Monday, April 13, 2015

If you’re not early, you’re late

“Our competition’s here.

Ella told me this over the phone after she arrived at a local charity yard/book sale on Friday morning. She had arrived on time; they arrived early. Ella got a few DVDs; they got a tote of books.

I was perturbed, to say the least, not at Ella, but at the thought of being beaten to the punch, so to speak, and of missing a valuable sourcing opportunity.

However, once the sting wore off, I started thinking less about the disappointment, and more about the opportunities still to come, not only for Saturday, but also for the entire thrifting season. It’s like baseball.  You may have one lousy at bat, or the team may lose a game, but it’s a long way to October, with many chances to hit that home run.

Saturday proved me right. Determined not to be late again, Ella and I rolled up to a roller derby fund-raising sale about 20 minutes early.  After some wheeling and dealing, with minimal bumps and bruises, we skated away with a large box of Skylander figures and Xbox 360 games for $30.

Our next stop was a church sale in a converted multiplex movie theater.  It was supposed to start at 8 a.m., but my watch said 7:20. We noticed a sign on the door, and drove as close as we could to read it. “Sale in back,” was what it said, so we drove around to the rear of the building, and found an open door. Despite the time, we walked right in, were welcomed by the congregation, and started shopping. Thankfully, the sloped floor wasn’t sticky. We found a pair of bar stools for the booth for $7.00; a silver plated tea set for $1; a pair of new men’s work boots (all shoes were $1); and assorted other odds and ends, including a new in box Clapper (remember, clap on, clap off, the Clapper?).   

I also picked up a working Beltone hearing aid set, complete with extra batteries for $10. I have it listed for $225.

An estate sale was next on our list, and was packed by the time we got there. The sale featured hundreds of Hallmark ornaments, scattered in boxes throughout the house. It was a struggle navigating the crowded halls, but we walked away with some good stuff. Sunday was to be half price day, and we decided to return.

After a few hit and miss sales, we stopped at a sale that promised books and comic books. The three long boxes of comic books were grabbed while we were there, but the graphic novels looked untouched. I found a small stack that I really wanted, and started a negotiation with the owner. He wanted $26 for my stack, which was a bargain, or $65 for all of the books, which wasn’t quite as good of a deal. As it turns out, he was unemployed, and his wife had talked him into selling his collection.  He seemed noticeably distraught at letting the books go, and I didn’t have the heart to negotiate any further, even though I probably could have gotten them all for $50. So, I just took my $26 stack; he seemed relieved.   

At our final sale, we found a large box of DVD box sets that the owner let go for a measly $30. Amazon has gotten picky about selling DVDs, so they are bound for Ebay. It will be a struggle to pry Ella’s fingers off them, though. 

Saturday night, we drove to Thomaston for the auction, and successfully bid on a few pieces for the booth, including a Coca-Cola sign and Coca-Cola clock.

On Sunday, we were back at the estate sale, and spent a little more time looking at all the ornaments. Despite being half price day, we spent an additional $160. Knowing that there were still hundreds of ornaments left in the house, we left a bid for the remainder. Thankfully, we didn’t win. It would have taken months to get all those ornaments listed.

I also finally finished our taxes on Sunday afternoon. According to TurboTax, 2014 wasn’t a good year for us, but we’re still getting a refund. Thank goodness.

Amazon sales have been steady this week, but Ebay has been slow. I did sell another set of guitar strings, though. I purchased a large box of new strings from a church sale several years ago, and they have been a slow, but steady seller.

These guitar strings have been music to my ears
Have a great week everyone.

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