Yes, I Love Cars!

February is our quietest month of the year as far as estate sales are concerned. Winter is moving along, Spring is around the corner and the perception with potential clients that winter is not a good time for estate sales. In February we tend to help those who have sold their homes and have a closing date deadline or see the advantages of holding a winter sale. This year February feels like one of the slowest in our history - only two sales (but one was a two-part sale) the entire month. However we have lots of sales on the horizon for March!

Although there is estate sale work for me every day of the year I have been able to take advantage of the current situation by working on developing the jewelry business here in Arizona. Melinda has been a great help by proposing we offer the jewelry caravan at the sales of the local estate sale company she used to work for, before coming to work with us full-time. She has kept on great terms with the owner, helps her out once in a while and has remained friends. So far we have one sale under our belt but it was a tough go as I had to prepare the entire caravan in less than 24 hours right after we returned from Tucson. This company's sales start on Wednesday in order to get a jump start on the competition.

Last year I scored, finding four black jewelry cases on OfferUp for a great price and Mother fixed them up with some cute colorful fabric we found at Joann's for a super deal. I found these really nice ring holders on sale at Michael's which really show off the individual rings. I was given a 6-foot table so we offered three cases of jewelry. Melinda worked the sale and it was a benefit to the estate sale company to have her there because of all her experience. It was a lot of work in a short time but I was glad I tried it. Due to our trip I was not able to get the photos and description ready before the advertising was posted but in spite of that the overall feedback was that the customers thought the jewelry was beautiful and they were polite about it if they could not afford it. Sales were pretty good for the first time all considered.

I am jumping ahead a bit but we are trying it again at another sale this weekend. This time there is room for two 6-foot tables so all four cases will be present, plus some additional displays. Before I left, I was able to pack up two flat rate boxes full of new costume jewelry and Southwest Style jewelry. Mike came over and packed up four more boxes and Kuochun kindly shipped everything. We are currently between rental cars right now so I have spent the better part of four days converting the handwritten price tags with printed tags and labels as well as updating many of the cards. Mother helped out by recarding the costume jewelry with cute printed paper cards and I used the P-Touch to make labels for them. Last year I found a sturdy little revolving necklace display at an antique mall and it is absolutely perfect for the stone beaded necklaces I had shipped here. I was surprised at how easily it held all this weight!

This coming Tuesday I will bring all of the jewelry out to the estate sale location which is close to Melinda. We are about a 45-minute highway drive apart, she is northwest of me and I kind of equate it to if we lived in downtown Chicago and she was in Woodstock. I will be glad to see the estate home as I was told it is beautiful! I was able to get the information out in time for the advertising so I am hoping everything will go great. She is going to have a sale at her new home the weekend after, Melinda said it is amazing and I will be able to bring additional items such as clothing and purses. If all goes well ideally I would like to show new pieces at the Chicago sales and at least one pop-up sale for the spring/summer season and then bring older pieces with me when I come to Scottsdale in the fall. We have imposed a dollar limit per piece here in Arizona which is about $200 retail (there are a few exceptions) to try and keep things affordable for everyone so higher-end items can go to our best Chicago-area sales and in the online store.

The owner of the estate sale company took some time off from in-person sales during the pandemic (she tried online sales and also does senior moves) but decided to come back and do select in-person sales, possibly twice per month and this sale was her first one back. I think her customers were very glad as it was a great success for her!

I posted the photos I took this evening of the four cases of jewelry which will be sent off to the estate sale this week. These pieces are all available so if anything catches your eye let us know, they can be shipped directly to you.

Since I have been recapping our Tucson trip these last two posts, now it is time to catch up with our Phoenix-area activities. There is so much to do in this area and my must-do list gets longer and longer each time. When we arrived back in Scottsdale, Melinda drove us to our next rental car which was about 4 miles away from home base. I decided to spend a little more and get a Hyundai Veloster. Since I have not had a new car for more than 11 years, the car to select next has been in my mind. Growing up, Mother always had an amazing car to drive and as a result I love nice cars! She had two Fiat convertibles, an MGB convertible, three Jaguars and a Chrysler by Maserati during my childhood to name just a few. Many of her cars were manual transmission and as a result both Rachel and I learned to drive a stick shift. I used to be able to name all of the family's cars in order but now there have been too many! Mother currently has a 2019 Mini Countryman in a chestnut brown color. I think it is pretty small but it is a beautiful car.

