Hi there! I hope you had a good weekend. As most of you probably remember, I live in the Northeast, and we were bombarded with snow on Friday. Not a real hardship for me, but my sweet husband and son did quite a lot of shoveling. It fell all day–beautiful, light, and fluffy.
By Saturday it had warmed up to about 40°, so we ran some errands, maybe we even stopped at a thrift store. From there, we met up with my sweet mother, brother, and sister-in-law for dinner in Saratoga Springs at one of our favorite restaurants, The Thirsty Owl.
So, today I’m going to write about some of my vintage find “epic fails” (I learned that phrase from my kids. It was popular for a while, but now that us old folks know what it means and have started using it, it’s no longer as “in” as it once was, LOL.)
We all make mistakes, right? I don’t tend to take photos of my fails, but since I had the idea for this post, I’ve begun taking some so I could share them with you. Ready to take a look?
I bought this folk art-y, hand-carved horse last fall at the World’s Largest Garage Sale for $2.00. Upon closer examination, once I arrived home, I discovered that the tail had broken off and been quite poorly reattached.
There’s glue everywhere (how did I miss that?!!) and the seam completely mismatched(!). I have it set aside so that one day I can re-break it and try to reattach it better. Who knows if it will ever be worth anything, which is too bad because I think he’s really rather charming.
Read about why folk art is one of ten
often overlooked and undervalued finds at garage sale.
I hesitated to even buy this pitcher when I saw it because I find that decorated ironstone does not sell very quickly. But for $1.00, I decided to go ahead, thinking I could always keep it to use as a vase.
The Wellsville Pioneer Pottery Co., located in Wellsville, Ohio, used the W. P. P. Co. mark from 1897 to about 1922. I think “DORA” refers to the pattern.
But it’s not going to be holding flowers anytime soon with this hole, now is it? Into the Goodwill box it went.
I bought this ironstone platter just a couple of weeks ago in Ballston Spa (NY) for just $1.00 and was very pleased with myself, until I began to wash it after I got home. See the chip on the far left edge? Yeah, me too.
A nice early 20th century piece of English ironstone, it has not gone in the Goodwill box. I’ve not decided what to do with it just yet. I may put it in my Vintage Shop since many collectors don’t mind if their ironstone has a small chip or two (value: $15-18.00).
I thought this iron stand was so interesting, with the name of a company cleverly “written” around the edge: Enterprise MFG Co Philadelphia. When it came time to take care of some of the rust, I realized that it’s cracked (see upper left-hand side, by the “F” in MFG). Fortunately, I only spent $2.00 on it.
I have great luck selling brass lamps, and was therefore pleased to find this one for just $3.00. I figured a bit of cleaning would make it very appealing.
Sadly, when I went to replace the light bulb, I saw that the bulb had begun to heat the protective metal plate so hot that it burned the cord. Not something I want to get involved with. Out it goes.
After some research, I learned, happily, that this Chanel pin I bought for $2.00 at a thrift store might be worth hundreds of dollars. I spent quite a bit of time researching, including on one of my new favorite sites, WorthPoint, and determined that it was genuine. Well, I should say, I thought it was genuine.
I listed it on eBay, sold it to someone in Russia for $201.00. Yippee! Well, she wrote me several notes in broken English telling me she decided she didn’t want it. I told her it was an auction and it didn’t work that way. But in actual fact, buyers can simply decide not to pay and sellers don’t have much recourse, other than to request their fees back from eBay.
[Note: This is the only problem of this type that I’ve had so far, after selling over 100 items on eBay.]
So I wrote to the second highest buyer and asked if she’d like to buy it. She said yes; I mailed it to her; she said it was a fake; she mailed it back. So I’m pretty sure now that what I thought was a genuine Chanel brooch, with a Chanel mark on the back, is a fake. I’m going to try to handle some genuine pieces so I can better discern real from fake. Live and learn, right?
You may recall this pretty quilt from my 10 Favorite Vintage Finds post in early January. I mentioned how surprised I was that no one had bought it from my antique booth. A reader from the West Coast wrote that she was interested, so I had the shop set it aside for me.
As I began to fold it to fit it in a box and weigh it for shipping, I noticed several spots that had been [poorly] repaired. Like eight or nine, and then I noticed a really large area where the seams had come apart altogether. How did I miss all that when I had originally priced it?
I’m guessing it’s a combination of dealing with a lot of stock, bad vision, and haste. Ever since I started wearing transition lenses (5 or 6 years ago now), I feel like I just plain don’t see as well as I once did. In any event, I apologized to the disappointed buyer profusely, folded the quilt carefully to hide it’s shabbiness, and hung it over our second floor railing. I love it!
Final Epic Fail: I scooped up this Hermes scarf a little over a year ago for a dollar, even though I didn’t know if it was authentic or not. A little research revealed that, no, it is not real. You can read the 5 reasons why it’s not in this vintage finds post from October 2016.
Some of you may not consider these epic fails because I spent so little on them (and some of them still remain useful in one way or another). But the perfectionist in me gets a little bothered, and in addition, my fails don’t get a whole lot bigger than this because I buy so cheaply–all the time.
The way I run this side hustle is to buy low, sell at prices 4-10X my buying price, and keep the inventory moving out and fresh at all times. It allows me to “support my vintage buying habit,” helps me decorate our home inexpensively, and has contributed to my sweet daughter’s college tuition.
I’m SO grateful to be able to do something I love and share it with you on my blog. Thanks for that–you are very appreciated! I love getting to know you here on the blog via comments, on social media, and in my Facebook group, Your Vintage Headquarters. [Join if you haven’t yet; I know you’ll like it!]
Thanks so much for stopping in–
If you enjoyed your visit, I hope you follow me by email.
Sign up, never miss a post, and receive my weekly newsletter:
Bye for now,
*This post contains an affiliate link.*
See what I’m selling from