Zach went to an estate sale a couple of weeks ago. It was family-run and at the door walking in, he was handed this:
He said that there was a huge box of these things and literally EVERY person who walked in the door was handed one. He unrolled it to find:
An invitation to a wedding anniversary party that happened IN 2004.
Unfortunately they were not selling time machines at this sale, so the rationale behind this offering will remain a mystery.
A few weeks ago, there was an estate sale in my neighborhood. It wasn’t on estatesales.net but luckily a friend of mine spotted it and told me. I am glad she did because the home was that of a former antiques dealer. Everything in the house was high quality, and even better, there was tons of it.
As you can see, it was a lot of paper stuff. I had Everett with me so it was pretty much impossible to look through any of this. I decided to come back the next day with Sarah. Before I left though, I struck up a conversation with the women running the sale. They seemed really nice and kept repeating that they were willing to make good deals. Nearly everything in the house still had price tags on it from the woman’s antique booth. The ladies running the sale were her daughters and said they would NOT be charging what the stickers said. Ok great, I LOVE DEALS.
So Sarah and I come back the next day and it seemed like Sarah was in hogs’ heaven. One back room of this house was completely filled with old postcards.
The day before, one of the women running the sale said that a giant box of postcards would be about $60, which she then explained was about a penny a piece per card. I told Sarah that if she bought a bunch of cards, she would certainly get a good deal.
I found two postcards for myself and let Sarah have the rest. These Santas usually sell pretty well on ebay.
In the garage there was a ton more paper. All of it was old brochures, programs, ticket stubs—all your basic ephemera. I started digging.
I found a plastic sleeve full of old railroad stuff and grabbed it on a whim. I haven’t sold any train stuff on ebay before, but it seems like something a lot of people are geeky about.
It was really hot outside so I peaced out and went to meet back up with Sarah. I could tell she was losing steam. The house had no air and the amount of stuff to look through was getting burdensome.
Not to mention that something else was becoming very clear—these women were totally lying about their “deals.” There would be NO DEALS. Something had happened since the previous day that made these ladies less than thrilled about parting with their mom’s stuff. Fair enough. It’s tough to do. That said, from our perspective, this was very annoying.
Sarah’s loss of joy over this sale was pretty clear:
That’s her “Let’s GTFO of here face.”
Postcards were now “individually priced” and some were $12 each. TWELVE DOLLARS. EACH. Sarah had a stack of postcards about 3 inches deep and they wanted to charge her $75. $75, which they explained, was actually a VERY good deal. No.
After going back and forth for awhile on prices, I was able to get a small pile of stuff for $17. It included that train stuff and Santa postcards above, as well as the following:
Don’t old Halloween decorations sell? These guys are in okay shape and pretty cool looking.
And this horrible card:
No seriously, WTF. This card isn’t even that old! JFC.
The best score I got (which should make me not complain so much about the prices at this sale) was an old railroad schedule from the 1890s. It sold for $100 on ebay last week, which was a huge shock. It was hovering around $20 and then shot up in the last minute. So awesome.
Poor Sarah only got some overpriced postcards, although she didn’t end up paying $75. I think she paid like $25. Hopefully one of them is made of gold!
Oh and P.S. I went back to this sale for a third time with Zach. I thought maybe on the last day these women would have a change of heart and really price to sell. (They didn’t.) I found this Indian doll that I had a sneaking suspicion was an Armand Marseille. I had seen a really similar doll at another estate sale in mint condition that was AM and was priced $200. This one was far from mint but I got it for a mere $5. It sold on ebay for $36!
Cute huh? If it’s hair hadn’t fallen off, I would have kept it! Anyway, keep an eye out for these because they are Armand Marseille but are not marked!
Ok and here is totally-over-it Sarah again. Just because.
The Purge: 35 mm Slide Edition
Remember last summer when I bought an entire basement of slides while Erin was 7+ months pregnant?
Well, since that time, those slides have resided in my very own basement, and let me tell you, Adam has been pleased about this. He was nice enough to help me move them all out of a corner of our basement this past Sunday, and I started the grueling process of sorting through them.
The slides have weighed heavily on me because of the quantity, and because I’ve known it’s a lot of money just sitting in our basement. But I also was aware of how much time it would take to go through them all. So I decided that on Sunday, it was time to start. It literally took me all day.
That’s a picture of my view for the entire day. There were 54 slide carousels filled with slides, and then tons of boxes, as you can see. I was determined to take an inventory of everything so that I could list them with as much accuracy as possible, and also transfer all of the slides in trays into boxes, because shipping 54 slide trays is basically impossible.
And now you can see why it’s impossible (that’s actually 51 trays—3 are not pictured).
In the process of sorting through these slides, I found some crazy and cool stuff. For example, the dude who took these was insanely OCD about documenting the content of nearly every single slide.
The sad thing was that they were all mixed up—the papers in the boxes weren’t always with the right trays, and so it was impossible for me to retain his notes. The good thing is that he also had notes on the slides themselves!
In the end, I counted every single slide and there were 8,429. This is what 8,429 slides looks like.
If you want to watch this lot blow up (come on! be positive!) on eBay, you can follow it here. Or, if you’re a collector, you can bid on it!
Also, in the process of sorting through all of this stuff, I separated a bunch of movies and sound recordings that I had also purchased at another estate sale, and Adam unearthed this gem.
The Purge: Episode Two
Well, I’m in the middle of my second full week of time off from work, and I’m happy to report that I am doing well with purging eBay World. Maybe not as fast as Adam might like, but things are moving. Here are some updated pictures.
The other day, Adam came in and started opening the drawers of these two dressers. He looked at me and horror and said, “How are you going to do this?” Thanks, babe!
