Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!


I picked this one for today because the song is fun and the video is really cool.  I love the homage to the classic Fleischer cartoons.  Plus, I'm a Kentuckian, we have a fondness for Stephen Foster.  When I was in seminary, I had a friend who was in the production.

If you go out tonight in search of treats, watch out for ghouls and goblins!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


So last Sunday I'm sitting around at about ten til ten, just like I do every night, waiting for my sales email to come in from the Peddlers Mall.

My phone flashes!

It's in!

I punch up the email and, lo and behold, it's a massive, whopping $2.08!



Two dollars and eight cents.  Two-freaking-dollars and eight-freaking-cents!


So, I wail a bit.  And gnash my teeth.  And don sack cloth and ashes.  And curse the ground I walk on, the air I breathe, the sky above me, all the gods in heaven, and the day I was born.  No, scratch that last bit.  I rue the day I was born.  And I bemoan the cruel fate the will befall every junker several times in their junking life.*

The ebb and flow.

The yin and the yang of reselling.  Sometimes you're flush with $100+ days.  Sometimes you don't make enough to buy a decent latte.

Customers, they are a capricious and unpredictable lot.  Sometimes, they just ain't buying  your stuff.  And there's nothing you can do about it.  For the occasional ebbs, that is.

If you're having a constant, predictable series of non-starters as sales days, then something is wrong.  But, if you're getting a couple a month, nestled in amongst other good strong days, then you're probably okay.  $2.08 is better that $2.05 or $1.99 or $0.49 or---gulp----nada!

Sometimes a wee dose of perspective helps a lot, huh?

Seriously, I've had waaaaaaaay more than my share of those less than ten dollar days this year, and I fretted them, and--as soon as I could, I did something about them.  So far, for October, I've only had two, and they've been balanced out with lots of really good days, large item sales, and lots of activities.  I ain't gonna sweat this one.

Except, somewhere deep inside, in that place where I'm down on myself a lot.  Where I never quite believe that I know what I'm doing.  Where I don't always have the best self image and self confidence.

There, in that place, I'm totally stressed out about this.

But, I'm trying pretty damn hard to ignore that place.

*Hey!  I'm a drama queen!  We're required to wail, gnash, moan, curse, and rue at least once every six weeks, or we lose our license.  I'm in the "once every six days" club.  I get an extra star in my crown for that.  If I can keep it up for a full year, I get my own drama queen holiday!  Let's just say I'm doing pretty well on that one!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Rambles

I am in the grips of a junking jones something fierce, folks!

Due to all the sales I was planning on participating in this month, plus one rainy weekend, I had not been to any sales in October.  Not one.  Now I did mange to get somethings from other sellers at the sales I was in, including a ton of free stuff at the YesterNook sale, and I have also managed a thrifting stop or two, plus a couple of runs through the Peddlers Mall (where I got a cover for my Nook for only ten bucks!), but that's only been enough to take the edge off of the need, not enough to totally sate it.

Thankfully, this coming weekend is the start of the Annual Eddie's Birthday Junking Extravaganza What's So Big It Actually Takes Two Weekends To Fit It All In!  I will tame this beast!  I swear it!

Insert manly junker roar here!

I did stop in a Goodwill on Saturday and was totally shocked to find it packed with people, until I took a look at what they were buying--mustard yellow pants, anyone?--and realized that everyone was hunting the pieces for Halloween costumes.  I over heard a debate about whether a white fuzzy sweater could be spray-painted pink.  It was all a bit much.

That's me selling my crap on the sidewalk behind our house.  It was cold here Saturday morning. I had to have a heater out there with me to stand it.  A couple of folks asked if it was for sale.  I told them they could have it for $3,000!  Seriously, it was cold and windy and overcast and just gloomy.

I knew the diehards would come out, but the casual shoppers sure didn't.  I had an early rush, but the usual mid-morning rush didn't happen.  Plus, the cold limited the foot traffic in our normally busy 'hood.  I finally threw in the towel at noon, which is way early for me.

Still, I got rid of a lot of stuff and made about a hundred dollars.  The bulk of what I was selling was box lot leftovers and stuff that I got for free, so every little sale was worth it.  There was only one item I really had any money in, a Willett mirror that I got for two bucks.  I bought it to go in YesterNook and have been worried about having to take it to the Peddlers Mall, where it's more likely to get broken.  I mentioned it in the CL ad, to hopefully draw some attention to it.  One of the first customers bought it for my asking price, so I was pretty pleased. He also bought an encyclopedia rack from me.  I had to explain to him what it was, which kind of tickled me, since it was pretty obvious he was a dealer.

The book scanner from the YesterNook sale came by.  For some reason, I think he thinks we're friends now, since he bought four books from me.  He practically admitted to me that without the scanner he's got no clue what he's doing.  It's also pretty obvious from watching him that he's not having any fun doing it.

This cute young couple came by with their puppy, who grabbed a stick from under one of my tables and carried it around with her like she was going to buy it. It was so cute!  Another guy saw all the books and told me that his sister had a lot of books too.  "She's got the complete Stephen King Library.  Collector's Editions!"  You meet the most interesting people doing this.

When it was all done, I pulled a couple of boxes of stuff to take to the booth post-holidays and then took four boxes to Goodwill.  Space in my shed, plus a little money now, and the promise of more to come.  Not bad for a bunch of mostly free stuff.  I took a couple of boxes of books to Half-Price Books and then spent what they gave me on some clearanced manga and games for the booth.  All in all, it was a pretty good (if cold) day.

