Utica Antiques Market
Last Friday night, I drove out to my parents’ house (about an hour away) to stay overnight and attend the Utica Antiques Market the next morning. I’ve been visiting this market since I was a teenager, and Timmy has taught me that it’s important to get there right when the place opens. [For new readers, here is pretty much all you need to know about Timmy, and that time he was on Cash & Cari.]
So Timmy, my sister Lindsay, and I got to the market bright and early, and it really felt like the world was our oyster.
Here is Lindsay scoping out the goods:
See those tiny fuzzy chicks in the bottom left corner of that case above? I loved them. But what are you supposed to do with a giant box of tiny fuzzy chicks?
Oh here’s a thing:
And another thing:
All jokes aside, this market had some GREAT stuff. And the prices were really reasonable. I zeroed in first on a booth that had a bunch of cast iron banks and molds. We all know about my love affair (and money-making extravaganza) with old chocolate molds.
The heavy mold with the two babies was really the best, but it was priced around $150. I stared at it for a good long while though. And see that little cast iron pig bank at the top of the photo? More on him later.
We moved through the show for a good 45 minutes or so, and I was yet to buy anything. That’s not to say I didn’t see lots of potential purchases.
Like this creature:
He was priced at $100 and carved out of solid wood. I WANTED HIM SO BAD. But alas, where am I going to put a giant wooden monster? Probably right next to a box of tiny fuzzy chicks.
There’s Timmy and one of his “peers.” They are probably reminiscing about the good old days.
I like to imagine that these Santas are all drowning in quicksand. Don’t they look distressed?
I probably should have bought this for llama-obsessed Sarah. Also, LOOK AT THAT TINY HEAD STRAPPED ON! I died laughing at this for a good 5 minutes.
The little one is my new guy, and the larger one was the one I already had. I paid a mere $18 for the new one:
I also went back to that booth with the cast iron stuff and bought a cast iron pig bank. I debated between the pig shown in the photo earlier, and the one I eventually bought. This was a little steep at $30, but he’s just too cute. And, he is full of old coins, so maybe there is a good one in there! I have yet to open him and check.
And my last purchase was another lead figurine for Zach. This time not a soldier, but a cool-looking Indian. I paid $10, and it was originally marked $15. In an ideal world, this would only be $5.
Timmy bought a Little League bobblehead to go with the rest of his collection. He hemmed and hawed over this purchase for a good hour. It was $35, which is kind of high for a later bobblehead (1970s?), and especially one that doesn’t have pro team markings. He negotiated down to $25. Here it is in the middle of some of his other nodders:
Tim seemed kind of bummed that he might have overpaid for the nodder, when all of a sudden he found this Tigers pin for $5! What a steal!
And what did Lindsay find? I know she bought a rhino statue (she is a zookeeper) and a ceramic pumpkin. Her best finds by far though were these little charms:
That man is giving some sassy face!
Update: So Sarah just texted me with the following:
I’m still skeptical that that carved thing is an alligator. Or a crocodile even. It seems like a pretty obvious, run-of-the-mill land monster to me.
After my strikeout the day before, Zach and I decided to stop by a nearby estate sale last Sunday after we went out for breakfast. The pictures of the sale looked good, but when we arrived, the signs told us that the sale was in the basement only. I figured that this meant there wouldn’t be very much for sale, and since we were there on the last day, that everything would be picked over.
The sale was in fact small, but there was still a lot to look at. Because of the confined space, I didn’t take any photos. Here are our great finds though:
I found two giant foam fingers (Tigers and Red Wings) for my dad. These aren’t particularly valuable, but they make great display pieces in a collection. In time, these will look “vintage” and will be a nice nostalgic reminder of going to the games.
You can also see there are two pieces of Brigg Stadium memorabilia. Zach noticed these in a display case at the sale, and I completely overlooked them. They were already priced reasonably, but the seller said he would reduce the prices even more because it was the last day of the sale.
My dad was so happy about the pin on the left. He said it is really rare, and he doesn’t even have one in his collection (he has a HUGE collection of Brigg Stadium stuff). The item on the right is a pen topper, which isn’t as rare, but still very cool.
I found this great lead alligator:
He is currently living on our kitchen windowsill, guarding my bisque chickens.