There are so many stories I can tell about these cars but I will stick to just a few. While I was learning to drive Mother had a Datsun 280Z in silver and metallic blue, an '80s dream car! She was an enumerator for the census and used to drive this car out to her assignments. This is not the exact car but it looked like it. My parents sold the car just before I secured my driver's license, darn because I was really looking forward to driving it! But Dad was making the leap from the corporate world to starting his own business so it had to go. My favorite car of Mother's was the Jaguar Vanden Plas which was a fiery metallic orange-red color. I thought having two gas tanks was so cool and all of the Jaguars drove so smoothly. Going over railroad tracks was like butter.

As much as I love cars I have not had a nice car since my first car out of college, my 1988 Nissan 240SX. Again, not my actual car but it looked like this. I really wanted the dark metallic purple color but Dad talked me out of it, he thought a purple car was ridiculous and would have no resale value. I liked the two-tone as well but it turned out to not be a good choice. This color combination was like camouflage on the road and I was rear-ended 11 times!

After the Nissan I bought a 1998 RAV4 to help move supplies around to the art and craft shows we were doing. In later years it helped us move things around when we had our store and started the estate sale business. I definitely remember filling that RAV4 up to the ceiling more than once. Then in 2010 I bought the Ford Transit Connect which I call the "Tin Can" because it is not glamorous to ride in but it sure has helped us transport supplies over the years.

Now back to our rental car! Nowadays the most popular cars are SUVs and minivans and an affordable sports car seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur. However in recent years the Hyundai Veloster caught my eye and even though it cost a little more than our first rental I decided to give it a try. The Veloster gets super gas mileage and parking was a dream but unfortunately I think Mother's sports car days are over. She was a good sport but it was not easy for her to get in and out. We had to give it back on Wednesday because someone else had made a reservation to rent it.

There were not too many choices for the next rental so I went with the lowest-priced option which was a 2012 Kia Optima. We have to give it back after 11 days because someone else claimed it. I have been using the Turo app for the first time. I paid $50 to have the first car delivered and then gave it back before we went to Tucson. After dropping off the second car we had to take a Lyft back home and we will need to take a Lyft back and forth to the next location. All the switching of cars is a hassle but it is way less money than renting a car out of the airport. Luckily Lyft is so easy to use which does help.

However buying a car would be half the cost of a rental and it is very tempting to do just that! In our last moments with the Veloster, I took Mother down the street to Walgreens to pick up her prescriptions. I spotted a great-looking car in the parking lot and I drove around to see what it was. It looked like a mini Porsche Macan which I love the look of. To my surprise I found it was a Hyundai Kona! I had not heard of the Kona before but looked it up and learned that it is a subcompact SUV. The Kona has great reviews and tons of style points which is important to me. I think this type of car is perfect for us here and it is less than half the price of the Porsche. I am liking this Teal Isle color as well.

I had a great experience with Chapman Ford when I had the van here last year, they have huge state of the art dealerships of all sorts about 10 minutes away from the house. They have three of the teal Konas coming in on Mother's birthday. I told her it was meant to be! It sure would be nice not to have to rent a car the rest of our time here but then it will not be used again until we come back in November. They are also going to do a design overhaul for 2023 so I am sure November would be a more practical time to buy. It has been challenging going without a car for these five days so I will see what I will do once the next car has to go back March 4.

Well I certainly got off on a tangent, I was going to talk about some of the fun activities we have had while here in Scottsdale but it will have to wait until next time. Just before heading for Arizona, I picked up another round of Native American jewelry that I have had on consignment for years at the local gallery and I have divided it up into four lots to sell. I posted the first lot to one of the groups on Wednesday evening and there was so much interest and questions I did not have time to post to the other groups! That has never happened before. I did post to the rest of the groups Thursday evening and up through Saturday was able to sell three more items. The cuff bracelet and two rings on top of the piece of wood, the watch cuff, the belt buckle with petal shapes, the concho earrings with feathers, the cuff bracelet at the lower right and the inlay cuff bracelet are all available, the remaining items have all sold.

Well this is plenty to talk about for one week so next time I will plan to talk about our local activities. See you then!