Monday, March 28, 2016

The Loot Part II

Things are still very slow, but at least yesterday I sold a winter coat that a friend gave to me and I have two pick-ups scheduled for tomorrow. I hope nothing gets canceled this time.

With the sweater of last week, at the beginning of Spring I sold two winter items in a row that have been waiting all season. You just never can tell!

I did my homework and found a link to the most likely original seller of my Turkish glass jar:

To give an indication, TL 850 is about USD 295…

Knowing that I’m getting less comfortable with having to store and wait long for good bids for all the delicate stuff as it’s not likely going to go fast. Most of the visitors of the local classifieds site I use are looking for 5-20 euro stuff and that’s what I have and enjoy trading.

Like another huge clay planter. Picked up on my favourite curb in October and sold immediately for a too low bid, but I wanted it out before winter.

Or these two that I got more for than expected.

So I may in the end have to sell some of Mr. emigrants fine porcelain under its price:

This is German, Rieber, Bavaria. It may have a chance as it’s renowned, but the gilding of my set is not in mint condition all over.

These cups and saucers are stamped Royal Darlington and I can’t find out anything about it.

The guy sure liked gild. This looks Japanese to me, but I can’t tell.

Last for today, from Australia by Maxwell & Williams. It’s not vintage (stamped 2002) but the stuff isn’t cheap. As it’s fairly sturdy I may try it at a market. Someone might fall for the design without actually being on the lookout for a teapot.

Lucky there was some a bit more regular stuff as well. Things I can stash in my storage or even leave outside and flog at the car boot if it doesn't go. Later about that.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Loot Part I

The past week has been extremely slow. I only shipped out a men’s sweater on Monday, which wasn’t a trash find but a charity donation. The Man didn’t like it. I was happy though because it took seven months to get a decent bid on it.

What is waiting for pick-up is the IKEA Alang floor lamp from the big haul I mentioned last time. I had a great bid on it, so I shouldn’t complain, but the lady canceled this morning because of car trouble. I really hope to hear back from her soon.

Let’s have a look on some of the glass and ceramics I got from our emigrant.

Rosenthal glass dish. German. Should have some value, but the design isn't really attractive.

This is Turkish. The symbol on the lid represents a word, 'zerendud', for which I haven't found a clear translation yet. Anybody? It looks touristic to me, but it does have a numbered certificate.

I like this vase. Also German, by Joska Kristall. Currently they only offer very tiny vases, so value here is also hard to determine. Haven't looked on Ebay yet.

Dutch mantelpiece vases. Surely imitations, but I found out that the Dutch shipping companies had them produced in China in the 1600s, which may explain the somewhat Aziatic decorations.

The smaller one is cracked. I found it days later in a separate box and I added the photo to the listing for the windmill as proof of it's Dutchness.

Three Delft Blue plates, to hang on the wall. Painting reproductions of Gerard Dou, Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer. Only the edge is hand painted.

Enough for now. Any information welcome. I'm just not used to selling things like this. Don't know what to ask, what to expect. I thrive on regular second hand.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Work To Do

Last Tuesday my friend and I had a great haul. He spotted a guy bringing out boxes and gave me a call. Location: the far end of my street. With my little plastic hand truck I brought it all home in three goes, while co-picker was guarding the loot. Meanwhile the guy came out once more and explained he was emigrating. I now have three boxes and some bags full of glass, ceramics, cutlery, pans, an IKEA floor lamp and lots of small stuff. I sorted most of it, but photographed just a few things so far. I think I have for weeks to work on. Have a look in the shop to see the first things I listed. It’s all what’s above the dictionary.

For now just a quick report of sales since the last post.

Vintage baking book in bad condition. Flogged, surprised it went quickly.

The IKEA Hol table, it took a bit longer than expected.

Curver storage system from the 1980s. They were mine actually, got them for free years ago from the office’s coffee corners when they changed to new machines. Not really trash, but it could have been.

Croon vintage type case. I thought they were out of fashion.

IKEA Brimness chest of drawers. Model out of production. It caused a little bidding war just hours after listing. Found across the street.

Dress made in UK.

More shelves. To a friend.

Rusty iron table. I really like the shape of the foot and thought it would go fast, but it took five months to get a serious bid.

In all I made EUR 61,50 on trash in one week. I’m ahead of schedule for the month!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Busy Days

A third local site I use is a sort of very simplified Etsy, without any restrictions on products. It doesn’t do much for me, but it’s cost free and above all maintenance free. Once listed I can leave the items forever without having to look at them. So I put my unsold handmades on it and forget about them. About twice a year someone finds me. It sounds poor but it’s no work at all. Pictures taken already and I never have to discount anything because the few buyers I get are specifically looking for what I have. Somehow the listings also show up better in Google search results than the auction site, especially in the picture overviews.

So I was pretty pleased Thursday it brought me a buyer for one of my crochet heart key chains. They never did anything on Etsy, I sold a few on handmade markets, but that was that. Curb found yarn, some old beads, ring and clip from free handout cart coins.

If you’re in the Netherlands or Belgium and got curious, the place is called Marktplaza.

Also on Thursday I sold another pair of shoes. These are Golddiggas, found a month ago around the corner.

In the evening this simple shelf was picked up. Found equally in February, on my favourite stretch of curb.

Shelves are good! I found this rack in December and sold it within two days. To the lady who bought the poster frame.

She also took a trash can. IKEA Knodd.

Friday, after over five months I had a buyer for this set of wineglasses. Pretty cool! I’ve had wineglasses on markets and nobody ever looked, so I had low hopes for this set. Brought home by the Man.

