Dumpsters and Divas
Last Friday (Good Friday) honestly didn’t seem that promising. Because of the holiday, there weren’t very many sales. But it ended up being such an awesome day that we’re going to have to split the adventure into multiple posts!
We started out our day by visiting two sales on the east side of town. The pictures of the first one looked promising, but it ended up being packed full of junk. We knew this was going to be the case when we saw people DUMPSTER DIVING in the driveway.
For a minute I thought this was a good sign, but it really was not.
Inside, the place was full of old stuff, but they had a lot of it priced really high, and then the rest was sort of dirty or just cheap and junky. I did find a few cool things. An inflatable birthday cake (don’t worry, it’s never been opened).
Who wouldn’t want this ultimate birthday gift?
I also found some old Fantasia postcards…
…And I honestly can’t remember what else I bought at this sale except for an old flip book for Adam. They were selling a bunch of vintage Disney flip books and the I thought the lady running the sale was full of it when she kept telling us they were valuable, but it turns out she was right! Oh well!
Here is an overview of what you missed out on if you skipped this sale:
Looking through some show tunes on vinyl.. busted!
That is one among many paper box tops filled with Agatha Christie mysteries.
The house was FILLED with these SelectaVision VideoDiscs, which Adam just told me are called CEDs and were the precursors to laser discs. You may recall Erin saying that she only watches movies on laser disc, so I’m shocked that she did not jump on this rare opportunity to enhance her collection.
On the way out, Erin actually made friends with some of the dumpster divers.
I asked the guy on the right if he found anything good in there. He started talking about how he found some stuff for movie sets and that he’s in the video production business, so Erin started chatting him up. She asked if he needed any editing work and ended up with his business card. So all of you job seekers out there… check the dumpsters!
We checked the listings for sales nearby since we had no plan. We found a sale that was described as being at the home of a former gift shop owner and Erin and I both got pretty pumped. It was only about 20 minutes away, so we hit the road. As soon as we walked in, we were transported to A Whole New World.
Yes, you are in fact looking at a life-size plush carousel. It seriously only got worse.
Those bears are on bikes, and they were $10 each.
Now I’m no expert but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that if you have MASS QUANTITIES of Easter goods overflowing your counter space two days before Easter, it would in fact be the PERFECT time to make those exact items half off.
The den was filled with dirty old plastic toys and “DVDs”…although I’d argue that this woman was fairly confused about what DVD means.
I would also like to know where on Earth a VHS tape is worth $4. Probably the same place where a dirty, ratty old paperback is also worth $4. I’ll get to that in a minute.
We headed to the basement and that’s where Erin found Beanie Baby Heaven. When we got down there, it became clear that this was some sort of weird “I’m selling all of my possessions” sale because the woman’s teenage daughter was down there and talked to us for a while. She told us that “everything except the beanie babies” was half off. Right away, I found some vintage teen paperbacks that I thought a friend might like, a couple of records, and an old Pucci doll.
I was about to pay when we realized that there was also an upstairs. Of course we had to check it out. It was the worst of the worst.
You are reading that correctly. TWELVE DOLLARS for a gross old used men’s sweatshirt. I’m not sure a new sweatshirt costs that much at like, Target.
I also found this totally bodacious one-piece suit.
To top off our visit, we found this stain. Clearly a biohazard.
Right after I walked in and saw this, Erin walked in and made a priceless face. I’ve captured it here for your enjoyment.
One more time.
At this point, it was clearly time to check out and the lady told me my total was $16.50. I almost just took out a $20 but then reality hit me and I had no idea how a couple records, books, and a tiny stuffed animal could cost that much. I asked how much the books were and she said, “Four dollars… so they’re two dollars today.” I still felt confused and then realized that she meant EACH ONE was that much. I said, “…oh…that’s A LOT.” The lady seemed shocked by this, and Erin reiterated that $4 for a paperback that cost 25 cents in the 1950s was insane. Then the woman told me, “oh… well I’ve been selling them like crazy for the last four weeks.” I’m not sure why we did not ask this but… WHY HAVE YOU BEEN HAVING AN ESTATE SALE FOR FOUR WEEKS?!
Anyway, I paid for everything besides the books and we high-tailed it out of there. In part two of this Friday update, we’ll tell you all about we heard some gossip about this very sale at our next stop!
