My Top 8 Surprising Flips of 2019

The past few years in January, I’ve done a Top Thrifting Finds post. It’s always fun to go back and take a look at how the year went and review some of the highlights of the thrifting year. (This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full policy here)

This year I decided to do something a bit different. And of course it’s mid February already but better late than never. (Honestly, I was still in debate with myself about blogging and had even played around with starting a fresh new blog but in the end…came back to here. Hopefully you’ll see me around a bit more often again. 😉 )

Continue reading “My Top 8 Surprising Flips of 2019”

Top 10 Betty Crocker Silverware Patterns by Oneida

As I’ve mentioned before in this post: Oneida Flatware and the Betty Crocker Catalog, nostalgia plays a big role in the reselling of vintage flatware. Many mothers and grandmothers dutifully collected Betty Crocker coupons and put together silverware sets for daughters, nieces, granddaughters and themselves.

Those who inherited these sets turn to Ebay and Etsy for replacement pieces or to fill in their sets. (This post contains affiliate links. You can read our full privacy and disclosure policy here.)


I’ve put together this list of the top 10 (in no particular order) Oneida silverware or flatware patterns sold through Betty Crocker catalogs. These are patterns that I sell consistently and seem to have a high demand. If you are a flatware reseller you can use this list as a BOLO list. (Be On the LookOut).

If you are a Betty Crocker silverware set owner..this guide may help you identify your stainless flatware pattern and source some replacements.

(I was able to take pictures of half of these from my own pieces, the rest of the photos came from 

Twin Star 

Oneida Twin Star Flatware
Backstamp: Oneida Community

Twin Star listings on Ebay

Twin Star listings on Etsy

My Rose
Oneida My Rose Flatware

Backstamp: Oneida Community

My Rose listings on Ebay

My Rose listings on Etsy


Photo cred:
Photo cred:

Backstamp: Oneida Community

Chandelier listings on Ebay

Chandelier listings on Etsy

Patrick Henry
Oneida Patrick Henry

Backstamp: Oneida Community

Patrick Henry listings on Ebay

Patrick Henry listings on Etsy


Photo Cred:
Photo Cred:

Backstamp: Oneida Community

Chatelaine listings on Ebay

Chatelaine listings on Etsy


Photo cred:
Photo cred:

Backstamp: Oneida Community

Cello listings on Ebay

Cello listings on Etsy


Oneida SatiniqueBackstamp: Oneida Community

Satinique listings on Ebay

Satinique listings on Etsy

**There are 2 Oneida patterns called Satinique. Keep this in mind while purchasing and check photos carefully. Look for ones that say “Satinique -OLDER”. In this case, they may be easier to find on Etsy.


Photo Cred:
Photo Cred:

Backstamp: Oneida Community

Brahms listings on Ebay

Brahms listings on Etsy

Via Roma

Oneida Via RomaBackstamp: Oneida Community

Via Roma listings on Ebay

Via Roma listings on Etsy


Photo cred:
Photo cred:

Backstamp: Oneida Community

Plantation listings on Ebay

Plantation listings on Etsy

Of course, these are not ALL of the Betty Crocker stainless silverware patterns. There were dozens spanning many decades. If you need more assistance identifying your pattern, feel free to go to the Contact Me page and shoot me an email!

The Quick and Dirty Guide to Selling Coffee Mugs for Profit

The Quick and Dirty Guide

This is the time of year that my coffee mug sales really start picking up. Cooler weather, I guess. More coffee and tea drinking. And hot chocolate. Gift giving is probably another reason. Also, maybe the more coffee drinking and mug-using is happening..the more opportunity for breakage. Oops! Better replace Dad’s favorite mug!! (This post contains affiliate links)

Although I have several main niches: flatware, sewing patterns, vintage jewelry…coffee mugs have always been kind of sub niche. I have always had a small inventory of them going. I sell them on both Ebay and Etsy. They are kind of a background niche, selling here and there and then more in the fall and winter.

I do love sourcing them. Always have…it’s one of the main sections I hit at thrift stores and it’s always fun to find them super cheap at yard sales. My chain thrift stores tend to price them all over the place. Sometimes they’re just 69 cents…other times they have them up to $5 and higher (mostly Starbucks).

Selling coffee mugs seems to be one of those things that either works for you or it doesn’t. I’ve heard from other resellers who consistently sell coffee mugs and have a huge stock of them. Others say they can’t sell a mug to save their life. I have gotten more choosy over the years (mostly due to lack of storage space) but still have several types of mugs that I like to pick up. I thought I’d share a few tips and tricks with you.