Sunday, we got the last of my stuff out of YesterNook.  There still isn't anything else in that storage pod, which kind of makes my blood pressure rise.  I'm still a little sad to have left, but I also feel really peaceful at my decision to go.  Besides the fact that my sales at the Peddlers Mall are up, thanks to the extra attention I can give that booth, I've already sold some of the furniture that came over from the closed booth!  I feel like I've recovered a lot of the fun and enjoyment to junking again and lost a lot of things that were stressing me out.  Leaving was the right move to make.

Well, I got to start making my list for the weekend,  It takes a lot of planning to pull off a successful birthday weekend extravaganza!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Once just isn't enough

Do you realize that the Go-Go's video I posted yesterday was the first Go-Go's video I posted in, like, ages and ages and ages?

This will not do.

We are talking about the Go-Go's here.  My favorite group of all time.  The greatest rock group of all time.  The music that is guaranteed to make me feel better no matter what.  The music that is perfect for celebrating.

And this year of all years, I have a lot to celebrate.

So let's get on with it!

Do you realize it's been over a decade since their last album?  Look up "crying shame" in the dictionary and you'll see that's the definition!  How about it, ladies?  One more for old time's sake?  For your biggest fan?  Please?


Seriously?  Belinda doing ABBA?  Does it get any better than this?

No.  No it doesn't.

I want to amend my request above.  The Go-Go's need to make an album of ABBA covers.  Now.

In an ideal world, not only would that happen, but it would prompt ABBA to reunite and return the favor.  Can you imagine their version of "Vacation"?

My brain just exploded.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

So Much To Do!

Ack!  No time to blog!  Too much to do!

The long delayed yard sale is today!

I've got to:

Get the tables out of the shed
Take them out back
Get the boxes out of the shed
Put the pricing signs on the tables
Unpack the boxes
Make the tables look neat and attractive
Get the bags and paper to wrap stuff
Get ready for the sellers
Sell stuff
Make change
Keep the tables neat
Sell more stuff
And so on and so forth!

That's quite a list!

You know who else has quite a list?  These gals:

Or at least the gal they're singing about does.

One of my faves, by the way, as well as one of my nicknames and my mottos.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Watch Out!

This Halloween, it's not the ghosts, goblins, and witches that are likely to get you.  No way.  You need to be on the look out for...


Cue ominous organ music here.

He's not creepy because he's scary or anything like that.  He's creepy because he looks like he's a creep.

Seriously.  Don't go near this dude.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

This is your cute kitty pic of the day

Starring my sweet baby Chiquito!

I'm pretty sure I've used this pic before, but I didn't promise all new content every day, just a post.  Work with me.  Besides, some bits of cuteness can be seen more than once, I think.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I Feel Pretty!

Sometimes you get a little carried away when you're going through boxes of stuff getting ready for your yard sale.

I think I'm ready for the Christmas Ball, don't you?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Selling Comics

Of course, if you buy them, then you must sell them.  If you sell them, then there will be stories to share.  Don't worry, these stories are 100% annoying nerd-free!  No, the annoying bits come from customers and other vendors this time.

I've had four long boxes of comics sitting around for a bit, waiting for me to do something with them.  Letting your merch sit for too long is never a good thing, but sometimes I get a little lax.  Stuff in those boxes was mainly runs from different series that I wanted to just bag together and sell in lots.  I kind of have to be inspired to do all that prep work, and that hasn't happened lately.  In other words, I've been lazy.

Nothing worse than a lazy junker, let me tell you.

Anyway, I decided that if  I wasn't going to actually get moving on creating the lots, then I'd take a couple of boxes to the Peddlers Mall outdoor sale and see what happened.  At the spring outdoor sale at YesterNook, I had sold quite a few comics, so it seemed like it was worth a shot.

I placed my Craigslist ad for the sale, making prominent mention of the comics to draw the yard saling nerds and set off.  Now, the day before the sale, I sold a ton of comics out of the booth (all to one person they told me), so I decided to check through my boxes before the outdoor sale really got started to see if there was anything I might want to use to refill the boxes in my booth.

Talk about your luck of the draw!  The box I pulled was half full of Superman and Punisher specials and prestige one shots that I had forgotten were in there.  Those boxes were part of a larger buy that included a box that was pretty much all Superman and Punisher.  I had put most of them out, but held a batch back because I did not want to flood my comics selection with them, because how many Punisher comics does one really need in one booth?

I was able to make up a nice round of stuff to put in the booth and still leave plenty for the sale.  Which, as it turns out, I didn't really need.  I'm guessing the yard saling nerds don't come into the southwest part of the county, because none of them showed.  In fact,  I only made a couple of comic sales at all.

One of those sales, however, made my day. There was a family wandering through--grandparents, mother, and two kids.  The girl was  maybe eight and the boy was about four.  Grandpa saw the comics and pointed them out to the kids.  The kids start going through the boxes and go nuts because the rest of what I've brought is mainly Disney stuff from different eras:  Gold Key/Whitman, Gladstone, Disney's own publishing attempt from the 90's and titles that were licensed to Marvel in the 90's.

Mom tells me that the kids love Disney comics and read every one that the can get their hands on.  She helps them pick out titles.  The girl makes sure that they don't get anything they already have.  Grandpa fronts twenty bucks to buy them.  And I get so wrapped up in the whole thing that I give each of the kids a couple of freebies.  I can't resist comic-reading kids.  Especially girls.  Especially with supportive moms.  We need more of all of that these days.

Although I have to admit, unless they've got another source for back issues, I cannot imagine where these kids are finding Disney comics to read these days.  I know I'm out of touch with current comics, but I didn't think there were any being published right now.  Of course, Disney does own Marvel, so what do I know?  I can't imagine a couple of cute kids like that going into a comics shop, though.  There's only one in town that I would describe as "kid friendly."

My other recent comics selling experiences are not quite so charming.  At the same outdoor sale, a couple of loudmouths declared that the only thing worth buying was super-heroes, not because they liked them, but because "super-heroes are the only comics worth any money."  Thank you blowhards who don't know what you're talking about.

