Saturday, February 12, 2011

Polite Estate Sale Etiquette

Patience has paid off for today's estate sale hunting. I had gone to a pre-sale on Thursday but the seller was so unorganized and stressed that she didn't have everything unpacked. She would grab things out of the buyer's hands and tell them that it wasn't for sale. Everything was chaotic but she said that the sale would continue throughout the weekend so please come back.

Today I went back and am so glad I did. I found several boxes marked "Christmas" hidden under a table and asked if I may look inside. The seller was still unorganized but I was polite and she sat down next to me while I carefully opened and unpacked the boxes. This is what I found in one box:
I love vintage bottlebrush Christmas trees but have never found any at a price that I wanted to pay until today. There is also a wreath in the middle. The largest tree is 14.5" tall. The smaller trees are stamped "Japan" on the bottom. The plastic reindeers will be used for another craft project I have planned.

Digging further into the boxes I found a few vintage ornaments and an odd batch of vintage glass balls on floral picks.

I plan to use the glass ball picks for a future project.

Buried in one box was this Napco figurine. Very sweet. I don't collect figurines but she looked so sweet and Christmas-y.

I also found a collection of Fenton or Hocking Moonstone Hobnail glassware pieces (I love the description of Moonstone). I just wanted a couple of pieces but the seller gave me such a good price on everything that I took the entire lot.

I also found this very tall, green, glass vase. I don't know anything about colored glass so this could either be vintage or something that a recent florist gave away with their arrangement. I just liked it for its height.

And as a final bit of whimsy, I found a vintage washboard, a tin toy tool chest (empty) and a glass jar that is supposed to be part of an electric mixer but I will use it to hold my art pencils.

The day started off slowly but I had such a great time at this last estate sale. Patience and politeness paid off today. But I still wonder what was hidden in the other boxes that the seller had not yet opened. (Click here to find out what was in those boxes.)

Here's an idea to store your glass Christmas ornaments, use the plastic container that apples come in from Costco. The shape is perfectly designed to hold round objects as well as to protect the contents. You can add a little tissue paper or shredded paper around each ornament and stack these neatly away. Plus it gives a little hug to the planet by not throwing more plastic into the landfills.

I was featured:


  1. You did great! I love the bottle brush trees and I would of snapped up the Napco girl fast!

  2. You really got some cool things. I especially like the bottle brush trees.

  3. We have so many Christmas decorations at my house, sometimes it's difficult to appreciate it all. Especially when it comes to the tiny little details, like little figurines. We do have nice collection of vintage Christmas balls, though. Truthfully, many of them are so delicate, they never make it to the tree. we just pull them from storage and look at them from time to time.

  4. I adore the items you bought...(!!!) Lucky girl!
    Greetings from Denmark

  5. I love vintage Christmas decs - I'd have been straight in there too!

  6. Wow what an awesome haul! I love vintage Christmas, it can be hard to find in Alaska.

  7. You really scored and I'm sure the lady at the estate sale was happy that such a lovely person bought these items.

  8. I just love estate sales! I really adore the napco figurine and the mixer jar. lots of great finds!

  9. How I wish I could have been with you at this sale. I love all your finds.

  10. Sometimes people holding sales are in so far over their heads it is nice to have a sympathetic ear from a customer. I think many people also want to know that you will apreeciate and enjoy their items. We all tend to feel our STUFF has more worth than a pricetag implies.

    You have a great eye as well as patience.

  11. You definitely had a major score on that sale! Love the finds!


  12. Great finds. I love the vintage Christmas. Happy VTT!

  13. Score. I'd love to find some bottle brush trees and that Napco figurine is adorable!!

  14. You found some wonderful things, I really love the Christmas goodies. Thanks so much for linking up with VIF!!

  15. Oh my goodness! You hit the jackpot, Lynda. Your patience sure did pay off. I love vintage bottle brush trees, too. I posted about a few of mine in December.

    Thanks for linking to the party. I would love to have you join me each week. And be sure to enter the giveaway, if you haven't done so yet.

    By the way, I just joined you as a follower. ;)

    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage


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