So when we went to check out, Zach and I realized that it was a cash only sale. The guy running it told us $20 for everything in our pile and we started counting our money. We had $14. I was about to ask the guy what I should take out of the pile when he said, “Good enough. It’s all yours.” How nice is that?! We were thrilled.
And then, as we are about to leave, the seller guy says, “Oh hey, have fun hunting for TREASURE this summer.” First off, I have never seen this guy before, so I don’t know how he knows I go to estate sales in the summer (or ever). This could have been my very first estate sale for all he knew. Second, he used the word “treasure!” This leads me to believe he is a secret reader of this blog, which is AWESOME if true.
So hey mystery man, if you are in fact reading this blog…HELLO! And thanks for the mega deals!
The Plymouth auction hadn’t been in action since before the holidays, and the crowd last Saturday showed just how excited everyone was for its return.
Zach, Timmy, my sister Lindsay, and I got there super early and snagged some third row seats. The people in front of us had a clever way of saving their seats:
There were not enough chairs in the place to accommodate the crowd, and I am pretty sure there wasn’t enough oxygen either. It was hot and stuffy, and very very loud. The chaos was clearly annoying the auctioneer, and he would repeatedly yell for people to quiet down or to move away from the front tables. Most of the time I had no clue what was being auction off, and in deja vu of last week, kept asking my sister. She usually had no clue either.
For the most part, everything was garbage. Actually, I shouldn’t say “for the most part,” I should say for the WHOLE PART everything was garbage. We stuck around though. Even if we didn’t buy anything, this auction is always entertaining. In fact, our favorite “regular” was mincing about, wearing his pajamas and talking in a volume similar to when your ears are completely plugged up. I think he ended up buying a box of markers or something.
Zach ended up with some cool woodblock prints that he has already framed and hung up in our bedroom. These were a steal at $5 for the whole lot. No one else even bid against him.
He also bought this old “camel saddle stool” which I am not going to pretend I know anything about. From what Zach has said, these stools are modeled after actual camel saddles, and were popular in home decor during the 50s and 60s. Zach set a limit of $30 on this item, and luckily he won it for $27.50.
It is all leather on top, which we have since cleaned and polished. The stool is now being used as a footrest in our living room. To be honest, I was skeptical of this purchase, but now that it is clean and has a nice spot in our house, I am on board.
Timmy bought some diecast toy car that was sold during the 2003 All-Star Game. He actually worked this particular All-Star Game for the Detroit Tigers, and wanted the car in commemoration. It came with a World Series car, which he is going to sell on ebay.
Lindsay ended up with 2 giant boxes full of Beanie Babies and Beanie Buddies. If I had known she wanted Beanie Babies, I definitely have some to offer. Remember this?
At some point, everyone was ready to get the hell out of there…except me. I had been holding out all night for one item, and I was NOT going to leave without it. FINALLY, after being at the auction for almost 3 hours, and watching people pay $9 for scissors, my item came up. And I won! Here’s what I got for a mere $5:
A whole bunch of ornaments that look like Chicken McNuggets! If you recall, I had my first ever McNugget a few weeks ago. I can’t say I am a huge fan of real nuggets, but these ornaments are the cutest!
So overall, a fun night. Not the most lucrative or unique treasures, but treasures nonetheless!
Taylor Town, Take Two
So as mentioned, our adventures on Friday did not end with that second sale. After that, we hit up Angelina’s (that menu always makes us giggle), which is one of our fave spots to hit when we are in Allen Park. The food was excellent, but by the time we were finished eating, I was about to have a meltdown because of all of the food questions Erin was asking me in relation to her resolution to eat better in the new year. Fortunately, she lifted my spirits by recommending that we stop by the Taylor Town Trade Center, which you might remember from a few months ago.
When we got there, we were delighted to discover that we had decided to stop by during an “Antiques -n- Collectibles Show.” Check out this incredibly professional sign:
(Also worth noting—“Cocojoy Massage”—back by popular demand.)
The second we made it into the “show” area, I wanted to leave. It was just too sad. First up was a guy selling beer and other advertising signs, but few of them were old. For example:
You probably can’t read it but that was marked $800. You’ve gotta be one hell of a Yoda fan to spend that kind of cash.
