Monday, October 11, 2010

Yard Sale Buys & the Price $ Thing

I've been on a recent lucky streak with yard sale finds. Here's a Trumeau style mirror purchased at Arlington's Civitan Community yard sale for $40 (it's the same place where Jenny of Little Green Notebook sold her truckload of amazing stuff).

When I saw the mirror, two women were eyeing it and the seller said it was $40. They walked away and when I approached and asked the price, she replied $50. Well, since I had heard her original price of $40 I offered that - which she relunctantly accepted. Still not sure why it was $40 for one person but $50 for me...? (p.s. the other women were dressed better than me)

It's very-very gold and I plan to tone down parts of it w/some grayish paint. As you can see I'm currently moving things around in my dining room/library. I'm thinking the acanthus leaf sconces will stay although I need a way to better deal with the cord. The concrete antique french trough is is from Flat Earth Designs and it's on my to-do list to plant something in it!
Saturday we stopped by a family-run estate sale and bought this dresser for $30. It's a Henredon piece and the drawers work beautifully - I'd already removed some of the hardware when I took this pic. I thought $30 was a very good price and the seller seemed happy that I simply said, "Yes, I'll take it."
Then I asked how much for this great end table. The very nice woman said $5 and as soon as she said it, I could see she was a bit disappointed with herself. So I asked her to let me pay $10 for it. I really felt $5 was too cheap, wasn't a fair exchange at that price and would have left me feeling guilty. **I hope this story doesn't come across as self-serving. Feeling guilty sometimes make me do the right thing. Plus, she was a really nice person. If she hadn't been, maybe I would have just paid $5.

So 3 situations: (1) one the price was higher for me than somebody else and I offered the lower price, (2) price was good for buyer and seller and (3) price was too low and I would have felt a bit cheap and guilty for paying the lower price.

Has this kind of thing ever happened to you?

p.s. - In a burst of unusual productivity, I've already clean, sanded and primed the furniture. Please send me emails if I haven't posted the results by Friday. I get more done with people looking over my shoulder!

35 comments:

LindsB said...

Great finds- that mirror looks perfect there!

abode love said...

You have been on a lucky steak! I envy you! I love, love the mirror against the gray walls... gorgeous!

abodelove.blogspot.com

ArchitectDesign™ said...

those are GREAT finds-especially the dreser! I love a good deal. I think it's best that you paid the $10, no guilty consiouses - karma!

Millie said...

Oh, what wonderful finds!
With regard to the cords, I used the cord channel strips that self stick to the walls and you paint them the wall colour. They are not completely invisible, but lots neater than just cords if you are not up to hiring an electrician.

Red Door Home said...

Terrific finds. The mirror and the dresser are wonderful!

splendidmarket.com said...

The hunt is always fun -- but finding the treasure is splandid! What nice finds. Your dining room looks gorgeous -- I love the wall color.

splendidmarket.com said...

oops! I meant splEndid!

Nichole @ Parlour said...

oooo, can't wait to see the finished products! They all have great "bones."

Ms. Givens said...

Wow, you did great. I love the mirror.
I once interviewed for a booth rent cosmetology job and the owner of the salon went to get the paper work for me to fill out. When I looked I noticed she had marked out the original booth rent and raised the price for me. RUDE!

vicki archer said...

Such great finds...love the chest...xv

Emom said...

Your ethical behavior is inspiring.....good for you!
smiles

mydesignchic said...

Love your purchases - the chest I especially love since I'm in the market for one...

Chemin des Muguets said...

You're one lucky girl! Can't wait to see what these look like after you work your magic.
Cheers,
Marjorie

Teresa at Splendid Sass said...

Oh my goodness. The mirror and the Henredon chest are fantastic buys. I would have paid more for the chest! Lucky you.
Have a nice day.
Teresa

Robyn said...

You have been lucky! I am envious of your good finds. It's great that you paid a bit more for the side table. I'm sure the seller really appreciated it.

imperfectnest.com

jules @ The Diversion Project said...

bi;;iant scores. looking forward to seeing their end results

Shannon @ Hase Haus said...

Wonderful finds! I can't believe that dresser was $30. Score! We went to the Civitan sale last Saturday as well and ended up with a truckload. Sometimes it's hit or miss...but there were definitely some good finds there.

katiedid said...

Jeez! If only the yard sales arounf here were so good! My house would be done.....but I guess that would mean I would actually have to get out of bed and get myself to the sales, right?

Sara Mueller said...

I love that dresser. I love everything you found.

Hill Country House Girl said...

You found great things and you did the right thing. You would have felt badly about paying the $5.00, and we are only talking about $5.00! It would be different if you had taken advantage of a situation where you were talking a lot more money. You remind me of me, Michele!

Belly said...

Great finds!
I guess the first seller so people are interested so she raised the price.
Can't wait to see how you're going to use them :)

Pat said...

Great buys. Guess I'll have to hit the Arlington area sales. I went to several in Alexandria and found nothing. But I did score a sturdy bookcase along the roadside.

debi said...

I'm like you. I agree totally with your 3 thoughts. Oh, and can't wait to see the finished projects. Currently scouring for my next project. May have to look in my house if I can't find anything.

Margaret said...

Well, perhaps she has short-term memory, raising the price so quickly? Doubtful..Northern VA is pricey, and so transient, that Southern hospitality is often non-existent. Good on you for offering $5 more--pay it forward. Good finds, all in all.

A Perfect Gray said...

absolutely NOTHING better than a good piece at a great price. and doing the right thing is always the best policy - good for you! I am jealous of that chest - don't mind admitting that...

pretty pink tulips said...

I'm not a great negotiator! I'm more likely to give something away. I think offering $10 was the right thing to do!
xo Elizabeth

AnneHH said...

Congrats on your great finds!! Can't wait to see how you transform them!!

mytwocentsworth said...

Buys like these are what make the hunt so much fun! Very thoughty of you to offer the lady an unexpected profit on her $5 table--a little icing on the cake. She won't forget that friendly gesture on your part.

Karena said...

Michelle love the mirror I bought a couple of nice pieces over the weekend, however working on them will have to wait till Friday at least!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

pve design said...

I am usually the one on the other side giving a good deal away just because it feels like the "nice" thing to do.
Love your finds, I could see that mirror painted in white looking very 'swell and swedish....perhaps a hint of griege or icelandic blue....show us what you do please.
pve

The Zhush said...

Loving your finds...maybe she tried to charge you more, b/c she saw a twinkle in your eye...knowing you were about to score BIG!

Wendy said...

I am so happy you told her you heard the price! What a twit to change the price right after!

LaurenFaythe said...

I wish we had a garage sale like that here! Good for you to pay more for that piece. I was once offered a very low price on one of my original paintings at the last hour of a show, and I sold it to the woman for that amount. I kicked myself afterwards, because I practically gave it away...

Jennifer said...

love your finds! I have yard sale guilt -- I never ask for lower! but at my own sale last summer I was practically giving things away just to be rid of them, ha.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Wow, I want to go to your yard sales---

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