Reviewing an email from a person interested in a TDCJ Prison Wedding who saw “that you take trades,” I once again prepared myself to explain that we don’t just take “any trade.” No one does.
Cindy sums up these requests to “just come to my home and look around to find something” with her iconic line “if the Salvation Army won’t pick it up, we won’t either.” We love digging through your stuff but, the reason there’s an upload option on this site is to give me a better idea of what you have to offer prior to driving to view it.
When “saddling up for an Appraisal Appointment,” my twin sister packs her essentials that include a magnet and a loop because she’s far more interested in jewelry and precious metals while I’m interested in antiques and funky furniture. We are the Twin Team of Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures and The Pawning Planners. Driving more than two hours one way to “walk a trade” is rare although it’s happened based on photos uploaded to this site. If I’m interested enough in a trade, I’m willing to drive to Arkansas or Oklahoma but, it must be something I see value in for a road trip.
My greatest flip was a Century Louis XV Style Gilt Bronze Mounted Walnut Bureau Desk. When I first viewed the piece, I immediately liked it but at 54″ long, it was far too big for my SUV. With the original glass cut to fit this piece, it was worth paying Freight to safely bring it to Fort Worth.
The bronze angels were blackened and thanks to Cindy’s magnet, I knew they could be cleaned. I’m adding the “before” photo to give you a better idea. All four legs feature a magnificent angel on each leg.
Several hours were spent cleaning the Angels and conditioning the wood to bring the finished beauty of this piece back to life. Needless to say, I kept this magnificent desk and it anchors my home office.
Of course, clients always ask about buying it having no idea how much a rare piece like this actually costs. This is an incredibly heavy piece of furniture. When my husband and I decided to sell our oversize home several years ago, the buyer wanted to add “both of the bar stools, that large desk with angels, the antique sofa and the oversized bed.” As usual, she “wanted” these items without having any clue as to what the cost would be. I laughed.
Explaining to our home buyer that the O.W. Lee double chaise lounge and matching club chairs and ottomans by our pool weren’t included with the furniture in our home, she asked how much the patio furniture was. The double chaise alone was over $2k. Adding both of the spring based club chairs and ottomans? Another $3k. Our patio furniture was an investment that brought a nice return.
Explaining to the buyer that we were already selling our home undervalue and most certainly not “fire selling” our furniture in the deal, I gave her the website for O.W. Lee and encouraged her to buy her own patio furniture because I sold the furniture in the backyard to a buyer in Houston for $4k on my eBay site, Texas Twins Treasures.
The home buyer was lit that I sold “all of the things she wanted” out from under her but, walking through my home and telling me “I want that and this” without asking me what I’m selling them for gives you a better idea of her mentality.
We could easily take a hit on the house because we built it at cost since my husband is a home builder and developer. I had no intentions of giving away my furniture as part of the “deal.”Now and then, buyers think they make the rules but, if you know what you have and are aware of the value, you never give it away at a loss. Quality doesn’t come cheap. The man that bought the patio furniture was thrilled to find O.W. Lee furniture in mint condition secondhand.
I don’t buy junk and I don’t make a barter deal on anything that holds no value for me. Refurbishing items isn’t an inexpensive endeavor. The patio furniture had been recovered in Bravado Salsa because the original Verde Stripe wasn’t colorful enough for our pool area.
Refurbishing or recovering furniture is a hefty expense. Outdura or Sunbrella fabrics are expensive for a good reason, durability. These heavy duty fabrics never fade or tear because they are constructed to endure sun, rain and heat.
We closed on our house without selling any furniture to the buyer. She wanted to acquire our home furnishings at yard sale prices. We don’t “give” anything away because no one gave it to us.
A few years ago, I drove by my old home and noticed Lowe’s furniture by the pool. I’m guessing the buyer had no idea that replacing patio furniture year after year would eventually match the cost of buying it once if you bought a quality item.