Update from Erin: At that first sale, I did in fact call all those weird CEDS “laser discs.” Some guy heard this and later hunted Sarah and I down to tell us that these were NOT laser discs. He didn’t know their proper name (thanks Adam) but knew FOR SURE that these IN NO WAY were laser discs. Thanks man, but I’m still not buying them.
I didn’t find much at this sale, but they did have this snack maker, which Sarah was not shocked to learn I had as a child. Spoiler alert: I was a fat youth.
I remember this being kind of janky when I was young. The fry maker would shred a piece of bread into strips and voila, you had fries. Except not. I can certainly tell the difference between shredded bread and french fries.
They also had this doormat, which cracked me up immensely:
Someone’s last name was “Chicks” or someone was trying to welcome “the chicks” to this house, in which case, that someone should have cleaned up all the Tron CEDS and McDonald snack makers before said chicks arrived.
I found one treasure here. A pennant from the 1950s or 60s, for the St. Louis Cardinals. When I reported this find to Timmy, he was so thrilled. Apparently the green background on this is mega rare. It will be on ebay soon. I paid $5.
The second sale was held in the fourth circle of hell which, if you don’t remember, is reserved for the hoarders and the spendthrifts.
Ok, let me explain something about Beanie Babies. Wait—let me first explain my Beanie Baby credentials. Early readers of this blog may remember, but this is me:
I know my stuff. TRUST.
Beanie Babies in 2013 are worth exactly the scrap price of polyester blend fabric and tiny plastic beads, which as it turns out, is $0.00. That said, at estate sales and garage sales, young children still love them a cheap Beanie. So here is what you do: sell each Beanie Baby for 25 cents, or even better, let any kid who shows up fill their grubby little arms with as many Beanies as they want—for free.
Instead, the woman at this sale was selling each Beanie for $2.50, which sounds cheap, but isn’t when you have THOUSANDS to sell.
I didn’t find anything to buy here, although chances are I couldn’t afford it anyway. Case in point:
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Last Tuesday, I had the day off because of doctor’s appointment mid-day, and I was really pleased because there was a crazy looking sale that started that day. Sales typically do not begin that early in the week, but there are a few boneheaded companies that do such a thing. The pictures of this sale reflected that it was: 1) very dirty and 2) full of old things—especially from the ’80s. I am cool with both of those conditions, so I was excited to have the chance to go check out this sale. I was right on both fronts. Here is evidence in both regards:
1) Mega dirty:
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dirtier Sesame Street toy.
2) Lots of ’80s stuff:
What you see here are boxes of cereal from the 1980s that are in plastic bags. They were each marked $10, I believe. Quite a steal.
First things first—this sale was being run by our old friend, THAT GUY. That guy is a total scammer, and has no idea what he’s talking about. So half the stuff at this sale was overpriced and the other half was underpriced. In the end, it all worked out. And even though this sale was totally, disgustingly filthy, I found some cool stuff. Both to laugh about and to purchase.
On my way upstairs, I spotted this box of naked Ken dolls. I don’t know why, but it really made me crack up.
Once upstairs, I made my way into a room filled with possibly the most stuffed animals and dolls I have ever seen in such a small space.
This doesn’t really do it justice. When I was in this room, a woman came in and asked me, “Do you think this is all one person’s?” How sad that this was probably her first estate sale experience. I told her yes, that this was one person’s stuff. She looked horrified.
Most of the dolls and stuffed animals in these boxes were in sorta gross shape, but I still was excited about the quantity, because really… there are so many possibilities for treasures. It turns out that I DID find a treasure in one of these boxes.
Tee hee, just kidding. I found an adorable Rushton mouse, who was in really great shape!
Like I mentioned—half of the stuff at this sale was overpriced, and the other half was underpriced. That mouse was priced the same as Chucky up above!
Here’s some other stuff I laughed about:
Look at that dummy!
If anyone ever wanted to start a collection of California Raisins… here was a perfect opportunity.
Huggabunch…what up?! Just in case you were wondering, his name was Hugsy.
In the end, I found some cute things, including another Joan Walsh Anglund doll. She has heart patches on her knees!
I also found two GIANT boxes of photographs.They were marked $75 (for both), and the guy would NOT budge, so I decided to take a risk. As it turns out, there were over 1,000 pictures in the boxes and some of them were bulge photos, so I think I’ll have an update about the outcome of that find, sometime in the future!
