The Crazy Suburban Mom: A bad taste in my mouth

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A bad taste in my mouth

About now I feel like calling it a day with rummage sales, estate sales and second hand shops.  It isn't fun anymore.  There are better prices on eBay then in a dusty basement and I don't even know what to say about that.  It's nuts.

The first notch in the overload belt was the day I overheard one woman say to her partner giving the (over-priced everything at bloated retail) estate sale,  it didn't matter if things don't sell.  "We'll just take it all back to our shop!" And I might add they were all but wringing their hands à la Snidely Whiplash.

That day I understood why prices are crazy high prices at estate sales.  The givers don't give a hoot if the stuff sold because if it doesn't Mwa-hahaha! for them!

The second thing happened at a teeny church thrift shop;  a crowded and dirty place; the kind of place you have to wash everything you buy. Eight or nine thousand times.  I don't mind that kind of place, I even like them but please, if I have to pick spiders off myself after visiting and you can't afford to fumigate at least keep the prices down.

The day I'm referring to was when  I saw a complete set of  fairly retrofantabulous dishes.  They sat in a box with a taped on print out.  It was the eBay listing for the same (word 'same' used loosely because condition, condition condition is everything) set.   Excuse me, really?  Several hundred dollars, you want?  For a box of dishes that haven't seen the inside of a house since the Eisenhower administration, and water even longer.

There are some sets worth that risk because even a few pieces are worth a ton, not this one.

And the third came last week.  'Member I found a Blue Heaven dish at a second hand place (here). See how it looks all nice and in fairly good condition amongst my other atomic treasures.


I only got that and the crumb sweeper.  I wanted to go upstairs because the lamps and suitcases used to be upstairs.   Not anymore.  Now the "antiques" are up there.   I would've gone but it's not even open every day.

I don't know the word antiques scares me.  It sounds like a way to charge more.  And I promise that place over charges anyway.  For real, they charge for Pyrex by size and the big ones can be eight dollars in bad condition.  I mean, no one would get that on eBay.  So what could the antiques be?

I'm torn about how I feel.   On one hand I feel these places should make what they can, they are charity organizations.  On another hand many of the people who shop there are shopping there because they can't afford to shop elsewhere.  Yes, there are people looking to sell but the majority aren't.

There is a place around here called the Somerville Center Antiques in Somerville, New Jersey.  It's the kind of place where space is given to different vendors.  Over 200 vendors, I've been there and it's pretty amazing.

When I first went there I was amazed at all the things I'd never seen before but scoffed at paying retail - But you know, more and more I'm paying retail anyway.

  At  least at the Somerville Center Antiques I don't have to 'take a number' to be let in, the prices are marked and I don't have to worry some sweaty fat woman will tackle me if I sprint to the gallon jar of buttons before her.

 And none of the stores involve spiders. 

 I've just got a bad taste in my mouth over the whole thing.   It almost isn't fun anymore


Vonlipi 5/25/11, 10:21 PM  

This makes me sick too! It's all Martha's, Country Living, Crap Pickers (or whatever their name is), Nate's (yes him too and his pants fit him real weird) and the root of all this evil is Antiques Road Show!
Think about it! The economy is real bad and people are looking for a way to make a few bucks. When the economy is tight, the charities are even tighter...

So everybody is trying to pay the bills. Of course you also have people wanting to sell stuff market price like it was lobster....I always say: Do you want to make money or are you trying to get rid of it?

Last saturday my neighbour wanted 30$ for a rusted bug zapper...WTF???

The Crazy Suburban Mom 5/26/11, 6:32 AM  

I used to go to sales every weekend. Id look on line for them and drive around looking for random ones. Now, its not even fun. Somes I will stop if I see an estate sale given by the family because experience tells me they do want to get rid of stuff.

Garage sales are so awful too, its more about take your garbage and put it on tables instead of in cans and see what sells.

I dont get it really, there is a difference between garbage and usable items.

I went to a lot of sales up until last summer but not this year. I dont find myself interested. If I drive by one, I go but I dont go looking

dddiva 5/26/11, 9:32 AM  

It has been like that here (South Central Arkansas) since I moved from the east coast. Tables that would cost $25 in New Hampshire (expensive, on the beach Hampton New Hampshire) were going for $150. Chairs $40 (these are not fabulous chairs but the ones that regularly retail for 39.99 with always the 25% off so 29.99.

Kicker was the adorable bookends for $3. Kitty corner across the street they were going for $1 at the Dollar Tree. I kid you not. Because they stuck the name antique on their building and assumed the shoppers didn't go to the dollar store they figured they could gouge you.

When I go to visit mama or somewhere else I will browse for antiques, but here- no way, I do better at Dillard's or Macy's on sale.

Hope you can find a great deal to make it fun for you again.

Anonymous,  5/26/11, 7:09 PM  

I see some of that here but have to admit I still find SOME deals. I'm sorry you are having such terrible experiences! Plus to add to it all gas prices are horrendous. Yikes.

none 5/26/11, 8:54 PM  

Can't just blame Martha! The prices have gone up due to ALL of the HGTV, The History Channel, TLC, A&E shows that have everyone saying "I have that!" and now want a small fortune for it at there tag or garage sale. You can't blame them. If someone on tv said it was worth x amount, than they want close to that amount and doesn't leave much haggle room.
Also, the ecomony has changed the business also. Places like The Salvation Army, Goodwill and Unique have watched their sales climb. They all know what they have and know they can still bump the prices up and you are still getting it cheaper. I stay away from garage and estate sales. I rarely feel like I get a bargan. I have flea markets that I go to & have made friends with the right dealers and I can walk away with more than I could ever do at a garage sale and have higher quality items to stock my online shops.
As far as the antique shop in Somerville, I try to shop there only around holiday time or in January when all the dealers have 20-30% off their booths. They always have amazing items & the downstairs for the kitchen items can be very expensive, but a great place to ooh & ahh!

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