We live in a Walmart World where buying inexpensive throw away furniture at bargain prices seems appealing when in reality, the replacement of these items eventually costs more in the long run.
I’ve been asked if “only hillbillies barter event services?” No. There are a million reasons why clients choose to barter their event rather than write a check or charge it. Sure, there are clients who don’t have any money but there are others who have something they no longer need and choose to use their item to get a return on their investment with a Dream Event option through The Pawning Planners.
Pawning Planners Clients Events always take place at a “free location.” A backyard, a park, an airplane, a hot air balloon, a Karate Studio, a barn, a Prison or a parking lot. Why? Cost. Renting a venue is an expensive endeavor and cost prohibitive for Pawning Planners Clients.
Here are a few examples of happy families getting the event they want without paying anything for their event services which include photography, loaned floral designs and Event Coordination or Officiant Services.When I review photos uploaded on this site of a prospective trade, I’m looking at the condition while identifying the manufacturer. Meadowcraft made knock offs of O.W. Lee for a number of years and knowing the difference between Meadowcraft and O.W. Lee is important because the value of one versus the other is huge.
Our Appraisal Experience comes from years and years of flipping items as well as our backgrounds in brand merchandising and sales. Both Cindy and I have been in sales for over thirty years. I’ve successfully refurbished and flipped antiques for over twenty years while Cindy is an experienced jewelry designer and specializes in precious stones and metals.
Cindy is also never at a loss for words and creates daily #Cindyism Quotes used on our Pawning Planner Apparel clothing line. My twin sister is a self proclaimed Hillbilly with loads of Texas Humor.Cindy and I easily spend an hour or two at an Appraisal Appointment. We effectively “split up” to cover more ground quickly.
A few readers have asked how we know what something is worth but a lot of our knowledge is based on experience. Now and then, we’ve taken a hit on an SUV, a boat, and four rims and tires. It happens. Usually though, we take a loss because we aren’t mechanically inclined on vehicles or boats. The tire deal that went South and the SUV that wound up costing far more in repairs were learning curve Flops.
I.E. We both know what we are looking at and often have a good idea of what the item is worth and what it will cost to repair or refurbish it.
The spring club chairs (above) were refurbished in beautiful Bravado Salsa and sold at the price listed. The cost to reupholster them with outdoor fabric? Over $600. Would they have sold in the Verde Stripe? Maybe but, green was popular in the 90’s and too dated to fetch the right price. Knowing the market is key to successfully selling anything.
I flipped for a Gothic Hall Tree/Umbrella Stand a few years ago. Everyone wanted it but, the freight was equal to my asking price. This piece features a pewter bowl and I knew it would sell to the right buyer.Like my desk, it’s a rare find. Coming across something I’ve never seen before is so rare for me that when I do, it’s hard to contain my excitement. I knew the Second I saw this amazing piece that it was a keeper! The bowl was in mint condition. The carved wood and cross detail were astounding but, it was so tall that I had to “spring” for delivery.
Cindy has never been excited about a piece of furniture but, if she sees something she likes, clients are often surprised to see her reach into her bra and pull out a magnet before touching the stone to her face.
My twin once came across a platinum set diamond ring that the client thought was junk jewelry. Cindy knows jewelry and specifically looks for boxes of what clients think is “junk.”
Flipping items takes time which is why if you’re bartering your Event Service, we require an Appraisal Appointment at least one month prior to your event.
I’m happy that my TDCJ Client had a really unique antique dressing table that will “cover” her wedding next month at TDCJ Beto Unit and I’m fairly certain one of my repeat buyers in NY or CA will snap this treasure up. If I haven’t seen it before, I’m always excited about one mans trash that turned into our treasure!Juggling our schedules between booked events, Appraisal Appointments and local deliveries for Texas Twins Treasures in between our road trips to Texas Prisons keeps Cindy and I pretty busy but, for this Twin Team, variety is the spice of life.
We may not always “hit a lick” but the truth is that no one does. Now and then though, we’ve found some pretty amazing pieces…