So as you can see, I spent my first day of purge just organizing things by thing “type”… my main issue so far is that I have some nice clothes and maternity stuff to sell, and I don’t really want to list that stuff along with my stash of old porn that needs to be re-homed. So I have to try to sell things in phases.
The best thing that happened so far is that I sold this Ralph Lauren sweater that I bought at a sale and never wore. I sold it because this crazy person was willing to pay $65.00 for it.
Needless to say, we all had a few laughs over this lost in translation style communication. So effin’ cute and funny. Thanksgiving.
Far Away Land
Last weekend, Zach and I were heading out to my parents house for a July 4 BBQ. There happened to be a super crazy sounding estate sale about 35 minutes North of their house, so we dumped the baby and headed out there.
The house was a giant castle-like abode on acres and acres of property. The house itself—and several barns—were packed full. “Digger sale” would be an understatement. It was more like put-on-your-swimsuit-and-dive-in-all-this-junk kind of sale.
Most of the stuff here was junk. I wanted to leave and immediately go get a tetanus shot. I barely touched anything and I was covered head to toe in dust. Did I mention you could buy this house and the remaining contents for a mere $350,000? Well, you can.
Did I also mention that The Ring was filmed here? It was. (I think.)
The man below decided to climb up this rickety ladder to look at more dusty garbage. He almost died. I am not kidding. He almost fell off. And if he would have fallen off, I am sure he would have died.
He was wearing a bluetooth earpiece though, so he could have easily called 911. Unless he was already dead.
Zach and I did find some treasures, but it took some serious work. And it was hot. We all know how I am in the heat.
The first thing I found were a bunch of old model train buildings. I was gathering these all up in a box when a woman came up behind me and loudly said, “EXCUSE ME.” I looked at her and said, “Oh I’m almost done looking and I will move out of the way.” She then explained that I was rummaging through HER STUFF. Uh, what?
She pointed to a large box near me (which I was not going through) and said it was all hers. It wasn’t on a hold table, or under the checkout area. It was just a random box sitting there. I said “ok” and then explained that I hadn’t touched the particular box she was referring to. She was convinced I had secretly stolen from her and insisted I show her the contents of my box. I refused and told her to “trust me.” Jeez Louise, calm yourself. I understand that there are hardly any treasures at this sale, but we don’t need to fight over them.
Anyway, here is one of my old train buildings. I got about 6 of these:
In true American Pickers style, Zach bought this old oil filter. Apparently Mopar anything sells. So we will see.
We also bought some old Tuco puzzles (the non interlocking kind), some old license plates, and a suede jacket from the Disneyland Hotel.
The coolest thing I found was this old scrapbook from the 1940s:
I also found this old Joe Louis How to Box magazine:
Zach and I paid $17 total for our treasures, which was a steal. We also had lots of fun walking around this crazy place. Good luck to whoever buys it and has to clean it out! Maybe whoever does can tackle Sarah’s ebay room after.
Thanks again to our friend Organ for this hot ebay lead. This is BY FAR the best thing I have seen on ebay, and perhaps the best thing I have seen EVER in my life.
P.S. “REALLY THINK ABOUT THAT”
P.P.S. “I am NOT selling this game.”
First off, Happy Fourth of July! Eat all of the hot dogs and love your country like you’ve never loved before. USA! USA!
Ok, so last weekend, Zach woke up early on Saturday and announced to me that he was headed out to some sales. Zach has dabbled in sales before, but has just recently gotten serious about buying and reselling. As his sensei, I am thrilled about this.
So Zach returns home awhile later and says he thinks he did “well.” I knew instantly that he had. The first thing I saw in his arms was a LL Rittgers 1941 set of chalkware baseball players. Timmy actually bought these in a previous entry, at the Ann Arbor Super Auction. I assumed that Zach was a blog super fan and knew that these figures are SUPER valuable, but instead Zach said he bought them because “they were old and baseball.” FAIR ENOUGH. (But also, read the damn blog.)
In Zach’s set, he actually had the really rare catcher figurine, which I have never seen before and also cannot find on ebay.
So get this. Zach paid $5 TOTAL for the set. Insane. Seriously bananas. We are rich. I am probably going to quit my job. Just kidding, I have a baby and can’t do that.
Zach also bought some old Pan Am ephemera and old Las Vegas ephemera which is on ebay now, so we will see how that goes. That stuff has always been hit or miss, but when it is a hit, it’s a hit.
I decided that I should probably rush out to the sale he had just visited because it sounded like a goldmine. The first thing I grabbed was another LL Rittgers figurine. This one was a solider and I got him for $3. He has some damage, but still worth the risk.
The sale was interesting. The house was a mess, but everything seemed pretty collectible. It just all needed a good dusting.
I didn’t buy anything from this giant garbage pile. And I also didn’t buy that outrageous puppy sweater below.
I did, however, try to look up vintage blow up dolls on ebay. My internet wouldn’t work in this house, but that is probably for the best.
"Cold Feet, The Squirt Game." NO THANK YOU.
I did end up buying a few things. This rubber face Pinocchio for $1:
And this Hubley cap gun and holster for $20:
Stay tuned for more adventures with Zach, and a sale where Sarah almost got charged $75 for 40 postcards.
Now go eat those hot dogs!
This is what happens when you let your husband use your ebay account.
At an estate sale today, I saw this and my brain instantly thought, “Whoa! A space capsule!” And then I realized it was a garbage can.
"Dear Pearl, Are you going to school everyday? I missed since last Thursday as I am not very well. Mamma thinks I am getting the measles. Willard"
Poor Willard. Get well soon.