Karma

Willy-Wonka

Sometimes you have to do the right thing, and hope you just get some good karma out of it.  If I was as ruthless as some people think I am, I would have a ton of money.

For the second time in a year, something I bought came up as stolen.  When I buy something, I have to report it to the Attorney General’s office and hold it for 2 weeks and then I get to sell it.

I bought this necklace, held it for 2 weeks and went to sell it last week.  The guy I usually deal with was not there, so I said I would be back.  I was going to stop by yesterday, but I figured I would wait until Wednesday when I had more time.

This morning I get a call from a woman looking for her grandmothers necklace.  I remember it right away, and unfortunately I still have it.  I could have said it was gone because it was in my legal rights to sell it over a week ago, but I told the woman she could call the police to pick it up.

Sometimes I think I should have just claimed it was gone, but unfortunately I have a conscience. I really don’t want to melt someones sentiments, I don’t want that kind of karma.  Also, if it was gone, she would not be able to press charges on the person who did it.  Usually in cases like these, there is some involvement with drugs where the child steals to get money for drugs.  The only way to get the kid help is to press charges, so it is a domino effect.   If I say I don’t have it, the kid goes free and can steal something else, buy drugs, and possibly OD.  When I say I have it, hopefully the kid will get forced into rehab or some type of help and can possibly change the direction of their life.

You never know, so I will store up some good karma and hope I never need it.

Get that out of your mouth!

Get that out of your mouth! As a mother of a 3.5 and 1.5 year old, this is a phrase I say often.  You would think I would remember to do that myself.

This week, I went through more silver scrap.  As a reseller, my favorite thing I get to do is go through buckets of silver jewelry that is heading to the refinery.   I get to see all sorts of things, all different pieces of jewelry.

I saw these “items” in my last “picking”.

IMG_0049

I love unusual things.  Anything that grabs my eye, I have to grab.  The item to the right is hollow, and I thought “This is a strange whistle” and I put it to my mouth to see if it worked.  DUMB.  I am dumb.  In my defense, these two items were not together when I pulled them out.  I didn’t see there was a tiny spoon to go with this “tube”.

As soon as I did it, the woman who works at the shop where I do some picking said, That is a coke straw!  Now I have no ideas how many nostrils touched this item, but it went in my mouth. YUCK!  I learn lessons everyday, and this one I will not forget 😉

Lessons on Losses

I recently read the book “Black Privilege, Opportunity comes to those who create it” and one of the principals is: There are no losses, just lessons.  I find this to be true, and it happens to me constantly.

A few months ago I bought a diamond ring.  The ring was ok, just about a carat.  To be honest, I don’t like buying diamonds.  I get a little intimidated because I don’t have the grading skills needed to be the diamond business.  Diamonds are a very competitive business, I would rather just grab the low hanging fruit on the tree and stick to silver.  I find the return on smaller items better than that on the high end items…but that is just me.

A woman came in to the shop with her grandmothers diamond.  I knew this woman’s husband who passed away last year.  I let emotions get involved and I ended up paying too much for the stone.  She said she wanted $500, but I thought I could get more, so I paid her $700.  I never talk a customer up on price, but I let my feelings get to me, and I wanted to help her out.

When I went to my diamond guy, he said the most he could pay was $500 cash.  It was not like he was low balling me, it was my fault that I didn’t notice the stone had a small chip on one side. (LESSON ONE: For future reference, many jewelers will hide chips under the setting prongs)  Of course I didn’t want to take a loss, so I negotiated $700 in store credit instead of $500 cash.  With the store credit I purchased more silver out of his scrap bin. I figure this would be the way to turn the loss into a break even and then into a profit.

I ended up getting lucky.

s-l1600-1

I pulled this Historic Navajo Arts & Crafts Guild cuff out of the scrap for about $40 from the credit.  I was going to put it up for $125, but I did the research and saw people asking crazy prices for it, so I figured why not ask something crazy myself!  I put it up for $999 or best offer, and within a day I got offered $700,  Ca-Ching!  I ended up turning the loss on the diamond into a profit.

