A few years ago I was looking for a way to earn some extra money so I decided to start selling on Ebay. I had no idea what I wanted to sell so I started with something easy to find: sportswear- Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, etc. I would find it on clearance and resell it with a nice mark up. You would be surprised how much Canadians are willing to pay for Under Armour. That was fine for a while but my heart really wasn’t in it and frankly selling clothing was a real pain.
One day I was listening to an Ebay related podcast and there was an interview with a guy they called “Mr. Customer Service“. He was a full time Ebay seller that had quit his full time job a few years earlier and I was completely intrigued by his story. He was sharing tips and tricks on where to find estates sales and talking about some of the great finds he had come across over the years. I was riveted. I think I listened to that podcast 10 times. Who knew you could make a living digging through other people’s old crap. The next weekend, I went to my first sale.
I was overwhelmed, to put it mildly. There was this really small house with lots of people wandering around digging through the estate of a poor little old lady that had recently passed. I had no idea what the hell I was looking for or what anything was worth so I just started grabbing things. I came home with a small box of
worthless junk treasures. I learned some valuable lessons from that sale. The most important thing I learned was that I needed to narrow my net and specialize in something if I wanted to do this. After a few more sales and lots of research on Ebay, I became enamored with vintage kitchenware and bar ware. The first time I saw a set of vintage Pyrex refrigerator dishes and mixing bowls, I fell in love. The pattern was Butterprint and I thought they were the prettiest things I had ever seen. I was hooked.
Refrigerator dishes have a special place in my heart. Finding them in good condition (no chips, cracks, or fading) feels a little like finding a winning scratch off lottery ticket. If you pay attention, you can find some of the really old ones made by Hall China for Westinghouse at thrift stores and antique shops. People still love these after all of these years so they aren’t as easy to find as they were a few years ago. There were originally designed for storing leftovers but for many years they were more decorative than anything. With all of the concerns about plastic storage containers made with BPA, glass containers are making a comeback.
It’s amazing how often I’ve run across sets of these that look like they’ve never been used. If you’re lucky enough to find some of them in good condition, please don’t put them in the dishwasher. The harsh chemicals in dish detergent will fade the vibrant colors. Also, store them with a paper towel between the glass lid and the container. This will reduce the chances of chipping around the edges of the glass lid.