About twenty minutes later, one of them came back over to my set up and made an embarrassingly ridiculous low ball offer for all of the comics.  I totally blew him off without a second thought.  Like I didn't know he'd had just enough time to look up some of what I was selling on eBay?  I'll make four times what he was offering through booth sales.  Go away, dude.

The same kind of thing happened at the YesterNook outdoor sale the next week, where I sold exactly four comics to a couple who obviously knew nothing about them, but managed to tie up my whole table looking everything up on their smart phone.  This wasn't a case of someone confirming a hunch on an issue.  This was a case of people who didn't know how to find exact titles, didn't know how to pronounce titles and didn't know how to distinguish between various series with the same titles.  In other words, they knew jack shit about comics and were counting on their phone to tell them.

I should have tossed them out of the booth, but it was slow, I was bored, and they were amusing me.  It never occurred to them that I might actually know something about the comics they were looking at.

I did actually kind of toss a book scanner out of my booth at about the same time.  I hate book scanners.  Another vendor had already embarrassed the poor guy by shouting "Hey!  Can this guy scan your books to see which ones his phone thinks are worth buying?" to the seller beside me.  When he popped up in my booth, I told him that most of my titles were vintage, meaning that they didn't have bar codes or ISBN's for him to scan.  

He declares that "old books are worth money!"  Then, grabs a book out of a box, flips it over to the back where the bar code should be, lifts up his phone, looks at the book, then at the scanner, then at the book, then at the scanner, and slowly realizes that he doesn't know what to do if he can't scan the book!  So, he puts the book back in the box and slinks out of my area.

Seriously, don't come to a sale put on by a bunch of resellers who work at this week in and week out and make an ass out of yourself.  I'm all about the technology and its uses and benefits, but if it's your only tool, if you have no experience or knowledge base of your own to draw on, if you aren't learning things as you go along, then you're doing it all wrong.  I have a smart phone and a barcode scanner.  I use them to confirm my hunches, not make all my decisions for me.

And this has been your ponitfication moment of the post.  Personally, I'd prefer to talk about cute kids reading comics and the mothers who help them.  Hopefully, I didn't meet the only ones in town the other day.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Rambles

All together now:

Oh, I got the booth closing blues!
Oh, I got the booth closing blues!
Ain't making no money!
Ain't selling no junk!
Oh, I got the booth closing blues!

Seriously, there's got to be an easier way to close a booth.  I was told that all my stuff was going to be removed, so that the damage from the roof collapse could be fixed.  On the one hand, that meant I would not be able to sell anything, as it would all be boxed up.  (Although I do notice that the other areas that were supposed to be closed and moved are still open and selling stuff and I'm a little miffed that I wasn't offered an alternative selling spot in the store for at least part of my stuff.) 

On the other hand, it meant that someone else was going to be dealing with moving the heavy stuff downstairs and out to storage.  (NOTE TO SELF:  Do not ever take a second floor booth again!)  Except that it didn't.  All that stuff was shoved to one side in the area that had to be vacated.  Huh?

So guess what I spent the weekend doing?  Moving heavy shelves downstairs. (NOTE TO SELF:  See note to self above!)  In fact, counting the boxes of stuff for the outdoor sale last week that Keith and I moved and the small furniture items that I moved out of the space on my own, the grand total of items that have been moved out of my space by someone else comes to (wait for it) nine boxes.  Yay!

Please note that would be nine boxes of items that I would strongly prefer be selling at 50% off, instead of sitting in a basically empty pod.  I guess the moral of the story would be to not take a booth anywhere you think the roof might fall in the month you decide that you're leaving.  Or something.

The upside is that now my shelving is all gone and has been moved to the Peddlers Mall.  Some of it is in my booth waiting to be used and the rest of it is on their furniture consignment program.  I really planned this out well, figuring out what would go where and making an item by item list of what was where and where it would go.  Well, except for the one shelf I somehow forgot about that is wider and heavier than all the others.  (NOTE TO SELF:  Memorize that damn note to self above!)  I think I have that worked out in my head, though.

All of that shelf moving would have been at least partly unnecessary had the vendor who expressed such great interest in buying about half my shelving not backed out on the deal without really telling me about it.  I had a feeling the sale wasn't going to happen, but I'm still ticked about it, mainly because I held off on moving the damn things so this person could have a shot at them.  One more thing to add to the list of things that are annoying me about the whole situation right now. 

All of the leftovers from the last outdoor sale, which came from the closing booth are in my shed, along with the remnants of a couple of mass buys and some yard sale appropriate things, waiting for my yard sale.  That should hopefully clear space in the shed for the nine boxes, which will all go to Peddlers Mall after the holidays, when they will seem new and fresh and different.  And I will be all moved out.  Yay!

I was going to have the yard sale last Saturday, but the rainy forecast made me rethink those plans.  The rain stopped by early afternoon, which gave us a chance to move the shelves.  (NOTE TO SELF:  Tattoo the above note to self on your inner arm!)  The advance forecast for this Saturday looks really good, so the sale is on for this weekend.  The nice thing about the delay is that I've already done most of the prep work.

The rain really cooled things down and now we're looking at those lovely bright and cool autumn days, which make this my favorite time of the year.  We took the air conditioner out of the window, broke out the blankets, made a pot of beans and welcomed fall!  I'm going to spend one afternoon this week sitting with a cat on my lap and reading old comic books.  I just don't know which one yet.  Love this time of year!

Sales at the Peddlers Mall continue to be very good.  I've sold a record amount of Halloween stuff, which tickles me to death.  I'll have fewer leftovers than normal.  I'll be heading over there this afternoon to consolidate everything on one table and make one last shot to foof it up and make it presentable.  Maybe there's one more rush to come!