Watch Your Brain
Last Friday, I saw a listing for a sale that sounded amazing and awesome. It was described as being on 12 acres and packed with antique delights. I thought the sale looked so good in fact, that Sarah and I should make a special effort to leave extra early that day to get to it. Sarah seemed to disagree:
The “look at my horse” part was related to the cast iron horse I blogged about the other day. At this time, it was blowing up on ebay.
Anyway, we did end up going to this sale. And Sarah did end up being partially right. The sale was not 12 acres of treasures after all, but it was still a really great sale (Sarah will disagree on this part). There was a lot of glassware/dishware, including Wedgwood and Johnson Brothers. One of the “Game Birds” plates I featured on Thanksgiving was found at this sale.
There was also cool taxidermy to look at, although it was priced really high.
And check out this pool!
That’s a big ass pool. You could look down on it from nearly every room in the house.
Anyway, the first item I found to buy was this old baseball game for my dad. I don’t know why I didn’t just buy it and give it to him for Christmas. Instead, I stupidly sent him a picture of it and said, “Do you want this?” He was all excited and said that he did.
I also found these amazing bisque chickens from Germany. Their legs are springs so they bob up and down. They are in the kitchen near my egg scales. I am crazy about them.
I would love to have a whole army of these little chickens. And maybe other farm animals with spring legs. The man running this sale only charged me $2 for these, which was astounding because he was SUPER GRUMPY. People kept asking him prices and he would exhale really loudly each time before answering. He would then tell them some crazy price.
After leaving this sale, we made our way to Huntington Woods. I was leery of this sale right off the bat. This bumper sticker greeted us:
WTF? I don’t even understand what that means.
The inside of this sale actually felt like taking a beating. It was really filthy and I instantly had asthma.
Look at that poster hanging on the wall. It was one of those old cat ones that says, “Hang in there!” I felt like it was cheering me on, even though I was suffocating and my skin felt all itchy.
Oh hey, a car:
At one point during this sale, I saw some containers I thought were filled with old buttons. I had found a similar container elsewhere that WAS filled with buttons. When I opened these containers though, I found some super old rotten corn flakes. Needless to say, I didn’t buy anything at this sale. One cool thing I did see though were these old ticket stubs. The person who went to these shows wrote on the back of each ticket who played:
Sarah got in a fight at this sale, so I’ll let her break that insanity down for you. I also think she bought stuff here, which is even crazier than the fact that she got in a fight.
Update from Sarah: The first sale was seriously the worst. The guy who runs the company hosting the sale is such a turd. He prices things SO insanely high and is, as Erin described, ultra grumpy when you approach him or ask him anything. Hey bro! Answering my questions is your job! Erin doesn’t remember, but she left another sale he was running empty-handed and annoyed after he told her some crappy repro she was interested in was $100 or something insane like that.
I didn’t mind going I was just so confused about why Erin was so obsessed. The pictures looked bad to begin with, and the sale was no better in person. I bought three old books—two of them were Nancy Drews. I haven’t figured out if they’re first editions or not (they look like it!) but I’m going to be super careful before listing them because one time when I accidentally listed a Hardy Boys book as a first edition and it wasn’t, the Hardy Boys Police (eBay Unit) came after me hardcore.
Anyway, as I was saying, the sale was the worst. Here is proof:
These masking tape signs were all over the house and most of them said, as this one does, “Watch U Step.” Excuse me?
Actually, this one that was taped to a chandelier made me laugh.
I really like the added touch of the smiley.
Erin forgot a sale we went to in between the two she wrote about. I have two things to say about this sale. The first is that we each paid $15 for an item of clothing, which I believe is unprecedented. Erin bought a pair of pink Minnetonkas and when the woman told her they were $15, Erin looked at me and asked if she should buy them. The women said to her, “They sell these for $59 in Petosky. They’re worth it.” Oh really? You go to Petosky for your Minnetonkas? Because I just go to Marshall’s. I bought a Ralph Lauren sweater, but again, $15 is extremely and insanely expensive for an estate sale.
The second thing I’ll mention about this sale is that I spotted this silver rabbit platter that looks strikingly like kokopelli!
Of course I couldn’t remember that word, so I stared at the plate and excitedly said to Erin, “Look! It’s the Native American pipe man!!!!!” She had to sort of calm me down because the sale was high end and I was REALLY excited about spotting the pipe man, so I think she was a little embarrassed.
