Friday, August 28, 2015

Don't Dismiss the Actual Buyer Standing in Front of You for the Potential Buyer Tomorrow

Anna and I went to estate sales today. One sale had FIVE sewing machines and lot of sewing items (mainly buttons, doll patterns, and scissors) so I did pick up a bag of buttons and a pair of Gingher Dressmakers and a pair of Fiskar pinking shears because they felt so nice.

I didn't have high hopes for the next one because the main selling feature was decades of vintage Playboy magazines, but we went because they listed vintage and modern photography equipment and Anna is taking photography at NVCC.

Amazingly, they had a Pfaff 360 vintage free-arm sewing machine (manufacturer date stamp 12 23 59) and I plugged it in to see if it worked. The machine did turn on and all the parts were there, but to make stitches, I had to turn the flywheel because it just groaned when I pushed the pedal. The instruction manual is completely in German.

I took it downstairs and one of the workers said it was $175. Say what? I told them no, it would cost me at least $75 to take it to the shop for maintenance. I told them I would pay $30. There were gasps. If they would have countered with $50, I would have taken it. The lady running the sale said she would take it home tonight and research it with her experts.

I gave her my business card if they change their minds. The Pfaff 360 goes for $100 on Ebay with shipping charges between $20 and $50. The machines on Ebay also work. Just because it's vintage and it's worth a lot in some niche market doesn't mean you should dismiss the buyer standing in front of you for the potential buyer who *might* pay what you're asking tomorrow. I did leave my business card with them, but I don't think they're going to call me.

The fact is I don't really need another member of my sewing machine museum. However, if I DID have all that money to spend, I'd like to buy the mid-century modern piece that featured drop-down doors and slide-out drawers! That was awesome!

On another note, it's all very interesting to visit estate sales because I wonder about the past owner. In this instance, the man was at least a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who was married to a German lady. They must have met when he was stationed in Germany. He was also stationed in the UK as there was a lot of Spode china. The sewing machine had some stitches on a test piece of cloth, including the name "Helga," so I think that must have been her name. There wasn't a lot of women's clothing, although there were a few pairs of women's shoes in boxes. There was an office off of the bedroom, a massive desk in front of a massive window overlooking the backyard. All the Playboy magazines were lined up on the bookshelves. I 'm sure he subscribed just for the articles.

Mid-century modern credenza with drop-down doors and pull-out drawers