Category Archives: Mid Century Modern

How I turned $6.00 into $512 on Ebay.

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It all started with a book.

First, I have to give credit to my Ebay guru and friend, Lynn Dralle. She is The Queen of Auctions, she truly is The Queen. I found her book, “The 100 Best Things I Sold on Ebay“, and once I started reading it, I was riveted! Her awesome stories of how she profited from from items ranging from Rose O’Neill Kewpie Doll Parts to 1970’s Skateboard Magazines, were extremely inspiring. I had to look further into this…

My first estate sale.

Fortunately for me, I live close to a retirement community, and estate sales are commonplace each weekend. The first Saturday after reading Lynn’s book I made sure I was at the sale when it started at 9:00am. The place was already filled with many people. I made a beeline for the dining room table filled with all types of glassware and pottery, large and small. I picked up a small attractive little bud vase. Just as Lynn mentions in her book, I turned over the vase to see if there were any markings, like I would recognize anything I saw, NOT!  Nevertheless, there was a signature I couldn’t quite make out, a mark that looked like a letter, and some other undecipherable marks. I figured I would pop the $6 and take the little vase home with me …

A rare vase.

I went home and immediately jumped on my computer to do research on my new find. The signature looked like “Friberg”. So, I typed that name into my computer and boy was I ever in shock! It turns out that my little vase was made by a famous mid-century modern Scandinavian artist, Berndt Friberg! He was very well known and his work was, and still is, very sought after, not to mention pricey. The “x” mark on the back dated this piece to the late 1950’s.

8 months of admiration.

The photographs online for Friberg’s work were stunning. I knew nothing about photography. I didn’t want to screw up my chance of selling this lovely piece, because of my bad photographic skills! So, I put the vase carefully on a shelf to admire until I was ready to list on Ebay. I finally sprung for a good camera months later. I took many pictures of my little find, researched, and researched some more, until it was finally time …


I took great time and care to list my very first Ebay item, and not to mention one that was so valuable. I put it up for auction on 2/11/07 and 7 days later here were the ending stats:

Winning bid: $512.00
Number of Bids: 8
Starting Bid: $24.99, with no reserve
Number of times viewed: 22
Where the winner lives: New York, NY

I didn’t find this out until a few years ago, but my vase was purchased by Wyeth Home, a store that specializes in museum-quality Mid-Century modern antiques, raw industrial metal objects, and rare vintage collectables. You can see my lovely vase here, and it is still for sale 5 years later for $2,000!!

Needless to say I was hooked, and haven’t stopped since! You can see my items for sale here.