I do need a little boost in my fall decor and Thanksgiving items.  Maybe this weather turn will boost them too.

I've already started casing out the stores, looking for stuff that might be left over.  You do realize that Halloween is a week from Thursday, don't you?  I'm planning for the after sales to stock up for next year.  Of course, I won't buy until it's all at least 75% off, but I'll find plenty.  There's a K-Mart near us that always has a good leftover selection.

The real Halloween hunt will happen the weekend after.  That's when the prices will hit my threshold.  That's also the weekend for Eddie's Birthday Thrifting Extravaganza, so I'll have plenty of goodness to share!  Yay!

Speaking of my birthday, I just about have all the posts written and scheduled leading up to it, which means my blogiversary gift to you all is about completed.  I have a couple more to go.  I've left a couple of days open, in case I have to shift something around, but it's pretty much good to go.  Happy Ten Years!  I gave you rambling.  I hope you like it.

I have to go sing a few more choruses of "Booth Closing Blues" now.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Buying comics

It's been an fun and interesting summer for comic buys.  (It's also been a fun and interesting summer for comic sales, but that is the subject for another post.)  It seems like, as I got to feeling better, comics just sort of popped out of the woodwork at me.  And that made me happy.

It started off in August with a sale that advertised that there would be lots of comics.  Normally, this means that there's a box or two of 90's glut crap that I don't really care to buy or sell, but the ad mentioned 60's and 70's, which meant that I was there--and hoping that something would be affordable.

The street address had me a little concerned that it was the same house that I had been to a few years ago where the comics were nice but collector-priced.  I wasn't sure at this point if I was looking to buy for me or buy to sell, but either way, I don't pay collector prices.

Happily, I turned out to be wrong about the address.  I got there right as the sake was starting and there were already three other nerds dudes going through the comics.  It took them about five seconds to get on my last freaking nerve.  Two of them I recognized from my own sales.

We were all crammed together on a tiny, little porch covered with boxes of comics.  They were flitting all over the place, usually right to the places I was trying to get to.  I normally try to be polite at sales, but these dudes would stand in front of everything, flipping through the same box over and over again and jabber to each other about nerd shit that no one cares about nothing, while I was trying to wait.  I ended up acting like a total ass and reaching around them to start grabbing things out of the box, which forced them to move.  I'm not proud of myself, but if I hadn't, I might still be there.

The deal was that unbagged comics were a dollar each, while the bagged ones were the price on the bag, which was the price the owner paid--ie collector's prices.  The unbagged ones were in lesser condition, but that's what I stayed with.  And racked up a nice pile, which I got for about ten bucks less than the dollar an issue price.  Deal!

I stuck primarily with DC reprint titles and Dollar Comics from the 70's.  I love that stuff.  It was some of my favorite stuff as a kid--anthology titles like Superman Family and Batman Family that would feature a new story, plus a bunch of old reprints.  I even got a few old 100 pagers in the stack.

A lot of these I have, so they will go to the booth, but I'll need to check my files first.  It was an awesome, fun buy that I enjoyed, even with the obnoxious nerds dudes.

A couple of weeks later, I was at the big flea market in the antique wing.  The first dealer I came to had a long box of comics that was about half full.

I kind of half-heartedly started flipping through it.  Nothing was priced, and it was pretty unremarkable for the most part--Zero Hour-era DC and the like.  Typically, dealers sell this stuff at a buck a pop, which is not a price I'd be paying for what I was seeing.

Then, all of a sudden, I hit upon some 1950's Donald Duck!

Followed by a scad of Classics Illustrated!

It was a bigger scad than this.  This is just a representative sample.
Now, I loves me some Classics Illustrated, so I was getting ready to ask the price, when the vendor comes over to me and says:  "Would you like to buy the whole box?"  I'm a little wary, since I have no clue what he knows or thinks he knows about what he's got, but I ask how much.  "Twenty bucks," he says.  "SOLD!" say I.  Money changes hands and off I stroll with a box of comics.

Bear in mind that there are like 150 comics in this box.  Out of that, maybe two dozen are what I really want, but I can run the rest through my booth, make my money back (and then some), and we're all happy.  (I've already sold several of them, in fact.)

Like I said the rest was pretty unremarkable, but it will be good booth fodder:

I might keep the Phantom, but I also think I might have it.

Again, representative sampling at play.

I have no idea why there were so many of this one issue.
Another treat from that box was a few copies of one issue of Golden Legacy, a series of African-American History comics from the 70's.  I have nearly all of them, but I'm missing a few.  (Until I looked them up for this post, I had no idea they could be ordered online.)  I already have this issue and now I have several more to sell.  I've seen this one in lots before.  It must have been kind of popular.

The best part of this story happens after I bought the comics.  I balanced the box on top of my granny cart and started wheeling for the door. I bought them from literally the first dealer I saw, so I wasn't that far in.  I texted Keith that I was heading to the car to drop off the box.

What I did not know was that Keith was not in the building.  He had stopped to take a call as we were going in and was still outside.  (The whole transaction happened really quick.)  He headed to the car and decided to take it to the front of the building, so I wouldn't have to go so far.  While he was doing that, I got to where I was SURE the car was supposed to be and couldn't find it.

He's waiting at the front for me.  I'm wandering the parking lot convinced the car has been stolen, because there's no way I've forgotten where we parked five minutes ago.  It was really funny.

I did one other big buy from a sidewalk sale at a local comic shop that had several quarter boxes, but those books are already at the booth, so I have no pictures.  That buy was kind of heavy on 70's DC sword and sorcery titles, like Beowulf.  That was a short-lived trend for DC (except for Warlord), but I always kind of liked it.  Fun stuff for a quarter a pop!