Erin is actually right about the last sale. It was dirty and gross, but I got a bunch of old photographs for $15. I haven’t really looked through them yet so I don’t know if they were a good buy. I also got this old set of J.D. Salinger paperbacks that’s in great shape, so that was a good find.
She did forget to mention the wonderful art throughout the house.
I’m not sure who would want to document a woman’s body in that position, but there you have it.
Check out the creeper.
Ok, so the “fight” that Erin mentioned was not really a fight… more of an “altercation.” Erin’s pictures accurately represent the condition of the basement of this house. I was unprepared for what awaited me down there, so when I got to the bottom of the stairs, I just made a sharp right and went into this room of junk. There were art supplies and boxes and just CRAP all over. I was really overwhelmed and saw this wicker hamper filled with old books in front of me. There was a woman nearby bending over a box on the floor.
I picked up one of the books in the hamper and she WHIPPED around and said, “HEY HEY HEY that’s all mine! OK, WHERE IS IT?!”—meaning, “Where is the book that you clearly just stole from me?” I was sort of stunned because as soon as she whipped around, she startled me and I had put the book back down immediately and raised my hands. I then looked at her and demonstrated how I had picked up the book and set it right back down, saying, “That is exactly what I just did. I’m sorry. I had no idea that this stuff was yours.” She said to me, “Oh, yeah because it’s not obvious!!!” Uh…. whut?
I said, “It’s really obvious that an overflowing basket of books belongs to someone when you’re in a hoarder’s basement?” She said, “That’s what I’m saying! Don’t you think it looks a little out of place?!?!” Clearly she thought that her items looked particularly special and not junky. I just stared at her in disbelief and then left the room.
Hopefully this weekend our adventures will be filled with less confrontation and kokopelli and more treasures and misspelled signs.
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.
Dig this Dud
Erin and I went out sale-ing today (Thursday) with her dad, Timmy, who has been featured on our blog in the past. Her dad loves treasure hunting too—he’s a pro. Anyway, I was charged with making our list of sales as usual, and unfortunately I served us up with some real duds.
We decided to start in Detroit (almost to GrossePointe) at a house that was advertised as having a lot of nautical themed items, because it was on the water. Unfortunately, it didn’t really have a whole lot going on. I came out of there with this big bag of overpriced vintage cards, but I didn’t mind too much because I enjoy going through them. However, when I asked the younger kid working the sale if he’d go lower on the price, he said no and that that was a “great price” for what it was. Uhm, no it’s not.
After paying too much money for those cards, we stopped by a weird sale being held at what I think was a vintage resale shop closing down, called Little Vera. Sounds like the same girl who runs Good Girls Go to Paris Crepes was a partner in this store—their original location was next door to the shop.
I found a few cool looking comic books for Adam to look at and then me to resell, along with a first edition Nightmare Before Christmas book… not sure if either of these things are worth anything, but I figured they’d be fun to look at regardless.
Then we went to a house where I came out with nothing except two free cookies (I know—weird but good.) Here is something that I did not buy, but that Erin and I laughed and laughed about:
After leaving this dud, we went to lunch and had some delicious food. The last sale on our list was in West Bloomfield, and it looked like a “man sale”—meaning, there were a lot of electronics in the pictures. However, I convinced Erin and her dad that this would be a good sale to go to because of the sheer quantity of items. Turns out I was wrong about that, but I did find some crazy stuff. First, an x-rated puzzle:
I also found a bunch of records for Adam. I told him that I just looked for the weirdest looking ones and bought those.
I also bought this record, and it turns out not only does Adam already own it, but so does Zach. Anyone else dying to take this off my hands?
Here are some items at this last sale that I did not purchase:
Even though there weren’t a lot of treasures to be found, it was still a fun day!
Update from Erin: “Dig this Dud” was a joke from my dad, who kept saying that we should change the name of the blog. He only found 2 treasures yesterday and calling them “treasures” is quite a stretch. He got a box of old paintbrushes (that he can use “for glue”) and an old San Francisco bank because he is going there in September.
I was equally empty handed. My only good find was a pair of vintage Clubmaster Ray Ban sunglasses that I got for $5. Unfortunately, they have prescription lenses, so I have to get those replaced before I can sell them. They sell for quite a bit, but I might also keep them because they are adorable and fancy.
