This past weekend, I handled a very, very Fine Art and Jewelry sale. Not to mention many other awesome items in this gorgeous home in St. Louis.
This sale was an awesome change from a basic sale. And the owners….stood out ahead of and beyond their fine quality finds. They clearly are astute buyers of everything signed down to small figurines, small statues, bowls, large and small Fine Art and especially high end watches, pearls, turquoise & silver and multiple variations of fine jewelry.
Fine Artists: Flantz, Khoury, Native American bead work items by Tommy Singer, Hessam, Sally Rogers figures, pencil signed Marc Chagall, Le Kinff, Simbari, to name a few.
Coach purses took the lead, followed by a Mary Francis specialty beaded purse. There were Makowsky, Cole Hahn, MZ Wallace, Cryson, Longchamp, BLVD, Brighton purses and silver buckle belts, etc.
Etched Polland glassware, Waterford, Echhalt. Hand carved cameos, Jacques Lamen Invicta, Croton, Christian Bernard watches and the list went on and on.
I find customers come out in the droves, based on merchandise and their pocketbooks.
With this type of sale brings in a host of eager buyers to purchase something they may not be able to purchase at the retail level. This weekend was at par!
Over 100 people stood in line at first light for numbers to obtain that special find. All went along rather well, I might say. My youngest, Ashley and worker Brian helped me host the fine smalls lined atop and inside large glass front displays, loaned by another worker Jeremy. My brother Dwayne and Jeremy greeted customers in all the remaining rooms, helping carry this or that out. Running up to me with mounds of items a customer wished to hold while they searched for other treasures. It was non-stop both days.
Yes, it was grand…then….on Sunday, half off day, three women from across the oceans wanted to purchase purses, pearls, silver etc. Only one spoke English, the other two a foreign tongue I did not recognize.
They began working with Brian, asking this price or that. All pricing was clearly on each piece. He stated the half off price, they balked asking for lower pricing. He continued to explain the quality of the merchandise, they still balked. Exasperated he sent them over to me. I’d heard the commotion over the other well mannered customers, all of which were becoming annoyed with them as well. He quoted the prices he gave them. I stated clearly, I am honoring what he told you. They still, in their foreign tongue made plans, I assume to harass me till I gave in. I did not.
One then pulled out $89 claiming that’s all she had. I said, OK that’s fine. You have enough for this and this or that and this. I cannot give you items that don’t belong to me. I am selling for the owner and I must honor them first and foremost. The English speaking woman repeated to the other. Still the same nonsense went on for 15-minutes or more. Their voice tone became agitated and louder. I am very patient.
After I stated the same thing over and over, to no avail, the non English speaking woman began to get angrier holding out her eighty-nine dollars. I knew what they were trying to do. Twenty-eight years in this business, I know the drill. Brian handled a host of paying customers to my left, while all in line looked on. As I pulled the items from my table, I announced You don’t have enough money, therefore I will not sell this merchandise to you. I’ll take the next in line. Angered they didn’t get their way, they left.
Lined customers said I can’t believe how patient you are! I would have thrown them out minutes ago. And another said I was about to come to your rescue! If you’d have given in they would have come back for more. I’m so glad you stood your ground. They come to many high end sales and do just that. Trying to frustrate the estate sale personnel to give in. Good for you!
I knew I wouldn’t give in. As stated, I am very patient, to a degree, then it’s time to carry on!
It got even better….after about an hour or so the elder woman came back in with her husband, I presumed. She changed her clothing color, I believe thinking, she won’t recognize me and I’ll try again. Silly lady….I knew exactly who she was. She began in her foreign tongue and used fingers representing what she wanted to pay for a particular purse. It was $10 below my previous quoted price. The day late, soon to close, I let her have it at that price to eliminate hassle. Her husband or whomever he was held up a small item that was $15 Saturday and now $7.50. Both like to giggle while doing their charade. He held up his right arm with a gesture that looked like the I give you this much. Then five-fingers all the while giggling! I said no sir, it’s $7.50, no less. Funny how he understood. He set down the first five-dollars, then after I said $7.50, he set down two more dollars. I said that’s fine. I can do without fifty-cents…and under my breadth….and you, get the *#@* out of here! He and wify went out the door! I was free of them and the day finished out peacefully.
It pays to be patient and yet stand your ground.
On to another sale….always similar and yet always different, thankfully!