Next up was a table of old glassware. I spotted this right away and was interested until I saw the $30 price tag. What were these people thinking?!
Here are some other “collectibles” that I decided to pass on:
Sweet hair, bro.
Don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure cassette tapes are collectible only if… oh wait, NEVER.
I entertained the thought of buying that for Adam since his birthday was the next day, but I passed.
Please look closely at that one— “Let’s do it” is written in Sharpie!
One cool thing that we did see was this ultra-rare gun used to kill aliens:
Speaking of aliens, here’s what I did buy:
As I told the woman selling this item, I have a soft spot for E.T. She told me she did as well. A recipe for instant friendship. While I was buying that little guy for a hefty $5, she tried to sell me a larger, talking E.T. for $100.
While Erin was bartering with a shady man with bad breath, I scored this awesome lot of very old greeting card samples from a sad little old guy. He sort of sounded like Porky Pig when he spoke, so I had a hard time figuring out the price on the cards. I thought he said $7 per card, which of course was outrageous, but I think he was trying to tell me it was $7 total. Anyway, I asked him again and he told me $5 for all of them, when I actually wasn’t trying to get him to go lower. What a steal! They were all mounted in scrapbooks but I managed to peel them off without too much damage. The cards seem to be samples similar to the wrapping paper samples that Shara talks about here on her Monkeybox blog. Here’s what they looked like mounted:
They’re all really lovely and in great shape. The only problem is that they have numbers written on them. I’m not sure if these were their original numbers for ordering or what, but on many of them the numbers are on the lower left, so they could be cut off. Here are more pics:
Sorry for the blurriness.
Once we got out of the “show” area, we decided to hit up the regular part of Taylor Town. Here I am, making my way over to the other side, looking unhappy, which is normal for me. Like Tavi Gevinson, I tend to have “chronic bitchface”:
On the way over, I stopped at one of the glass cases you can see in the distance in the picture above, because there was a little box of vintage pictures in it. In order to buy anything in any of these cases, you have to get an employee to open it for you. And if the thing you want to look at is tiny pictures, that employee has to stand there impatiently while you sift through the box of pictures. It gave me so much anxiety that I only came away with a couple. These were also a steal at 10 for $2 or 25 cents each. I bought four.
The rest of Taylor Town was filled with treasures. Here was our first great find:
Quite the deal if you purchased 5, no?
Another deal on books…
Pretty rad to get a PRECENTAGE off books. Pay no mind to the fact that those are actually DVDs, not books.
I decided we needed to book it when I got to the section of Taylor Town that features live animals. Too sad.
Erin tried to tell me that they were happy but I’m not buying it. However, that didn’t prevent us from seeing a few more gems on the way out. First, some fine t-shirt options:
And finally… a TOTAL letdown on homemade treats. I literally cried out loud when I noticed that this booth was empty.
Update from Erin: Yes I am trying to eat healthy. And yes, I consulted Sarah about it. Any other day when I try to shove some meatloaf in my mouth, she is all, “EWW! Don’t eat that!” So I was asking for help with my order because usually she gives it freely. I chose chicken tacos for the record. And I scaled back on my typical sour cream usage.
Taylor Town Trade Center is such a mouthful to say. It should be either “Taylor Trade Center” or Taylor Town Center.” Let’s not go overboard people. Anyway, I love TTTC. They have a lot of hidden treasures. Sure, it is sad, but everyone there kind of seems like they WANT to be sad. It helps their merchandise sell.
It’s not the MOST sad place we have been, especially when this guy greats you!
Sarah stared at this thing for a good few minutes until I offered her a quarter. She didn’t actually want a gumball, she just wanted to soak in the happiness.
Right off the bat (no pun intended) I found two baseball items for Timmy. The first was a Detroit Tigers mini pennant; one I had never seen before.
It was in incredible shape, so I speculated that it was a reproduction. When I sent a picture to Timmy, he thought the same. However, looking close, there is some wear to the ink and the felt is old, soft felt. Newer pennants have a stiffer crisp felt. I ended up buying this for $25.
The other baseball item I found was a great old trophy from Pontiac, MI. It was from the 1940s, and only about 5 inches tall. It was pretty heavy though, and the figure on top was ultra cool. My dad was really thrilled about this when I sent him a photo. I chatted with the seller for a long time about collecting sports stuff and he told me about other items he had. In the end, he sold me this for a discounted price of $30.
