Sunday, January 30, 2011

I Love Wood...

...because no matter how dinged up, scratched or marked up it is, you can almost always fix the damage with a little sand paper and a few coats of paint. For example, this rather unique side table or nightstand that I found this week. I actually watched one of my parents neighbors walk this out to their trash so I took a deep breath, looked around and rolled down the car window to ask if I could have it. He said yes! And I got a FREE, very old and totally battered table that was covered in Sleeping Beauty stickers (Samantha's favorite thing about the table) and had pieces of the table top chipped away and broken. 

pieces of the wood framing broken off and stickers everywhere!

So, we had a mommy-daughter "painting date," and I let Sammi help me retrofit this table. The result...
The table itself is actually hollow and has two hidden doors in the front for loads of storage. Very cool!

Weekly Highlights
After what was proving to be a slow January, this week made up for it with 14 total sales, six of which were completed on Monday, alone! Some of the best bargains...

Large Indoor Playhouse
Paid $12 (Original asking price, $16)
Sold for $45
Poor girls...they were so sad.
Little Tikes Car and Gas Station
Paid $3.33 (Original asking price, $6)
Sold for $15
Sold to a lady who ran a daycare and bought a bag full of other random baby toys that I had laying around. In total, she paid $27 for the bag of toys and Little Tikes Car. 

Casio 5-Octave Keyboard
Paid $5 (Original asking price, $10)
Sold for $35
I sold this keyboard no fewer than five times to individuals "on their way" who would never show up. This keyboard is the reason I quit giving my address to potential buyers until they arrived to my street. 
Antique Tool Box
Paid $.50
Sold for $10
In addition to the tool box, I also sold an antique stool for $10 that I paid $1 for and an early American wood chair that I got for free at a garage sale. In total, he bought $30 worth of stuff!
White Washed Chair 
Paid $1
Sold for $20
One less seat to sit on at the Blue Chair because I've been storing it there for the past four plus weeks! 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

FOUND: Over $100 on Side of Road

My hard days work summed up in a single comic strip...

Thanks, Auntie Robin for sending this to me! I LOL'd and it has a permanent spot on the refrigerator!

The Best Kind of Yard Sales to Find...

are moving sales...the kind where people are feeling the pressure of getting rid of stuff and fast. If they make a buck off of it, it's an added bonus! I can usually get stuff super cheap at these kinds of yard sales. At one particular yard sale, the family was under extreme pressure. They had to be out of there house by 5:00 pm so what didn't sell was getting left behind. I just happened to be the lucky benefactor of their left behind treasures. Four car loads later, I had a bunch of free furniture posted to craigslist. Within 24 hours, I made over $100!

Off White Leather Recliner Chair
In PERFECT Condition-no scratches or tears and easily reclined!
Sold for $75 in 24 hours
Received for FREE on side of the road

Set of 4 Reclining Patio Chairs
Sold for $30 in 24 hours
Received for FREE on side of the road

Distressed White Toy Box or Hope Chest
Sold for $25 in less than 2 days
Paid $5 (Original asking price, $10)

Limited Edition Disney Music Boxes (Set of 7)
Sold for $90
Paid $35 ($5 each-Original asking price, $10 each)
I tried to sell some of these on ebay, but that ended up being disastrous! Shipping these very fragile music boxes was far more complicated that wrapping them in bubble wrap and tissue paper. Both of my ebay sales had to be refunded because they broke while being shipped. Thanks to ebay, craigslist, amazon and other web sites, these $40+ music boxes have been devalued to about $10 a piece. 

A New Mommy Pickers Posting
This is an antique Bergere Chair. Having known nothing about Bergere's, I discovered that they are highly valuable furniture pieces. The average price of a Bergere is about $850! You might be able to find one for much less, say $200-$400 but it will most likely need to be completely re-upholstered and re-built. What makes this a unique piece is the delicate engravings on the arms and legs of the chair. They are truly beautiful. And, this one in particular maintains its vintage charm with some contemporary flair in the newly re-upholstered material choice! 
Check out the complete posting


Monday, January 17, 2011

Out with the Old and In with the....well, Old!

Rock Bottom Sales for a Slow Shopping Month

Blue Kitchen or Desk Chair
I found this beauty in someones trash on my way to taking Sammi to preschool one day. Making sure that no one saw me scavenging the garbage, I quickly pulled it out and threw it in the back of the car. I've been intending to fix it up, but never got around to it.
Sold $5
Paid $0

White Dresser
This was an awesome dresser, solid wood in really good condition. The detail work on the drawers was really pretty and with a bit of paint and some new hardware, it was going to be a gorgeous piece of furniture. Better yet, didn't cost a dime. Thanks to Dr. Sally for finding this gem with a FREE sign on it by her house. I posted it in the off chance that it might sell before I would get around to refinishing it...and it did in a matter of days. I had multiple calls on this piece. Final price $45.00 (and I'm sharing the profit with my most masterful furniture finder friend).

Cherry Wood Console Table
Sold for $25 (Paid $5, original asking price $10)
The lady who bought this spent no fewer than five minutes trying to talk me down to $20 because it had a few teeny tiny which I replied, that is why it is ONLY $25 and not $75. Take it or leave it lady! OK, I didn't really say that, but honestly, it's craigslist, what do you expect?

Awesome Ebay Sale for the Week
Holiday Mickey and Minnie figurine (still had original price tag for $25 on the bottom)
Posted on ebay with a starting bid of $.99. Closed at $19.75 with added $8.75 shipping. 

