My Top 5 Vintage Finds of 2018

It’s that time again! Another year older..and hopefully smarter! Smarter in my buying choices? I hope so. Although I’m afraid that I do buy too much and don’t list fast enough. A goal to work on. (This post contains affiliate links)

My Top 5So what is the criteria for making this list?  Sometimes it’s an item that was super profitable or sometimes it’s something from my bucket list. At times, I classify a find as “best” if it’s completely unusual and I’ve never seen one before. (And also is sellable). I love being able to learn things from my finds too.

This year although I purchased a lot of bread and butter items, there were a few standouts. I’ve been trying pretty hard to stay within my niches, so let’s start with my best finds in each of those. (Flatware, sewing patterns and jewelry).

  1. WMF Cromargan Stainless Flatware lot
    For flatware, it has to be this set of WMF stainless flatware that I found in a bag at a thrift store. Love when they bag up all the pieces of the same pattern! You may remember this one because I think it was in a Friday Finds post.
WMF Nortica
WMF Nortica

The pattern is called Nortica. I think I paid about $5 for the bag. It had 25 pieces in the bag but it was not a complete set. I have now sold all the pieces of this set in 8 different sales for a total of: $466. Oh to find flatware like this on a regular basis! This satisfied my love of mid century vintage…plus it was profitable!

2. HUGE Lot of Vogue Sewing Patterns (plus others)
This is the purchase that has pretty much overwhelmed me with sewing patterns. LOL. It did make me go through my already huge inventory and cull the ones that weren’t worth listing individually. I bundled some up and sold in lots. Others I just redonated.
IMG-2765These sewing patterns I bought on Mercari. I started off buying one lot from a seller. I could see that there were good designers in the lot and it would be worth it for reselling.

IMG-2764

Well, she kept posting more lots. After a few more purchases and some communicating…I found out that she had gotten the whole collection from the husband of a seamstress who had passed away. He was overwhelmed and about to dispose of everything. She rescued the patterns…but then got overwhelmed herself. So she started just selling them off in lots.
I had bought a few of the Vogue lots…(patterns from the 90s and early 2000s) but then she let me know there were also VINTAGE patterns in other brands. Like from the 50s and 60s! Oh my. How could I say no? I bought those. Like boxes and boxes!!

Finally, she was down to a few boxes of newer patterns. Kind of a hodge podge. She was moving and just needed them gone. She offered them to me for just the price of shipping. Sigh.

So now my sewing pattern inventory is SET for a really long time! I have done well with many of them on Ebay and Etsy. I have much more to go. I should be listing nothing but sewing patterns for most of this year!! lol.


Let’s talk about sourcing on Mercari for a minute. ($10 sign up coupon coming up!) Mercari is a selling app that you use on your phone…BUT they have a desktop version that I *think* has most of the features as the mobile app. I do know you can list from your desktop, but you may have to have the mobile app before you can access your account on desktop. I have sold quite a few things thru the app and the listing process is FAST! I have sold mostly things from around the house. I could have cashed out and had the money sent to my bank, but honestly…for the most part I turned right around and used the credit to source inventory right on the site! I’ve bought…you guessed it! Flatware, sewing patterns and jewelry! lol.
If you’d like to try out sourcing or selling on Mercari, click here for a referral link. (you may have to access this link on your phone to set up an account. Not sure.)
You’ll get a $10 coupon to start and I’ll get a couple bucks. (affiliate disclosure)


3. Vintage Turquoise and Puka necklaces.

DSC_0008

This first necklace I found at an estate sale. The sale was a complete mess…jumbled items all over the place. Nothing was priced. It was a real pickers and diggers sale. Which I loved. Usually the prices reflect the mess…but this one was an antique dealer’s son..and he was in the business too. So each item got “louped” and evaluated before he gave a price. All in all, not terrible prices. But I worked for what I got!