The comic shop sidewalk sales always bring out the teeming nerd horde a bunch of people, but for the most part it's pretty orderly.  It's well-organized and people are pretty involved in their searches, but they will move out of your way and not block access to the comics like jerky nerds dudes on front porches do.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fun Finds: Brick Wall

I never thought I'd actually be selling bricks after dealing with so many of them when I had chemo.  When I saw this salesman's or store display sample at a sale, I just couldn't resist.

Think of the possibilities!  Hang it on the wall and call it abstract art in multiple media!  Practice your graffiti!  Keep it on your desk for those times when you feel like you're banging your head against a brick wall!  Thwart the Big Bad Wolf!

Someone is going to get as big a kick out of that thing as I do.  I just know it.  This is the kind of oddball find that makes me love junking.  Believe it or not, this is the kind of stuff I got into this field to sell:  Big, dumb, weird junk that makes my heart sing.  (And Keith's eyes roll.)

The world needs more big, dumb, junky fun-ness!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Plain and Peanut. Ordinary and Funny.

So, I'm at the YesterNook outdoor sale this past Saturday and this kid comes into my area.  He's maybe 12 or 13 and his hair is dyed lavender.  I'm thinking either he's got a way cool mom or else she doesn't pay him any attention at all.

He heads right to the back of my sales area, and I thought he was going to the comic boxes that were set up on a table there.  Turns out he was looking at what was under the table.

About a half hour before he got there, I bought eight M&M dispensers from another vendor for a buck each.  I talked him down from 2 a piece because they were all filthy.  There are a couple of M&M collectors who roam through the Peddlers Mall, so it's another category of stuff I snag when I can get it cheaply enough.  I had put them in a box under one of my tables so I could take them home and deal with them later.

Well, this kid was totally in love with them.  He told me one of the other dealers had some, but they were too expensive.  He said he had one at home and he thought it would be cool to collect them.  He wanted to know how much mine were.

He pulled them all out of the box one at a time and carefully checked them over.  He said he didn't mind cleaning them up a bit.  He tried them all out to make sure the levers worked.  And he talked about each one of them.  "This one is a little fatter than that one," he would say.  "I bet it would hold more candy."

He talked about how the red M&M guy dispenser I had was shaped like a peanut M&M, but the red guy in the commercials is always a plain M&M.   The yellow one is the peanut M&M.  He was having the best time checking them all out.

Needless to say, I was completely charmed by the kid.  I remember being a young, budding collector and trying to find things I could afford.  I told him that he could have them for the same price I paid, a dollar each.

He got excited at that and decided that he would get four of them.  He split them into two groups:  the more ordinary ones and the ones he called the "funny" ones.  Then he looked at them all one by one and explained why he was or was not going to get that particular one.  He put all the ones he wasn't going to buy back in the box.  In the end, the four he picked were his "funny" group:  The Recliner, The Roller Coaster, The Movie Theatre, and The Golf Course (even though it was missing the club).  he really liked the scenarios and stories each represented.  He also liked the way the levers worked on each of them to dispense the candy.

He had one dollar on him and he gave it to me, then went in search of his mom to get the other three bucks.  Uh oh, the Mom Factor.  I kind of got worried the whole deal would fall through, so I decided I would offer him one for free if his mom said no to getting all four.

She came over, looked at them, and asked him what he would do with them.  He said he would clean them up and display them in his room, like a collection.  She said "okay" to that, so I decided she was one of the cool moms as she handed me three more dollars.

The guy I bought them from asked me why I didn't decide to make a little profit on them.  They did have his 2 dollar stickers on them, after all.  I thought about trying to explain "collector karma" and the whole being young and having an interest thing, but I knew he wasn't the type to get it.  When I looked at the kid I saw me at that age, hitting flea markets looking for old comics, hoping my dad would give me some extra money if I found something special.  When this other dealer looked at him, he just saw a customer.  I finally said, "It just wouldn't have been right."

The four he didn't get are cleaned up and in my booth right now, waiting for another collector to come along.  I had a few M&M things there already, but this buy gave me enough to make a proper display.

Don't they all look happy?  I think a candy-themed display works for this time of year, don't you?

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Isn't she adorable?

She was a special gift from reader and commenter Judy, and I just had to share her with you all.

Thanks so much, Judy.  She's going to live on my religious shelf.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

By the Way...

This week is my tenth blogiversary.  Ten years!  That's a long time!  Please try to ignore that fact that I've only managed to produce slightly over 1,000 posts in that decade.  At least I've kind of tried for most of that time.

I had planned on doing a Top 10 post list for the anniversary, but it kind of snuck up on me.  I was thinking it was a little later of the month, so it caught me off-guard when I checked this morning.  Kind of like the entire history of this blog.  Oh well.

I will get to that Top Ten list sometime before the end of the year.  Ten years is a lot of posts to go through.  I do feel like I should do something to honor my blogiversary, though.  From now until my birthday (November 4), I'm going to blog in some form or fashion every day.  Call it my anniversary gift to you all.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Re-introducing Saint Attica

I told you all yesterday that I had to restock and redo my religion wall.  A couple of weeks ago, someone came through and pretty much cleaned it out.  It happens from time to time.  I have regular niche customers who come to look for certain items: comic books, Disney characters, M&M stuff and religious articles.

Some of them come frequently and buy up small batches of stuff.  Others come once a month or every other month, and these folks will buy a HUGE batch of stuff on their visits.  I always look forward to seeing those visits show up on my sales report, dontchaknow?

Since this clean out happened at the same time that I am closing out my other booth, I have some religion stock to spare, but not much.  I am on the hunt right now for Madonnas and crucifixes.  Can anyone spare a saint or two to help a junker out?