This type of item is EXACTLY what makes me love estate sales and treasure hunting. It’s a beautiful, unique collection piece, but not ultra pricey. It’s special not because it is made of expensive material or because it is a designer name, but instead because it has a simpler, more relatable meaning behind it. And above all, it just looks really cool.
Timmy was thrilled. He texted me this photo the day I gave him the trophy. It is sitting happily in his baseball dream land at home:
I didn’t find anything else at Taylor Town Trade Truck Teapot Tuna Center. I tried to find a Pokemon game for my Nintendo DS, but no one had any. There were a lot of video game sellers though, so if anyone is looking, head over there. Maybe you can get one of those amazing $2 each or 5 for $10 deals like the DVDS.
I was also looking for a Yoda statue, but was not willing to spend a dime over $799, and thus left without one.
Where I Live
So remember that time I got lured to an “estate sale” and instead ended up at a commune where they were spray-painting indoors? I should have learned my lesson then about going off the grid, but apparently I didn’t.
I’ve been meaning to write about this insane adventure for awhile now, but haven’t had the chance. So now, submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story, “The Tale of the Bone Collector.” [Throws magic dust into the fire.]
P.S. If you don’t get that Midnight Society joke, get outta here (or google it).
Ok, so a few months ago, I was driving through Redford and noticed this weird little hut on the side of the road. It was small, and junky, and said “Antiques.” Perfect! I love antiques!
This man greeted me, and he seemed nice enough. A little strange but nice. As I chatted with him more though, I got that feeling in my stomach that Oprah used to talk about—the one where you are supposed to drop whatever you are doing and run. At one point, the man said, “Where do you live?” And I told him “Livonia.” And then he said, “No no, what’s your address?”
My address? Hmm, this man didn’t appear to work for the post office, so the request was questionable to say the least. I laughed the question off, and went inside to look at the “antiques.”
Things were weirder inside. And dirty. Like really super crazy dirty.
The floor for all I know was 2 feet below me. I was walking on compounded debris. And there were bones everywhere. I am not making this up. Here is a bucket of bones.
Which is cool. I like bones. I like taxidermy. In this context though, things felt real spooky.
Ok, and see that muscle man photo in the ziploc? Here, I’ll zoom in:
That muscle man runs the place. I forget his name, but here he is now:
Well, the back of him anyway. This guy told me he was 88, but he didn’t look a day past 75. I liked him. He was nice. A little messy, but nice. I started asking him about his place, and about antiques. And he told me about when he was a muscle man. Things were good, 15 minutes passed.
Then he pulled out this binder, and told me he was going to show me something. Something he doesn’t show many people. I had that Oprah run-for-your-life feeling again, but I stayed. What if he wanted to show me (and give me) a bunch of gold bars? Or maybe he had photographic evidence of UFOs or solid proof of a JFK assassination conspiracy. I had to know what was in the binder.
So what was in the binder? See for yourself:
Alright…baseball pics. Cool…
Look at the pen writing on the leg of that player. Every photo had commentary like this.
If you can’t read that pen writing, it says, “THIS IS SAD FOR BASEBALL. IF YOU ARE A TEAM, DRESS LIKE A TEAM,” and, “IS THIS WHAT BASEBALL IS COMING TOO? PAJAMAS?” And there are arrows pointing to all of the players ankles.
As it turns out, this man is single-handedly on a crusade against the length of modern-day baseball pants. And I think he has a point here. Those pants look sloppy!
He explained to me that he collects this binder of photos, writes his commentary on them, and then mails an example every month to Mike Ilitch, the owner of the Detroit Tigers. He then told me that he hasn’t heard back from Ilitch, so he’s been sending examples to the newspapers and local TV news stations.
I didn’t really know what to tell him except to keep up his crusade and that he was, “Fighting the good fight,” which I really think he is. Pull up your pants you dummies!
I didn’t buy any antiques, but I did leave with an asthma attack, and with a new realization that you really can collect anything. Sarah collects gross porcelain, and I collect nice porcelain, and this man, well, he collects an arsenal of scribbled on baseball pics.
