Saturday, September 29, 2012

I Dropped By An Estate Sale This Afternoon Before Work Hoping To Pick Up What I Thought Would Be A Cheap Dining Table And Chairs. Sometimes A Little Bit Of Knowledge Can Be A Lot Of Trouble. Status: Estate Fail.


All I ended up buying was this.  Two little pieces.  I held a tiny bit of hope that a dining table shown in the online pics, one of the few interesting items at this sale, might still be available even though I made no effort to get there early.  Well, it was still available...and probably still is.


I didn't think much of it, but the private estate sale sellers certainly did.  I was surprised to

find the table and chairs still in the house when I walked in but I spotted a large note on it

and figured "ah ha...the sold tag".  Nope.  Not a sold tag but a big price tag for a huge

asking price!  I can't remember exactly now but it was either $3200 or $ it

matters either way.  When I spotted the price I kinda chuckled a little and one of the sellers

asked me what I thought of the price.  I told her I thought it was kinda optimistic and that

they'd have a REAL hard time selling it for that.  I told her that I was only interested because

I had some similar armchairs and would have liked to ad them to this set.  She asked what I

paid for the armchairs and well, it was A LOT less than three grand!  She then went to get

another of the seller and asked me to tell repeat what I had told her.  Suddenly I realized I

was in the middle.  Was I up for this?  No.  I came to buy, not educate!  I told the second

seller what I thought though, "It's Walnut, Vinyl and Formica (the top of the table is Formica!),

not Teak, Leather and Rosewood.  Nobody's gonna shell out thousands for this.  Just my

opinion.  I could be wrong."  She said that she had seen these chairs (Lawrence Peabody

for Richardson Nemschoff...they were tagged on the bottom) selling for like $800 each online. 

I knew right then it was pointless to try to dissuade her.  She had probably been to 1stDibs or

a similar site.  It was too much trouble and I just didn't have the time.  The set is probably still

there if anybody has more money than sense.


But I did manage to find a couple of smalls.  It wasn't a totally wasted trip.  I found these in

the basement.  There was also a danish style lounge chair for $85 that had crushed cushions

and a "finished" finish but good bones...I just didn't have the wear with all to buy it at that price. 

There was also a lot of nice original paintings in that decidedly "1960s" style of french street

scenes.  I like that stuff but I didn't buy any of that either.  I really was only hoping to pick up

the dining table and make a quick once through of the rest of the house.  It was still fun.  I like

to get my shop on before work sometimes!


  1. Doesn't it just kill you when sellers think they have a "million dollar" item? Sometimes that is how prices get blown waaay out of proportion. Good luck to them on that sale!

  2. I saw that sale on and thought about going. Glad I didn't :-)

  3. I went to that sale, too, and had the exact same experience as you. Thought it was a sold sign...glad it was a price tag...shocked by the price. One of the sellers saw my reaction and agreed it was high, implying that one of the other sellers did not agree. I did not get roped into a family squabble, fortunately. Reminds me of a craigslist post I saw a couple years ago for a very ordinary microfiber sofa made by Bauhaus, a manufacturer of low- to mid-range upholstered furniture and sold by Macy's and Dillard's and the like. The guy must have looked up Bauhaus on Wikipedia and read about the influential German design school in the 1920's and 1930's, the "real" Bauhaus. He touted his rather beat-up 1997 sofa as being made by the German Bauhaus, stating "these guys made ground-breaking stuff" and that his sofa must be from the 1930's. He wanted something like $4000 for a sofa that probably cost $600 new. Gotta love it.

  4. Yup, I'd say it was "kinda" over priced! Once someone has big dollar signs dancing around in their head it's hard to burst their bubble and tell them they might get $300 for the set to an end user. I wouldn't touch this at even the $300 price point!

  5. I agree with Dave. I wouldn't even pay $300 for it, because of the laminate top. Back when Peabody designed the set, people were fascinated with plastics/laminates, because it was new to them. But let's face, not so much. If the seller is relying on the designer tag to get people to overlook the laminate, I have a feeling she's going to be sitting on that table for a very long time.

    We learned our lesson a long time ago with three Jens Risom coffee tables that had laminate tops. One sold to a couple who planned to replace the top with glass. The other two are in my playroom for the grandkids to color on and eat on. :)

  6. I'm a novice at this game and I walk/run away from any laminate pieces that try to replicate real wood. Nothing compares to the look and feel of real wood. $3000+ is an insane price for this set, people really should do a little more research. Power to them if it sells and god bless the sucker that buys it. I do however keep my eyes open for the 50's diner style cracked ice Formica tables, but they are what they are and not trying to imitate something else.