First Week At Home

We have completed our first week of the stay at home order here in the state of Illinois and I have been keeping very busy. I wrapped up the ongoing estate sale tasks for now, all that is remaining is for me to complete the estate sale packages which are due this coming week and the following week. We rearranged the dates for our sales currently under contract. The dates were rescheduled keeping in mind the initial expiration of the stay at home order of Tuesday, April 7 but I strongly feel this date will be extended as we have not yet hit the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once a new date is set, we will rearrange our schedule accordingly. It is definitely a strange feeling as this is normally our busiest time of year but I know all involved will continue to work tirelessly until this pandemic is under control.

In the meantime, I continue to power through my Native American jewelry collection, alternating between jewelry work and estate sale paperwork. My process is working well, I'd say I'm about 80% through my collection already. The online store is starting to look more robust and it is definitely very rewarding to see. I'm very glad to see a number of these beautiful pieces going to good homes already and I know eventually they will all find their way to their new owners. From the colorful lot pictured above, the freshwater pearl lariat, lapis lazuli earrings and sugilite slide at the lower right have sold and the remaining pieces are available online under the Vintage Native American Jewelry and New Native American Jewelry categories. I'm approaching 50 total items in the online shop and my website allows me to also post listings to eBay and Etsy. I no longer have an eBay shop but my items can be found under eBay user ID chummie and Etsy shop cestlabries.

I started selling online with eBay in 1999 but fought the idea tooth and nail. My rationale was, I'm at work on a computer all day, why would I want to work on the computer during my free time? However I gave it a try and quickly became hooked with both buying and selling. I've always had some sort of "side hustle" so online selling was just a natural extension of this. As many people do, I started selling items around the house. In the "old days" technology was not what it was today. I remember shooting photos with a regular camera, having the photos developed at Walgreens and scanning the photos after hours at work just to get the image files I needed to post a listing. Then I would pre-pack the item and take it to the post office so I could weigh it on their scale and calculate shipping costs. Once an item sold, it was back to the post office to wait in line and send packages on their way. Now, I can complete everything from the comfort of home. I can shoot photos with my iPhone, use my label printer to print professional shipping labels with delivery confirmation, use my own scale to weigh packages and schedule a package pick up from the USPS.

After I lost my job in 2001, I didn't skip a beat. I had the two years of online selling experience behind me, all I had to decide was what I would sell full-time. I found a way to secure QVC (the number one shopping network) women's clothing customer returns by the pallet and then I would sell them one by one on eBay. I was able to sell this clothing for 7 years as my full-time job. I also acted as an eBay trading assistant, selling items for individuals on commission. It grew into a specialty of helping women who hoarded items they purchased from QVC and HSN, I would take the items away and sell them individually on eBay. Some of the projects took two years or more! This experience was definitely one of the foundations of my estate sale business today. With the unprecedented events going on in the world right now, I feel like everything has come full circle with going back to online selling with the estate sale business on hold. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to do so while still following the stay at home rules. Below are more of the Native American jewelry lots I have worked on this week.

From this lot, the cuff bracelet at the top, the liquid gold filled necklace, the large pendant, the eyeglass holder and the two pairs of earrings on the black cards have sold, the other pieces are available.

From this lot, the liquid silver necklace, the storyteller cuff bracelet on the right, the cuff bracelet with oval turquoise stone in the center, the dangle earrings with four turquoise stones each and the earrings on the kraft paper color card at the lower right have sold, the other pieces are available.