Standing Room Only
I’m almost scared to write again about the Plymouth auction that Zach and I frequent on Saturdays. I don’t want all of you marching up in there and bidding on my goods. So far, this place has been like my own personal ATM machine, only it is linked to someone else’s bank account. Buying and reselling from this auction has seriously been a goldmine. Last Saturday was no different.
When we arrived at the auction, it was so packed. The seats were all taken and you could barely stand anywhere without having to bear hug someone next to you. We decided to stay though because the items looked pretty good.
My first bid was on this illustration from 1968, which I bought for Timmy because it was Tigers and World Series related. This is original art, not a copy, although probably not worth a TON of money. It was just too cool to pass up.
Zach won an amazing cast iron bank for $17, when others go for upwards of $150 on ebay. It is really neat and living on our bookshelf.
At this point, I noticed an old charm bracelet in one of the display cases at the front. It was LOADED with charms, and when I looked closely, most of them were marked as sterling silver. The rest were also silver but not as pure (marked 800). My sister started me a vintage charm bracelet a few years ago, and I learned from her that sterling silver charms alone can sell for $20-50 each! Sometimes more. A whole bracelet full of them had to be super valuable.
I told Zach that I wanted to stick around for this bracelet, and so we waited and waited and waited. During that time, people bid crazy amounts on crazy items. $30 for a Superhero poster that you could get at Toys R Us, $50 on an old stereo receiver that no one knew if it even worked. It is seriously unpredictable what people will pay for things.
I told Zach that my limit for the charm bracelet was $100. I was hoping I would only have to spend about $50. Finally, it came up on the auction block. The charm bracelet was placed in a lot with a bunch of other bracelets, so I assumed that would kick the price up pretty high. But then the auction started at $5 and it was only me and one other woman bidding! When the price got to $18, the lady backed out. EIGHTEEN DOLLARS.
I went up to collect my bracelet lot and was shocked to see that not only had I just won the charm bracelet, but THREE other vintage sterling silver bracelets.
I will probably scrap these 3, which should pay for my $18 investment. As for the charm bracelet, you can follow its progress now on ebay.
Zach and I sat at the auction for a few more minutes because I was all sweaty and flush. I had gotten so worked up about the score I just made, and when I get excited, I turn into a beet. A sweaty beet.
My antique-filled birthday extravaganza continued with a trip to Greenmead a couple weekends ago. Greenmead hosts an antique market every few months during the summer, and it is truly one of the best.
Zach and I found our first treasure pretty quickly. It was this great old oil painting from 1922. The painting is of a Greek ship called the Greek Frigate Hellas. Here’s a Wikipedia all about this ship, which was part of the Hellenic Navy.
Next, I met up with one of our loyal DTT readers, a cool guy named Rudy. Rudy had a booth at Greenmead, and had messaged us to ask if we would be in attendance. I had assumed that Rudy was a woman, as most of our readers are. When I walked up and asked for Rudy, and he introduced himself, I said, “OH I THOUGHT YOU WERE A LADY.” I am obviously great with first impressions. After that little snag, Rudy and I chit chatted about collecting. His booth was all vintage toys and action figures. He had some Magic cards, so I asked about the infamous Black Lotus card. He didn’t have any, which is fine because I didn’t have the 1000 bones to buy it.
What I also want to mention about Rudy, is that he is a great testament to the potential of this blog. I’m not just here to make fun of Sarah and write about porcelain I want. I also hope that in time, we become a hub for people who are looking for certain items, or who have things that we want to buy. So that said, Rudy is always buying and selling vintage toys, action figures, and also vintage knives and weaponry. If you have some, or want to buy some, message us and we will pass along Rudy’s contact information.
OK, so on to more goods…
I found this old blow-up guy from the 1960s. His hat says “Tigers” but I don’t think he is Detroit related. I still bought him for Timmy because I knew he would want him for his Tigers-themed den, which has items exclusively from the 50s and 60s.
I also bought a McCoy pitcher to sell, and a 1968 Detroit Tigers ticket stub. Zach found an old Red Wings postcard and a small wood music box in the shape of a piano. Here are some things we passed on:
Zach was pretty shocked that I didn’t actually buy that butter bowl. He and Sarah have a running joke that I am the “buttermaster” because frankly, I love butter. Really, I love all condiments or spreads. I contend that there are way worse flaws to have in life, like buying every dog themed item you can find at an estate sale.
