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Oh I wish that there would be ground rules for people that plan to hold a yard, garage, fake estate sale!

Today was craziness.

There was not many sales advertises, nothing special about that in December, especially a week or so before Christmas! What was really irritating was that of those that advertised all failed to open except for one and that was really an insult, advertised as an estate it was really some rather short Mexican people trying to sell what looked like their dirty unwashed laundry. More gross in person that it sounds written down.

I could have saved gasoline and stayed in bed.

If people advertise that they are going to do something and give a date, day and time and describe what they are selling then they should at least put a sign up saying cancelled so that you don’t drive back multiple times in case they revere running late.

If they advertise Estate Sale then make sure it really is an estate sale and not a yard sale or garage sale. Worse still, don’t be an antique dealer using an empty home that they are borrowing off a realtor to hold a fake estate with the items that they cannot shift from their stores, and if they really do that then price them at massive discount prices to clear them.

I actually read an angry posting on Craigslist about this very thing by a dealer local to me called Jim Nicastro who had went to one of these sales, arrived really early to be first in line, waited all morning and then became upset because everything had antique store stickers on them and were priced at prices that not only left no room for resale but was higher than most dealers would resell the items at.

It did make me thankful that I changed my mind about waiting when I could not get a parking location near by and decided to pass on that particular sale.

It seems though that he has been victim several times to the same situation lately, though it really is his own fault. If an addresses is a retail strip mall location then then it ain’t no estate, lol. If the estate is in an industrial location then again, it ain’t no estate! Sadly when they choose to masquerade an empty home as an estate when they are using it as a retail location then that only hurts the people that operate genuine estate sales.


What is the name of that ‘law’, oh yeah, Murphy’s Law!

Whatever can go wrong will go wrong!

I have my cargo van loaded, I leave in plenty of time, get half way to Pasadena and I start hearing a slapping noise, it is not too bad and I try my best to ignore it. People that know me well know that I cannot ignore things like this. It was making me go crazy thinking about it.

I spent the whole day, not selling, I lost money! I was despondent about it and quite down in the dumps.

I hit the freeway and as soon as the van reached 65mph, slap slap then bang bang bang bang.

The noise was unbearable. Driving with the radio on full blast and still couldn’t drown out the noise.

The following morning I went into the store and realized that all the printed pricing tags, a box of priced items, was still at home. I hand write tags for everything but because I have left the display case keys at home as well so I cannot put away the 1940’s Buster brown Display Mannequins or the mid century crawling child mannequins.

So I leave them stacked in the front of the van, I open the passenger door and one of the mannequins falls out and lands on his head. A $550 mannequin literally shatters, his head is in a million tiny pieces.

I drive home, get the case keys and tags and return to the store. By now the noise is unbearable and is doing it at 50 mph now. I endure the noise and as soon as I get home and take it to my mechanics. They search for the noise, they can’t find the source and spend hours searching. They even thought about replacing the tires and I approved it. They then took it one time before ordering tires and happened to spot the seal for the windshield had come loose and was flapping in the wind.

So I call the windshield people who repair the problem, thankfully it was under warranty.

I’ve never been so stressed by this before.

I am glad that it didn’t turn out to be something major, I did have visions of the driveshaft falling off or transmission failing. I did make me sick worrying about it.

I do get one less worry, I have no show in January, I am taking a break off to focus on finding some cool stuff and get the business back on track.

If I don’t post before Christmas to anyone that reads it then enjoy your Christmas and New Year.

I had to chuckle, I was waiting outside an estate for it to open and talking to a few others when Ren and Gimpy, a father and daughter buying pair called Bill and Cathy came past, she Drove past and a few looked directly at them, I deliberately do not take notice of them, they are just strange people. They were mouthing abuse at everyone, or actually I think it might have been directed at me because I was not in my home town but a neighboring town. Strange as it seems though this town is closer to mine than to their home town which is about 30 mile drive while I live just over the hill.

I wasn’t really interested, it was cold and I was more interested in waiting for the sale to open, incidentally there was nothing that I wanted to buy there, so i was surprised when the other dealers all said, well there goes the crazies. I asked what they meant and the explanation was very similar to my thoughts about them.

I seems that they were at a sale with Ren and Gimpy and someone picked up something that they wanted and both of them started accusing the poor person of robbing them, in fact the verbal abuse continued with Cathy screaming at the little old lady until she handed the item to her and left in tears.