Researching this turquoise necklace, I learned the word “Heishi”. Roughly, it’s used to describe the disc shaped beads that are formed from natural materials. You can read more about it here. I sold mine for $185. You can see my listing here.

DSC_0061

This second necklace was equally, if not more of a surprise. I had seen this shell necklace hanging up in Value Village but it was like $8. I know most shell necklaces are not worth a lot…but then there are some that are worth A LOT! I hadn’t learned the difference yet. I looked at that necklace for several weeks at the thrift store…thinking it was probably something but not wanting to spring for the whole $8. A few days later I was reading something on one of my Facebook selling groups and they mentioned how some vintage Puka shell necklaces were valuable. They showed one that looked just like the one at Value Village!! Guess where I made a beeline to!?!

Fortunately it was still there and I was happy to pay the full $8. lol. I sold it for $135. Keep in mind that it’s only SOME Puka shell necklaces that will garner this price. This one was purple and heavy and chunky. Your average 80s/90s surfer-look Puka necklace will not sell for this much. Here is some information on Puka shells.

4. Eva Zeisel Dishes 

Eva Zeisel for Hallcraft
Eva Zeisel for Hallcraft

I keep swearing I’m not going to buy dishware or breakables…but sometimes rules are made to be broken. Especially when you come across Eva Zeisel for Hallcraft dishes!
I found several pieces and a bit more diligent searching of ALL the thrift store shelves yielded more! All of it sold fairly quickly for a nice price, which was great – dinnerware takes up shelf space!

5. McCall’s Pattern Cabinet

McCall's Sewing Pattern Cabinet
McCall’s Sewing Pattern Cabinet

I’d say this one is more of personal bucket list find. And technically it’s connected to one of my niches…but look at its awesomeness! This was a store cabinet from somewhere that sold McCall’s sewing patterns. I am using it for inventory storage.
I had always thought it’d be great to have one..but they are usually high priced at antique stores or on Craigslist. Hubby offered to make me something custom but he doesn’t really have time. So when I saw this for $65….well of course it was mine!

So that’s the dealio. Another year gone by. I’m hoping to hit more yard sales and estate sales this year.

What about you? What was your favorite find of the year?

Weekend Finds ~ To the Vintage Hunter Go the Spoils

Whenever I’m trying to get back into a blogging schedule, I feel like I need a bit of a warm up. Doing a “finds” post is the easiest way to get back in the groove! I have to make sure you’re still out there…((Hallo!!!))…and I get to show off a few things! (this blog post contains affiliate links)

NEAPOLITAN (3)So today I went thrifting. I wasn’t planning on going thrifting. The day just kind of fell that way…Hubby was exhausted..actually, we were ALL exhausted and decided to attack the errands in town all together. LM2 was especially wiped out and didn’t want to go. He’s such a homebody that I didn’t pay him much mind and told him he’d feel better by the time he got some Denny’s pancakes into him. Well….that never happened because he threw up even before we ordered. Sigh.

So back home we went, with me turning right around to do the above mentioned errands. Hubby was still exhausted, so he gave up any idea of being productive at home. There was no need for me to rush back since he was staying and resting and totally in charge of the kiddos. (On a side note, LM2 got home, ate a sleeve of Saltines and drank some Gatorade and was pretty ok for most of the day.)
On my way out the door, Hubby told me he hoped I would find something good at Value Village. I feigned righteous outrage for a nanosecond but then gave up. He knows me too well.

But really, I had NO plans of hitting Value Village, because I was there on Monday. But with that kind of expectation weighing on me…I did my best to live up to it. 😉

And of course, I found some stuff. Not a TON of vintage…but flippable stuff. Let’s start with the flatware….because that’s where I usually start in the Value Village.
DSC_0001These 3 pieces should sell for about $15 apiece. Of course, I did have to buy them in 2 ‘baggies’ with other random flatware. A few of the pieces will get added to other pieces I already have and the rest will go in a big mixed flatware lot that I always have going.

