth the knives as well.
We had been to this Goodwill earlier in the week and I had already culled a bunch of flatware from it. But I know where the employees tend to add the newer stuff, so I went there first and there it was.
That softened the blow somewhat about the whole wisdom tooth junk and I went home a content woman.
See how beneficial thrifting is for you and your health?

I got home and discovered that I had a full service for 4!
That means 4 dinner forks, 4 salad forks, 4 soup spoons, 4 dinner knives, and 4 teaspoons. Twenty pieces.
Your first inclination may be to put the whole shebang up for sale all together and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. I checked completeds and the highest sale of 20 pieces was about $130. Again, nothing to sneeze at.
But then I looked at completeds for groupings of 4. Four dinner forks…$70. Okay…there you go. I could average about $50 per 4 pieces…that comes to $250. I think I’ll do the extra work and make a bit more money hopefully.

Thanks for listening to the ramblings! Speaking of that…Hubby is on strict warning to NOT video me as I’m coming out of the anesthesia. That’s not exactly how I’m hoping to hit it big on YouTube! 🙂

Organizing Your Flatware Inventory ~ Flippin’ Flatware Part Three

Hello everyone! I think I’ve been putting off writing Part 3 since organization is NOT my forte. My flatware inventory organization system was totally outgrown and not working.
But life has been busy! I’ve been trying out selling directly on Instagram with fairly good results, keeping up with the kids and just normal life stuff. The weather has been great here in the PNW, (summer weather already!) and so we’ve been outside more than normal (…away from the computer). Okay, now that my excuses are out of the way…let me show you my progress. It’s better than nothing since I’m not sure when I’ll be totally done.
See Part 1 and Part 2 of the Flippin’ Flatware Series here:
Stainless Flatware Brands to Flip ~ Flippin’ Flatware Part One
How to Identify Your Stainless Flatware Pattern ~ Flippin’ Flatware Part Two

So basically what I did was buy a bunch of shoebox size plastic bins in two different colors. I started off with the blue ones and made rudimentary labels. I so want to pick up a little Dymo or Brother labeler…but I haven’t done the research yet. I’m hoping to thrift one!!
The blue bins are all my LISTED flatware items. I took over a cabinet that had been put in my closet but wasn’t being used efficiently…it was holding linens…but there will be a new linen cabinet installed elsewhere in the house so we’ll get that all sorted out.

My plan for the white bins..which I’m still working on is to have similar bins to the blue ones..but for unlisted flatware.
Sometimes pieces in a certain pattern aren’t worth listing until you get more than one or at least 3 or 4. I need  a place to hold them where I can find them again. So when I get more, I actually know that I already have some!
I also have a few sets of smaller drawer type bins that will hold the singles or pairs that get listed. Because some pieces are definitely worth listing singly!
For example…sterling!


This is my 3rd piece of sterling silver flatware I found recently…either thrown into the bins at Goodwill or hanging in a bag at Value Village. You just never know. 

So that’s my system. Can’t wait to get it fully implemented…it’ll make me feel a whole lot better about everything. Plus I can just grab a white bin when I need to list..and see what’s ready to go.

Stay tuned for a Spoils of Thrift post tomorrow or Monday…found something fun that already sold!! And a story of how offering great customer service can just be rewarding for everyone!
Thanks for reading!

How To Identify Your Stainless Flatware Pattern ~ Flippin’ Flatware Part Two

How To Identify Your Stainless Flatware Pattern

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Thank you everyone for your feedback to Part One of Flippin’ Flatware
I really didn’t mean to wait a week to get to part two, but it was a busy week! I did some thrifting and found a nice set of flatware that I was pretty excited about.
Here’s one listing of it:

Do you see why I’m excited? No, not all flatware commands such prices, but this one in particular is pretty popular.
It’s by Oneida and it’s called Will O Wisp. This is from the Heirloom line and you’ll know Heirloom pieces by the ‘cube’ mark on the back. Always worth picking up and sometimes a major score!
Here’s a picture of the cube mark:

So in this case, I already knew the pattern when I spotted it in the thrift store bins, but what do you do if you find flatware and don’t know the pattern?
I’ll give you my process and see if it helps for you.
First of all, I have to share a purchase I made that was a game changer for me and selling stainless flatware. I bought the Stainless Flatware Guide that is put out by Replacements.com. Not sure why I waited so long since it saves me so much time.

