Friday, January 20, 2012

Looking for...antiques

I saw a post on another blog the other day... the shop owner had made a list of things she tries to find when she's out junkin' - not things for herself, but for her to put in her shop.

We too have a list in our heads we take with us whenever we're out on the hunt. The trick is, we have to find it at prices that allow us to raise the price enough to make a profit on it. After all, we have bills to pay.

Chairs are always on our list. If they are sturdy enough to sit on, it's a definate plus. But we also buy them if all they can be is a "porch chair that holds flowers".

And tables. Farm style tables in particular. I can't sell a "nice" piece of furniture. A fine oak piece? A beautiful mahogany dresser? A graceful cherry cabinet? Nah. My people want chippy paint.

That's what we call our customers when we're out on the hunt. My people. It's a term of high praise and endearment. We are very, very, very thankful for my people.

Wheels are always fun - any size will work in flower gardens. We tend to find smaller ones like these more often, but we've also had some monsters.

It's tough to get old mantles at a price we can afford, let alone make a profit on. But once in a while we get lucky. Old ladders are also in demand.

Windows, windows, windows. I'm ALWAYS looking for more old windows. One time George bought almost 200 old windows at an auction. That was a bit much, because almost all of them were big - 8 pane and larger. That was a couple years ago, and I'm still selling those windows. He took a chance, and bought them sight unseen.  If they had been 4 and 6 pane windows - like in the above photo - they would have all been gone by now. It's harder to sell the big ones, but I have sold the majority of them. Just guessing, I'd say there's 40 or so left. When the last one is gone - we're going out to celebrate!

Old wood boxes. Another thing we constantly look for. When we first opened, we just used antiques for props. I went to an auction one evening, and there were dozens of wood boxes. They sold for rather low prices, and I bought just a few for display purposes. Boy...would I love to catch another auction like that one now that I sell them! Many times at auctions, boxes sell higher there than I price them in the store! Just depends on who is at the auction, and how badly she wants those boxes.

Who doesn't love the coziness of an old quilt? How adorable is this one with cats in the middle, and paw prints around the edges? It sold very quickly. I wish I would have had several of them, because it sold within a day or two of putting it on facebook and this blog. Several other customers asked about it after it was gone.

Crocks are very hard to get at a price we can make a profit on. A fellow who has an antique shop in a neighboring town is usually at the auctions. If he's there, I know I won't be able to buy any crocks - he's willing to pay much more per crock than I can. I wish he's stay home more often!

We like to find unusual items - this heavy, heavy piece sold before we even got it inside the store. We unloaded it out back - because it was so heavy, we were going to have to move some stuff around inside in order to place it close to the front door. That would make it easier on whoever bought it when it came time to take it out. While it was sitting out back, one of the girls who works next door saw it. She bought it to plant flowers in. And we didn't have to try to get it inside! A win-win!

This is just a short list of what we look for. We know our customers well enough now to have a pretty good idea of what they are looking for, and it's fun to go on the hunt with that in mind.

It's great to have an excuse to spend all that time "goin' junkin'!"


Carrie said...

I'm looking around at some of your pictures... man I wish you were closer to me! I love these kind of shops. I'm always looking for old windows, doors, furniture.... and what not for DIY projects. My dad is a big fan of going to auctions and picking this stuff up and selling it on ebay.

Barb said...

If you lived closer, I'd invite myself over for dinner....your recipes all look so yummy!

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