One month until Valentine’s Day, you can find vintage gifts and help with crafts in my Etsy Store:
With the New Year, I’ve begun the New Clean-Out. Going through rooms, closets, drawers, finding things that had been hidden for, probably, years. One thing that I know I have more of are Gift Cards with leftover balances, never used. Which is the genius, by the companies, of supplying Gift Cards to their customers. Often, most of the money spent by the Giver, never gets used by the Receiver, and then the company keeps the money for nothing.
I had worried that it might be difficult to retrieve the balances on these and more cards I found. But it was really quite easy. Every website to which I went had a link to Gift Cards where you can either buy one or check your balance. This is money that has just been sitting in a drawer for who knows how long. You can use it to buy yourself something, a gift for someone else, give to someone else who might use the card, or find a great deal to resell. You can even donate the cards to a charity. So dig out those old Gift Cards and find yourself some free money!
Considering that I am shipping out 10-15 packages a day, I’m a little overwhelmed. And not necessarily interested in adding to my inventory at the moment, just more trying to clear out. But, I had to be out of the house for the cleaning people and figured I would head north. I hadn’t been up there in a awhile and hadn’t yet had the chance to check out the Christmas inventory. I expected the dregs since I had called the store and knew that they had first stocked up the Monday before Thanksgiving. It being almost two weeks after that I got there, I noticed that they were continuing to refill. Being very picky, I found the following: two very cute knee-hugger-like elves with candy sticks, a box of C&D Christmas ornaments, a Batman Uglydoll, a Bendy Santa, a Hallmark Santa Ornament, a Playdoh Clown Ornament, a Tasmanian Devil Ornament, a vintage Felt Dwarf Ornament, a bag of ornaments including three smaller Raggedy Ann Ball Ornaments, two Rodney Reindeers from the 70’s and a Rhonda from the 80’s, a huge bag of Playmobil, most from 1974, and a few other things I can’t decipher. I would rattle off the prices, but it didn’t matter. I was waiting in line at one register, and the lady who began to help me started ringing on another lady’s register. So we had to move to another register. At which time an older lady started talking to my cashier and asked if I was in line. I said we had come over from the other side. She said she only had one thing. I moved over. And waited again. So when I finally checked out after a couple of mishaps, my cashier kind of glossed over almost everything, since she knew she was charging me $18 for the Playmobil bag. Everything turned out to be about 25¢ each (besides the Playmobil) when they ranged from $1-$5 each. I only spent around $23. We’ll talk about the Playmobil, or Geobra, from 1974, later. For now, I found:
Without the Playmobil, $5 spent, potential $300 gain.
Apologies for the blinding sunshine streak in my photo that I can’t seem to get rid of. What’s fun about this sale is that I can look back and see how I’ve done the past few years. Really the first year I went I did the best. And since then it has been a bit sparse yet not terrible. And this year there were very few people there, perhaps because all of these Christmas sales are starting so much earlier than every before. But I circled around, noticing that they didn’t have as much as they have had in the past. I had heard the employees talking the week before about how they would “refill,” which ensures me that some of the good stuff was probably still in the back. But I did alright. I spent $68, feeling okay about that as it is a charity and I bought mostly the cheaper items. The more expensive were the Dept. 56 Deer Head Candle Holders at $5 each and well worth it, though I had to carry those heavy suckers all around the store as the store’s new policy is not to hold anything at the counter.
And to think one of the regulars actually put back a roll of Mrs. Grossman’s Christmas Stickers, much to my luck. Two rolls of stickers and two packs of sticker tags at $1-$2 each. I also found two Hallmark Snow Buddies (quite collectible), and many other Hallmark ornaments like the Thomas the Train, Dr. Seuss, 1980 tin Santa’s Flight Blimp, Santa and Mrs. Claus 1981, and a cool cuckoo clock ornament I’m keeping for myself.
And then there were the Pez Nurse & Doctor by Carlton Cards at $4 each which was probably a bit high, as well as the difficulty of finding a venue on which to sell them.
Moving on, there were random vintage pieces like the wooden Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, the silk Santa in the airplane, the felt Santa head, the Kurt S. Adler wooden Minnie Mouse, and the Spode glass Rocking Horse. In addition were the Alexander Henry Moose Lodge fabric and the Villeroy and Boch ceramic box. At $68, and keeping several items for myself, I could make over $300.