The 2 fancy salad forks are marked with that fabulous “cube” mark that goes with Oneida Heirloom Stainless. The pattern is Shelley. Remember my Shelley score I blogged about here? It helped pay for my dental work. lol.

The teaspoon is in the Morning Blossom pattern also by Oneida. I recently listed a casserole spoon in that pattern and I noticed the selling prices of the other pieces. It got added to my mental file. Always learning, I tell ya!

EDIT**The teaspoon is NOT “Morning Blossom”…I was wrong about that..trying to rely on my faulty memory. Now I can’t remember what it is…but I think I put it aside to add to other pieces.**

DSC_0002
So…then I bought socks. I know, not something you see here often at Recycleista-ville. lol. The Field and Stream Cozy Cabin socks are for me…but of course I just checked and could maybe get about $12 for them on Ebay. Hmm…my hot-flashing self may not need these…and I also just noticed that they’re infused with Aloe?? Not sure how I feel about that. #greasyfeet
But the Hunter boot liners are definitely for flippin’. Hunter boots are HOT. #resellingtip. I figured the leopard print would be an added bonus.

DSC_0003
So guess what happens next week? Yes! It’s gonna be 2019!!! That’s nuts. Anywho…with the new year brings renewed thoughts on getting organized! What does that mean for us resellers? Getting organized? Yes, maybe. But also we need to sell ALL the things related to getting organized. I didn’t find any great planners to flip but I did grab these planner accessories. The Franklin Covey hole punch I’ve sold before but I’ve never found it in the box. And the Happy Planner one I grabbed (after a quick check online) because I knew how popular the Happy Planner is…and I have one of my own (that I don’t use. #bestofintentions)

DSC_0004Okay, a few vintage items finally! A kitschy turtle earring holder. (can’t resist the kitsch sometimes!) and a photo album. Also a few sewing patterns. The one on top (Simplicity 5247)…is a fairly desirable, well selling ($25ish) one that I mistakenly put in a craft lot recently. Ouch!! Well it happens to us all. But I found another one! So I have a chance to redeem myself.
But more about that photo album. This is what makes it special:

DSC_0005Always. Always. Pick up photo albums made specifically for Polaroid pictures. They will always sell.

DSC_0008Okay next. Just in case you think I missed the mug aisle. ((No way, not after the post right before this)) These are by Fitz & Floyd, of course and are part of the “Ski-lympics” series. They are not in the greatest of shape and need some TLC, but I couldn’t pass them up.

DSC_0006Now for my second favorite find of the day. At Goodwill, they rolled out a cart of dinnerware and ceramic collectible souvenir bells (shudder).  But nestled in there were these odd looking salt and pepper shakers, all taped together.
DSC_0007I looked at the bottom and saw the name Swid Powell. Now, that’s a name that’s been at the periphery of my thrifting consciousness but I couldn’t tell you a thing about it. So I did a quick Ebay search and saw high listing prices for this pair of shakers. My hands were crazy full so I stopped researching there and decided to take a chance. The education alone would be worth the price.
Turns out there were none of this style in solds. Hmm. I went over to Worthpoint and found a couple pairs that had sold for about $40ish. Good enough for me!


Swid Powell was a NY based company founded in 1982 that promoted and sold innovative Post-Modern style dinnerware, designed by prominent architects of the time. This pair was designed by  Tigerman & McCurry. Interesting! I can see what rabbit holes I will be diving down later. #alwayslearning


Speaking of rabbits. On to my last and FAVORITE find of the day. I spotted the telltale glaze of Howard Pierce pottery through the bag hanging on the magical bag wall.

IMG-2682

Flipped it over and bestill my heart! Bunnies!!

IMG-2683
That was my thrifting day in a nutshell. Hit one more Goodwill and it was a bust. How about you!? Have you found anything good lately? Share in a comment below!!

(PS- I used smaller photos in this post. Too small? Good enough? Didn’t notice? I’d appreciate the feedback! Thanks!)

