Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday Estate Sales. So What Happened?

So after some deliberation I decided to go for sale #1 with the pair of end tables by Paul Laszlo for Brown Saltman, as discussed yesterday.   I was out of the house by 6:30 which is GREAT for me.  I made it to the sale around 6:45 and put my name on the list.  #9 - not bad.  I hung out for over an hour.

While waiting, the owner of the estate sale company came out and said "Are you the one who called me"?  Yes, I was.  I called last night to ask a couple questions about the sale and see if I could get any idea of the price on the PL tables.  I could not squeeze any info out of her.  Oh well, the call still served me some good though. I told her yes it was me.  She remembered I asked about the tables.

So, 8am, I get inside and run to the PL tables, as did everyone else!  Asking price?  $850.00!!!  Really?!  Retail price?  Pass!  On to the other things on my wish list.  In general the sale was so-so and very overpriced.  That mini green TV I wanted? $30!  It should have been $5 bucks.  I still filled 2 bags with smalls so all was not lost.

On my way out the estate co. owner stopped me and asked, "What will you pay for the tables"?  I told her the price was waaaaay off for me.  She persisted;  "Make me an offer".  Ok then, "$400".  She asked to take my number. I thought, no way will she call me.  But, about half hour later, guess who called?  Yep.  She offered them at $500.  I countered at $450 and she accepted.  I head back to make the big purchase!

Oooooh kaaay..... upon first look at the tables I had beer goggles on.  I was in love and did not examine them closely.  At $850 asking price, I had to just move on. But, now we're talking $450.  I looked closer.  BAH!!!  They were in need of some refinishing. One side had what looked like a huge burn mark and a some serious scratches and dings. The other was in better shape but would need some sanding too on the legs and top - and that means trying to match the stain - and what THAT means is refinishing the entire thing x 2.  No thanks. I tried to work her down in price even more considering the damage but she couldn't budge, per the owner.  I had to walk away.  The tables would have been a huge pain to refinish.

It's so weird to have had them in my grasp and then poof, I'm driving away.  Oh well!!  I will certainly come across other great pieces in my many, many more years of estate sale-ing.   It just did not feel right.  $450 was still very steep for them but I was willing to go for it - but not in that condition.

The day was not lost.  I hit sale #2 (from yesterday's post) next and got a bag full for $10. Now we're talking!  It turns out this might have been the sale to hit first.  It started at 7 am so by the time I got there I could tell it was picked over.  The house had a TON of stuff.  Then I was off to 2 thrift stores where I found a few more cool things.

Oh yeah, sale #2, the bedroom set asking price was $975!  Really?!  I see complete sets on Craigslist for $500 and below.  What is it with estate companies lately?


Mr. Modtomic said...

I think it might be that more Estate Sellers are posting pics and more buyers are calling because of them. Then the sellers know they got something desirable and do more research. They probably price by what they see on 1stdibs thinking they are pricing well under market when they are actually pricing right at the top of what an estate sale buyer will pay! It'll take some time for the next adjustment (to more reasonable prices) but I think higher prices for the coolest stuff are here to stay.

Dana@Mid2Mod said...

I agree that a lot of people price things by what the see on 1stDibs without ever comparing the condition. A table that has a huge burn and needs refinishing is not worth the same thing as one in pristine condition, but try telling some people that. Sheesh!


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