MY BIGGEST SCORE: A Disney Bear Nets $747.00 on Ebay!

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Thrifting on vacation.

If you’re addicted to thrift stores like I am, you won’t let a little thing like a vacation stop you from getting in a little thrift time! My dear husband up to this point had been humoring me with the whole thrift store thing, he really didn’t get it. This was a hobby I was attempting to make into my full-time income. This was exactly 11 months ago and we were in Newport Beach, CA on a week long vacation from our problems, as Bill Murray would say in “What About Bob” (we love this movie!).

A little thrift store that was almost a bust.

Our second day of vacation we decide to hit up a few local thrifts in Newport. There was a small tiny one in a strip mall. Of course, my husband opted to go to the sporting good store in the same center, while I beeline to the thrift. My usual MO (modus operandi!) is to head to dinnerware, glassware and pottery, it’s my Fav! I perused a few of the aisles and was feeling a bit disappointed as nothing was calling my name. I did a quick circle again around these shelves, but sadly nothing.

2 paws and a face, OH MY!

I start toward the door, when I remember that I should check the plush section. I heard from my online group about a very collectible Mickey Mouse bear callled a “Hidden Mickey”. Apparently these bears have a silhouette of Mickey’s ears on the bottom of his paws, and a barely perceptible ears silhouette in the face. Normally thrift stores have their plush piled in a large bin and you have to literally “paw” through to find anything, definitely not on the top of my list of fun things to do! This store had their plush nicely lined up on a high shelf, there were just about 10 different little stuffed animals perked up nicely, just calling for someone to “buy me”! I start at the left side of the shelf and am looking for ears on the paws… scanning, walking, scanning, OMG, wait there are ears on these paws! My eyes move up the to the face and I see it, I see it, a silhoutte in the face!! I almost fell over! I was jumping up and down inside. I had to grab it quick in case someone else took it first (mind you I was the only one in the store!). This little guy was blue with funny ears, a bunny bear? I looked for the tush tag and there it was, Disneyland Resort! I heard that these bears are found at Disneyland and Disney World. He also had a little easter egg patch on his back that said Happy Easter 2003. How cute, an Easter Bunny Bear! Then disappointment was starting to set it because I had yet to find the price tag, and I thought this little guy was going to be very expensive. But there was no tag!

I almost negotiated for him.

I took my interesting find to the counter and asked the sales girl “how much?” She says: “How about $3?” I did something terrible, I almost asked if I could have it for $2.00, for shame! And then I thought better, as I knew I had a real score in my hands. At this point my husband walks in and looks at this blue weird looking bear in my hand and is totally rolling his eyes at me. I wanted to tell him so bad what I had in my hands, but I didn’t want to say anything in front of the girl. It seemed like a painfully long time to finally get out the door. Once outside, I told my better-half what I had, little did I know it was better than I even knew!

$3 and 2 weeks later.

I couldn’t wait the 5 days to get home and then list him, so what does an Ebay selling junkie do, but list him in my hotel room! And the timing was so right on with Easter being just around the corner, yeah!! On 2/11/2011 I started him at $9.99, 7 day auction, with a $850 reserve. 7 days later bidding ended at $500, no sale. :( Immediately after the auction ended I relisted Mickey in my Ebay store at $900 or Best Offer. Within 1 hour I had a $700 offer, a few hours later a $600 offer, and later that day another $700 offer. The girl that offered the first $700 seemed to really want this little guy… so I countered at $750 and she accepted!

Sold for: $750.00
Sale Date: 2/20/2011
Where the winner lives: Japan

I was sad to see the little guy go.

I’m not sure if it was the $750 (probably so!), but I had become attached to this little bear, and his cuteness was really growing on me. AND on my husband. After this sale, he was all on-board with eBay and now we do it together… a real family business! Here is Mickey getting ready for the looooong trip to Japan!




For the Love of the Ashtray

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Italian Art Pottery, oh my!

I’m not a smoker by any means…. so go figure that I would love vintage ashtrays and lighters, they ooze mid-century cool!! Last weekend this one screamed at me from a mid-century estate sale. When I saw the “Made in Italy” marked I was hooked. Ala Mad Men, picture Don Draper, discussing the next big ad campaign while drinking whiskey (or is bourbon!) out of their Dorothy Thorpe Roly Poly’s, and tipping their ashes into awesome art pottery ashtrays, like this one!

Italian Art Pottery Wine Motif Ashtray

Mr. Sascha B.

And you can’t deny the allure of Sascha Brastoff’s work…. I mean tee-pee ashtrays, so cool! It was sitting pitifully alone on a card table out on a small dark patio, with only one other lonely item. Marked .50 cents, SOLD! This particular one is marked as a second, but I think the design is more interesting, and definitely a one-of-a-kind glaze! You can view more details about this cute little gem here.

I love this set so much I feel like taking up smoking!

Found this neat set at an Oceanside Thrift. I probably paid more than I should have, but I just had to have it. Can’t you just picture them on this Eames side table! See more about this chic set here.


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.

My very first blog post!

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This is quite exciting, a New Year and a New Blog! This is something I have been pondering for awhile… I’m not really a writer, but I do love sharing with others my thrift store steals and estate sale scores. I am especially a big fan of all things mid-century modern… I’m not sure why, but it give makes me feel all Betty Draper-like, I need be holding a cigarette and martini glass, while gossiping with my neighbors in the kitchen! Pottery, barware, oh my! I hope you will enjoy this blog as much as I will! Now, drum-roll, please…. how did I get into this crazy, fun business?