I am kind of glad we went to the first sale even though it was a letdown. The house, as Sarah mentioned, was on the water. This was the coolest. Waterfront property in Detroit? So cool. The house itself was for sale, at a mere $92,000. Here is the backyard with water access and a boathouse:
And as for the last sale, I’m not sure if Sarah captured its essence well enough. Every room was literally boxes and boxes of broken electronics pieces, other junk, and records. They only had a portion of the house open for this weekend’s sale and it was so packed that I can’t imagine what’s waiting in the other rooms. Also, the homemade video tapes that Sarah showed were in full effect. We’re talking hundreds of tapes. This is just a sample:
All of the boxes on the left were tapes, just FYI. Anyway, I didn’t buy any of these because I don’t actually know what a VHS tape is. I only watch my programs on giant laser discs.
There were also thousands of cassette tapes for sale. Again, I don’t know what a cassette tape is, but they were selling them for $2 EACH, which seems slightly unreasonable.
Update from Sarah: Turns out that the x-rated puzzle was missing pieces so it wound up in the trash. Adam still managed to put together part of the woman side, though. Can you guess which part? Also, when he was sorting the pieces, he exclaimed, “Found a testicle!”
Hoarders. No, like REAL ones.
Gosh, last Friday seems like it was so long ago. Erin and I have been spending so much time prepping for this garage sale that I can’t even remember much about the day.
I do remember we started in Farmington Hills, where there was a sale with no pictures. Now, these are incredibly hit or miss. But sometimes they’re great because all it means is that there are some older people running the sale who have no idea about technology and they have a ton of treasures in their home. But the serious collectors don’t come, because if they can’t see pictures in advance, it’s not worth their while. I can remember a couple of sales that lacked pictures where I found some seriously cool stuff.
Unfortunately, this sale was not of that variety. Instead it was this little old lady and her daughter, selling a bunch of household items that were generic and cheap. The woman had clearly been moved into assisted living or was in the process of doing so. However, this sad tale is not without its highlight: When we were in the basement, Erin made a friend. This crazy woman was talking to us NONSTOP about whether we had been to any other sales that day, if we found anything good, etc. Then she picked up a pair of exfoliating gloves and proceeded to tell us about how she loves finding them at sales because she uses them to clean her body, and then throws them in the wash, and then uses them to clean her house—especially the bathtub. We escaped as quickly as possible.
I am racking my brain to try to remember where we went next…I have no idea. I have this picture as proof, though, so it wasn’t good:
Anyway, onto the more memorable moments: At some point, we ended up at a sale that was in a sort of bougie house that contained some cool items. There was a lot of modern/mid-century art, books, and records. But it was abundantly clear that the guy running the sale was a tool and a half. He was wheelin’ and dealin’ the whole time, and his phone kept going off and he would say things like, “This thing’s gonna sell no matter what, so it might as well be YOU who gets it.” Anyway, I found some Stevie Wonder albums, a Disney picture disc, and some books that looked interesting, but absolutely nothing in the home was priced except the artwork and furniture. Speaking of which, here are some pics:
For some reason I was really interested in that head statue but I think it was marked something crazy like $300. Ugh.
Anyway, I got to the front of the line after some waiting and had approximately 6 records and 5 books. While in line, Erin and I were guessing how much he was going to ask for all that crap. $30? $60? And we were also guessing what I’d actually agree to pay. Anyway, he looked at my stack of stuff and was sort of distracted because he was talking to a long lost chum that he ran into. So he said, “Fifteen bucks.” I said ok right away and then he started backpedaling, saying he didn’t see the records. He went on to tell me that the records were $5 a piece. I just looked at him and said, “But…they’re not worth that,” and he told me that people had been telling him that all day. HA! Anyway, he said $30 for all of it and I said no, but that I’d pay $20. He said $25 and I just kept saying no… so he finally agreed! Score! The worst part is that none of what I bought was worth anything, but I did get a couple of cool things that I’ll hang on to, including an illustrated copy of Jane Eyre. Which I’ve never read, and I was an English major. Whoops.
The next sale we hit up was run by the same company, and as soon as we walked in, we saw our favorite phone talker. Greeaaaaat. Just like the last sale run by this company, nothing was priced except big ticket items. Right away, I saw an adorable old teddy bear. I was shocked that Erin didn’t spot him right away. I also found some pretty cool stuff in the basement of this sale, including a few old children’s books that might be worth a few bucks (and had their Detroit Hudson’s price tags still attached—so frickin’ cool!) and some knee huggers!