Out with the Old and In with the Old

Last Saturday, I found a killer deal on a great china cabinet...not great looking, though. Since I sold that amazing hutch a few weeks back, I've been on a mission to find something equally awesome to take its place in my kitchen and sell at a higher price point. 
Sadly, I lost the original picture so don't even have a good before pic. But, I've got the after picture and I really like how the final piece turned out!
Sanded down and painted white.
Lightly distressed the edges to match my existing kitchen table and chairs.
Kept the existing hardware but spray painted it metallic silver. I'd rather replace it all together but that would cost around $30. 

One last final note...
Remember that box of freebies I got last week...over 30 books. Posted them on ebay, sold a few of them for some change. I'll keep them listed though and over time, I'm confident they will turn over a small profit. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Yard Sale-ing + Laryngitis = Terrible Bargaining Skills

In what ended up being a pretty dismal weekend of yard sale-ing, I managed a couple of good finds but wasn't on fire with my stellar negotiating skills. I'm thinking my lack of voice might have had something to do with that. I couldn't use my natural charm and persuasive words to seal the deal with folks. However, I did manage an entire box of freebies from one guy packing up at the end of the day. He let me fill a box with leftover stuff, saving him a trip to the Goodwill. I wasn't sure what I was getting, but as it turned out, there were about 30+ books, some of them hardback first editions from the early 80's, two Leap Frog Leap Pads with books and games, a few toys and some other random stuff. I posted all of the books on ebay, so we shall see how they do this week. I'll update you next week as to if it was a successful free find.

Some new items posted this week:
Large Indoor Playhouse with sink, stove and oven, washer/dryer. Closes to be completely self contained with windows to the outside and a door. There is even a chimney on top!

Posted for a Mommy Pickers clients:
Sleek Glass Top Desk with Nickel Grey Frame.

Profitable Sales this Week:
Winnie the Pooh Tricycle
Paid $3 (Original asking price $5)
Sold for $20

Epson Photo Smart Printer
Sold for $40 for a Mommy Pickers Client in under one week!

Shabby Chic Side Table
Paid $5 (Original asking price $10)
Sold for $35 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Ugliest Thing I've Ever Sold

I am hoping that selling the most god-awful, ugliest stool in the entire world on New Year's Day is a sign of good luck for 2011! Because, honestly who would ever buy something like this (besides me, of course...cuz I bought it at a yard sale)?

As posted on craigslist, "The Craziest Looking Fish Stool you have ever seen!"
Paid $.50 (Original asking price $1.00)
Sold for $15 in just under 3 weeks
Thus proving, that you can sell ANYTHING!
From Shabby to Chic
On a more serious note, I wanted to blog about one of my most dramatic transformations on a beautiful piece of furniture that had undergone a seriously bad restoration! For the past three months, I have been on the hunt for a wardrobe, which I have discovered is a  hard item to find reasonably priced at yard sales. But, early in December I came across this potentially amazing wardrobe at the end of the day while the family was cleaning up their yard sale mess. Immediately, I saw the potential of what it could look like with some paint, hardware and embellishments. The original owners had attempted to stain and varnish this solid, cedar wood wardrobe...but it was a job gone bad. It looked as though the stain was applied unevenly and the varnish had been applied much too thick. They took a paint brush to even out the varnishing and the end result was cracked, clumped and clotted varnishing all over the piece.

Stripping down the varnish
After negotiating the price to a mere $15, I loaded up and headed home with a vision. I started by sanding...and more sanding...and some sanding after that. I ended up using 80 sandpaper (which is really coarse for most woods) but needed a rough finish for the paint to adhere. I also removed the chunk wooden hardware on the front and filled one of the holes on each door so that I could replace with knobs.
Sanding Job: 1 hour

2-coats of paint

The wardrobe itself was overwhelmingly plain, so I wanted to embellish it to add some more visual interest while maintaining the integrity of its simplicity. So, I bought some very small but finely detailed molding to go around the top edges of the wardrobe. I also bought a wooden doo-hicky to add to the bottom below the doors. I glued them onto the wood and then tacked them on with small nails.

After that, the grueling job of painting began. Three coats of paint total in two days! Once the paint was dry, I took a sander to the edges so that it would look completely "shabby chic" and distressed. The distressed look gave it's natural flaws character and charm. The final touch...two new crystal knobs, replacing the big, chunky and totally ugly wooden handles.
Total time spent: 4.5 hours

If you want to see the finished product in person, it was purchased by Blue Chair Children's Bookstore in Downtown Glendora and is being used as Mary Poppins, Cinderella's, Alice's, etc. personal closet. ;)


Solid Cedar Wood Wardrobe
Paid $15 (Original asking price, $40)
Supplies $35 (Paint, hardware, etc.)
Sold $100

Another awesome sale this week...
This 1950's vanity that I bought at an estate sale. I have had this for sooooo long, I practically gave it away. I painted it and added new hardware to give it a completely new look!

Paid $30 (double my furniture budget, but it came with a BEAUTIFUL round mirror that had engraved flowers around the edges and I broke it moving it to the garage...bummer!)
Paint and Hardware: $19.25
Sold for $75 after having it posted for almost six months...the longest I've ever had anything posted. I'm pretty sure the pink had something to do with that.

Happy New Year Everyone!
Resolve to clean out your house and garage this year...and have me sell your stuff in the process! Check out my brochure if you need someone to manage the buying and selling.
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