Lesson Learned

I still have on my training wheels when it comes to estate sales…and I sure learned a lesson this past weekend.

Here’s the story:

My oldest daughter is home from college and we decided to go to a small estate sale on Friday morning. We got up crazy early and headed out in the cold at 7:30 to get our name on the list by 8:00.  Then we waited for an hour till it opened.

So far, so good.

wicker5The doors opened at 9:00 and we all swarmed in.  Now at this moment everybody is in high gear.  You have to move fast and decide fast.

I got the doll house wicker chairs I wanted (so cute) and found a fun ceramic piece. And then I saw some small bits of lead crystal.  Not usually my thing, but I recognized the pattern of one (made by American Brilliant or Imperial) as collectible. It was probably a candy dish or nappy, but I could imagine using it for business cards or keys or jewelry. But the price was a tad high for resale. And honestly I knew I wouldn’t make any money on it and the red flags were madly waving, but I ignored them and bought the dish.

When I got home I gave the dish a good washing and that’s when I felt the fleabites on the bottom and saw the minor scratching. And I knew I HAD made a mistake.

So here’s the good news…this was a piece that the woman of the house (Virginia if I’m to go by the names in the books I bought) used a lot.  She obviously loved this piece. Here’s the bad news…I won’t make a profit on it.

Here’s the lesson I learned…don’t ignore the red flags and always check out the condition thoroughly before buying.  Don’t be in such a rush!

So, what will I do with this piece of crystal?  I will probably keep it, at least for a while, as a reminder. It is rather pretty and usable.

Would love to hear your story about an estate sale blunder!



  1. You’re right: always examine things before you buy. I run estate sales for a living, and we don’t (usually) allow returns, so it is very important that you look at something carefully before you buy it. Fortunately, it wasn’t (or at least shouldn’t have been) a very expensive lesson this time.


    1. Good to hear from you TrueFinds…it wasn’t an expensive lesson and this crystal piece is rather sweet 🙂 It’s sitting on my desk right now. As a newbie picker, I’m just trying to figure out if I can turn this passion into more than a hobby, but I have so much to learn!!!


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