If I include the books, in two days I made a 'stunning' EUR 27,65, which puts me right on schedule after a fairly slow start of the month.

Friday, March 11, 2016


The bookselling service I use has not been doing very well since 2011. Before that I made EUR 30-40 a month. Too much competition from professionals especially on bestsellers. Only scientific books and otherwise unusual titles had a chance and I couldn’t get enough of those.

In January they expanded shipping discounts. It also seems the competition is less murdering. I don’t know if it’s the coming out of the crisis or that the site has put up restrictions, but I was finally able to even list some bestsellers at a profit.

Sold two books at once yesterday. One older more interesting listing from 2014 and this one I had picked up with some more Dutch popular books in November. The only way then seemed to list it at the auction site. It was a useless effort too! When I looked again last month I noticed the changes and put up at least twenty titles from recent stock. Some with very little profit, but I like how easy and effortless it works. Just type in number, describe condition and set price. Once ordered that’s that. No hassle with bidders or potential buyers who change their minds. Smart wrapping in all sorts of free paper saves any extra costs.

I still have to go through old stock that I delisted after 2011.

When I’m really lucky the buyer is from town and nearby enough to deliver in person if it’s letterbox deliverable. Then I can keep the shipping money in my pocket!

The last time that happened was September last year. It wasn’t far but it brought me outside my own area. I had noticed some trash bags already and on the way back I kept my eyes wide open. I came home with vintage chrome coffee table legs. Not in great condition, a bit rusty but after a test I knew at leat the paint stains came off with ammonia. Sold quickly in three weeks or so.

I must go back there when temperatures go milder. They don’t have the underground dumpsters yet.

I had a pretty good day yesterday with three more sales, but I have to stop now.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Shoe Sales And Some Cleaning Tips

The Man brought these in December I think. Clog sandals are timeless, unfortunately there were some stain issues. I’ve washed complete suede bags to fresh them up, but stains never go out. Early January I just listed them without any treatment for cheap to see what would happen. Actually I expected they’d have to wait for the next flea market, but they were ordered yesterday. Shipping paid on top, and she thought it was a great deal.

Nikes and other sneakers are easy to clean. I simply bathe them in lukewarm water with a drop of soap, give the sole a good scrub and sponge the top. Leave to soak a bit to fresh up the insides as well and rinse shortly. Drain them upside down on a laundry rack, then leave to dry in the sun or a mild heat source. They always come out looking almost brand new.

Found together with other shoes a couple of streets down next to the glass recycling dumpster. Took only ten days to lose them.

Same treatment for this pair. Came from the October suitcase. They had no laces, but I took them from a broken pair out of the same lot. Sold in three days.

More from the same find: ballerinas for a teenager’s Christmas outfit. Cheap H&M, but almost new.

My best ‘garbage’ shoe find so far. Found in a plastic tote bag placed by the new textile recycling dumpster on my favourite stretch of curb. The receptacle was still locked for the year change, to prevent fireworks getting thrown in. Ok, the owner had intended to donate them, but she just left them there.

They are from a high fashion shop, now bankrupt, in our local high society shopping area. Sold within a week and the bid was according to their origin.

I gave this little girl’s pair brand new shoelaces on top of the washing. A simple trick to make used shoes look more attractive. From the same pile as the pink Nikes.

I’ve found brand new shoelaces in bags of clothing and also in empty shoe boxes. I always look inside, if I don’t take the complete box anyway. They are great for shipping.

The polka dots went together last month with a pair of Pull and Bears from the October suitcase. They were near new and good enough to list as is.

To end, Chuck Taylors that were waiting for me lonely beside the dumpster at the far end of my street. You can even wash these in the machine if they are very mucky, but this pair was ok after the quick rinse.

Shoes make great sales items. With prices varying from EUR 2-20, including the snow boots I made 61,50 since August from the garbage alone. Now if I add those from the free pick-up center… but that’s another story.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Clearing Up

Sold yesterday after less than a week. Found at least a year ago across the street. Brand new. So I wanted to keep it. When last week I finally set about to use it for a cute print I found, I discovered I still had this old IKEA frame the exact same size but in poorer condition, and used that instead. The new frame made me double the amount I could have asked for the old one.

Equally following the rule ‘if you haven’t used it…’ last December I listed this percussion instrument the Man had brought home many years ago. It’s called a rainmaker and if you hadn’t seen one before, it’s filled with grit and imitates the sound of the rain as pegs in the side slow down the falling. We kept it as d├ęcor, but it ended up in a corner in his flat. I gave someone a great deal, but I was glad it went.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Oh, that neighbour of mine!

On Monday night my co-picker brought me this piece of plastic kitsch. Right now it’s already packed and waiting to ship. I don’t usually agree to ship big clumsy items that make me less than EUR 10 (the frame doesn’t look huge, but it didn’t fit in any box), but the bid was pretty cool for what it’s worth and I was afraid to have to store it for a long time if I didn’t take it.

Wrapped in six layers of bubble plastic and then just shoved in a trash bag, it was pretty easy after all.

Talk about the weird things my neighbour brings me sometimes:

This is what I found in my porch on Monday morning.

The colossal thing is made of iron and stands over a meter tall. I was half in shock but I took it in and listed it straight away. Now taking up half of my lounge almost! Well if everything goes according to plan it will be picked up coming Sunday.

Last summer he brought me a bulky Times Atlas of the World. Cool, but I wasn’t really sure what to do with it. I can’t remember if I ever took it to a market, if so nobody looked. When I finally did research I found there were a lot offered on the local site, but no one had my English edition. So I gave it a chance and listed it after all in August and it sold quickly after three weeks.