Gretel's Treasures

Follow her hunt for vintage jewelry and other treasures

Back to Normal Treasure Hunting with Gretel March 15, 2013

Auction Haul for Wed March 13th

Auction Haul for Wed March 13th

No Storms to report. No fights to report. Just another day at the auction. Just want to follow up with somthing that happened 2 weeks ago. Mr. T and I split a large lot of jewelry and stuff, the bid ending at 60.00. Which is on the high end for the case lots. He got some leather gun holsters, I got a broken Hobe necklace, a boxed set of ivory tidbit forks and some other jewelry. That left a large amount of stuff neither one of us wanted, including a large number of knives with celluloid or plastic handles, and some souvenirs from casinos, some ugly plastic beads. Buying in lots as I do, means I have huge amounts of leftover stuff. So we decided to flip it back to the auction. Last week we almost had snow, which meant noone came to the auction, so I put the junk up this week in a case. These cases are totally unreliable. (more on that later) The bidding ended at 50.00!!!! That means the original lot only cost us 10.00. The icing on the cake is that the winner of the case was an experienced big time spender at the jewelry auction who spends thousands every week. (For perspective, I try to spend 100.00) I had arranged the lot so you could see everything clearly. (When we bought the lot it looked like someone had just dumped stuff in the case) That’s the good news. I too had a lot of my jewelry for sale, it only brought 10.00!!!! Ouch. It’s really hard to gauge how these cases will sell.

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I don’t know why I make rules for myself that I then break. This week there was some costume jewelry. I got a few lots for 15.00 each, which is what I want to do. Over 6 months ago this auction house got the remains of an Rhode Island Jewelry manufacturer that has closed years ago, (decades?), and since then they have be auctioning off boxes of the goods, including sample cards. My guess would be 1990s, nothing spectacular. But you have to figure at best there are 20 jewelry buyers every week, mostly the same ones, and we are all sick of this goldtone junk. And still it trickles in. Except remember, not only are we buyers, we’re sellers. So the same ugly jewelry is coming back to be resold, over, and over and over again. And everyone gets stuck with some of it. Here’s an example of the better jewelry:

Rhode Island Manufacters close outs

Rhode Island Manufacters close outs

And some more:

More Rhode Island Jewelry

More Rhode Island Jewelry

I like rhinestones, so when some of these lots had nice pieces, I bid on them, and at this point got them cheap. Besides recycling this Rhode Island jewelry, people recyle broken jewelry. There was a huge jelly belly fish with no pin back, and a victorian revival slide charm bracelet with a broken clasp. (I meant to bid on this but it slipped through too fast. I had hopes of fixing it, now we’ll never know, unless it shows up next week!)

Rhinestone costume jewelry, Robert Warner Butterfly,

Rhinestone costume jewelry, Robert Warner Butterfly,

There were a couple of nice looking necklaces (see above) with earrings that I thought were pretty cool. The butterfly I waited till the bitter end to get. There was lots of silver and gold this week, about 7 cases. For me it’s snooze time. Most of the jewelry is way to pricy for me, plus I don’t do rings, maybe I should try and get a lot some time. Sterling rings usually go for about 10.00 each (with different size stones in them) It’s so hard to tell who’s buying for weight and who’s buying for the jewelry item. It breaks my heart seeing so much antique silver being melted down each week.

This week I noticed one guy buying up a storm (behind me) and I didn’t like it. He outbid me quite a few times, so alot of things I was hoping to get went elsewhere. I have noticed that I’ve sold most of the silver items I’ve been buying in the last 2 months, so it is worthwhile, but my huge problem is pricing. Vintage rhinestones are one of kind, hard to compare. If you love it, you know you may never see that one again. But a sterling silver onyx earring? There’s lots of them out there, how do you/I determine the best price for “ordinary” items. The blue turquoise bears (with silver) were unique, but amber earrings? sterling silver hoops? These items just aren’t unique enough to lend themselves to descriptions that really explain what it is. So, the morning of the auction, I had sold 3 sterling items the previous day, things I didn’t like, but somehow the right person found the perfect thing for themselves. So I was ready to buy silver this week. I got 7 bracelets and a sterling horse pin.

Sterling bracelets, mother of pearl, mexico, gemstones, opals

Sterling bracelets, mother of pearl, mexico, gemstones, opals

Sterling horse, Volupte necklace, rhinestone necklace

Sterling horse, Volupte necklace, rhinestone necklace

While taking pictures tonight for you, I realized I now have 3 weeks worth of jewelry to take pictures of and list. It’s piling up on me and I tend to get overwhelmed. I’m a bulk buyer. I buy lots, I sell smaller lots, I like to offer my buyers the option to be able to resell what they buy from me. My friend T is just the opposite. He buys one knife. One tool. One saddle. He buys smart, and sells smart. Neither one of us is right. There are lots of different ways to sell vintage and antiques. I have one auction friend who spends 4 days a weeks selling at flea markets. (I’ve tried that a couple of times), alot of people have booths at antique malls (I love shopping at antique malls, I love the variety of stuff and just poking around), antique shows, online, there’s lots of ways to sell, you just have to figure out what’s right for you. And then you have to decide what to sell. Obviously, for me, my knowledge is with costume jewelry, glass and textiles. There are things I’ve decided not to sell. I’m giving up on mugs. Mugs are a big item on the facebook group I belong to, “the Danni App”…..Danni has tons of great advice for selling online at ebay and amazon. I recommend you google “danni app” and see what comes up. I’ve also given up on men’s clothing. You just can’t sell everything. So I’m going through my store seeing what needs to be donated to thrifts shops, to help clarify my online stores.

Hope this makes sense tonight, feeling a little blurry writing it, since I didn’t get any stand out items to share with you. Thanks for reading along with my adventures.

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One Response to “Back to Normal Treasure Hunting with Gretel”

  1. Todd Hughes Says:

    I think you are always better off to try to buy a few better items then a bunch of low end stuff. Don’t get me wrong I sell lots of bread and butter inexpensive items but I try not to get overloaded with junk.

    Great blog tonight Gretel!


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