Gretel's Treasures

Follow her hunt for vintage jewelry and other treasures

Cat Fight at the Auction Getting Down and Dirty with Gretel February 16, 2013

I promised you a catfight story today. People can be really mean and possessive about stuff they haven’t even bid on. You’re allowed to poke around at other peoples stuff, but they’ll jump on you, that’s mine! they yet ready to fight for some dirty broken down piece of I dont know what. Fine, I’m just looking and walk on. Then there are times you see a really great pile of someone elses, and you’re allowed to bid on it and beat them. I’ve never done that, but the time may come. This week there wasn’t much in the field. I put together a lot with some old hats and handbags, shoved in some broken jewelry, some blown glass trees, just to beef it up. My friend T. makes big money buying stuff noone knows what it is worth, then sells it on Ebay for big bucks. I saw an old tool and threw it in with my stuff. He told me about another tool to add to my lot, he’d clean it up for me and let me sell it. He’s very generous that way. So we were chit chatting around my pile and another woman started looking at my stuff. T. said she was going to bid against me and called a cat fight. I drew my claws out ready to fight to the bitter end (or 20.00 whichever came first) for my pile of stuff. Meow! I hate when I do the work, and some know it all comes by and outbids me. That’s not nice. And it wasn’t that great. This was a 10.00 lot.Bidding started blew past 20.00 (rats, drew in my claws, no blood letting today) and T. bid the darn lot up to 50.00!! One thing I have learned, for me, 40.00 is my top price when it comes to maintaining profitability. So T. paid for the lot, took his 2 dirty tools and left me with everything else. I bought him lunch as a thank you. Turns out his dirty marking tool was from 1840 and rare. Whatever. Good for him.

Here’s a trunk shot for entertainment:


It was really pulling teeth out in the field. I put together another little lot, with some Franciscan Apple china, 2 old coats and some hardware stuff for hubby to play with. Got it for 10 dollars. The Apple china is our pattern, so what I don’t sell I can use. Isn’t that practical?! The coats were pretty ratty, so I ripped off the cool buttons and the fur collars and left the remains in the field. Most practical time to head inside.

Close ups of trunk shots

Close ups of trunk shots

More close ups of trunk shots

More close ups of trunk shots


When I went inside I found a few things, some thermoset bracelet earrings sets, nothing special in the rhinestones area, some figural pins, I got alot, but nothing really special. I’m going to end up putting alot of them into lots and selling them that way. There was a really nice rhinestone pin, in with the silver, turned out to be a Weiss, but it sold for 40.00, I couldn’t resell it for much more than that. There was a gorgeous danish large pin and earrings set, original box, enamel on sterling, like david anderson, but I dropped out at 150.00! Yikes what was I thinking. I got a couple of onyx pendants, nice big sterling settings, they’ll do well. Let me show you a few things:

Small selection of the jewelry I got

Small selection of the jewelry I got

I’d like to go back to last week and show you 2 things, one a gorgeous Austria rhinestone pin I got, I really like it, it’s unusual because it’s BIG:

Large Austria Rhinestone Brooch with Multiple Dangles

Large Austria Rhinestone Brooch with Multiple Dangles

The next item is a beautful large dragonfly pin/pendant combination in sterling silver. Artisan signed, with what I believe are Mexican Opal eyes. This is going to go to a very special person, and they don’t even know it yet. (I have no idea where they live, who they are, but they’ll find each other once I post it)

Sterling Artisan Dragonfly pin/pendant combo with Mex. opal eyes

Sterling Artisan Dragonfly pin/pendant combo with Mex. opal eyes

Finally, last week was a great week in the field for me. My car is still full of stuff I haven’t gotten out yet. Do you remember I bought a large box of owls, sight unseen? I unwrapped a couple japanese gift show owls, knew they would work in my shop, and got the whole kit n kaboodle for 30.00….well today I listed 2 of them. One was a Boehm Flat eared owl, made in England. Boehm is a very well know porcelain figurine company, I did a happy dance when I saw it. So I listed him today, and sold him within 2 hours for my full asking price of 109.99. (I know you all want to know numbers don’t you)…All that was going on while I was out doing the trunk shots for todays post. I unwrapped some more owls, and found at least 5 more! When I told hubby I could get 50.00 for one he was thrilled. Here’s the cuties picture:

Boehm Short Eared Owl

Boehm Short Eared Owl

Things are shaking out for me right now with “Gretel’s Treasures” I love jewelry, but it’s not the most profitable thing to sell. Obviously I do great treasure hunting in the field, I would never have guessed to even think of buying a box of owls. (Theres also cheaper owls in the box, don’t get too excited)…What I’m learning, and this is true of any business you want to start is, do what you know. I know costumer jewelry. I know textiles, glass, figurines, crafts, these are all things I have done for 30 years in one way or the other. I have a textile degree, I have worked in hot glass making beads, I’ve collected china animals since I was 8! Because I know this stuff in my bones, it’s easy for me to see potential in a crewel embroidery border. I dont see the potential in tools. That’s why my friend T., does so well with tools, guns, and freaky stuff. He’s well respected in his field of expertise. If you want to sell on ebay, or etsy, or flea markets, find things you know about, or love, that you can express some passion about the item. And that passion will rub off on the new owner.

Thank you for reading my blog, I really appreciate your comments, your just being there, if you have questions, I’d be happy to answer them or direct you where to go.

See you next time.



5 Responses to “Cat Fight at the Auction Getting Down and Dirty with Gretel”

  1. Susan Harris Says:

    Just so you know, been doing some checking on old wood tools..planes etc…very profitable..some are worth get this: ” thousands of dollars” there is a tool book I got last Christmas at Barnes and Noble..all about tools..some are really rare and cool and worth picking up at a yard sale..just a simple drill might be worth $150.00 or study…Susan, Jewels..

Great advice. It’s amazing to see all these dirty rusty things lying on the ground, and someone actually knows what they are. Typical…boy toys are more valuable that girl toys LOL


      On Sat, 16 Feb 2013 02:10:20 +0000

    • Todd Hughes Says:

      Yikes! Competition !

      Most tools are worth next to nothing, better to stick to glassware, jewelry, and beanie baby’s ( they’re making a comeback!)

      Thank god no mention of how much saws can be worth!

  2. joanne Says:

    that was funny!

  3. Todd Hughes Says:

    Great entertaining blog….as always

    That Mr. T fellow seems to know what he is doing as well as being very generous! Ha! Ha!
    As cat fights go it had some potential but I’ve seen much better there of course, no cussing or yelling or throwing junk
    I want to see a photo next week of your cart filled to the top! Lol

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