Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday already?

On Friday night, Ella and I attended the last auction being held in the auction house on the main drag in the little town of Eatonton, famous for the Uncle Remus Museum, and author Alice Walker of The Color Purple fame.  The auction house is being transformed into an antique mall, and the auctioneer, in the future, will be conducting only on-site auctions, free from the overhead that owning an old building brings.

It was raining cats and dogs when we arrived, and several small buckets caught the steady drip from the leaky roof.  Thankfully, the leaks were away from the merchandise, but attendees were subjected to an occasional drop of water.

It was the last hurrah, and merchandise was limited to various odds and ends; tables; giant fans; and the concession stand.  With no room in the truck for the bigger bargains, we bid on and won an antique school desk, a round display table, and assorted small items, all bound for The Big Booth (TBB) at our local antique mall come August 1. Ella still hasn’t settled on a name, but is leaning toward Ella’s Emporium to continue the alliteration started with Barry’s Books, our online venture, and Barry’s Bonanza, our smaller antique booth.

Saturday morning had us up and at 'em for a host of estate and yard sales. Ella was industrious on Friday, not only creating a list of sales to attend, but also using Mapquest to plot the best route to get us to the sales without going around in circles.  She also programmed our GPS with all the addresses, so all we had to do was hop in the truck and hit the road at 6:30 a.m.

I bought this 50's rocking horse
and several vintage cameras for $50

We had more than 20 sales on the list, and managed to get to most of them.  Along the way, we picked up some good books, DVDs, toys, several old cameras, a wooden high chair that needs some TLC, and a vintage 1950’s rocking horse, obviously bound for TBB.

Earlier in the week, someone advertised both a collection of Elvis memorabilia and an estate sale in separate ads on Craigslist, and I made it a point to get that sale on Ella’s list.  We pulled up late on Saturday morning to an older, semi-rundown house, in a less than desirable neighborhood, with a makeshift “estate sale” sign out front.  There were no other cars around, and after making sure that every lock on the truck was engaged, we wandered up to the front of the house, only to find a very locked porch door. 

We heard a dog barking around back, so we followed the sound to find a dog on a leash on the back porch.  Not wanting to antagonize the dog, we stood there for a few moments, debating our next move, when the door opened, and a man appeared, pulled the dog in, and shut the door, ignoring us. 

Feeling brave, I knocked on the door, and the same man opened it.  I inquired about the estate sale, and he ushered us in, and told us to wait.  As I was mentally debating the wisdom of our situation, a pleasant woman approached from the back, and told us to come on in.  She proceeded to talk about the Elvis collection, and showed us a few home-made Elvis VHS tapes.  Obviously, we weren’t impressed, but then she took us to a room in the back of the house that had more, including a four foot Elvis statue, a large record collection, and some movie posters.  I still wasn’t impressed, but pretended to be so. 

I asked about the price on the statue, and she said the she had a buyer on Ebay for $130, but had to cancel it because she didn’t know how to ship it.  I then asked her about the price on the record albums, but she said that she was still going through each album (there were a least 100 albums, maybe more), and wanted to price each one individually.

Figuring that it was time to leave, I promised to email her later to give her time to price her treasures.  I think the statue and record albums would be nice for TBB, but I’m not sure that I really want to deal with her. 

Later Saturday, we went to the auction in Byron.  It was sparsely attended, with little worthwhile to purchase.  We did bid on and win a few things for our booths, though.

I had a couple of good Ebay sales for the week, including vintage tools for $40, and a Yu-Gi-Oh Dungeon Dice Monsters Game for $99 that shipped via Ebay’s Global Shipping Program.

I picked these tools up for $1 each; they sold for $40

This has been in my inventory forever.  I'm glad it finally sold
I also had a minor annoyance when a single buyer bought the same book on Amazon, Half, and Alibris.  Like many media sellers, I have my inventory listed across multiple venues, and have an online database program that deletes items from all databases as they are sold.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t fast enough to catch this triple sale.  So, I canceled the sales on Half and Alibris, and shipped the Amazon purchase.  I have to keep Amazon happy.

This week promises to be busy as usual, especially given that TBB officially becomes ours on Friday, and we will need to merchandise it as quickly as we can.  I plan to have some before and after pictures of the booth to share.  It’s going to be a challenge.

Have a great week.


  1. I hate when I double sell an item. Doesn't happen often, but.....and it always goes to the ebay buyer, gotta keep ebay happy!

  2. Congrats on the great sales! Love the rocking horse and the name Ella's Emporium.

  3. I love the idea of having a booth. It allows you to go for bigger items without the worry of how to ship them. Love the rocking horse. Good luck with TBB!