I had a similar situation though it was caused because I caught her steal out of the antique mall. they are dealers AT&T he same antique mall, While dad was still alive we were rearranging a large display case and i happened to look up and she was stealing from another dealer, putting items into a Christmas bag. I whispered to dad and we watcher her and then when she realized that we were watching her she put back the items and went back to her own booths. I am sure she returned and took the items after we had finished and left.

As to the name. Well I referred to her as Gimpy because for the longest time she had knee issues and was waiting for an operation, she wore denim jeans so tight that she couldn’t bend her legs at all and walked like an upturned catapult or Y shape. The name stuck. She finally did have the operation but went straight back to wearing denims that were way too tight and still walks in that same manner and you can’t miss her gimping along.

Her dad is just as hateful and had made two lady dealers move out of the antique store by screaming at them. One parking where he feels he, and only he, has a right to park. the other didn’t even get a reason, she never knew what she did but I suspect that she caught the daughter stealing, the lady implied as much when we spoke to her just before she moved everything out. She said that she made the mistake of telling the old man that he needs to tell his daughter that she could get into trouble if she keeps doing what she is doing.

As for his name, well there was Ren and Stimpy, now there is Ren and Gimpy. I suppose I could go with those other deals and just call them the crazies.

It did make me laugh inside when I heard that others had the same opinion since they always act like they are wonderful to people and that butter would never melt in their mouths.

I didn’t find any furniture which is what I was looking for, oh well, maybe tomorrow, I need to buy enough to cover the december and start of January period.

I just can’t help it,  I have to love those people that make claims and then you catch them in the act of doing something they always tell people that they don’t do!


I was driving to an address where they claimed that they were holding a sale tomorrow,  I wanted to make sure that I knew where it was because the street is split over three blocks and part of the street is inaccessible from the rest.

So I drive down from the end of the street thinking it was in that first section,  nope, numbers were still in their 600’s.

The next section is tiny,  there is only either one or two houses in this section.  It is actually offset from the longer portion I had just driven down so I turn into that little section and there is Jim,  remember him, the Gossip who will make up what he doesn’t know and fills in blanks and guesses.  Guess I could always call him National Inquirer Jim from now on, lol.  A good name for him since he has made names for everyone else LOL.

Now he always said that he doesn’t earlybird sales.  I had my suspicions from slips he made about where he had gotten things but I had never seen him.

This time I actually catch him in the act.  He was getting back into the car and just stared as I drove past.

As it turns out, it was a location that holds sales regularly and I have never bought anything from them.   They are as expensive as buying from a thrift store.

So I had to laugh.  Explains why he is never out early.

So, I never actually bought anything today and two of the sales tomorrow are ones that have sales all the time so it makes tomorrow quicker and easier to deal with.  Guess it will be visiting thrift shops to bulk up the furniture for sale.


Rain rain go away, come again another day. Looks like a cold wet winter in ‘less than sunny California’.

Without fail the rain is falling on the days that people advertise estate and garage sales and man can’t live on Estate sales alone, the margins are just far too small or non-existant, combined together with the mistake purchases they are almost always loss making unless you find their rare pricing mistakes.

Well enough said, just not enough normal garage sales or people selling that price cheap because they do not know the value.

It seems, according to one sale that we visited this weekend, that the State Board of Equalization have been harassing them for not paying sales tax into the system from their sales. I guess that they got reported by a rival seller and had a visit.

I had to laugh because they only had junk, though they advertising starting with the phrase “No Junk Here”. I didn’t buy from them, there was nothing that would sell for more than they were selling and then they wanted to charge sales tax at more than the sales tax rate, almost double!

Well back to weather. Even though they forecast the bad weather it didn’t arrive until later in the morning. I had to take a package to the mail drop off, and who would be driving n the opposite direct was Mike and Renay, that crazy pair in their bumper car, like a pair of clowns at the circus.

I noticed that they had an indicator light burnt out, I wanted to say that it only costs a couple of dollars and Jim always claimed they were millionaires…..

…. Somehow I doubt it, I think Jim has taken too many drugs and believed too many of Mikes idiot stories, they are fabled because he always one ups anyone, if they say they had one thing then he has found two of them. Probably another psychological trait that he has. Will tell you more about that later.

Talking of Jim, havent seen him around for a week, it may have been him I glimpsed in the distance, I went another direction, glad I did not have to suffer having him within a mile of me, lol, I am getting to the stage that I could quite happily not deal with any of them and their double talk and lies between each other, it gets kind of old listening them telling whoppers to each other and trying to sound like they are doing better.

Hopefully the rain will happen tonight, Monday I have to take items into the store, business is picking up slightly and I may even get a check, makes a change but still making a loss out of there.

