My mother-in-law was one of my best friends. Not many people can say that. In fact, when Michael and I were dating we’d go to see his family about 80 miles away a couple of times a month. He’d hang out with his brothers (except the eldest, who was in the Air Force and stationed 3 hours away) and his dad.
I’d hang with his mom. We’d go shopping. But not the shopping I was used to. We went to thrift stores, consignment shops, and places where we risked drive-by shootings, having hubcaps stolen, or contracting a disease if the items we bought were not properly sanitized. It was awesome. We’d also hit yard sales – she’d haggle, I was afraid to. We’d go to auctions and estate sales. She rocked it, but I was afraid of over-bidding on something that wasn’t worth it. I tend to be competitive (duh) and get caught up in the moment.
Estate sales make me exceptionally emotional, especially when there are clearly no heirs because sentimental items are up for sale. If there are military medals I will empty my checking account to make sure no one hot-glues those to the butt of a department-store mannequin as an anti-war art piece.
Leaving the hospital the other day I was honored to hear a young veteran and an elderly veteran thanking each other for their service. I’d have been ugly-crying, snot and everything, so I took the stairs down. Incredibly painful, had to stop at every landing and take an extra pain pill and sit a while before I could get to my car in its handicapped spot. But the men were having a moment, and I didn’t want to ruin it.
Anyway, I’ve found a way to bid in estate sales online in my jammies. YES! the site is EBTH.com, which stands for “Everything But The House”. Clever, right? But here are a few caveats:
~Click the “Sales” button and only bid on things in or very near your city. I won something in my hometown and the pick-up was less than 48 hours later with only a 4-hour window. We only have one car that we can trust to get out of the county and back again, and my husband would be using it that day as part of his 6-day work-week. My super-sweet step-dad stood in line forever to pick it up for me, so I totally owe him a dessert. He likes strawberry-rhubarb if you have any suggestions!
~Click on the details of the listing. If it says “Blue Ash, OH” anywhere, DO NOT BID. This means the seller has paid to send their stuff to Ohio rather than divulge their nearest major city and state. If you are in or near Cincinnati, OH you can get some GREAT deals this way. Otherwise, don’t bid. Shipping will be ten times your bid – if you’re lucky. They throw these into random auctions, so BUYER BEWARE.
Otherwise, have fun! sign up and follow a few things all the way to the end to see how it goes. There are fabulous items, and even auctions where you’ll want everything (or maybe that’s just me!) I’m using it as a source for Christmas gifts for hard-to-buy-for people. Well, I’m trying! Here are a few random items I saw:
NO ONE has this. It’s the perfect gift for the stressed-out executive. Atlas holding the world on his shoulders (employees can’t name him, then fire them) and you twirl the art-glass globe so that every time you look through the eyepiece it’s different. Brilliant and beautiful.
Mexican folk art candle holder. I love folk art. I’m not telling you the name of my favorite artist, because I don’t want anyone outbidding me. If I get something I’ll share. You can set searches so that you’ll be notified if an item you want comes up for auction – sweet!
Diamond ring set in platinum with baguettes. Look at the wear on the prongs. An antique. You can even tell from the wear that the woman who wore it never took it off. This is a piece of history a true romantic would give to the woman he’ll love forever. Yes, there’s a reason I don’t go to live auctions. I’m incredibly sentimental!