Monday, July 2, 2012

Calling Johnny Carson ...

As I was rushing around a church sale this past Saturday, the reality finally hit me.  Two heads really are better than one, at least when it comes to thrifting and online selling.  Unfortunately, Ella is visiting relatives in Ohio for a while, so I am left on my own to source, purchase, list, sell, pack, ship, and, here’s the kicker, get all the packages to the post office, all while holding down a full-time job.  Since it is in excess of 100 degrees here, I can’t leave the packages in my car, so I have to leave work, rush home, then rush back to the post office before it closes.

No one who knows what they are talking about ever said this job was easy.

My thrifting weekend got off to an early start last Wednesday after a call from Rosita, my favorite estate sale planner.  She invited me to preview the merchandise at a sale that she was working, so I headed to the house after work.  Honestly, while the house was full, not much grabbed my attention, except for a few vintage fishing reels.  However, this jewel caught my eye:

It is an executive phone in a carved wooden box, and was labeled Johnny Carson’s desk phone.  At least, that was the deceased owner’s story. Obviously, there was no way to prove (or disprove) the tale, but it makes for an interesting conversation piece.  Plus, it’s a rotary dial phone, which is collectible on its own. I decided to auction the phone, instead of just placing it in my eBay store.  Hopefully, the novelty of it will generate some interest.

On Friday, after I dropped Ella off at the airport, I headed to a series of estate sales in and around Atlanta, as well as to a library book sale in the thriving metropolis of Jonesboro.

At a sale liquidating the estate of a former Coca-Cola executive, I found several neat items, including a Coca-Cola Monopoly game, and some Coca-Cola books, including these:

However, I think my homerun find of the sale is this new Cherry Coke jacket.   Apparently, original Cherry Coke merchandise is hard to find, and I picked this one up for $7.

The other estate sales weren’t that exciting, so I headed over to the Jonesboro book sale.  The sale information said the doors would open promptly at 1 p.m., and not a minute sooner.  Since I was 30 minutes early, I figured I could at least wait in the library, out of the heat.  To my surprise, and dismay, the sale had already started when I got there.   I scoped out the room when I entered, and was surprised to see no buyers with scanners in hand.  So, I spent the next hour checking every book that looked promising, and a few that didn’t, and came away with a rolling tote full of so-so, but sellable, titles.

In my admittedly short selling career, I’ve noticed that big book sales draw all the excitement, but smaller sales can be lucrative as well, without the pressure of competing with other dealers.

On Saturday, my first stop was the aforementioned church sale, where I really could have used another set of eyes and hands.  Still, I found some neat items, like these Austin Powers collectible action figures for $1 each.

The rest of the morning was uneventful, and very warm, with temperatures climbing to near 100 before noon.  I felt guilty for buying four Nerf guns and a Nerf target set from a kid for $10, but only for a few minutes, and then it passed.  I was tempted to buy an unworn wedding dress at a moving sale for $25, but decided it was too hot to fool with it (I know, probably a mistake).

My last stop was at a sale to benefit senior citizens, where everything was by donation (i.e., take what you want, and make a donation in the jar on the way out).  I picked up some items, including these:

By the time I got home, it was above 100 degrees, and finally topped out at 107 by mid-afternoon.  It was too hot to do much of anything but pack what had sold, and to list items on eBay.  So, I listed the rest of the day Saturday, and most of Sunday.

Before she left, Ella had set a goal for me to get caught up in my listing, and to clear out her Great Room, before she comes home. Even after two days of listing, I still have a long way to go.

How was your weekend?


  1. The Cherry Coke jacket is really nice. Great find. Plus it is nice to have an estate planner who gives you a call.

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  3. I don't recall how I came across your site..but love all the info you share!

    I sell mostly mostly clothing, my hubby collects vintage glass (but none of that is listed yet - LOL). I've tried looking at the books section, but my eyes cross just looking at them! ;)

    Went to Kmart today as it was on my way to the library...nothing working picking up for inventory though.

    Thanks for all your tips..I've read all your posts!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, and thanks for reading my blog. Counting you, I probably have two or three readers. :)

    2. I'm sure that will soon change. You've got some great info!