Tonight will be a rest night, tomorrow is my busy day, writing listings and pricing for the store, I need to rearrange display cases and make a new display with a Christmas theme. Will be pulling out all the baby chenilles that have shown no interest in the past 18 months. Will try them online or at the shows and make the display more Christmas orientated.

I am going to pull my singer featherweight out, I am sure that parts have been stolen from a conversation that I had with one of the sales girls at the store, will have to see what is missing and buy replacement parts and then get it sold at a show.

Talk later

When is a huge sale not a sale?

When the sale consists of 6 items. Especially when those few items are either used up or of a design taste that nobody wants to buy them.

That was my thought about a huge sale this morning.

As I write this I think back to almost 10 years ago when I went to a garage sale. I had hurt my knee so I arrived and was slowly limping towards the sale. Got there and could hear the couple inside saying they were waiting for their son to arrive to help them because there was so much stuff that they would be robbed.

So everyone was waiting outside, Mike and Renay were near the front and kept banging on the garage door asking for them to open. The couple said they couldn’t.

Finally the son arrived and the garage door was opened. Only to find ipthat inside the single car garage was still the be vehicle and next to the wall was a tiny single card table with four or five trinkets, nothing worth more than a dollar.

Everyone turned and walked away, so I started my slow slog back to the car to get off to another sale.

Over the years I have built up a few rules.

1. If it says no early birds then it is usually not going to be good.

2. If they hold off until the time the sale is supposed to start and tell you to keep away until that time then it is a bad sign and means that they don’t want word to get out that they have nothing worth buying or are way too expensive.

3. If you drive up from a distance and see a fence with clothes hanging off it then the flags a out and it means that they have nothing great and what amounts to their old laundry is a sign of things to come.

4. if they use too many keywords in their advert them it is like an alarm and means that they are a dealer or want to be a dealer, expect the prices to be high or high enough to make it not viable to resell.

Over the years we have had a learning experience and you can tell a lot from the advertising.

A good example was a local Antique store/estate handler who would advertise, when they became too lazy to supply packaging they started advertising saying

“We are going green bring your own wrappings and boxes and bags to carry your purchases.”

When they really should have used lazy instead of green, having people bring their own packaging doesn’t make it any greener than them bringing packaging themselves, just less of an overhead for them…

… Ahem. Replace lazy with ‘cheap’. They were never cheap on the prices and we always laughed about that advertising.

These days they dont bother advertising, they put one ad on craigslist and that is, for me it means no loss.

Sometimes it saves a lot of time by not needing to go to a sale because it is blatant that it is not going to be one with great items.

Though these days I sometimes go to all the sales anyway.

note to me, remember the rules, save the gas and wear and tear on the trucks.

Boy today did I see a sight, I pulled up an estate sale, it was not open and one of the elderly dealers was waiting outside. Joe was talking to me and he said he didn’t have a good feeling since the lady had told him to not even set a foot across the property line until the sale opened, I said that when they say No early birds and the people are kind of weird and don’t even want people waiting it usually means that they really do not have anything worth buying. I told him I didn’t plan on waiting 45 minutes to buy nothing.

He started asking me about the performance of my truck with fuel and mpg etc do I was telling him about how it did good, meanwhile the lady walked up the street and put her sign up at the end of the street. She was walking down again towards the house when a blue car driven by a pair of less than sane antique dealers bounced over the corner of the side walk, must have been going about 40 mph with the occupants of the vehicle getting thrown about, Then he drove along with the wheels up against the curb ran over a pile of bricks and rubble. Then reversed back over them, then pulled out and drove down the street and turned to come back up, least said, I told joe I am out of here, they might run us down or kill someone!

The dealers are called Mike and Renay. Everyone says that they are crazier than crazy. She will go to a sale and ask if they have any toilet tissue. She wears so much makeup that another dealer, Jim, calls her clown face and he is as crazy as can be and Jim calls him psychy Mikey and it seems very apt for them. I know he dare not say it to their face and probably tells them that someone else, anyone else is the one that makes these names up, but hey, they are all too two faced with each other it makes me laugh inside when I see them all being nice to their face and talking dirt when they are not there!

Well they forecast rain for today but it has not arrived yet today, I bought some nothing items again, as people would describe, chum, lol. I am not too worried, I expected everything to get rained out and not find anything at all.

I must say that for the most part people really need to go through their junk and dispose of it where it really belongs, in the trash can and not try and selling broken and used up items for ridiculous prices.