Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thrifting As A Professional Picker/Antiques Dealer

Yes, I am a picker, and yes I do go to thrift stores.

 I'm a hardcore picker...I do it all!

And why not?  Thrift shops are sort of like a daily garage sale, but indoors...and when it is -20C outside, shopping in a heated environment is welcome!

When I am out picking, and happen to be cruising through a little town, I keep my eyes open for such places, and take note of them for next time I am in the area. This includes second hand stores, consignment stores, etc, etc. I will stop in and check them out, if convenient, and they are open. If they are closed, I will check for a phone number posted in their window, which is usually an invitation to call and have the proprietor/proprietress open up. Usually, I do weigh the possibilities of the place, my schedule, and will pass of the store if other places in the area that may hold more potential at that moment.

I have done well from such places, especially in more rural areas where many/some/certain antiques & collectibles are/may not be recognized as having value, and not immediately snapped up left, right and center.

Last week, en route to pursue up a lead, I stopped in at one such country thrift store.  I suspect I spent about 3/4 of an hour there, as it was one I have never been in before, so I didn't have a set "search pattern" already in mind as I was looking around.  I left with 3 bags of items, as well as a a few bulky things.

 As part of the $42 (and change) that was spent I acquired some neat items, including:

2 bunches of 100+ year old, glass trade beads

 Yes, of the type that were used for trading for furs and such during the Fur Trade period in North America. What most people do not know, or not realize is that these were also used for the same sort of trade in Africa and other nations during that period. Being found here, though, their intended purpose was for trade with the native population here, over 100 years ago.


$1.00 for the lot.  (These I have already been sold, by the you won't see them for sale in my inventory.)

These were a fun and cool find, and the oldest item from that buy, but not the most profitable.  I also bought a hand tinted photo, done by a noted, and heavily collected, Eastern Canadian Photographer.  It was $15. My retail price is $75.   Am thinking I may also be able to work a decent trade with a local collector of his works. If not, it will go with me to a show, or maybe it will end up sold at a wholesale price to an eastern Canadian dealer.  Also in the purchase was a painting that may turn out to be of decent value, but am still researching it. 

Also as part of the finds, I bought 2 large, heavy, well made, shallow, bowl like plates....which are actually collection plates.

 No, not "collector plates"... I do mean collection plates, from a church!  They are only from the mid/late 1950, but for $3 each I couldn't leave them there!  

Maybe I can use them in my new picker cult!

Wanna join? 

Toss your $50 bills in this plate please....'cause I need it to go pickin'!


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