Tag: Picking

Swap days… first real sale of the year


It’s been a busy few weeks.  My efforts of sharing my recent finds have suffered somewhat because of it.  I recently made a change in my work schedule in hopes of allowing myself more time to pursue my passion for buying and selling vintage and antique finds.

Most of my posts have been dedicated to the buying.  This one details one of my favorite venues for selling.

I believe the proper method for flea marketing is row after row of outdoor vendors with stacks of vintage and antique merchandise.  Don’t talk to me about flea markets with largely new or gently used discount store merchandise that has no soul.  I want see items that have built in character.  That is how I prefer to sell my wares.

Swap days provides a venue that doesn’t perfectly fill my idea of an ideal flea market, but it’s close.  You will find a mix of goods and even an occasional chicken or two.

I braved the weather which was mostly very windy and cold to participate in my first sale of the season and have the wind burned face to prove it. Despite the weather sales were pretty good.

I didn’t get much of a chance to buy, but did purchase a rather odd shoe last from a neighboring vendor.  I like the odd and unusual pieces and had never seen this particular style before.  The price wasn’t bad so now I own it.




Safty should always be a concern

IMG_2480The two Pepsi signs I picked up about three weeks ago have both sold.  The one pictured sold to a guy with the last name of Johnston. How cool is that?

My buyer was a couple of hundred miles away so we arranged to meet at a location about midway between.  I must admit that meeting someone I don’t know always makes me a little nervous. Apparently he was feeling a little concern too since he choose our meeting place in a very public place.

I don’t know that I’ve always felt the need to be careful, but after you see a few internet stories and realize just how crazy some folks are I suppose it probably pays to be a little paranoid.

I had a rather odd experience a couple of winters ago.  I went to an indoor moving sale in hopes of find something interesting while on my lunch break.  I’m not sure if the sale was being held in an enclosed porch or if it was the front room of the home.  It was quite cold even though it was inside.  I walked through the door and was shocked to hear the deadbolt fasten behind me.  That was a little creepy.  I looked a few minutes all the while planning what I would do were they to attempt to prevent me from leaving.  Turned out that there wasn’t anything very interesting and no one tried to block me from going.  I think they may have been using the deadbolt to hold the door closed, but it was an unnerving experience.

Junking can be a bit adventuresome.  I often find myself in situations where I’m not completely comfortable.  It’s probably best to pick with a friend when possible and if you are going alone always make sure someone knows where you are going.

The transfer of the sign went as good as it could have.  I arrived a little early allowing me to choose the exact spot we would meet.  The buyer seemed like a really nice guy and he had cash.  Cash is always good!


Blendo Glass

I mentioned in my last post that a large part of a recent haul consisted of various glassware.  When I say various I mean about any kind of glass you can imagine.  Some pieces are technically china, but I tend to lump dishware and glass together as glassware.  Some pieces can be functional while others are decorative.

I don’t buy much glassware mostly because much of it doesn’t sell very well.  I also don’t collect much of anything that falls into this broad category which kind of throws a wet blanket on this sort of pick.  There were a number of really nice pieces (check out my post “The mother lode …”) which made this an attractive opportunity despite all of the glass.

My favorite glassware was this Blendo glass salad set.


It’s a bit surprising that as popular as mid-century seems to be that many of the West Virginia made Blendo glass items can be bought relatively cheap.  I have seen several pieces for sale in the past, but didn’t know anything about this glass until my curiosity was aroused by these pieces.  What really struck me as odd was that the first bowls I saw on eBay were a chip and dip set.  The bowls were made exactly like my salad bowls.  I even found a bowl advertised as a punch bowl in this exact design.  I was relieved to finally find a salad set and to know that I didn’t have several incomplete chip and dip sets.  It is pretty cool that I also have the utensils.  This set is in great shape.

The mother lode…

I had the opportunity to purchase a basement full of vintage items today.  I don’t get the opportunity to buy in this kind of bulk very often.  I was aware of several good pieces in the lot, but much remained an unknown.  Probably the coolest surprise was finding several “smoking donkeys”.  I believe these may be a good eBay item.


I’m pretty sure I can add faster in my head than I could ever do with these old machines.

There was tons of glassware.  Not my favorite thing, but some of it will sell pretty well I think.  I will have to get pics later.  Lots of sorting and scrubbing to do here.

One of the most unusual things I found was a lamp made to look like a coffee grinder.  There are old coffee beans in glass globe just below the shade.  They look pretty disgusting.

An old wooden bread box produced these surprises.


The little red AM transistor radio looks to never have been used.

Now I like about any vintage item in its original packaging so when I discovered these old, new stock can openers and bottle stoppers I was pretty excited.  The item may not be worth much, but the fact the packaging has survived is really cool.  I also like the shoe polish can.


I saved the best for last.


If this nearly 8 foot sign isn’t big enough how about doubling the size.


I like signs and just about anything soda related.  It may be hard to part with these.

Finally, A great estate tag sale

I’ve came up empty for several weeks when trying to find a good garage or estate sale leaving me to limit my picks to auctions or flea market booths.  Thursday night I am looking at the usual sites where sales are advertised and I stumble upon an ad for an estate tag sale.  It’s ten minutes from work so I know immediately what I’m doing for my  Friday lunch break.  Not only is there an ad but there are pictures… lots of pics.  Now when sifting through estate sale pics its almost like a game of eye spy.  As I click my way through the pictures one jumps out at me.


Tag sale pics aren’t always great and in this case what I see is a familiar piece of pottery hiding behind a soda bottle.  It’s a style that I am familiar with and in my favorite color.  I now have a target item, but my fear is that by noon it will have been snatched up.

Lucky me!  Somehow it was still setting there on the counter and at an awesome price!  I selected a few other items including another piece of pottery from the same maker


and then headed back to work.  There just wasn’t enough time to look as much as I would have liked.

I am always up for looking through cool old junk and would have been happy to walk away with a few things I could flip for a few bucks, but today I found something that will go in my collection.  Something that makes me happy.  Something that looks good on my mantle.


Ready to trade the cold and snow for a good garage sale

I am not a fan of cold weather and it sure cramps my picking style.  Aside from a few auctions I haven’t had much of an opportunity to get out and search for the rusty junk that gets my blood pumping.  Don’t get me wrong I enjoy a good auction, but somehow it’s not the same to win an item that someone else has found just by outbidding the other guy.  The real fun is when you have to dig for the good stuff.  Any significant garage sales are at least two or three months away so maybe I need a good barn to dig through.  The one advantage to the cold weather would be the absence of wasps.

Bottle find may have been starting point

As long as I can remember I have enjoyed finding old, unusual, and unexpected things.  Whether found in a dusty corner of a barn, under the floor boards of an outbuilding, or buried in an old trash dump these items have always brought an excited smile to my face.

One of the earliest finds I can remember was an old soda bottle buried in the creek bank.  With some effort, my father and I dug the nearly hidden bottle from the dirt and washed what turned out to be a nearly perfect specimen.

Most of my finds come from auctions, flea markets, and tag sales these days, but it’s no wonder that even now old bottles are among my favorites.IMG_2103