When we were ready to check out, the woman did the same thing as last time: “What’s up?” Uhm isn’t it obvious that I want to buy these items? Anyway, first thing she looked at was the teddy bear. She scrutinized him and said, “40 dollars” because he might be “worth $300.” Uhm, that raggedy ass teddy is not worth $300. Trust me. I told her that was fine—I didn’t want him for that much. At some point she actually looked these bears up on her iPad, even though I was insisting that I was not buying him to resell. Eventually I made it out of there with all of my finds (including Mr. Tedders) for a total of $55, which seemed reasonable to me.
Once we got out of this sale, we were starving (shocker), so we looked for the closest place. Erin refused to eat fast food so we stopped at some place called McVee’s. It ended up being a typical bar/grill, filled with barflies in the middle of the day, and the menu sounded better than the food tasted. When I’m really hungry, I often can’t make up my mind, so I order everything I might possibly want. In this case it was waffle fries, a Chicago dog, and mac & cheese:
Oh, and a beer. Totally not excessive. Also, for the record, I only ate about 1/3 of this food. Worth noting: Erin was totally reasonable and got a beer and a BLT:
And now she’s blonde. Clearly trying to slowly become me.
We also indulged in a crappy dessert that looked excellent on the menu, and Erin wasted some money playing Keno. Actually, she may have made two dollars.
The last stop of the day was a sale in Detroit that looked like it was really packed. I’m not sure how they did not capture the fact that this was a true hoarder sale in the pictures, but they managed to fool us. The only thing I can say about this house is that it was insanely depressing and gross. It was obviously an older Russian or Czechoslovakian woman living there, and she liked to keep stuff. Lots of it:
This is actually the attic, which, because it was 95 degrees out on Friday, was about 110. I could only stand up there for about five seconds.
When I showed Erin this picture, she almost cried:
The basement was, by far, the worst:
I did find a little bin filled with vintage cards down there, so I purchased that. Another fun fact about this sale was that there was a full human poop floating in the toilet in the bathroom.
After this depressing and horrifying sale, we called it a day as far as sale-ing goes. We stopped at a nursery I needed to go to to pick up some hydrangeas, and then lost some money at the casino.
Update from Erin: There are so many things I love about Sarah’s description. First of all, I can’t believe she hasn’t read Jane Eyre. That is my favorite book of all time. Second, Sarah scoffs at paying $300 for original art and yet she will pay $15 for a Sesame Street cookie jar…BEST.
While phone lady was busy trying to charge Sarah $40 for a bear, I was busy paying a mere $8 total for some vintage Chanel No. 5 and a Tigers World Series newspaper from 1968.
Both are currently blowing up the ebays.
The hoarder sale was the worst. So heartbreaking. We breezed through it pretty quickly because it was actually sort of dangerous. I got hit on the head with a box while rummaging around in the basement. I did end up buying a gold Raymond Weil watch for $20 because I thought Zach might want it. It’s a little small for him, but it looks like we can sell it easily:
Yesterday I decided to venture out on my own to some nearby sales. The first sale I went to was in Dearborn, and was pretty uneventful, except for the Hitler parade photo I uncovered. Looks like I can sell the picture on ebay after all, but with some stipulations. I can say “WWII” and “Germany” and “Hilter” but I definitely cannot say “Nazi.” I may also have to blur out the swastika in the photo. In addition to ebay restrictions, I am having my own moral dilemma with this one…similar (but arguably worse) than our contemplation of selling “bulge photos” online. Not sure if I want to be that person making money off of Hitler pics…
Anyway, the second sale I visited was in Inkster. I knew right away that this sale was going to be weird and gross.
Yeah, that is a real dried out wasp nest that they were selling for $30. The man running the sale tried convincing me that I could easily resell this wasp nest for $100 on ebay. I told him that I wouldn’t have any idea how to ship it, and his reply was, “Well, in a box I suppose.” Yeah no kidding, but, 1. this will break and 2. what do I say when the post office man asks if I am shipping anything potentially hazardous?
P.S. Imagine the look on my husband’s face should I walk in the door with a GIANT WASP NEST.
