“Picking” seems to be the hot new word in the collecting world. A lot has to do with The History Channels new hit series, “American Pickers”.
The definition of a picker is actually one that travels around the countryside, knocking on doors, visiting county auctions and hitting flea markets buying antiques and vintage items to sell to antique dealers. Similar to what you see the guys doing on the show.
I’m sure most of you are not randomly knocking on doors hoping to find that diamond in the rough, but I’ll bet many of you have stories to tell of great finds in the field. (In fact I’m hoping you’ll share them here!)
My first venture into the world of yard sales was more like an accident than an intention. I went to drop off some things at a neighbor’s sale when something caught my eye. Let me back up here a minute by noting I was about 21 years ago, and had never been to a yard sale much less conducted one. I always thought it was just junk… you know, used clothing and broken toys.
I saw a watch in a box that I thought was pretty. I had a watch, and this one was similar in that it was silver and gold, but it was thinner and looked (to my inexperienced eye) a little classier than the one I currently owned. It had a name on it that I didn’t recognize (but would later) and I asked how much it was. $5.00
The catch was it didn’t work. Hmm, a friend of mine’s dad worked on watches and I thought maybe he could fix it. If he couldn’t – I was only out $5 – but if he could, I had a pretty snazzy looking watch for very little money.
To make a long story short, the watch was a Tissot, and the reason it didn’t work was because the battery was dead. A few days and $2 later, I had a beautiful ladies Tissot two-toned watch for $7. Beat that.
It only takes winning one of those scratch off lottery tickets to get you hooked; and boy was I. Still am, all these years later.
Each week, we’ll talk about items to look for in your travels, collectibles on the rise, or recently in the news. I look forward to hearing about your latest picks, and if you’re willing, please share some of your favorite places to find treasures in the rough – or just treasures!