 

Friday Finds ~ To the Vintage Hunter Goes the Spoil

Just a quick pop in to share a couple finds. I’ve actually not bought that much since the last time I shared. Had another out of town trip and found some really good flatware…I guess I didn’t share that with you except in my newsletter. (sign up is over there on the right….or maybe on the bottom if you’re on mobile).
Other than that, I didn’t get much in my local thrifts the last couple weeks except a couple really fun, educational vintage items.
This post contains affiliate links.

neapolitanLet me start off by sharing the flatware score. It’s by WMF Cromargan. It was in a bag at Goodwill all nicely bundled up together for one price. Love it!

DSC_0074So far I’ve sold 5 out of the 25 pieces for $120. Here’s what the pattern looks like.
DSC_0086Two Salad Forks by WMF Cromargan in the Nortica pattern.

The next fun find was this small trinket box or dresser valet box in this fabulous red color. The color is really what caught my eye.

DSC_0014 (2)With that sticker on the front – Ming Dragon Blood – I thought I was dealing with an Asian made item. I am woefully ignorant of the value of items from China (vintage that is) and so I almost didn’t bother.
But curiosity made me at least Google those words and I was surprised that they were attached to a mid century Californian potter named Brad Keeler.

One of Brad Keeler’s grand-daughters runs a website/blog that you can access here to read more about his history. I learned from that site that the “true red” glaze shown on this piece was formulated by Mr Keeler and named Ming Dragon Blood by him.

You can also click here to see more examples of his work.

My last find was also a fairly unique item from around the same time period, or perhaps a bit earlier.

DSC_0002 (2)Can you guess what it is?

DSC_0007It’s a hand carved perfume vial holder! The perfume is called “Tropic Kiss” and the label says “Remembrance of Pikake” (a flower used to make leis).
The older style label is what caught my eye as I scanned the bag wall at Value Village.
I can’t resist taking a closer look when I see something with obvious age.

I did a quick search on my phone of “pikake perfume”….everything was new perfumes…so then I added “wood” and found some comps. Nothing exact but solds were in the $40 range so I thought I’d go for it.

DSC_0008
Once I got home and did more research, I discovered the carver was John A Oya and that his items were quite collectible. (Yes, it does say his name on the label, but I’m afeered I’m nearing reading glasses age….yikes!)
The label also gives the location as Honolulu, H.T. which means Hawaiian Territory…putting the label at pre 1959 when Hawaii became a US State.

These hand carved perfume bottle holders were marketed as gifts for American military serviceman to send back home during WWII.

This one I found is in the shape of torch ginger and is probably made from Milo Wood. It’s in fabulous shape for it’s age and has a smidge of thick sludgy perfume left, lol. It seems to be a bit rarer of a design, so comps that I found for this exact item are a bit higher than what I originally researched in the store.
Hoping to get both of these items listed this afternoon.

I know what you’re thinking. These last two items do NOT fit my niches.
True.
But researching vintage items is SO MUCH FUN. And at least they’re small. 🙂
—————————
So…for next time. I bought a nifty little testing kit for my jewelry selling that I haven’t tried out yet. It’s a really affordable gold testing kit I got on Amazon. I will give it a whirl and report what I find!!

Flippin’ Flatware ~ Recent Thrift Store Finds ~ A Video!

I made a video again y’all. Ugh….SO not my comfort zone..but I’m willing to learn. I have no storage on my phone right now and so I used my old iPad mini which is super awkward.
I’m just technologically challenged with making videos…so I have to do some research! People make such cute ones with graphics and writing and such…no clue how to do stuff…I’m sure there’s an app for that though. 🙂

So here ya go!

If there’s something else you’d like to see in video..or different information about flatware…let me know! I’m open to ideas! I’m not sure I’m ready to face the camera, lol…but I’ve got some thoughts for things in the future that I just have to learn how to do.