It’s arranged by maker and broken down even further by backstamp. It’s so easy to do a quick scan through the book! Probably about 75% of the time I find the pattern quickly. Maybe even a higher percentage.

Stainless Flatware ID page
The book was printed in the 1990s so sometimes there are patterns that are too new to be included. So here’s the process I used to use, before I got the book:

Most of the time I start my search on Ebay itself.
I check out the mark on the back. Sometimes there’s something a bit different on the back that might help me narrow it down. For example, if the back says Oneida Community Stainless, there are going to be 1000s of listings on Ebay and I don’t really want to scroll through them all. But, if the back says Oneida Premier Stainless…that just may be a word that other sellers will have put in their title. I do a quick search and sometimes find it pretty quickly. Love it when that happens!

If not, next step is to go to the Replacements.com website.

ReplacementsWebsite

My first step there is the Search box in the top right corner. I enter anything that might make the pattern stand out. “Oneida Premier”, “Oneida roses” “Reed & Barton China”. So it could be a word on the backstamp, the country it was made in, or some distinguishing feature on the flatware itself. Again, sometimes you hit it quickly.

If not, then next, there’s nothing left to do but scan through all the patterns by that maker. But there are still tricks. When you click on the “Silver” tab at the top of the main page, you’ll get a big list of makers, starting with the A’s. Use the alphabet at the top to get to the right page quickly. Then scroll down to find your maker and click on it.
Make sure you click on “Photo View” not “List View” so you can get to a screen that looks like this.

ReplacementsID

Okay, this part can get a bit tedious. Because there might be PAGES to scroll through and look at. Your eyes may cross. 🙂 Hopefully your pattern will start with an A and not a Y!!

QUICK TIP: Hit CTRL and + at the same time to increase the size of the text on your screen. I use Chrome, so you may need to Google how to do that on your browser. This gets the pictures bigger and easier to scan.

I have another little trick I use when I have to scan through pages of patterns. Check the shape of the end the handle. Pointy? Square? Oval? Then I just let my eyes scan and only focus on patterns with that same shape!

So honestly, I know flatware is not for everyone. No worries! If this doesn’t appeal to you at all…don’t fret! I personally love the research! The flatware book has made it easy so sometimes I miss the search. But I’m weird like that!
The part I really struggle with is organization. So that will be Part 3! Stay Tuned!

Stainless Flatware Brands to Flip ~ Flippin’ Flatware Part One

 
Awhile back, one of my readers let me know that she had been dabbling in selling flatware and wondered if I had any tips for what brands to look for and organizing. I promised to do a more in-depth coverage of the subject on my blog…so here we go!
I’m such a procrastinator, partly because I’m not sure I have much to share that would actually help anyone, and partly because I want to make sure I do a good job and so I wait for a good block of time to work on it. Well, since that never happens…Hubby finally told me my ‘assignment’ today is to write the blog post!!
Plus, I get to go thrifting when I’m done. 🙂
Okay, so a little backstory. I got into selling flatware awhile back. About 10+ years ago, I was new to ReSelling and was only dabbling in it on the side. I was at a Value Village and happened across some silverplated flatware with daffodils on the handle. I knew NOTHING about flatware, but thought silverplated must be worth something.
I came home, did some research and auctioned it off. (the only way to do it back then!!). 
 
