I mentioned that last week, we went 3 hours out of our way and spent thousands of dollars in labor and cash to acquire a couple storage units that were up for grabs. It was a huge gamble but every blue moon we get lucky and all it takes are a couple surprisingly good pieces like this to make the numbers work. Collectors have real jobs and therefore don't have time to dig like we do and will pay a premium for finding things at their fingertips online.
This Santa had been in storage unused for about 50 years and looked as good as new. People love Christmas and old decorations in good condition can be worth big money - Halloween isn't even over yet and we're selling Christmas stuff already - I guess that makes us as bad as Walmart
Another great sale price on an unassuming cheap plastic trinket from 50 years ago. Right now elderly folks downsizing their homes are throwing things just like this in the trash because they don't know - let us be the first call you make when mom and dad are ready to move into a smaller place!
For the most part, I have written off the value of old American art glass as the market has been dead for years. A customer brought this in and told me it was a good piece and I almost didn't believe him as everyone thinks their stuff is worth big money. As it turns out - this jar was only made in 1941 and is the 'Holy Grail' of Fenton and I was able to verify this and sure enough, it sold for a great price. My ignorance of the cookie jar almost kept me from earning my cookie!
Vintage seasonal stuff - especially Halloween pieces can do very well. This pack of drug store decorations was still unopened from about 40 years ago and sold within 30 minutes of posting it for sale. Things like this that weren't meant to last are always of interest to collectors and our timing in selling it was perfect.
This was a cool old piece but packing it and shipping it to Cali was a chore. Itens like this can sit around the store for months before a buyer comes along whereas things sell on eBay in days or a few weeks at most. I wish we could sell more things like this in the store but traffic just isn't that strong. We encourage local shoppers to check out our eBay listings as this is how we have to sell most of the best items we get! http://stores.ebay.com/id=4997262
Most collectors are not spending big money on premium pieces but everyone has a budget for low to moderate value items which are our bread and butter as these are the things that we usually get for next to nothing on our treasure hunts. Our senior associate Gerardo actually noticed this on our last pick and it sold in just a day or two whereas I would have left it for the dump. Making $40 appear out of thin air is what keeps us in the green!
For thousands of years, people have been collecting shells so it's no surprise they have a following. We're currently sorting a massive collection and have learned that size, color, and knowing where it was found determines the value. I'm glad to finally post something that wasn't man made that had value! Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork.
Decorators know that 'mid century modern' pieces are all the rage right now and the market values are over-inflated by sites like First Dibs. Occasionally we find pieces like this in people's basements that were taken off the wall 30 years ago and in this case, we lucked out with a nice sale.
This is what un-polished jade looks like. This piece is most likely hundreds of years old but without some kind of documentation most casual collectors just don't want to take a chance paying big prices for things like this. Although honestly, the market for ancient relics is 'soft' and even if this piece did have provenance the sale price would only have been marginally higher.
Just another lighting sale. This piece was only about 25 years old but believe it or not the original price was around $5,000. The company only makes lighting and market's themselves as making functional art. The quality was noticeably superior even to the untrained eye but second hand, it was only worth a fraction of retail.
This is another piece that would have sold for a little more if we had documentation. Post WWII to present day, maritime diving technology has improved so much that recovering artifacts from long sunken ships is relatively easy. Finding buried treasure was even a way of life for some until in the 1980's International laws were passed making it illegal to collect and sell salvage that might otherwise belong to certain nations. Things that were stolen hundreds of years ago are quickly remembered when someone has a way to get them.