What Types of Mugs to Buy

I’m going to start with Starbucks because well…I live in Washington State. So guess what’s in every thrift store? I know other people living in other places have NEVER seen a SB mug in the thrifts but somehow that is unimaginable to me, lol.

DSC_0037Starbucks Roastery Tasting Room Mug

Unfortunately, even though Starbucks mugs are so common…the thrifts around here still occasionally treat them like the Holy Grail..even to the point of sometimes putting them in the cases up front. Seriously!! They usually price them at about $4-6 or higher even on the regular mug shelf. Sigh. But maybe this is a good thing..because honestly, not all Starbucks mugs are created equal. They are all NOT hot sellers like some may think. And in fact, value has gone down a bit. So, it keeps me from buying every one I see.
I tend to treat them a bit like bread and butter items and shoot for getting about $20-25 for an average discontinued Starbucks mug. Of course city and location mugs can go higher…can we ever forget the famous Minneapolis mug that sold for over $2000?

The city and location Starbucks mugs usually belong to different lines or series. There can be brisk selling and trading of the current series as people try to fill in collections. Usually the series that has just discontinued bumps in value the most. Right now, I think the highest priced Starbucks city mugs still belong to the Global Icon Series.

I just found this one.

If you want to know more about the different series of Starbucks mugs or need help with research, Fred Orange is a very comprehensive site.

I also like to pick up older Starbucks mugs. The ones with the late 80s split tail mermaid logo are fun. We just found this one and I popped it in the Etsy shop. DSC_0061-001
Vintage Late 80s Split Tail Logo Starbucks Mug, Made in Japan

Here is a list (in no particular order) of some of the other types of mugs that I will generally pick up if the price is right. I also link to the Ebay solds for those mugs sorted highest to lowest to give you an idea of selling prices. Again, for the most part, these are bread-n-butter resale items.

1. Far Side mugs. Have gone down slightly in value but usually still a crowd pleaser. I sell them on Etsy or Ebay for about $14 – $20 depending on “rarity”. Many sell internationally. Solds on Ebay.

2. Taylor & Ng mugs. Many are familiar with the naughty animal “orgy” mugs but my actual favorites are the animals with the name of the animal in French. Here’s the one I’ve sold for the highest amount. It sold for $81.

Fullscreen capture 10222018 25447 PM

Sold Taylor & Ng mugs on Ebay.

3. Disney mugs. I’ll pick ‘em up here and there but I try to determine how overloaded the listings are or how common. I came across these Belle mugs from Beauty and the Beast…there were several at the thrift store so I bought 4 and I have one left.
Here are solds on Ebay for Disney coffee mugs.

4. Otagiri mugs. I’ll admit. There is NO shortage of Otagiri mugs out there. Some are marked clearly. Some used to just have stickers (gold foil that read OMC for Otagiri Manufacturing Company) but they are missing. In that case, I’ve learned certain shapes and sizes that are generally identified with Otagiri and then try to back up my guess by finding another of the same mug online..that still has the sticker.

For example, this tankard type shape.

So…for me, with Otagiri…subject matter is important. The nautical/ocean themed ones are good. Owls. Other birds and animals. I tend to skip the black floral octagonal type ones and stick with stoneware, but that goes back to me and my storage issues. Otagiri also had a few popular dinnerware patterns such as Horizon. I’ll pick up those mugs too. Speaking of which…

(I sell most of my Otagiri mugs on Etsy but here are the solds on Ebay)

  1. Dinnerware mugs. So many dinnerware patterns have, not only cups and saucers (I don’t buy those!), but mugs that coordinate with the pattern. I usually check on my phone at the store first to see if it’s a desirable pattern overall…but many times the mugs are pretty sought after.
    I picked up 4 of these by Denby that I need to get listed soon.Denbymug

     6. Waechtersbach mugs. I prefer the older, made in West Germany mugs. They can be harder to find in un-chipped condition. The newer ones just have too much competition.
    Here are solds on Ebay.

    DSC_0053Hartstone Mug for Starbucks 

    7. Hartstone Pottery mugs. I recently sold this Hartstone / STARBUCKS mug!! I love finding these. But I’ve found that many of the regular Hartstone mugs do pretty well on their own. They are a nice, solid cup.
    Here are solds on Ebay.

    8. Ugly Face mugs. There is a type of studio pottery coffee mug that are known as Ugly Face mugs. Mahon is a well known artist that makes them…Click here to see examples of his work. Many others by other artists are unsigned. I’ve sold every one I’ve found and listed.