Whether your dog ate your child’s favorite Fisher Price Little Person or you’re trying to complete a Farm set or Dollhouse you bought at a thrift store or garage sale, I may have the piece or pieces you’ve been looking for. They’re also great to add to the sets your kids already have. Small in size, they’re perfect stocking stuffers this holiday season and/or great birthday presents or to use to tie in the bow on top of a gift. Go to my Amazon, click on the “Products” link in the middle toolbar and type in the search bar “Fisher Price Little People” and the specific piece you may be looking for:
I’m sounding like a broken record, but at mid-November one has to expect that the garage sale season is dwindling. To the point I almost didn’t head out. But I had to drop my son at a baseball thing, so I thought, what the heck. I’d try the few that were out there, even if, in my opinion, I was quite late both in time of day and in month of year.
There were two great sales. At the first, the ladies were super nice where I found the Russ Berrie Halloween Vampire with pins, small Christmas tin, Small Halloween Pumpkin with what seem like nesting doll contents, a bag of Bocce Balls (in case I’m ever out and happen to need to play at a local Bocce Ball court), a portable tupperware cake container for a buck, an awesome vintage camera suitcase for $5, some photo Christmas cards that you can’t find anymore, a pack of pocket tissues for 50¢, a vintage 1956 Clue game, vintage 1984 Candy Land game, vintage 1987 Guess Who? game, and three Hot Wheels cars that were thrown in. Total $13.
At the second, I spent $36 between three different sellers and bought the set of pitchers for $1, the three pairs of Banana Republic Suede Heels and one BCBG black patent leather heels, the Lucky Brand Classic Rider jeans, the infinity scarf, the mint green Italian Suede clutch, the Nine West new with tag tote, the red patent leather ribbon bag, the Poliwoggs Santa Mickey, the two Kirkland Santas with girl and with boy, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey Snowglobe that has an original tag of $98 and looks never removed from box, the Italian box, and the Starbucks Demitasse cup. Whew.
So a very nice haul for an otherwise expectedly unproductive weekend. $49 total spent and potential $950 gain.
I’ve recently had quite a few comments and emails from people who have inherited massive collections of Hallmark Christmas Ornaments. And they all ask me what is the best way to make the most out of them. I usually tell them that they can sell them on Amazon, eBay or Etsy (if they’re 20 years old), but because most of these people have so many, it will take them a lot of time to research each one or each series, determine their value, photograph, list, store, sell and package each one or grouped lot. Just the other day I received an email from a woman asking the same question and she mentioned she had thought about using Fulfillment by Amazon. FBA allows you to send in your inventory to Amazon and they will store and sell it for your. This may be a great option for those with large collections, inherited or not. If people want to try selling some on their own, hoping to earn a bit more than they might otherwise, I suggested they choose the oldest pieces and those creating a series, as they will be more rare and require a higher price. I’ve added here those I personally have on Amazon and those 20 years old and older that I have on Etsy. For those on Amazon, click the “Products” link in the middle toolbar and type “Hallmark Ornament” in the search bar and any other terms to find which one you might be looking for:
I have been collecting vintage Christmas items over the year that I more prominently list here during the holiday season. I hope to be adding to this collection with the coming Thrift Store Holiday Bonanzas that are about to descend upon us. But for now, you can find the following in my Etsy Shop’s Holiday & Christmas Section:
You know it’s getting down the wire when there are only a few sales and you only buy anything at one. I had high hopes for the Boy Scout sale, but they leave everything out the night before. Which means everything is wet and soppy. I still managed to find a Betseyville Skull & Rose Satchel, a Roxy Suede Crossbody, some Clarks sandals, some Gianni Bini Black Cowboy boots and a 1988 Tootsie Toy Truck. I was wondering the whole time what the lady was going to charge me and was pleasantly surprised at her $7 answer. For that $7 I could make $175.
As the holidays approach, I know there are men and boys alike who are still playing with or collecting Bakugan that have long been retired and are hard to find. I recently added a few bags full to my inventory. They are great birthday gifts and/or Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers. Check them out on Amazon by clicking “Products” in the middle toolbar and then searching for “Bakugan” or the specific Bakugan model you are looking for: