The Savvy Picker website is a new site created to support the new column written by The Savvy Picker for Now Habersham! Soon the page will undergo some changes, hopefully including a way for you to ask questions! We’ve recently added Bonus Tips. See below!
Bonus Tip: This one is short and sweet: Carry Cash! These days most of the stops I made in N Georgia took credit cards, but passed the 4% fee on to the buyer. I made sure to take along cash this time to avoid the extra expense.
Scroll down to see Bonus Tips from previous weeks.
Who is the Savvy Picker? She’s a UGA graduate who likes returning to Georgia to visit friends and to shop! She runs her vintage business through an Etsy shop and a brick and mortar store in Beaufort, SC.
Where you can find The Savvy Picker’s shops.
You can check out The Savvy Picker’s Etsy shop HERE.
To see her brick and mortar space, head to Beaufort SC, and visit The Beaufort Emporium on Bay Street.
The Beaufort Emporium offers a eclectic combination of new and vintage items!
Check out the The Savvy Picker’s articles on Now Habersham!
See the individual articles below, or check out the archives on Now Habersham!
November 3: Meader’s Merchantile and Antiques
November 17: Elizabeth and Company Resale Treasures
December 1 : Circle of Hope Clarkesville
December 15: CommUnity Thrift in Clarkesville
December 19: Nacoochee Village Antique Mall
January 12: Goodwill Cornelia
January 26: Old Clarkesville Antique Mall
February 9: Circle of Hope Cornelia
February 26: Yard Sale Edition
March 9 2023: Crazy Mule Arts and Antiques
PREVIOUS BONUS TIPS
February 26, 2023: Magic Wood Polish: This simple polishing routine gives new life to old wood. Unless the wood is very dark, I apply a coat of Old English Scratch Cover for LIGHT woods. This gives your wood a little color without altering the original color much. Next, buff this off or let it dry, then apply a coat of Howard’s Feed-N-Wax. Doing this works wonders for wood. Because wood dries out, it is a process you may need to repeat every year or two. As always, read bottle instructions to make sure products are safe for your wood item.
Bonus Tip February 9, 2023: KNOW YOUR JERE! Curtis Jere was a metalwork company founded in 1963 by Curtis Freiler and Jerry Fels who combined their names to create a company name. Their goal was to create affordable gallery-quality art. Today, many of these mid century pieces are highly desirable. I came across this Jere sculpture under a table in a thrift store. It was filthy and in two pieces, but I recognized it for what it was! It was priced at one dollar for the smaller piece, and two for the larger piece. Ha! I purchased both and my husband welded them back together, then hung it in our living room while I was out of town. I don’t keep many things from my thrifting, but so far I haven’t had the heart to take this sculpture down and sell it, even though the other two I’ve seen like it sold for $2, 500 to $3, 500 each. (It looks great with our stuff!) My other Jere find was a pair of Cityscape bookends that I purchased for $7 and will sell for around $350. These were purchased at an estate sale, and the estate company had posted photos the night before. I knew what they were from the photos, so I made a point of getting there early and snapping them up. Go ahead… Google Curtis Jere… check out the images that come up, so when you cross paths with a Curtis Jere, you won’t miss out.
January 26, 2023: LET THE MARKET DECIDE! One of the reasons selling vintage items works, is because no one can know everything — there aren’t enough hours in the day. So at this stage of the game if I can’t easily find the value of an item, but I assume the value is less than $1000, I list it on eBay using the auction format. This way, if the item truly is worth something, the bidders will usually let you know by bidding. Yes, sometimes I may sell an item for less than it is worth. But in my experience it is more likely that I will get a price higher than anticipated. This week, I listed this antique Chinese Rose Famille Snuff Bottle on ebay with a starting bid of $50. I’ll let you know next week if it sold, and what it sold for. Follow along! UPDATE: Sold for $55 at the very last minute. I always start auctions with a starting bid I’ll be okay with. Never too low, for this reason.
January 12, 2023: SHOP FROM HOME When something sells well in your shop, online auctions like CTBids can be a good source for restocking. This also applies if you are shopping for your own collection, or for re-selling online. I tend to sell a lot of Blue Willow china, so I routinely check CTBids to see if any is available locally, or if it is shipable from other places. (Not all items in CTBids auctions are shipable, and shipping can be expensive, so you do have to be careful.) Recently, I scored a bunch of vintage Blue Willow miniatures that were still in their original boxes from an auction in California. These fit perfectly with the inventory in my brick and mortar location, but I am also selling some of them via Etsy. I expect to make a profit of about $800 when all of these miniatures are sold. So don’t underestimate the kind of shopping you can do from your couch! SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE TO SEE PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED BONUS TIPS.
December 29, 2022: A LITTLE POLISH GOES A LONG WAY. A little Hagerty All Metal Polish goes a long way. One of the items I always keep in my tool box is a tube of this polish which lists Chrome-Copper-Brass-Aluminum-Stainless Steel as the metals it can be used on. Though I wouldn’t use it on sterling, or anything very precious, I have found it works well on silver plate too. For me, the trick is to rub just a little into your cloth before starting, so that you won’t leave paste on the object. The other thing to keep in mind when you take on polishing something is that time is money. To polish something until it shines like new often takes a lot of time, so you’ll need to charge more for items that require a lot of your time. Make sure they are worth it! Because I always tend to be short on time, I like to just lightly polish objects showing the promise of that shine, and I find that adding a little gleam to generally results in it selling. You can see what I mean in this photo. The bookend on the left of the pair of scallop bookends has been lightly polished, so it shines just a little more than its partner on the right, particularly on the raised ribs of the shell and the base. Likewise, this dresser mirror was hit with just a little polish prior to my putting it in the shop. I also removed the decal from it because I wanted the surface to reflect the glassware I had in mind to showcase on it. Not all metal antiques look better polished, but for those that do, just a little buffing with Hagerty can go a long way.
December 15, 2022: DO YOUR RESEARCH When deciding whether or not to purchase an item, or how to price it after you have purchased, it’s a good idea to research the value. Simply typing a description into the Google search bar is not the most reliable way. The art pictured below, for example, is a beautiful original Japanese woodblock print by Bakufu Ohno. If you simply search for this famous artist’s name, you will his prints for sale with prices ranging from $100 to $1000. But keep in mind these are usually just the asking prices. You need to know what similar items are SELLING for. To discover this, you can join a site like Worthpoint which charges a monthly fee, or create an EBAY account, which is free. Once you have an account on Ebay, you will have the option to look at SOLD prices by clicking on the COMPLETED listings option in the side bar on your screen if on a computer, or clicking the drop-down FILTER option on your phone. There is much more to be said about finding values, but being able to see what things actually sell for on ebay is a good jumping off point.
December 1, 2022 : EXAMINE PHOTOS One way to find great inventory is through online auctions. A lot of times the photos for these auctions are taken in a hurry, and are not high quality. So here is a tip: If you are bidding on a lot (group of items) that includes many different items, make sure to enlarge the photos and really examine what is in the lot. This summer I bid on a group of Christmas items that included a small box. I could see one antique German snow baby on the top of the box. Based on the size of the box, I guessed it contained several of these small treasures, and bid accordingly. My hunch paid off! There were 13 antique figurines in the box and all were in beautiful shape!