Update from Sarah: Why in the hell is that butter bowl TEN DOLLARS? And I would have bought that Tarzan patch.
Valley of the Dolls II
On our way out of the Valley of the Dolls sale, I caught a glimpse of Erin in the daylight. I’m not sure how we didn’t realize it inside, but that house was absolutely filthy. Look at how much dirt is on Erin’s face!!!
Need a closer look?
Hand sanitizer did nothing for us—it just created a disgusting dirt hand salve.
Also, before I forget, check out these two things I scored at the sale. One is horrifying and the other is hopefully lucrative.
Can you guess which is which? Just kidding. Anyone out there need a juggalette doll.
The other really terrific thing that happened when we left was that we noticed a dog inside a parked car. Not a big deal most days. But when it’s 92 degrees outside, it’s a big deal. Even if you have the two front windows cracked one inch. This provided me with a great opportunity to use one of my Urban A$$hole cards, but that wasn’t satisfying enough. Because I didn’t want the dog to die. So not only did I call the Troy Police Department, but I went back inside the sale and ratted the dog’s owners as well. They were, as I suspected, giant a$$holes.
After all that fun, we headed to one more estate sale that happened to be located about 50 miles away. The pictures looked good, but it turned out to just be another hoarder sale, but not the good kind. This person was a hardcore crafter, and the house was filled with scrapbooking gear and gross holiday decorations that were made in China. I still ended up spending about $40 at this sale, but Erin was a the true winner. I’ll let her tell that story, but that might end up being an entry of its own.
Update from Erin: I was so sad when I found out my face was all covered in dirt. I had been walking around that sale talking to people, including some teenage boys working at it! How embarassing. Talking to teenagers is the worst, let alone with dirt all over your sweaty face.
Sarah is right. The second sale was totally bad hoarder. Well, bad for us I guess. No antiques or collectibles.
This pretty much sums up the sale:
Although now that I post that, I feel like Sarah would have bought this if it was in her size.
I ended up finding a pair of wool clog slippers still in the box. If you remember, I already bought a pair of bear slippers at a sale earlier. I need slippers for all occasions though, and sometimes bear slippers are a little déclassé.
I was getting super disappointed because I couldn’t find anything else to buy, and the sale was really crowded and hot. Then I spotted something in a showcase up front. It was a little mini Detroit Tigers nodder from the 1960s. I knew from Timmy’s baseball collecting that mini nodders are generally rare, and this particular Tigers one was SUPER RARE.
I have no idea how it ended up at this sale. It was like a shiny diamond in a pile of glass shards. I was shocked.
The nodder was in seriously great shape. No cracks, chips, paint loss. The price on it was $165. I NEVER spend that much at a sale. The only time I think I’ve spent over $100 was at the “best sale ever”, and I walked out with a wagon full of items.
I called my dad and he told me that $165 is what he paid for his same version of this nodder, but that was years and years ago. He told me he thought maybe it was worth $200-$250 now.
So here’s the thing. I actually LEFT this sale without the nodder, even though the sellers offered to come down on the price. I kept telling Cindy and Sarah that it was “too risky.” We made it about 1 mile down the road before I told Sarah to turn around so I could go back.
I bought the nodder for $120. I was stressed and hyper about this. My dad and I exchanged about 3 phone calls on the drive home to discuss this purchase. I sent him photos of the condition, and we speculated if I had just got burned or not.
In the end, I got the opposite of burned. This is so far the BEST single purchase I have ever made. Literally within 30 seconds of listing this guy on ebay, he had a bid. Things just went kind of crazy after that…
$429??? Truly the best. I wish I had finds like this every week, but sometimes it’s all just bear slippers and kitten sweatshirts.
Poo Pants and Santa
I was fully prepared to return to the Mega Porn Sale once I realized all those paperbacks could be worth a hot dollar. I also knew I could convince Erin to come because the person who lived there seemed to have a ton of sports-related paper memorabilia and Timmy has trained Erin in the art of spotting when it is or isn’t valuable.
