A close call

I thought about buying this photo from work for a few months. I kept on putting it off, because honestly, I didn't need it and didn't really even know why I wanted it to begin with.



Last week a girl peeked into the counter and asked to see it. My heart dropped down into my stomach. I stammer. What? This photo here? With the baby? Really? Oh, okay..... Let me get that out for you.... I swallow my pride and hand over the photo. I'm friendly. We chit chat about old photos. Inwardly I'm thinking get your mitts off my damn picture.

She decides it's weird for a single twenty-something to hang photos of babies in her house. I see her point but decide to disregard it completely. After she walks away, I have my wallet out in T point 2 seconds. Now I'm the proud owner of a photo I do not need.



The moral of this long winded story is twofold.

#1. If you want an antique, you need to buy it straight away or make peace with the fact that someone else could buy it first.

#2. If you disregard the above and someone else is holding something your dying to buy- DO NOT TELL THEM YOU WANT IT. End of story. Never ever say something like- oh if you don't buy that i'd like to.... It's a guaranteed death sentence. Act politely but supremely uninterested. They're either going to buy it or not and anything you say will just make matters worse.

Okay young grasshoppers, I'm tired of divulging trade secrets. Go forth to your local flea market and prosper.


31 comments:

  1. This is the very reason I cannot go to auctions. I cannot stand the thought of falling in love with something, having my heart set, just to have it ripped from me by a higher bidder.

    Cute photo

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  2. ahhh yes I know this feeling. thank you for the amazing tips! I used to work at a boutique that carried limited sizes & quantities of clothing, so I had to act fast if I wanted something. I imagine it'd be like working at a vintage store, although based on the employee's wardrobes at most vintage & resale stores I'm thinking they often get first dibs at things before they hit the floor.

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  3. the photo is magic in a way, I understand how one can go nuts for it :)

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  4. #3 Don't work in a place selling stuff You desire or You'll end up as Your bosses prime customer.

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  5. Yes I know that feeling. I used to volunteer in a charity shop as a young 'un, and my heart always plummeted when someone else got their filthy mitts on something I'd set my heart on

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  6. Excellent advice. And what a neat find!

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  7. I agree with Koala--been there, lived that! But it is a beautiful photo. I love old photos. Doesn't matter that I have no idea who the people in them are. They are memories of different age. Make up your own story for it!

    ♥Spot

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  8. when are we going to get a sneak peak of your house on d*s! I want to learn from your brilliance!

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  9. When you're as nutso for antiques as we all appear to be, it's funny to think of the things we'll bring home given half a chance as... already out there somewhere. It's not like the next couch is being manufactured in Sweden as we speak.. it's in someone's storage container, or waiting around to be photographed and placed on eBay.
    The way I see it, you cross paths with something amazing and you've got one shot at it most times. So what if you're eating top ramen the Thursday before your paycheck? At least it's better than posting a "missed connection" ad for the couch that got away..

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  10. I'm not sure about brillance.... but there's going to be a tour of my apartment in next year's design sponge book. Photos are being taken in 2 weeks, i need to get cleaning!

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  11. SO WEIRD. I have a nearly identical picture I found at a flea market years ago. For a minute I thought it was the same one! The mind meld continues. I'm actually more obsessed with portraits of guys w/ amazing bears/mustaches and vintage wedding pictures of strangers, though... I keep them on my office walls to avoid the pitying looks of people who don't get it.

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  12. Oh God. I was suddenly transported back to my time working in a vintage store, where I would have a vague hankering for an item until somebody tried it on, and then the dread sunk in. The blood/fabric lust, having to play it nonchalant. "that would be a nice picnic dress, uh-huh. I'spose. Only it's white, and well I for one would be sure to spill something on it, klutz that I am. Oh you don't want it? Here, I'll hang it up for you, I'm just going to hang it behind the cash desk for a sec..."

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  13. I was at a thrift store with a few of my friends, and came across a small box of antique bow ties. Completely useless, but oh so cool! I didn't have money on me at the time, and thought that maybe I could come back the next day to get them.
    They weren't there, of course.

    There are several things I could have learned from this, but I guess the most obvious one to me is that shoplifting is sometimes necessary. ):

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  14. That baby is so sweet!

    I'm glad you got her for your home.

    Peggy

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  15. What u said is so true... I remember hearing someone say how much they wanted it and I jumped and decided to buy it, feeling like I should... Wise words... when in doubt- keep mum as they say..:-)

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  16. you're one sharp lady, missus!

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  17. Ha! So true. When at fleamarket or the like never-ever hover over someone looking at something you want. That WILL make them decide THEY want it. Be all like, oh that old thing, who would want that...

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  18. Thanks for the reminder! So hard not to say something! Actually, that advice not only goes for antiques and vintage ... it goes for Loehmann's and Filene's Basement as well!

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  19. Then there's wimp's like me who get up to the cash register and someone is drooling over my selelction... I just might hand it to them and say: "You want it more than I do".
    Sometimes the act of giving it away can be more fun than owning it. My house is too full of things i don't need.
    Now that baby is a different story, I could really adopt that sweet baby in a heart beat!

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  20. What good advice! I like your oval baby picture too. There's something about oval frames...and babies...

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  21. it is heart-breaking when you dont get something you really want but its over the moon thrilling when you do get it.

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  22. very nice picture. i dont get why people sell pictures of ansesoters though. i mean i would keep it not sell it. i might not know who they were but they were my family so thats what makes it keepable. anyway nice pic

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  23. Ha ha, I love your tricks of the trade. This has happened to me before, and it's true. You can't let someone interested in your prize know how much you love it! And I don't think your treasure is creepy, I think it's lovely and haunting at the same time. Much like many other old photos!

    x
    Jess.

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  24. Now I know what work looks like! Yay!!

    I'm always drawn to those beautiful old photos in antique shops but never buy them because they make me sorta sad. Because obvs we treasure our old photos of family members and then I always wonder, who do these belong to? And why didn't someone keep them? So the only old photo I've given in to buying is one of a cat. Which is perfect.

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  25. Congrats on holding onto the picture...it is really sweet. I am a newbie to your blog, but have been peeking for awhile. I hope you won't mind if I add you to my list.
    Mary, Idaho

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  26. Haha, oh gosh I'm glad you got it in the end. I love oval shaped frames. When I'm in an op shop and someone comes up and picks something I had just placed down momentarily whilst considering my purchase, my heart starts pounding and I'm too scared to say "that's mine!" and snatch it back! Gotta play it cool.

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  27. Absolutely true. I will never forget the Victorian album chock full of photos that I hesitated over and lost - to an antique dealer who had it in his window - stripped of all photos - for ten times the price that same afternoon. 17 years later, I'm still annoyed.

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