    9. Specialty and novelty type mugs. These can be a fun sell. Sometimes you’ll come across very specific niche type mugs related to all sorts of subject matters. Aerospace, colleges, military, old advertising, science and technical, out of business restaurants or attractions, some souvenir (but it has be fairly random or cool looking). Here are a couple of examples that I sold recently.

Fullscreen capture 10222018 41413 PM
Fullscreen capture 10222018 41443 PM

Think of what your area is known for and you’ll probably find those mugs in thrift shops. (I live in WA…so I see tons of Boeing and Microsoft).

Other names that are or can be worth a pick up are Figgjo Flint and Arabia of Finland (of course), Pier 1, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Anthropologie (usually the initial mugs)…. and who can ignore the current Rae Dunn Large Letter (LL) craze?  

NOTE: While you’re still at the thrift store, check for damage! Look for small chips in the rim or base. Wiggle the handle!! It shouldn’t move! Sometimes you can hear the damage in the handle more than you can feel it or see it. It’s a terrible, soul-destroying sound. A crack where the handle meets the mug has gotten me more than once! So disappointing.

Tips for Listing Coffee Mugs

Recheck for damage. Sometimes things happen on the way home from the thrift.

Wash the mug. Sometimes there are grey utensil or stirring marks in the inside bottom. This is not always a deal breaker I’ve found, but I do try to do what I can about it. My go-to is Bar Keeper’s Friend. I let it soak for a bit. Many times it takes out, or at least lightens, those utensil marks.

Take clear photos. I usually take about 7-8 per mug at the minimum. Side with logo, side with handle, other side of mug (with other logo or blank), side opposite handle, the bottom, the rim, up-close of logo, up-close of writing on the bottom.

2018-09-15Take size measurements…including capacity. For some reason I hate measuring capacity but guess what is the top question I get about my coffee mugs? LOL. I should have learned my lesson by now! I think it’s my process that’s my downfall. I wash the mugs. Eventually take a bunch of pictures at once. Bring them up to list on my computer. Realize I haven’t measured capacity…skip that. List them and put them away. I don’t want to get them wet again! So I have to figure something out. I need to measure capacity while washing them and somewhere make a note of it. Hmm. (LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact that Starbucks usually prints the capacity on the bottom of the mug!!)

A note about shipping.

Whether you charge for the mug and shipping separately or if you jack the price of the mug and list as Free Shipping…that’s up to you. I do both. And sometimes switch back and forth if something isn’t selling.
My hubby IS the shipping department here and he has a fast process for using the 7 X 7 X 6 Priority Mail boxes from the USPS. Most mugs will be over 1 pound packaged so we use Priority Mail. He prefers his method and we’ve had virtually NO breakage ever…so I let him do his thang and work my listings around it.

Many sellers have had success with the FOMO method (Freely Overcoming Mug Obstacles) shown here by Jason T Smith – originator of the huge reselling Facebook group – The Thrifting Board. This method involves using a Priority Mail Padded Flat Rate Envelope. We’ve used this method on occasion, and it does work if you do it correctly.
Here’s the link to the YouTube video.
The benefit to this method is you know shipping will always be right around $7 and you can build the shipping price into your asking price easily.

I think those are the basics! Let me know if you have any questions, have another type of mug you always pick up or would like to share one of your successful mug sales!

Listing Challenge 2017 ~ That’s A Wrap!

Where has the month gone? I know I haven’t kept up with my updates on the Listing Challenge (same as last year) but there are a couple good reasons.  (This post may have affiliate links.)

Listing Challenge Wrap up!First, I don’t think you REALLY want to read all about every minute of my thrifting life and what I’m listing, etc..etc. If I thought you did, I’d just start a Recycleista Facebook group…hmm….
Anyway, I started off thinking I’d update you weekly but that quickly becomes ho-hum reading…and brings me to my second reason:

I’m too busy! Which is the point of the challenge, right? I’ve been listing and sorting and attacking death piles like nobody’s business.
I don’t even have time to complile stats for you because I need to get listing today. I have a rare complete day home with no children for several hours.

When I left you last, I was planning on trying to get things lotted up. And I did! Had some success with it as well. My first lot I tackled was a flatware lot. Flatware?! Yes…I cannot sell all that I buy. It’s true. And some is not worth selling on its own, but is perfectly fine for use.
Some thrift stores sell flatware bagged up and I don’t want everything in the bag. So I made up a big lot of about 250 pieces and listed it for $74.99 with free shipping.

