Motherload in Basement

Yesterday’s sale-ing got off to kind-of slow start.  Sarah showed up at my house around noon or so, but before we could hit the sales, we had to buy our Mega Millions tickets.  The traffic around the 7-11 was INSANE, and I pulled into the wrong driveway, getting us trapped in the parking lot of Daly’s restaurant.  I figured we could just walk over to the 7-11 but it was pouring rain, and they had a chain link fence between the parking lots.  

By the time we actually made it to the 7-11, got our tickets, and then stopped quickly at the post office to ship out ebay stuff, it was after 1pm.  Whoops.

Our first sale was in Troy and was advertised as a “digger.”  It was in a real fancy condo, and before we walked in, I speculated that the sale might be a rich person hoarder.  It was.


The stuff upstairs was pretty high quality and definitely came in bulk.  I was looking at some leather loafers in a back room when I got this text from Sarah.

"Motherload in basement" could not be a more perfect way to describe what I was about to see when I headed downstairs.

The basement was completely packed.  There were little pathways carved out between the tables and all the stuff on the floor.  Most of the things were in boxes which were stacked, so you had to keep opening, rummaging, and then moving stuff out of the way to get to more boxes.  I love this kind of sale because you really don’t know what you will find.  After like 20 minutes though, I kind of hated this sale because I got something really sticky all over my hands and I started having an asthma attack from the dust.  We were finding cool things though, so we pressed on.

I found two large cast iron skillets, one of which literally STILL HAD AN OMELETTE BAKED IN THE BOTTOM OF IT…like a really super old omelette.  I bought the skillet anyway because I knew I could just brillo the hell out of it.  Here is what it looks like now:

Cute huh?  Not really, but I got it for $3 and have it listed on ebay.  I’m hoping that I will have good luck with it, like I did with some other cast iron things in the past.

My favorite things BY FAR from this sale are these two little Koala buddies.  They are from the 1960s and are made out of REAL wallaby fur.  (Everyone keeps asking me what a wallaby is, and from what I can tell, it is a small kangaroo.)  There seems to be a good market for these things, as noted by this informative internet blog about koala toys.

You can’t really tell, but these guys are pretty large…about 12” tall.  It’s no secret that I would actually love to keep them, but Zach was horrified when he saw them.  The cats love them though, and actually sat and groomed the koalas for a good long while.

After leaving this sale, Sarah had a meltdown because she was so hungry, so we stopped quickly at Bruegger’s and got some sandwiches.  Then we raced to one more sale nearby.  It was a really tidy sale and didn’t have too much to offer.  I got some Christmas ornaments and this Josef Original that I put on ebay:

Sarah decided that this puppy was a Beagle and, since she is obsessed with all things Beagle, said that I should give it to her.  The woman running the sale heard us bickering, declared the puppy NOT a beagle, and I ended up buying it.

There were plenty of good things left for Sarah to buy though, so I didn’t feel bad.  Here is a perfectly good makeshift Jesus in a manger:

For some reason, she passed on it.

Here are some other things we didn’t buy at this sale:

Frumpkins?  Yeah, that sounds about right.

This Barbie is clearly a bride doll being disguised as Vanna.  I know Vanna when I see her.

Speaking of brides…

Too bad that both Sarah and I are both already married, this would have been a nice cake topper.  The face appears to be a shrunken apple, which is a craft trend that will never go out of style.

After this sale, we rushed home because I had to help set-up for my neighborhood’s Easter egg hunt.  I was pretty late because we hit so much traffic, but the good news is that all of the eggs were eventually hunted.  And the Easter bunny came!


He’s wearing boots.


Update from Sarah: Erin has covered these sales very well, so all I really have to add is my finds. That basement at the first sale was incredible. There were so many things to dig through, and I did find many treasures. Let’s start with the best: 

This is a copy of Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros by “Uncle Shelby” aka Shel Silverstein. Since I’m a librarian, sometimes I can spot books that are valuable. This one was a total fluke—I thought maybe it might be worth $20 or something because it was published in the ’60s, but turns out, the last copy on eBay sold for $225. WTF?! Pretty awesome. I have two watchers on it now. If you’re a mega book collector, maybe you should buy my copy. They are very rare. 

In addition, I found a boatload of vintage (ish—1974) magazines. This person was reallllly into two main things: Japan and roadrunners (not the Warner Bros. kind), so I found a stack of Orientations magazines and then a stack of Arizona HighwaysI knew nothing about these, but I noticed that the former sells pretty easily on eBay. I’ve got them both listed now, so we’ll see. Hidden in this pile of magazines was one lone issue of Hustler from 1976. I hid that amongst my other magazines and hope to sell it, since I’m so into selling porn these days. 

I also found a bunch of other cute stuff—lots of vintage greeting cards to add to the collection, some cute vintage stamps from Japan (I think): 

I have no idea what they say or are supposed to be, but maybe someone will want them. 

I’d have to say the next best thing I found besides the Silverstein book is this package of vintage napkins from 1960, made by the Monogram of California company: 

The epitome of a lady who’d have men beating down her door! 

The really great thing about this sale was that the people running it were super nice and friendly. When I was checking out, the guy asked me what I wanted to pay for my box of stuff. I said $20, he said $22, I said deal, and I thought that was great even before I realized I had a $200 book sitting in that box! 

So Erin is right—I got really hungry while we were at this sale, and started feeling like I might pass out. We were out in Troy on Long Lake Road, where there are seriously zero places to grab food for miles and miles. I started feeling like I was in a real life nightmare. When we found Bruegger’s, I was so excited. Erin accidentally left out the best part of Bruegger’s, besides delicious sandwiches: Right when we pulled up, we saw a very wealthy looking woman who had just gotten a pedicure at the nail salon next door. It was raining pretty hard and one of her cheap flip flops that they give you at those places (not that I know from experience) broke, so she was frantically trying to get into Bruegger’s to seek shelter but walked right by the door. She kept walking around with that dumb flip flop hanging off her foot. So the entire time we were in Bruegger’s eating, we kept hearing this zombie shuffle noise, which was that woman trying to get around because she refused to ruin her “pedi” by putting on her regular shoes. 

At the second sale, I didn’t find much. I bought some knit Christmas ornaments and a side table that is still in my car. This is starting to be a theme with me—buying furniture that sits in my car for a week. 

Also, I didn’t want that little beagle anymore once I realized he was all gross and dirty. Erin said she was going to “gently” magic eraser him. Looks like it did the trick.

The one detail of this trip that Erin forgot to include was our extensive bonding on the drive home about how we both loved stuffed animals as children, but hated ones wearing clothing. I used to strip any stuffed animals I received as gifts that were wearing outfits. Erin just flat out refused to play with them if they wore clothes (she must have gotten over this by the time beanie babies rolled out because as I mentioned previously, she made clothes for hers.) 

Tomorrow, I will post an update about some sales I went to with Adam on Saturday, where I found some cool valuable treasures.