I was proud of myself for the score, but I ended up not doing enough research on all the items I pulled out of scrap.  (LESSON TWO:  DO YOUR RESEARCH EVERY TIME!!)  Just like I didn’t do enough research on the comic book score a few months back, this time I let a signed silver piece of jewelry slip by.

s-l1600

I listed this yesterday, a Sterling Silver shetland sheep dog brooch.  Even though I saw it had an unusual hallmark, I didn’t bother to research and I put it up for $35.  It sold quick, and to another dealer.  The hallmark I didn’t bother to research is Thomae & Co.  The person who bought it from me has similar brooches (Dogs from different breeds) up in their store for $250.  So, while I am happy I turned $4.50 into $30, I would have been happier turning it into $200.  I still sent it out to the woman who bought it.  She will make 6 times her original investment.  I can’t hate on that, it is the game we play as hustlers. I usually get to be the one turning the better profit, but lesson learned.

The Direction….

directionWhen I first started this blog / instagram / youtube channel/ et al, I figured I would just do yard sales.  I am finding that I want to do more, expand.  There are so many things I am interested in.  I’m not saying I’m the most interesting person in the world, but I’m far from boring.

You can find all types of people that probably have similar interests as I do. I am just saying, I am going to start using this and all my platforms as a sort of virtual diary.  Of course there will be many entries on yard sales / hustling, because that is a major part of my life.  But there is much more.

I listen to Gary Vee and how he says “it is all about the legacy” I want to document some of my life for my legacy.

So here is a little background on me.

I’m 40 years old….it seems weird to say that because I always though 40 was old but now I am there, I still don’t feel like an adult. (Side note, I do think this blog/vlog might be associated to a midlife crisis….and I am sure we will explore that)

I was born and raised in Rhode Island.  Lived here most of my life.  I did live in Spain for 6 months while studying abroad in college.

I am a wife, married on July 24, 2011 in Central Park NY.  That was the day Gay Marriage became legal in NY, and since it was not legal in RI at the time, I got married there.

I am a mother of two beautiful girls.  Their conception and birth will probably be explored on this blog as well.

I love filming.  I made a feature documentary “Happy Endings?” and made it into wikipedia! The documentary follow women who work in Asian massage parlors in Rhode Island during the time prostitution was decriminalized

I currently own a little shop called Warren Exchange, I buy and sell stuff.  eBay, Etsy, Amazon, you name the platform, I’m probably on it.

If you looked at my instagram feed, you would see a bunch of pictures of coins, drag queens, tattoos, and hip hop.  These are my favorite things.

I  do a weekly podcast with my friend Sabrina who is in the UK.  We mostly discuss culture, politics, and trending topics.  We have very different perspective on everything. Check it here on Soundcloud and here on Youtube

So, that is me in a nut shell.  I hope you decide to follow me on this journey.

 

 

 

 

Yod Sale Vlog Season 1 Episode 4


The
This week we hit a few more yard sales and an estate sale.  The weather was horrible on Friday and I think that kept the number of yard sales down.  Also the fact that this was a holiday weekend, many people travel and are not around to have or go to yard sales.  The estate sale was weird in the fact that the resident was still in the house.  Most estate sales, the home owner has either moved or passed away.  There was one “fight” at the start of the estate sale.  I have to remind myself that I am filming, because usually when I see an estate or yard sale fight, I walk away.  I need to remember I am filming so I can get that footage….I know it is the footage that everyone wants.  This upcoming weekend, I will be holding my own yard sale at the store with a few other people.  Also I am going to go trash picking with a friend on Sunday.  It should be fun.  Make sure you come back for that.  Happy Hunting!

Yod Sale Vlog Season 1 Episode 3

This week the weather was BEAUTIFUL!  I headed out to hit a multifamily neighborhood sale in East Greenwich.  Since starting this blog and Facebook page I have been getting tips from friends about sales in the area.  My college roommate turned me on to a huge community sale in East Greenwich, so I headed there…..but I didn’t make it.

East Greenwich is around 45 minutes from my shop, (I open my shop at 10am on saturdays) and after thinking about how much time I would be losing traveling, and after getting a call from my cousin who lives in the town next to my shop, I decided to just do some local yard and garage sales. I had seen a bunch of signs going up on Friday when I left work, so I knew there would be plenty to hit.

