Friday, April 19, 2013

Huge Changes in the last year

I blame Ki Nassauer. Yes, it's all her fault because she went to the First Monday Trade Days flea market in Canton, Texas and then wrote about it in a magazine.

I called my cousin who happened to live in Texas and whined to him about wanting to go experience it for myself. He gave me the low down and that only made the fire in my belly hotter.

A few phone calls later and I had major changes happening. We sold everything we owned and bought a small travel trailer. I mean it when I say that if something didn't fit in that camper it didn't come with us! 90% of what we brought was inventory.

I had never sold at a market in my life. Heck, I'd never been to Texas, either! There we were putting the remaining contents of our lives in a tiny travel trailer, loaded all 5 kids in the van and drove 25 hours straight through to Texas.

We started at First Monday Trade Days by jumping in with both feet. You know what happened? We LOVE it! Yes, we travel a lot. We hit yard sales and auctions and estate sales and call it "working". We set up and take down. There's a saying out here amongst our gypsy brethren that says " it's not the end of the show, it's the start of the next one". Truer words have never been spoken.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Identifying Collectible Breyer Animals

I've been asked *how* someone would be able to identify these collectible horses. It's really a matter of knowing a few details about the different companies.  I'm going to break this info into three posts for each major company. These posts won't cover every single in and out because it's just too much to digest all at one time.

 First of all, just having a Breyer horse in hand won't guarantee a high price tag. There are many variables and condition is a huge factor. However, when you come across a Breyer it may be worth a second look. There are many sites online to help you identify your particular horse, which we won't do here. We're just looking at how to tell what it is you might have. goes....

 Generally, you will get your first clue when you pick the horse up and hold it in your hand.  Run of the mill cheaply made plastic horses will feel exactly like what they are-light weight inexpensive plastic will poorer quality detailing with seams that gap, etc. Breyer's tend to feel more substantial in hand for their size.

Breyer horses come in different sizes, but we tend to stick with the larger items.
 The largest examples are referred to as "traditional scale" which would be approximately 9 in. x 9in.  "Classic scale" horses are slightly smaller at approximately 5 in x 5 in.
"Paddock Pals" (formerly Little Bits) along with" Stable Mates" and "Mini Whinnies" are the smallest. All sizes have Special Runs, Show Models and Limited Editions.

 Breyer horses/animals are fairly easy to pick out because most of them are marked in some way. Sometimes you will have to look closely, and locations can vary depending on the scale and mold of the model. These marks did change over time because this company has been around since the '50's.

Typically, horses will have a stamp or engraving of " Breyer", "Breyer Reeves", "BMC," a plain "B"or "Breyer Molding Company" or some combination of these. Stamps/marks will be on the inner back leg or on the belly. Very lucky people will find a horse with a blue ribbon or gold foil sticker. DO NOT REMOVE THESE! You've found yourself a horse that is (most likely) pre-1970! Congrats!

Below are a few examples of Breyer mold marking variations.

This 3rd example is from a Pharlap mold, re-released as Black Beauty in 2000. The other leg is stamped with "Breyer Reeves".  The pic of the stamp above reads "1984 AMD TM 20th Century Fox". So in this case, both legs are stamped. Breyer did lots of weird things with their marks, so if it IS marked don't worry too much but be sure to do some homework.

Speaking of homework...

OK, this where things can get complicated. The mold is just the body of the horse/animal. The model is the color, name or number the company assigns to the animal at the time it's produced. This is where the sites to help you ID your horse will come in handy.  

Breyer  made other animals, too. ALWAYS keep an eye out for the other animals. There aren't as many floating around out there.  There are dogs, kittens, cattle, bison, hogs, donkey, mule, mama bear and cubs, a deer family, a moose, elk, big horn rams, prong horn antelope, mountain goat and an elephant. The elephant is  rare to find (and came in pink and blue, too!)  and could bring you a nice chunk of change!

 We found a Breyer Rin Tin Tin/German Shepherd with a red tongue variation which we sold for $75. I think we paid $4 for him a couple of years ago.Without that variation he would not have sold for quite as much.

These horses/animals were also mounted on lamps, mantel clocks or made into music boxes. Some were even turned into night lights with the bulb inside the body. These examples weren't strictly made by Breyer beyond the horse/animal mold. Other companies bought the molded horse/animals and converted them.

Got all that??  No??  It's ok. Don't sweat it. Just go by your regular thrifting rules. If you come across something and wonder if you should buy it, maybe this info will help some. I always figure if it's cheap enough it might be worth the risk. Have fun hunting!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Little Einstein's Pat Pat Rocket ...Cha Ching!

If you spend any time on message boards or blogs about eBay sellers/selling then you may know about this Disney toy. It's from a few years back and no longer made. They had been a hot Christmas item one year, too. They just flew off the shelves!

