Oh Vintage Silver, How Do I Love Thee?

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  May 7, 2012 — 2 Comments

My poor shop has been suffering. I’ve been too tired to do much thrifting lately, and even when I do get something to list in the shop I have a hard time motivating myself to actually photograph, price, and list it. I have a couple of items that have been sitting on my shelves for a shameful number of weeks and still aren’t listed in the shop. Unacceptable!

Fortunately I got out of my funk a little bit this weekend. I hit up an estate sale with my new friend Jillian and it turns out she is my lucky charm. Look at how much stuff I got! The lady whose estate was being settled must have loved silverplate as much as I do. I say she had great taste.

I rarely buy this much stuff at once but I just couldn’t help myself, especially since it was the third day of the sale and everything was 50% off. I wish so badly that I could brag about how little money I spent for this entire pile, but that seems like a poor business decision. Jillian asked me while we were checking out how I usually price my items. I told her my number one rule is that I don’t ask for more than I would be willing to pay myself. When I’m unsure I’ll search for similar items on Etsy to get a general range to start from, but for most estate sale items I usually rely on the sale coordinators’ expertise and mark it at the same price they did. Since these sales are usually run by experienced vintage and antique dealers, and I usually only go on the last day when everything is half off, this guarantees a 50% profit for me and a reasonable price for my customers.

Jillian also asked about how I choose what to buy and sell. The truth is that I try to stick to my own personal style. I buy things that I would love to have in my own home but don’t really need. I’m still new to this vintage dealing thing and a few times have bought things because I thought they were trendy or in-demand items, and I’m not sure that was a wise decision. A great example of this is the small collection of vintage cameras in my shop. They’re not really my thing but I know others collect them, so when I saw several priced really reasonably at a thrift store I thought it was my lucky day. I don’t know enough about them, though, to write a really engaging or impassioned description in the listing and they’ve been sitting unsold for months. Lesson learned: follow your heart, not the money.

But back to stuff I love! I paid for these three small bowls separately, but I think I may sell them as a set. They nest inside of each other perfectly and will be so cute together after a good polish.

I have always loved these trays with the cut-out edges. I’m sure there’s a technical term for it that I’m not aware of. I have them all over my house set out on tables or even affixed to the walls. Most of these don’t even need much in the way of cleaning. Just a quick pass with a soft cloth, maybe, since I like the patinated look (did you know that patinated is the adjective form of patina? Just learned that myself thanks to Professor Google).

I don’t see more ornate dishes like these often, so this was a special treat. I can’t wait to give these a good cleaning and really highlight the pretty textural details.

Hopefully now that I’ve announced my most recent purchase publicly I’ll be held accountable to actually get these cleaned up and listed in a timely manner. As far as cleaning goes, I usually use a combination of toothpaste and this method. Do any of you love buying vintage as much as I do, or even have your own shop? Is there a special type of item that draws you in every time? Vintage silver always does it for me, with aged brass coming in a close second. I guess I’m into the metallic look, haha.

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


2 responses to Oh Vintage Silver, How Do I Love Thee?

  1. It looks like you had some great finds. I am glad that you are cleaning them up and not me.. They are pretty. I think they will sell

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