I also had some small shelving and such to move over, so I decided to spiffy things up a bit with my restock.  Take a look.

The small shelves came from the other booth, and I think they've added a little bit of interest to the wall.  They're also a place for me to collect all my leftovers from the buyout and leave the rest of the space for new stuff.  After the first of the year, I'll mark those leftovers down and move them to my clearance shelves.  The big Madonna and Child pic on the right has already sold.  I'll move another pic from the stash at the left to replace it.  I have some religious kids books from the other booth to work in there this afternoon.

Close up of the picture stash.  I just love that sweet Hummel print of the praying kids.

Is it wrong that I find even Madonna and Child dolls to be a bit creepy?  I wish someone would buy this thing!

Finally, one for Shara.  A couple of super-sweet framed vintage kids' prayers.

By the way, I call my religious space "Saint Attica" because my booth is named "Eddie's Attic."  Can't remember if I've mentioned that before.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Rambles

Dang!  What a week!  It turned into all booth, booth, booth!  I didn't get anything else done, including blog posting.  Sorry about that.  Also, sadly for a vacation week, I only got to sleep in one day!  Ack!

Here's a play-by-play:


Went by the vendor mall I want to move into.  They were very busy on a Monday just after opening, which is good.  I'm still on waiting list.  Sigh.

Did buy a few things there, including an awesome gold and black basket to put in my Halloween display.  I'm going to put bones in it.  I also got a few small Halloween things to fill in some holes.  I have to buy cautiously at this point.  I still want the display to look full and fresh, but I also want to start condensing it to one table.

Ate yummy Mexican food lunch.

Went to Peddler's Mall to straighten, tidy, and stock after weekend.  Had a cartful of items I had taken down to sell in the outdoor sale that needed to be returned to the shelves.  They did not get returned on Monday.

Instead, I bought a ton of items from two booths where the vendor had been evicted.  When an eviction happens, the vendor can't get their stuff until they pay the rent that is owed.  The mall sells it in an attempt to recoup some of the losses, since typically the vendor doesn't come pay and the mall is stuck with the stuff.  Most of the seized stuff is crap.  (There's a reason the vendor wasn't making rent.)

Evicted space.  You can't make rent if customers can't get in the damn booth!

I ended up buying a cartful of miscellaneous stuff, a metal baker's rack, a retro metal plant stand, a work table, and a wooden doll bench.  Even though they're trying to make their money back, the mall really doesn't want to deal with the stuff, so it's really cheap.  I ended up dealing with all that for the rest of the day.

In the cart, I found a couple of bowls marked Hall.  At first I thought they were Autumn Leaves, better known as the Jewel Tea pattern, but there was too much color.  Autumn Leaves doesn't have any green in it.  Turns out, it's a pattern from the 30's called Crocus.  Both bowls are chipped, but that kind of makes me love them even more.  This stuff was made to be used and used, not collected.  To me, evidence of that utilitarian life gives them character.  I hope someone else loves them too.

Not Jewel Tea, but Crocus


Went junking with my uncle.  I sold him a vintage campset from a box lot I bought.  It will sell better in his flea market set up.  He sold me a cool set of vintage bells for teaching music.  I was on the hunt for more religious items, since my religious wall has been pretty well cleaned out.  I did find a few.

Also got word that due to repairs needed from the roof collapse, my booth at YesterNook was being closed off and the stuff boxed up and stored.  Tried to negotiate with the owner on how that was to be done.  Ended up feeling really bummed about that, since I won't be able to have any kind of a sell down on my stuff.


Went to YesterNook to see what I could do.  There is a big-ass hole in the ceiling right outside my booth.  I do not understand how my stuff was not damaged.  The booth across the aisle from me was totally wiped out.


Not thrilled to see my stuff used to block off aisle.

My booth with restricted entrance.  It's empty now.  Everything has been removed.

Potential Big Ass Hole.  This one is right above my space.

Spent the morning packing up my religious articles to move to the Peddlers Mall.  Also moved all my small furniture items out.  Half went to the Peddlers Mall.  Snuck the other half into the YesterNook rough room without permission.  Shhhh.

Bought a couple of table top book racks to use at Peddlers Mall to hold graphic novels.

Talked with the store owner.  Managed to get an agreement to hold out the stuff I wanted to put in the store outdoor sale and to keep my stuff accessible in storage so I can continue moving out.

Took load to Peddlers Mall.  Worked on religion wall.  I hadn't realized how hard it had been hit until I pulled everything off it to redo it.  Normally the stuff from that area fills a cart and then some.  This time, it was barely half a cart.

Did not get items from outdoor sale back on shelves.


Went back to Peddlers Mall.  Finished religion all re-do.  I added some shelving that I bought over from YesterNook to give it some new pizazz.  Finally, got the items from the outdoor sale back on the shelves.  Started Xmas display.  Tidied and foofed.

Hit my fave downtown thrift and found a small stash of religious stuff.  Chatted with the cashier a while.  Talked myself out of an end table.


Sleep in day!  Finally!  Got stuff ready for the Outdoor Sale at YesterNook.  Made a Craigslist ad for my stuff there.   Sorted two boxes of comics--priced some to go to Peddlers and boxed the rest for the sale.  Caught up on General Hospital and Days of Our Lives.


YesterNook Outdoor Sale.  Sold about a hundred bucks worth of stuff, including a couple of large items I did not want to move.  Tried to negotiate a deal for some of my large shelving, but I'm not sure if it's going to go through or not.  Would love to not have to move all of them, but we'll see.  Bought a couple of things and had a bunch given to me, including a huge Xmas wreath.  Went to quarter sale at comic book shop.  Bought a stack of comics.  Moved all remaining small furniture to Peddlers Mall.  Stashed boxes of smalls at home.