The house was clearly a hoarder, but one with some sense of organization. Here is the living room:
Lots of animal statues, but also lots of oversized silverware decorations:
Too big? How about this size:
The last thing I will mention about this sale is the garage. It was packed with a lot of dirty and broken things, but in the back was this table full of old McDonald’s toys. We mentioned before that McDonald’s toys are pretty much valueless, even if they are unopened. The toys at this sale though were all opened and all real dirty. I almost died when I saw that they wanted 75 cents EACH for these!!! Unreal. These were suitable for one of two things: a “free box” or a garbage can.
I did buy one cool thing at this sale, but it will be featured soon in its own entry. And for the record, it is a sexy item, so I can no longer blame Sarah for all of our racy entries.
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:
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 Highways. I 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.
After the Bomb
Wow, it’s already Wednesday and we still haven’t updated you about the rest of our experience on Saturday, post-Re-Purpose-Blowout.
We hinted at the fact that there was some cool stuff at that sale. I guess you have to go through battle to get to the good stuff. Like this:
Pretty gross to find this at a grandma’s estate sale but grandma gotta get hers too, I guess.
Ok, in all seriousness, I found this adorable vintage cat “gum parker” (don’t think about it too much… it will gross you out because it’s used)…
And a full box of these cool bookplates:
and then this weird but cute thing:
It’s a little jar filled with little babushka ladies. When Adam saw it, he asked, “Are those all of the souls you’ve stolen?” I guess that could have been featured as a TTFYHO post, just like Erin’s doll from the day before. I also got some other stuff, but those are the highlights.
After we left this sale, we went to a few others in the Bloomfield Hills/Beverly Hills area. We stopped at one that wasn’t on our list, but I’m glad we stopped because I found this cool, sterling silver necklace:
I also found a Sesame Street cookie jar from 1980, featuring Cookie Monster. When I got out into the bagging area (this company makes you wrap up and bag your own stuff), I found a handful of dead ants in it. AWESOME.
The lady who owned the condo that this sale was at was a total baller! She had so many shoes, and they were all real fancy brands:
Unfortunately, her shoe size was between a 5 and a 5.5, which isn’t even remotely close to mine. I bought a few of her shirts, though.
The next sale was a letdown, but I did see this great item that I decided against buying:
Great price for a weird insulting/loving statue. No, seriously. Can someone tell me WHO would purchase a sculpture of a fat, bald guy on a scale with his eyes literally bugging out of his head?
The last sale we went to was a “digger” sale at this old house and barn. The pictures made it look crazy but it ended up being pretty disappointing. First, it was really dirty and grubby in there. Second, there wasn’t really anything good there. Third, these people were hoarders of some weird stuff. Like giant, open buckets of sand. Here are some pictures that Erin snapped inside and out:
I bought a coffee table at the sale. It’s still in my car. Erin also found me another HUGGLET!!! I’m going to give it to her so Erin’s car can also be protected from evildoers.
Update from Erin: I have to disagree with Sarah about the weird old farmhouse. I found an awesome old cast iron waffle maker from 1910. I got it for $5 and on ebay right now it is at $21 and has 15 watchers!
I also got a GIANT bag full of bubble wrap for $1. This is great because bubble wrap is so expensive! If I have any surefire sale tips, it is to buy all tissue paper, bubble wrap, boxes, and wrapping paper at estate sales.
And then there were these Jello molds. How are these not the most adorable of all jello molds? THEY SAY JELLO. Can’t get much cuter.
The last thing I will mention is this cool liquor set I got at the sale with the fancy shoes. The bottles are all really heavy glass, including the stoppers. The holder is chrome with a locking mechanism so no one steals your booze. They originally had this priced at $45 but since it was the last day of the sale, everything was marked way down. Thank goodness because when I got home, I realized one of the bottles has a cracked corner and leaks! I’m hoping I can find some sort of glue filler to seal it up. I made up the term “glue filler” so my chances of finding it probably aren’t great.
Oh wait, one more thing. I was seriously heartbroken when Sarah found that cat “gum parker” instead of me. The face on it is THE BEST. And the whole premise of having a fancy place to park my gum is alluring. So I am now on the hunt for my own gum parker, and hopefully it is just as cute as Sarah’s.
Update from Sarah: You can have the gum parker. It sort of grosses me out, and the face is the part I don’t like. It looks human.