DSC_0001I made it pretty clear that this lot was for camps or churches or other groups that needed solid, usable flatware but it wasn’t necessarily for resale purposes. It all fit in a Medium Flat Rate Box and it sold within a week or 2. Yay!!

Hubby had a few slow-ish days at work and got back into the listing game. Good thing too or else this Thomas the Train stuff would never have gotten listed. Not my thing. He sold a few lots already too, like this one below. This was all train stuff that my boys have outgrown but we thrifted about 98% of it originally.

So the making lots thing worked well and I’ll be doing more of them as I can fit them in. I think I need to do it with some jewelry and sewing patterns next.
The next part of my challenge that I’m proud of is that I attacked a category of items that I ALWAYS put off- clothing. I had about a laundry basket full of odds and ends of clothing. Worth listing but just hadn’t made the time. Clothing is NOT my favorite. Although VINTAGE clothing is mildly more interesting to me. I like seeing other people sell it. I didn’t have a place set up to take photos and that was my first hurdle. Hubby finally rigged it up for me and I attacked it all in 2 days.
The one piece that I was excited about and didn’t really mind listing (because jackets are easy) was this vintage 1967 Big E Levi’s trucker jacket. Vintage denim is SO hot right now.  I have found a jacket with the Big E label before and prices were not that high for jackets. They have definitely gone up.
DSC_0009This sold overnight for $169.99 free shipping. Hubby (again, the Big E whisperer) found this right before our road trip and we just now got to listing it.
In case you’re wondering about the whole “Big E” thing, on the red tab of Levi’s is the word “Levi’s”, right? Well before 1971 the tab looked like this “LEVIS”. The made the “e” lower case in 1971. The size of the letters didn’t really change…the “VIS” is probably technically lower case too they just don’t look any different. So a tab with a “Big E”, if authentic, is a pre-1971 piece of denim.
DSC_0035 Remember my Big E jeans score? Yeah, that was Hubby too. I need to take him thrifting more often. Well, no, maybe not. That’s one reason we have the backlog we do, lol.
And yes, I thrifted. I admit it. I didn’t really slow down all that much. That’ll have to be saved for another challenge.

How did you do? Did you get some older items listed this month? Did you slow down on sourcing? Make any lots? Feel free to comment below!

Listing Challenge 2017 ~ Turn That Stash Into Cash!


There is just something about November.

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed. I have great things to list. But I keep buying more. I still have a backlog behind all the great RECENT stuff I found. I need to stop adding to the pile until I get more listed and sold. Which means LESS thrift store shopping. No, honestly, it should mean NO thrift store shopping. Ugh. So sad.

I started thinking about a challenge. A no (or less) thrift challenge. A listing challenge. With definite goals and projects. I went back in my blog to the last Listing Challenge I did…it was a year ago in November!! That blog post could be THIS blog post. Oh how things haven’t changed.

See? There is just something about November.

So, are you with me? Are you ready to turn that stash into cash? Remember, it can’t sell if it’s not listed.
So let’s dig into those boxes and bins and Rubbermaid totes. Find the bottom of that “death pile” and pull out a winner.

So here are my particular goals for this first week.

~ Shop my stash. Much like last year, I’ll be focusing on getting older items listed as well as the newer-ish stuff I’ve brought in. So for every one newer item…I will pull out TWO old “stash” items and get them listed too. I remember sometimes when you dig deep, you get surprised at what you find. It’s like thrifting all over again! I will thrift in my own bins which will help me with my second goal:

~ No thrifting this week. Gulp. Okay, I’m not sure how I’ll handle the fact that I have to return an item to a thrift store that I bought last week. I’ll double check how long I have and see if I can put it off ’til next week.

These are my two goals for this week. Feel free to use them as well, or find your own challenges that fit your situation. But try to push yourself a bit.

Let’s run this first week’s challenge from today, Wed Nov 1 until next Tuesday, Nov 7.

Comment below if you are up for the challenge!! You can also follow the action on my page on Facebook where I will share updates, photos and possibly a video or two!

4 Reasons I Love the Thrift Store Bag Wall!

(This post may contain affiliate links)
Does your local thrift store have a ‘bag wall’? Around here, the thrift store chain Value Village has them. (aka Savers or Unique 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.


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?


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


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 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 wasn’t any harder than any other item I sell and the photos weren’t that difficult. So…’s time to break out those other 2 bins of fabric I’ve been hoarding and just get to work!