How to Break A Thrifting Slump

If there’s one thing that’s true about this thrifting game, is that there’s not a whole lot of consistency. This can be good for some of us (me! me!) that get bored quickly and don’t do well with routines.
The finds are either feast or famine and the sales seem to go that way too.

IMG_6402I’ve told you about my future plans and my (half-hearted) attempt at slowing down the acquisition end of this business. But I’ve come to a very important conclusion.

I *NEED* to thrift!!

Thrift store

News flash! lol. No, I’m serious. I’ve determined that it’s the thrifting that keeps me going. It’s a reward system if you will. The excitement of the hunt and the find (yay!) carries over to the listing process. That excitement makes me want to get my finds out there and shared!! And hopefully sold!

Without that treasure hunt…I slow down in every other aspect of this business. I lose my mojo.

What I’ve found is also important…is finding GOOD stuff.

In the last few months I haven’t strayed much from my regular thrifting routine. There’s a Goodwill next to my grocery store…so that gets hit at least once a week. Also once a week, I run down a few towns over to my closest Value Village…which also has a Goodwill across the street. That’s generally what I have time for each week. And I love me my Value Village.
There’s one more Goodwill that’s about 1/2 hour away in another direction. It used to be my favorite, but it’s been pretty disappointing lately so I generally only go out there every 2 weeks…or sometimes just once a month.

But I’ve been SO BORED!

Believe me, I manage to find some things. But nothing super exciting. Nothing to get your heart pounding as you approach the shelf or bag wall. I know I can’t have home runs every week…but I was getting tired of seeing the same stuff every week.

I knew I needed to thrift out of my ZONE and see some fresh merchandise. I was plotting and planning and trying to figure out how to get out of town….lol…when the perfect opportunity came up!

We went up north about 3 hours to the area we’d like to move to and spent the afternoon house hunting. But in the MORNING…while the boys were running errands with Hubby…I got to hit another Value Village. I spent about 2 hours there and it was so satisfying. One more Goodwill in the evening and I was flying high. I called it research for moving. Ahem, yes, research.
Just to know that everything in the store was stuff you hadn’t seen before…and had potential…was so much fun.

I can’t say I had any huge home runs…but I managed to find a few things in my main niches.

Jewelry
This Value Village had TONS of jewelry. And most of it was out and available…not locked in the case.
DSC_0102Here’s what I found. A few of the names: Monet, Samuel Huang (the totem looking earrings…not the best buy…my memory failed me on that one…but you win some you lose some) Mizpah, Jorgen Jensen (the cuff links!), Bergere, Deauville, some 80s wonders. The bow shaped earrings inside the red Monet necklace are marked KJL: Kenneth Jay Lane. And the heart earrings just below that are Givenchy believe it or not.

Sewing Patterns

DSC_0024
Again, nothing super exciting. Some bread and butters. This was the thrift store that I found the Simplicity Jedi costume pattern that sold for $145.

Sigh. The moments we live for.

So. Nothing so exciting this time but we live ON these types of finds and sales.

Flatware

DSC_0025
Yay! I found flatware. My thrifts have been fairly dry in this department…not that I NEED more flatware to list…but again…I need the thrill to get me listing flatware again! I found one nice biggish bag that has some Oneida Twin Star flatware pieces and some good Ikea pieces. (Not all Ikea is great to sell…but there’s one pattern I keep my eyes out for and this bag has a few).
What I’m planning on doing in my next post is unbagging these flatware finds and letting you see exactly what’s there and how I’ll probably list them. Sound like a plan?

So as you can see, I did stay in my niches for the most part…Here are 2 of the outside-the-niche items…but the fabric can nicely get added to the bins of fabric I procrastinate on listing and the cheeky Starbucks mug is a super easy list.

DSC_0107

Oh and I almost forgot! I found this necktie. It’s from the late 1930s and it’s practically already sold through a Facebook group. Isn’t it lovely?

DSC_0030So how about you? How is the thrifting in your area? Do you hit slumps?
How do you handle them? Ever do a thrifting road trip? Comment below!