As frequent secondhand shoppers, Zach and I are always on the lookout for items like the ones you hear stories about. You know the ones. Like where a lady paid 50 cents for a painting at a yard sale and then went home and found out it had a Picasso hidden behind it. The stuff yard sale legends are made of.
The funny thing is, we bought one such thing…without even knowing it! Ok, so maybe it wasn’t quite legendary, but we were pretty excited about it.
This summer, Zach found a unique wooden chair for $2. I thought it kind of looked like something out of the Jetsons, but for two bucks, I wasn’t willing to protest its slight ugliness.
After having it around the house for a while and not finding a good spot, we decided to put it in the yard sale, hoping to get $5. No dice.
So, we brought it back inside and decided to list it on Craigslist for $15 (yes, more. that’s how Craigslist works). Immediately, we had a guy with a vintage furniture website attached to his e-mail handle e-mail us and ask to take a look. When he got to our house, he was disappointed to tell us that he didn’t think it was the type of chair he had suspected it to be, but if we listed it as a “Herman Miller Eames style” chair, we could probably get $50. Not too shabby for a $2 find. So, back on Craigslist it went.
A while later, Zach got a call from a man in Ohio who was interested in the chair. After asking Zach several questions and having him inspect the chair, he determined that it was in fact an early version of a Miller Eames chair. He told Zach that just because he wouldn’t want to rip him off, he would be willing to pay him $100 and drive down from Ohio to get it. The only problem was that it didn’t match the set he had been collecting since he was 16. So, he told us to put it on Ebay. (We were so thankful for the help of strangers!)
After a week on Ebay, it sold for $170, plus shipping, which we were pretty happy with considering it wasn’t in the best of condition. Not a bad return on investment!