Sorted and priced stuff from outdoor sale.  Put up some new Craigslistings for Peddlers Mall booth. Sorted and priced comics.  Got load ready for Peddlers Mall.  Wondered where week went.

And that was the week that was.  I'm heading to the Peddlers Mall this afternoon after work.  Got to restock, tidy, and foof.  Also going to put out the very last Halloween stuff.  After that, it's time to watch the remaining stuff sell through.  I made rent yesterday, which is the earliest that has happened all year!  Really psyched about that.

This week, I'm going to try and see how accessible my stuff is that YesterNook has in storage.  I don't think there was much follow through on that after all.  I also have to get ready for my own yard sale, which will be Saturday.  After that, I'm taking a load of books to Half-Price Books to sell.  That should clear enough storage room for me to start moving the last of my stuff out of YesterNook.  My goal is to be gone there well before the end of the month deadline.  We'll see how it goes.

Last furlough, I was still tired from chemo recovery and just welcomes the chance not to have to do much.  This time around, it was go, go go!  I think that's a good sign.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Monday Rambles (Another Vacation Edition!)

Let's see...

I'm furloughed again this week, except that I managed to swing some evening hours for Tuesday and Thursday.  It's a good thing too, because I've got a booth to get ready to move.

If I can get in there, that is.  We had torrential rain all weekend, and the roof of the section of the store where I am fell in.  I was told my stuff was not damaged, but I'm not going to be fully satisfied on that point until I can see it myself.  The damage is supposed to be taken care of by now, but I didn't have any sales yesterday, so I'm not sure.  The store is closed tomorrow, so I think that will give them a chance to get things squared away.

My old sale has ended, so I'm starting a move out sale:

The store is having its outdoor sale this weekend, so I'll be cleaning out the booth for it.  Hopefully, that won't leave me with too much to move out.  I will be starting to haul a few pieces out and over to the Peddlers Mall this week.  I would love to be completely out before the end of the month, but we'll see what happens.

Speaking of the Peddlers Mall, the outdoor sale over there was only kind of so-so.  The previously mentioned torrential rains kind of put a damper on things.  The weather was okay on Friday, but Friday just isn't a bog yard sale kind of day for Louisville.  The storms broke just as soon as  I had closed down, and I got totally soaked to the skin trying to get home.  I felt like (and looked like) this.

Saturday it poured nearly all day.  Sellers were set up in the covered area of the parking lot, so we were okay, but it was raining so heavily that people could not get out of their cars to make their way to us.  When the rain finally slacked off, and it looked like things might pick up, the power went out inside the store, forcing it to close for two hours.  It was just a downer day.

It wasn't all bad, however.  I did make about sixty bucks.  I sold the albatro$$ chairs, albeit at a great loss.  Still, they're gone!  Never again!  I also sold an albatro$$ I hadn't gotten around to featuring yet, this large, handmade cabinet, which I thought had a nice rustic kind of flair, but quickly realized I could never display properly, as I have no walls:

What in god's name was I thinking?
Bonus:  I actually made money on it!  Which is good, since if you look up "hosed" in the dictionary, you'll find a picture of me and those damned chairs.  I almost brought the table down too, but I decided to hold off until I saw what kind of day Saturday was shaping up to be, since it is really heavy and doesn't sit on any of the flatbeds real well.  Turned out to be a wise decision.

Mostly what I had for sale were items that were left from a set of box lots I bought from another vendor.  I had already priced and taken the "good stuff" to the booth.  What was left were items that either weren't right for me, things I already had a lot of, or just plain crap.  I had 'em priced at $1 or .50 an item and everything sold but the crap, which I promptly took to the neighboring thrift at the end of the sale.  I made enough off of those items to cover the cost of all the boxes, so as the "good stuff" starts to sell, I'll be making money.

I also had a few experiences selling comics that will be the subject of a post later this week.

I also had a tragedy:

Don't worry.  The bear survived.

The flatbed cart I was using on Friday to haul stuff back upstairs to my booth didn't stop when I thought it did (darned momentum).  It kept going and careened into one of my card tables.  The only casualty was a ceramic liquor decanter, which is surprising, since the cart was heavy enough to have taken the table down.  Not five seconds after it happened, a woman came by and bought the other three decanters I had for sale.  I wish she had been ten seconds earlier.

Today, I'm going back to Peddlers Mall to freshen my Halloween display.  Most of the big stuff is gone, so the sales are starting to slow.  I did buy a few more things over the weekend, so I'm going to rearrange everything and spruce it up.  I'm also going to stop by the store where I am on the waiting list to see what things look like on that end.  I would love to be opened up in a second spot by the end of the year.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

On the run

Eddie-tor's Note:  I finished this post once, but Blogger seems to have eaten it.  Bad Blogger!  The original was witty and intelligent.  This one is going to be bare bones and frustrated.

Busy!  Busy!  Tomorrow is the Outdoor Sale at the Peddlers Mall.  It's supposed to rain, but we've got a covered parking lot. Ha!  Take that competing yard sales! I actually think tomorrow will be slow, but Saturday will be busy.  Should be a fun time.

I've already got most of my stuff to sell stashed at my booth, but I'll be bringing some boxes of comics tomorrow.  I've got my signs all printed and everything.  I'll also be doing a 20% off sale at the indoor booth.  These special days are the only time we can run sales like this, but it brings out the shoppers, because many vendors will do it.

I just have to get some change cash today and I'll be set!

I'll do a late post tomorrow with the day one deets, then finish up on Saturday or Sunday. 

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Righting the Ship

I've not made a secret of the fact that my re-sale stuff hasn't been going as well as I would have liked recently.  While I'm not going under, things haven't been performing at the level I need them to for some time.

