Wednesday, September 18, 2013

To Keep or to Sell?

This past Saturday, hubby and I had a boatload of projects on the docket. But the girls and I had plans first thing in the morning to join my parents for their monthly testing of the West River water. They volunteer with The Blackstone River Coalition, who's mission is to restore and protect water quality and wildlife habitat in the river corridors, and to advocate for sound land use in the Blackstone River watershed. The West River is a tributary of the Blackstone so its included.

My dad takes this work very seriously. :)

My parents have two testing sites where they gather water samples and compile data on their findings. Last year in school, my girls and I did a whole unit study on The Blackstone River Valley, including the importance of keeping our rivers clean. Every time we'd try to coordinate our schedules with my parents' testing dates for an educational field trip, it never worked out. Till now.

So after picking up litter...

...collecting water samples...

 ...observing, testing and compiling data,

...we headed home to get a move on projects.

But I've mentioned before that I have a really hard time driving by yard sales. And when you're driving around on a Saturday morning, you're bound to pass some.

Here's my loot from the three sales I just couldn't drive by. Okay, I confess, I made a few turns off the road home for one but its because I drove by the sign and that counts.

$1 each for a pair of fashion boots and a pair of L.L.Bean snow boots for my "baby" (who's turning 2 around the bend - where did that time go??).

Another Scrabble game for $0.50. I've had a little fun decorating with the tiles and trays in the past but I'm amassing a growing collection for a larger project that's swirling in my head. Can't wait.

That same sale had this brand new 14.5 oz Mistletoe Yankee Candle. When I asked how much, she said $0.50. Ummm...heck yeah! These go for $25 full-price new.

(OOps, that's way fuzzy.)

The next sale had this set of two light green-bordered, appliquéd placemats and matching napkins for $1. Exactly the type of thing that would look good with the vintage linens I'm collecting to create a shower curtain for the girls.  Scooped them right up.

Then the next yard sale I stopped at happened to have this set of two yellow-bordered, appliquéd hand towels...

...and a set of four pink-bordered matching placemats and napkins. They asked $6 for the lot, I offered $5, they accepted.

I still can't believe I found all of these coordinating items at two different sales. So psyched. Exactly the look I'm going for in their bathroom.

Oh, and at that same sale I found this bag of shower curtain hooks for $1. But the seller wasn't sure they were all there so she told me to just take them for FREE. Turns out they are one short.

The shower curtain hooks I want to replace in the girls' bathroom are stars in the same color metal, left behind by my M-I-L. Stars aren't my thing so I'm thinking I'll just replace 11 of the 12 stars with these balls and the last one will hopefully not be noticed tucked at the end. I don't know....we'll see.

The linens were my favorite score of the morning but the following is my most valuable score. The other day I was looking through my latest Country Living magazine and in the Collectors section it showed vintage 1950s microscopes in their original boxes currently valued at $50.

And didn't I stumble across this.

The price tag said $10. One of my top yard-sale tips is to act like you're hardly interested in something when you really want it. I tried my best to do that while she explained that it was her dad's and its pretty old. I asked if she'd take $5 and she accepted.

I'd love to use it as vintage décor for my schoolroom (a major work in very slow progress...sorta like all my projects). The bookend idea would actually come in quite handy on our schoolroom bookshelves. But hubby thinks I should sell it and make a profit. A quick look on eBay and all the current auctions for similar items have no bids. So do I keep it or try to sell it?

I come across (and pass up) stuff like this ALL THE TIME that I could potentially resell and make $ on. I definitely don't have the time for a retail shop (though I'd LOVE to - maybe in my empty nest days) and I don't think I even have time for an eBay store on the side either. I have friends I could consign with. Can my hobby turn a profit? We'll see where all this goes.

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