We hit 10 sales in total.

Two sales  were my favorite.  One was a moving sale, and the deals were unbelievable.  I picket up a polaroid printer for $10!  They had a $55 price tag, I asked “What is the best you can do on this?” and the home owner said $10!  I was thinking he would go to $40 or $35, and I would have bought it at that because it is selling on Amazon for $95 after FBA fees.  When he dropped the price to $10 I should have gone back to grab more things.

Moving sales are better than just regular yard sales because the people have to sell everything.  They don’t want to pack it.  People at yard sales might just be looking to make some money, their impetus to sell is not as dire. Moving sales are usually at the end of the month, and the stuff has to be gone by the first, so you really have leverage when it comes to negotiating.

The second sale that I liked was a multifamily sale that was being held to raise money for a church mission.  They had a bunch of kids working the sale and they also had a bake sale with goodies and coffee.  I was happy to see the money go to a good cause.

Please like and subscribe, and Pretty Please with Sugar on top, Leave a comment!  I want to hear from you 🙂

Schlemiel! Schlemazel!

This week we started our yard sailing in Riverside RI.  There was a “Multifamily” sale that started at 7:00.  I picked up my yard sale buddy, Cousin Julie (aka Pricey) and we headed over.  This yardsale was a disappointment.  There were a ton of signs, and it was easy to find, but it was not a multifamily.  It wasn’t even a multi table!! They probably had more signs up than items.

That was the only local sale that started at 7:00, and since we had time before the others, we headed over to an Estate Sale to sign in.  Estate sales are fierce.  This estate sale had run last weekend, so this week was the “Fill the bag for $3”  so they could clear out the house.  There was a sign up sheet out front, so we signed in.

Signin sheet.pngI was #5 on the list.  I signed in a “Lady Glitter Sparkles Seriously”.  (I have been using this name lately as an homage to the movie “Trolls”, a film on heavy rotation in my family. If you have a 2 year old, you know where I am coming from.)

From there, we left to hit some other local yard sales.  We hit 2 yard sales, found some items, and then returned to the estate sale.  The estate sale lets 25 people in at a time, and we were in the first group to be let in.  The place was pretty picked over since it was the second week.  The person who owned the home was really into photography, and even had a dark room in the basement.  I grabbed 3 dark room timers for $6 and headed out.

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 9.36.34 AM

These are pretty cool vintage items.  The hands and numbers on the black ones are glow in the dark.  Photography items usually sell quick for me, and although I have never flipped these before, for $6, I couldn’t go wrong.

The last yard sale we went to was at a home right on the water in Barrington.  The house had to be a million dollar home.  (Barrington is one of the wealthiest communities in Rhode Island, hence a place I do most of my yard sale hunting)

There were a bunch of items, more modern stuff.  In the corner of the yard, there was a display of old flat top beer cans.  Next to the display was a huge box of more beer cans.  I would estimate over 100 flat top beer cans.  Now, I am not into beer cans, and usually I don’t buy a big box of items I don’t know if I can flip, but the price was $4.  Again, at that price I can’t resist.  There are some beer cans that sell for hundreds on eBay, and I figured if I couldn’t sell them, I could turn them in the for $.05 deposit in Massachusetts.

beercans.png

When I bought the cans, I handed $4 to the woman running the yard sale. She yelled out Schlemiel! Her daughter said “Mom, did you just make up a word”  and she  said to her daughter, It is a real word, it means clumsy.

I said, “I remember that was in the opening to Lavern & Shirley, and then I sang the opening to a show I watched probably as much as my two year old watches Trolls.

Schlemiel! Schlemazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated! We’re gonna do it!”

I never knew what those words meant.  And I don’t know if the woman was calling me a “Schlemiel” but when I looked it up, this is what it says.

Schlemiel: n, an unlucky burglar; chump; clumsy person (Yiddish)

Schlemazel: n, a very unlucky or inept person who fails at everything (Yiddish)

I hope I am not any unlucky burglar, because I did get those flat top beer cans at a steal!