And it worked! Sold it all at really good prices. Especially considering the low purchase price (like .25 each, I think).
So I went crazy.
Bought all the silverplated flatware at thrift stores I could find. Discovered it’s not all created equal and sold some and didn’t sell a bunch.
Then the thrift stores dried up and I didn’t find any for a long time and I kind of got out of it.
In the meantime, my thrift stores had been FULL of stainless flatware but I didn’t even consider it. I mean, it’s only stainless, right? Who would want it??
Well fast forward a bit and Hubby was getting impatient not finding silverplated flatware and decided to research stainless flatware on Ebay. It was startling some of the prices stainless flatware was selling for!
So that’s the main story. We’ve kind of dabbled in it off and on and then recently started focusing on it a bit more. Of course, I can always find it faster than I can list it…so I always have plenty to work on.
Brands
Ever since we’ve moved over to selling at Fixed Price with a store on Ebay and having stores on Etsy, I’ve come to the realization that most flatware will sell. Eventually. (Not something that a thrifting addict needs to know.) But there definitely are brands that perform better than others and move more quickly.
Here’s my main top selling list:
  • Oneida (easy to find) Includes various backstamps: Northland, Deluxe, Wm A Rogers, Community
  • Oneida Heirloom (has a cube mark on the back)
  • Reed & Barton (includes Rebacraft, Select)
  • Towle 
  • Lauffer (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE) (owned by Towle)
  • WMF Cromargan (serious money here)
  • Dansk (check out the $$ on the Fjord pattern!)
  • Georg Jensen (I can dream)
  • Christofle (found one piece, ever. Would love to find more)
  • Gorham can be okay. Includes: Stegor, Stegorcraft
  • Stanley Roberts (tricky one because they are usually marked “Rogers Co”

There are other brands I will pick up depending on condition, pattern, and how many pieces are available.

Interpur INR2 Oval Soup Spoons
For example:
  • Interpur. Some good, some so-so. The wood handled INR2 pattern is fairly popular, especially on Etsy. If there’s enough of any other Interpur pattern to make a service for four or so and and its a groovy, retro design, I’ll pick it up for Etsy.
  • International
  • Hampton
  • Cambridge (Aztec is a pretty good one)
  • Hanford Forge
Some brands, it really just depends on what’s available. For example, if I come across a bunch of Hampton Silversmiths flatware and its in good shape and it looks like there’s enough to make a complete set, I probably will pick it up. 
 
 
 If there’s just one or two pieces, I don’t usually bother.
How I List
Here’s another question that comes up sometimes.
And the answer is…it depends.
It usually depends on which way makes the most money.
Generally, I tend to list in groups of 4.
Four dinner forks, 4 salad forks, 4 teaspoons, 4 dinner knives, 4 oval soup spoons, etc…
If the pattern is popular, you can get away with listing 2 or 3 if you don’t have 4.
If the pattern is really expensive, I may list in singles.
If I have a complete set, I have a hard time breaking it up. I like to at least try to sell it as a whole. If that doesn’t work, I break it down later.
A complete service for four would include 20 pieces: 4 dinner forks, 4 salad forks, 4 teaspoons, 4 dinner knives 4 soup spoons. A service for 8 would have 8 each of those pieces.
I generally list serving pieces separately.
This is getting much longer than I expected and I still want to touch on how to identify your pattern and a bit on organizing. If there’s any other questions you have, feel free to leave a comment.

Retro Atomic Flatware – A Grocery Store Giveaway

I may have blogged about this before, (haven’t searched for it yet) but I thought I’d share again anyway. I just got through listing some of this flatware in The Retro Shop. I’ve sold similar pieces before so I was happy to come across some again.

The flatware is stainless and is simply marked “Stainless Japan”. The black part is synthetic. Some versions have 2 or 3 stars on them.

It was a bit hard to research it initially, most people just listed it with that information. Which is fine, because it worked. I was able to find other similar pieces even without knowing a manufacturer.

Then I delved a bit deeper and found a person who had posted on a forum that he was looking for more pieces. He had his mother’s set and wanted to add to it. She had gotten as a giveaway from a grocery store (Ralph’s, I think) in the 1960s in California.
Ah, interesting!

Then as I listed and sold those initial pieces I found, I discovered how popular they were. I had people So I’m sure there were several grocery store chains that participated. Lots of people wanted to add to their parent’s sets or re-create the set they remembered as a child.

Which is why selling retro flatware is so cool! I love these stories!
Anybody else remember flatware like this? Which grocery store gave it away?