I'm doing what many retired people do. I rented a spot in a local antique mall.
I did okay my first month clearing out a bit of my collectibles and I needed to restock my inventory.
So I ventured out to an auction house that runs sales twice a week. There seems to be no end to the vast reserves of potential valuable finds in these parts of the Midwest farmland communities.
I walked into the warehouse building and scanned the room looking for where to check in and get my number. I found the little nook of a window where two old women sat. They took my information and handed me a ticket with a big red "43".
I walked around the room and looked at all the stuff. There was kitchen utensils, radios, books, advertising material, beer paraphernalia, all sorts of bird carvings, and so much more.
The biggest reason I was there, was for old tins of products from the 1800's - early 1900's. Earlier in the day, I told the antique mall manager I saw them on the auction house website. She told me those are pretty good items that move quickly. So I decided I would make those my target. My thinking was they were old cans, boxes, and brushes and they would go cheap.
These items were the most sought after things in the whole auction.
The auctioneer started his bidding mantra on these old tins and boxes at $10 each.
It was so hard to follow him he was projecting between speaking in "Tongue" and could pick out a part of a number in-between his "Hummina...hummina bee da bee da bee, do I hear 10....da bee da bee...12.50....hummina....hummina...da bee da bee...15..."
I was amazed to see people were bidding up to $25 to win the ability to pick out whichever they wanted at $25 each. They were snagging 5 or 6 at a time.
Feeling dismayed, for all I brought with was $45, I walked out to my car to go home with my $4.50 purchase of a group of birds and a couple hand painted tiles that my research showed I could flip each for about $45.
I started to drive home, then I decided to go back into the auction. I came there to buy vintage tins, and I was going to buy at least one.
Well, to my surprise after the people with deep pockets of cash did their picking, there were a few left over they didn't want.
I felt like the runt of a vulture litter getting the tidbits of meat after the bones have been picked over.
I continued to make my purchases that no one wanted. I was able to buy a total of 12 tins for $9.00. I was happy! Granted, they are not well known companies, but even if I sell each one at $5, I could turn a profit. (One of them was an All Spice can and still had product in it. I wonder if it's any good after 100 years).
Many of these people that were buying stuff at top dollar may not make much profit and their customer base is much smaller. My thinking was to buy less expensive items that I can price to be affordable thereby having more people more likely to look at my items.
While I may be the Runt of the Vulture Litter, I will survive.