When a toy is no longer in production prices can go WAY up for the item on eBay. Especially if the toy still has t.v. episodes playing. Such is the case with the Little Einstein's Pat Pat Rocket. I sold the one up there in the picture for $159.99. This was the second one I've sold for that price. Yes, there are others that sold for less, but I'm willing to wait it out in order to get the higher price. You can't get the price you want if you don't ask for it!

This toy is one I found at a Once Upon A Child in my area. I think I paid $8 for it. One thing I want to point out is the green screen. See it up there on the right of the red haired kid? Yep, that thing. Apparently this is a piece that is often lost. You will see sets without this piece but if yours has it, then you can ask a better price. Your rocket will still sell without the green screen, but maybe not for quite as much. If you find one that is missing the screen, get it anyway! You can even sell the people figures from these sets. There were other sets made (like for the bath tub etc) that were smaller.

My husband found several sets of the smaller Transform N Go Rocket. None of the sets had all the parts, but they've all sold. These toys were hubby's first foray into eBay selling. Thanks to the Pat Pat's it was a successful start!

Friday, January 27, 2012


I've been known to buy weird stuff. Take the Scary Scary Teeth I sold last week.

Gnarly looking, aren't they? We picked these up at a yard sale a couple years ago.  For some reason I got a kick out of them and dragged them home to be used as Halloween decorations.

My Bella had been terrified of them and was constantly on the look out for them when she entered my bedroom because she knew we had them stored in the closet. She did eventually make peace with them once she learned that the Scary Scary Teeth had removable bits. Somehow this made them less frightening. See??

Last week I decided to list them on ebay. I had 2 minor problems.
1.) I had no idea what to ask for them.
2.) I wasn't interested in keeping them listed for ages.

Basically I shrugged and winged it. I slapped them up and they sold early the next morning. I heard CHA-CHING from my phone and wondered what had sold so early in the A.M.  I couldn't believe it! My weird $1 yard sale Halloween decoration had sold in less than 12 hours for $19.99 + shipping.

This last autumn I also purchased a model brain and a kidney. I plan to get those listed this weekend using the key word "oddity" in the title. I used it with the teeth but I'm not sure if it helped. I guess this will be a little experiment. Here's to hoping fans of the t.v. show Oddities shop on ebay!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Listen to your kids...

because they may know exactly what they're talking about. I learned this lesson recently when I sold a Peter Stone Signature Series horse my oldest daughter found at the thrift store for $3. My oldest daughter is a Breyer/Hartland/Stone fan so she can spot these horses 5 blocks away.

After a little research we discovered that this is Tanzagar. He sold quickly and had plenty of interest. His new owner was thrilled to get him because there were a small number of these bad boys made.
He brought home an easy $50 so keep an eye out when you're out thrifting.

Friday, November 18, 2011

This Chaps My Hide...

as a buyer, I mean.

Recently, I made a purchase on ebay. This is not too unusual, really.( Many people believe in the reality of eBay and it's existence is scientifically provable.) However, the seller happened to be a slow shipper. As in 5 days slow! To top it off, I never heard one word from them during those 5 days.

If you expect to have happy buyers, don't do what this seller did.  I would have been far less annoyed with the slow ship time if I had heard from the seller before that shipping label was printed 5 days later.

Buyer notifications don't have to be long,wordy explanations about how your back is out and you can't stand up straight due to the huge hump on your back plus your dog died and your husband left you because of the hump on your back and you're just selling on ebay to try to feed the 1,000 cats you've hoarded adopted.

No, keep it simple. Most people don't care if you have personal issues unless it inconveniences them in some way. Instead, keep it simple. Just a simple  "Hey, thanks! I'll get this in the mail Tuesday, as stated in the listing. Thanks again!" is enough information.

See, you've done 2 things here:
1.) You've acknowledged your buyer by thanking them.
2.) You've restated facts that should already be in your listing.

At this point your buyer should understand hat to expect and as long as YOU follow through, all should be well and you won't have ticked off buyers, like me.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Shelf Make Over: Finished!

Remember this shelf I picked up at the thrift shop??

Yep, that's the one.  After about 3 weeks of working on this beast, it's finally done! There must have been a thousand layers of shellac on it, I'm not kidding. It was awful. We sanded and used primer and finally got it painted. Beadboard was painted purple and tacked onto the back. FINALLY, it's done!

This is Miss Bella's play space. Gone are the tacky plastic toy box and beat up wooden one. Gone are all those baby toys no longer played with. We've done quite an over haul. Best of all?? Everything in this picture( besides the purchased beadboard) was either free or thrifted! Yep, everything right down to the thrifted $9 Pottery Barn Kids area rug. 

This is why I believe it is completely unnecessary to buy new when you have kids. All it takes is a little effort and some elbow grease.