Thanks for all the helpful comments and encouragement, both here and on the Facebook page, about what to do with my new living room! I'm excited (and a little bit overwhelmed) by the possibilities for pulling the room together. I'll let you know how it turns out, for sure!
Today, I'm afraid the usually unflaggingly flattering tone of this blog will have to be tamped down to a minimum, because I need to tell you a sad, sad tale. I state as a disclaimer that I have never been in the retail side of estate sales, I've never done any vintage selling except for the most brief and cursory Craigslist listings, and this is purely a consumer-side-of-the-situation rant. Ok. Let's start at the beginning.
Picture your humble narrator as she was last Wednesday, sitting at work, combing through the listings on EstateSales.net for the purpose of planning a Friday estate sale run. The headline "Civil War Era Home on the National Registry of Historic Places Moving Sale" immediately catches the eye, and I click forward to read this:
If that wasn't enough to pique your interest, please examine the following photos:Don't miss this sale! The house we are liquidating is an historic home in Lebanon that has been in the same family for 5 generations. Lots of treasures from this 6,000 square foot home will be sold. They include Civil War Items, Vintage clothing, table and 6 chairs, paintings, pictures, decor, antique twin bed , other furniture, bedding, rocking chairs, Kimball piano, mirrors, lots of vintage books, costume jewelry, linens, dishes, lots of cast iron, andirons, advertising, antique tools, crocks and churns, trunk, fruit jars, oil lamps, old radios, old fans, lights, vintage frames, trays, postage stamp jewelry, spinning wheel, old postcards, quilts, electronics, and many more items. 5/28 Added Victorian couch, platform rocker, school desk, piano stool, chair, child's chair, Magnavox stereo and cabinet, double stack round table, telephone table, 3' by 4' mirror, 12 pound cannon ball, mini balls, New Old Stock 1940's postcards (300 +), lots of vintage frames.
Me: What about this one?
Why did she even bring the clothes to the sale if she wasn't going to sell them? It wasn't like I was looking over her shoulder at home as she went through her closet and greedily snatching at things. These, in a normal setting, all would have been fair game. Why did her partner tell me to wait if all I was going to get were scraps off the table from this person to whom she'd "promised" every single good dress in the batch?
Now, any of this behavior would have maybe been less offensive or less outright heart-rending if it had been in an antique-dealer setting. If those items were in an antique booth, or an Ebay store, or any other non-estate sale place of business, I can almost understand what went down as simply good business on the part of the dealer. However, as the fact of the matter was that I was going to AN ESTATE SALE, it seems like they played this really, really poorly. Estate sales are supposed to be egalitarian! You can't be setting aside stuff or putting stuff for friends or yourself or anybody else! As a customer, I had a terrible experience and they could have a freaking Debbie Reynolds's MGM archive auction like bounty of vintage clothes at their next sale and I wouldn't look at the listing twice. Or I might, but I would be cussing the entire time. And I wouldn't go to the sale itself if it was across the street from my own house. What was with this!
|I felt like a Keane painting by the end of this exchange (source)|
What do you think, was this an inappropriate response based on my own personal emotional investment in the dresses? Imagine that none of the tone of any of this was rude, the women were as nice as they could be, but what they were saying was just rank and wrong. I felt gypped to have come all the way down from Nashville. And though I bought a seventies' dress and a large photo (this was before I was told about the 20's dresses OR totally shut-out on the vintage dresses that were to come), I was so mad by the time I left that I almost wanted to ask for my money back on those!
Have you had any horrible customer service moments lately? Had glory snatched right out of your hands by unfair dealer tactics? Am I the whiniest person in creation or do you agree with me that the whole setup was wrong at this sale?
That's all the bellyaching for today-- I promise to tell you something positive tomorrow! See you back here then.