We got a late start but finally returned. I advised Erin to start in the back yard where all of the papers were. I went back down to the basement and much to my dismay, a fellow porn-seeker had nabbed all of the paperbacks (except for the ones in super rough shape.) Still, I hung out in the room of porn and entertainment mags and ended up finding an issue of Life with Manson on the cover, and some old People and Time magazines about the Star Wars movies. I also found an issue of Hustler that seemed too weird to pass up. Erin snapped a picture of me sorting through the mess:
The first day of the sale, there was a person in the room at all times, making sure no kids entered. On the second day, this wasn’t the case. So at one point, I see two little boys walk in and think, “Oh man… what am I supposed to do here?” because I’ve heard horror stories from other people when they’ve tried to “parent” a stranger’s kids. After a solid minute or two of no parents in sight, I asked them if their mom was nearby and said that this room wasn’t for kids. They left, thankfully.
It took Erin forever to get inside the house, which seemed like a good sign, and it was. But I’ll let her inform you about her finds. A few minutes after she got into the porn room, an older guy came in and the two boys were back again! Apparently he was their grandpa and they were showing him some toy they found. He told them they had to leave the room and then shouted out to them, “…And don’t touch anything in this house!” Erin and I both started cracking up, as did the grandpa.
There were two other sales nearby that didn’t look that great, but why pass them up? At the first of these, I found two cool rag rugs and a holiday sweater that I will wear proudly and without irony. Here is one thing I did not buy…
…but only ‘cause it was empty!
I found an old Superman mug and a vintage pasta maker at the next sale, both to sell.
On the way to the last sale, we got a “snack” of Taco Bell cheesy gordita crunches (don’t judge (I got beans, not meat)) and after that tasty treat, Erin asked if I had a treat, which I often do. I gave her a Lindt truffle and as she was unwrapping it, it occurred to me that it was probably all melted from being in my bag all day. Bottom line: the truffle exploded onto Erin’s lap, so I kept making fun of her poo pants for the rest of the day because I’m a fantastic friend.
That was taken after she tried to clean it up with a taco bell napkin and water. Always a Girl Scout.
The chocolate explosion occurred right before we were going into the last sale of the day, which was the best by far in terms of interesting things to look at. It was packed with stuff, the prices were fair, and lots of the stuff was really neat. I found some cool vintage wrapping paper and a ton of vintage cards that were bundled into different groups, and priced really reasonably. My favorite lot was this lot of cards from a baby shower in the ’50s.
If these are something you’re interested in purchasing, you’re in luck!
I found a bunch of cool things at this sale, but this entry is getting long, so I’ll show you the best one:
That is indeed a hanger with a St. Bernard head. And only $3!
Right before we were leaving (they let us stay after closing time), I noticed this giant Santa that I had somehow not noticed for the 30 minutes I had been in the basement. It was super cool and old and wood, and marked $20, so I knew one of us had to take it home. I showed it to Erin and we admired it, and then she remembered that her dad really wanted some sort of old timey Santa for his house at Christmastime. We weren’t sure it was going to fit in the car because of its giganticness, but again, because we were both Girl Scouts, we made it work. Here is a picture of us with Santa inside Erin’s parents’ house:
Don’t ask what I’m wearing.
Update from Erin: As Sarah mentioned, I went straight for the newspaper stacks outside at the “porn sale.” It was 100 degrees out that day, and there were so many boxes stacked up to sort through. I am SO BAD in the heat. One time I threw up in the magical bushes at Disney World because I got heatstroke. (Fun fact—this was actually the first time I threw up in the magical bushes. Years later, I choked on a pill and threw up in said bushes again.)
So I am sweating like mad and moving all of these boxes around. At one point I was sure I was going to pass out. Lucky for me, this person was pretty organized in their newspaper hoarding, so eventually I figured out a good system to get through the boxes quicker. Each box was a different year, so I just scanned the top papers in each box until I saw 1968.
I sorted through this box and ended up with a giant stack of Detroit Tigers World Series papers and scorebooks. I was thrilled! Timmy went through the stack later that day and estimated that I could make about $200 once everything is sorted and sold. I paid $5 for all the papers.
That is just a small sampling of the papers I found. Those Michigan football programs in the stack were found inside the house. Again, this person was pretty organized. There was a stack of manila envelopes and a few were labeled “Michigan Ohio State.” I just grabbed all of those because I knew they would be most collectible. Inside these programs are ticket stubs from the games too!