The fault is mainly mine.  I got into the habit (out of necessity) of doing the bare minimum to keep things running while I was sick, but haven't made any efforts to get out of that mode since I've been better.   

September was my wake up call.  I didn't make my rent until the last week of the month.  For a while, I thought I wasn't going to make it at all.  Things turned around that last week, thanks in part to the renewed efforts I started making.  My sales for the end of September were better than they had been in a long while, even if we take the exceptional last Saturday out of the equation.

I've been putting a lot of thought in to this and I've started taking some steps to make the needed changes.  It will take a little time and a lot of effort, but I'm sure I can not only move in the direction I want to be going, but also really start hitting my sales targets.  I've still got a lot to do, though.

Refocusing:  Dropping one store is going to allow me to put my time and energy into the one that has always consistently produced for me.  Just the little extra time I've been putting in at the Peddlers Mall is already starting to pay off.

Clearing Out the Deadwood:  I've taken several bags of booth duds to a thrift and the rest are getting marked down and put out for the various outdoor sales and yard sales I have coming up.  It's time for all the shelf sitters to go.  I bring in fresh stuff each week.  It needs to stand out more than it does with all the deadwood all around it.

Taking a Leap:  I took a big leap of faith the other day at the Peddlers Mall and priced most of my shelving and display pieces.  Once I get the YesterNook shelves over there, I'm going to have too many, so I'm trying to be a little proactive.  Plus, it shakes up the look of a booth and forces me to work a little harder when one sells.  It can also generate a nice chunk of change, since I priced those puppies enough to make it worth my while to deal with getting replacements. So far, one has gone and I'm thrilled.  Even if none of the others actually sells, it's a chance worth taking.

Getting It All Together:  One of my goals for the year was to get my junk stuff organized.  So far, I've failed miserably at that.  Up until now, I could blame that on being sick, but that excuse is starting to look faded and shopworn.  I was able to do some buying while the chemo was going one, but the pricing and packing and prepping part that has to come after every buy only got done about half the time.  I've got some cool shit to sell that needs to make it to a booth.

Being Present:  Since my space has gotten bigger, I've come to realize that I need to go over more than once a week.  My night shift knocks out two possible evening for booth work, but I still have all day on Fridays, plus Monday and Wednesday afternoons.  My current plan is to go in on Mondays to clean and restock from the weekend and Fridays to clean up from the week and get ready for the weekend.  I've been doing it for a couple of weeks now, and it seems to be working. 

Putting It Out There:  I've come to realize that once things make it into the house, they run the risk of getting stuck there for longer than is necessary or healthy.  I've already started running larger items out there on the day I acquire them.  I need to set a turnaround limit on smaller stuff to stick with it.

Thinking Big:  I'm a smalls guy at heart.  Big stuff, like furniture, scares me.  It feels risky and I don't do well with it.  There's a lot I don't know.  But I need larger items and the money they can bring.  Slowly, but surely, I'll be taking more of that plunge.  I've got the room.

Using All the Options:  The Peddlers Mall consigns furniture for vendors, which is an option I've not used to the greatest extent I could.  I'm starting to get my stuff back up on Craigslist again.  Two years ago, I set up a blog, Twitter account, and Facebook page for my booth activities.  I still haven't done anything with them yet.  And I'm starting to seriously consider eBay and Etsy, even though I have some qualms about the idea.

Planning Ahead:  Ending one booth and moving it all out is going to take a lot of work.  Doing it in an orderly fashion will take a lot of planning.  I think this will be good for me.

Appearances are Everything:  The layout for my space needs a facelift badly.  It was what I could make out of the new space when I was ill, but it's really not the most functional or welcoming.  I'm mulling ideas right now, but it will probably be the first of the year before I make a major shift.  I'll need to get past the holidays first.

Staying on Schedule:  As we move into the holiday season, getting stuff out in a timely fashion is important.  I've already been paying the price for not having my Halloween stuff out in time.  It's not going to happen with the Christmas stuff.

Playing to My Strengths:  One thing my experience at YesterNook has taught me is who I am as a seller.  I'm not a vintage market, decorator oriented, repurposing, trend-following kind of dude.  I'm a flea market seller.  I like to sell fun, cool things of all types, including awesome vintage.  I sell comic books and religious items and have an audience and customer base for both.  I like to have fun in my buying and selling.  I kind of lost track of that somewhere along the line.  One of my goals is to get it back.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Taking a step

I'm making a really big step today.  Things are about to change for me, starting today.

In a few hours, I am submitting the letter announcing my intent to leave YesterNook, one of the stores where I have a booth.  By the end of the month, I'll be gone.  I'm going to focus all my resale efforts on the Peddlers Mall for the time being, while I look for a second site.  I'm on the waiting list for another store, but it may take a few months before my name makes it to the top of the list.

In the meantime, I've got a lot to do:  sell off as much as possible, plan the move out, figure out where to place/stash stuff, etc.  I think I can accommodate most of my shelving and large items at the Peddlers Mall, either in my booth or on consignment.  My large item sales there are picking up, so it's good to have some more to move in.

This was not an easy decision to make and there are a lot of reasons behind it--both business and personal.  I'm not going to go into a lot of them here.  This isn't the place for such a discussion.  The bottom line is this:  my business has been hurting since I got sick.  I just didn't have it in me to do what needed to be done to keep things on an even keel, so things started to slide.

Now that I am getting back to whatever passes for 100% for me, it's time to reverse that slide.  After just a little effort, I can see Peddlers Mall starting to turn around.  It's going to take a lot more effort to get it where it needs to be, and I have decided to dedicate my energy there.  I know what I can do there, whereas at YesterNook I never really did approach the levels I wanted.

In the end, it's a matter of making a rational decision and doing what needs to be done.  I can't help feeling like a little bit of a failure, though.