Friday, August 15, 2014

Truth in advertising, or flea bitten at the flea market

Once every couple of months, Ella and I visit the local flea market right down the road.  It’s a ramshackle place, and if you don’t mind getting a little dusty, you usually can find something to buy.

Earlier this week, we ventured into the furniture section of the place, looking for possible display stands for our antique booth.  The section, which is actually in two different buildings, features lots and lots of home furnishing, mostly broken down chairs and lamps. During this particular visit, I also discovered that the building has fleas.

How ironic.

After being bitten on my legs, I decided that I didn’t need anything that place had to offer, except, of course, the antique fireplace blower, two high-dollar DVDs, and a rolling library cart that I already had picked up. I really hope that I left the fleas behind.

On Tuesday, we ventured out to see a garage full of carasels (sic) and barbies that had been advertised through a local Facebook group.  Well, the garage was full, but not with Barbies.  Sure, they had several totes with the carousels and the dolls, but I really couldn’t get a feel for what exactly they had.   After some discussion, I agreed to come back at a later date after they had an opportunity to display their wares in a more conducive to sell manner.  

As part of my usual lunch time ritual, I visit various thrift stores, and recently found myself at an establishment managed by a long-time acquaintance.  After some idle chit chat, during which I learned that the shop was facing lean economic times, I proceeded to pull a $50 book out of the stacks.  Obviously, the shop doesn’t subscribe to my “always check the books” theory of money making. 

Today is half price furniture day at the local hospice thrift store. The establishment, which has been in business for just over a year, is slowly growing to rival Goodwill, both in its appearance (clean and shiny), and in inventory selection.  One of the main differences between the two stores is that the hospice shop is volunteer run, and by volunteers, I mean true volunteers (mostly senior citizens), and not the community service misfits at Goodwill who are only there because they didn’t want to pick up trash beside the road.

Goodwill must be feeling the pinch in our community, though, not only due to the hospice store, but also because numerous other thrifts shops have sprung up, sapping donations that normally might have gone to them.  I am hearing more and more Goodwill radio commercials begging for donations.  I don’t normally wish ill upon any business, but when I see labeled dollar store picture frames selling for $1.01, I think having to close a store or two might put a little “thrift” back into the chain’s “upscale boutique” mentality.

Speaking of begging, I need to find out to whom to beg for a sale or two.  Ebay has been slow forever, it seems, and I’ve gone 0 for Amazon (zero sales) for two days now.  I can’t remember ever having a two-day period without selling something on the big river.

The only good thing about the sales slump is that it is giving me time to work both our antique booths.  With 15 shopping days left in the month, including three weekends, we are more than half way to meeting the combined rent, which is my goal for August.  It’s a sad goal, I know, but with more than double the rent and double the space, it’s the best I can expect as we work to merchandise Ella’s Eclectic Emporium.

Forecast for the weekend is sunny with a 100 percent chance of yard and estate sales.  Temperatures are expected to range from comfortable at 7 a.m. to “bloody hell, it’s hot” by noon.

Be productive everyone.

No comments:

Post a Comment