At the second sale I found an item that I would previously have considered a “holy grail.” Zach and I are pretty obsessed with the Zodiac Killer, and both just finished reading a book about the case. The lead suspect in the case wore a Zodiac brand watch. I have never seen one of these in person, and we see TONS of watches at every sale. Lo and behold, I found one. It was pretty beat up, but it was still so cool to have as a collectible. It was $5.
After doing some research, Zach and I realized that these watches are pretty collectible! I listed it on ebay and it’s getting a lot of interest. The watch is rolled gold, and an automatic, which make it even more valuable. I hope to find another one of these in better condition one day, and keep it.
The last sale had the best items by far. I bought an old metal Coleco hockey game to sell, some Seiko watches to sell, and this adorable little guy:
Now that I know how collectible old rubber face toys are, I look for them everywhere. In fact, I found this amazing blog all about these guys. You can check it out here if you’re a fan of these toys too.
P.S. My dad got home really late the night that Sarah and I dropped off Santa at his house. He said that when he came inside he started screaming and running because he thought that Santa was an intruder. BEST.
Cash & Cari (sans fox) starring Timmy C.
Disclaimer: I wrote this post like a CRAZY LONG TIME AGO. Long before our tragic break-up with RePurpose sales. I’m posting this because it is interesting, funny, and involves my dad, who is the best person of all time.
After my taxidermy fox purchase on the show, I got a call from one of the producers. He asked what I did with the fox (made mad cash), if I was going to come to future sales (yes), and what types of items I look for at sales (Zuni jewelry, total garbage knick-knacks, and re-sellable odds and ends).
At this point I decided to pitch my dad for a future episode of the show. He’s the total package—a super savvy collector who drives a hard bargain but also wears ankle socks with slip-on loafers. He’s funny, he looks like Santa, he takes iphone lessons at the Apple store, and HE WAS IN THE MOVIE WHIP IT. I could go on and on.
Anyway, my dad DID end up on Cash & Cari. And it turned out to be truly awesome.
I had mentioned to the producer on the phone that my dad collects vintage baseball memorabilia, specifically anything Detroit Tigers. They ended up inviting him to a sale that had a set of seats from the now-defunct Tiger Stadium.
The ensuing interactions between Cash & Cari and my dad were hilariously scripted and kind of awkward. They told him when and where to arrive at the sale and how to “scope out” the Tiger Stadium seats. He made several passes by the seats (on camera) and then was told to wait while a meeting with Cari was orchestrated.
The seats were marked six hundred dollars, which is pretty insane.
So Cari comes over and my adorable dad is all like, “Yeah, these are cool, but I would have to offer you a lower price on them.” He then goes on to explain that Tiger Stadium had a capacity of over 50,000 people and that all of the seats were auctioned off when it closed. That’s a lot of seats. These ain’t no royal thrones. You get the idea…
In addition, my dad already has Tiger Stadium seats. He got them for $275 at the original auction. He’s totally into having some more for his little baseball cave at home, but $600 would break the bank. He offers Cari $200.
From this point on, my dad is forever branded as a “lowballer.” The narrator even says this on the resulting episode.
Timmy-I-tried-to-rip-off-Cari-on-national-television. That’s my dad.
Cari says no to the offer and my dad goes to leave. The producers intervene and tell my dad to come back to the sale the following day. The storyline will be that my dad cannot resist him some stadium seats. He must have them. He will arrive back at the sale and try to lowball Cari again. This time, though, he will be victorious.
So my dad comes back the next day and haggles on-camera again. Cari shows him an iPad with an ebay listing that is selling similar seats for $499. My dad tells her that the seats in THAT listing are special VIP seats that were available in smaller quantities, hence the higher price. (This whole exchange ends up edited out of the episode).
Then, Cari sells my dad the seats for $225. In the episode that aired, the seats were listed as having an original selling price of $400, NOT $600. I think the producers realized that the original price was way-off and tried to correct how that might look. This is good because my dad looked like a little bit less of a lowballer…still a lowballer though. Even the narrator called him a lowballer.
Here is my dad in his purchased seats, throwing an American flag baseball in the air. I wish he was wearing a hat made out of apple pie.
Update from Sarah: If you watch this episode, you can see the $600 price tag at one point.