We’ve had a spate of pleasant weather, and I was yet again lured into the maw of stoop saling. It’s been a relatively lame summer so far – I’ve noticed a significant drop in the amount of vintage/antique jewelry and clothing, as well as fewer sales overall.

Anyway, I did pick up a few cute things today. My favorite, being a crazy cat lady, is this needlepoint. I really think someone mapped this out – doesn’t look prefab. On the back are the names of the two cats (I assume), Poochie and Burford. This was sold at a “mid-century stoop sale” but the frame and that pink and green colorway screams 80s to me.

Resting across the coffee table is an old shabby chic rug I bought in Clinton Hill on my way to the flea market.  I’ve always wanted a really tatty Oriental carpet that I could use as a tablecloth, a la 17th century Amsterdam. Consider this my updated small potatoes homage.

I also bought this bracelet from a woman who claimed it was Alexis Bittar. It’s not signed, but it was also $3, so whatever.

Bittaresque, at least

OK, now since I promised ramblings and clearly that’s what you want, here are some signs that a stoop sale will suck. What do I mean by suck?

- overpriced

-middling merchandise

-stuff that should really be thrown out – why do people spend hours trying to peddle worn-out sneakers and dingy stuffed animals?

Anyway, signs of suck:

Any stoop sale that is advertised as being “like a store” or having “nearly-new” items. If I wanted to shop at a store, I would. Such stoop sales are inevitably priced like a store, ie, too much. I stopped by one such sale today where an H&M dress was $10. guess where else that dress is $10?  IN H&M. no thanks.

Ironically, sales advertised as “can’t miss” or “the best ever.” Usually, they have one sort of notable item and extrapolate the rest as A-MA-ZING.  Also usually overpriced.

Sales that last two days. (Rarer now.)  I would normally assume that most sales scheduled to be held both Saturday and Sunday offer an enormous amount of stuff, but 95 percent of the time they’re just a few tattered copies of Sarah’s Key and some coffee mugs. I have to assume that these are sales held by people who know little about commerce.

Sales that benefit a charity. People tend to sell less appealing stuff if they’re not reaping the rewards. Capitalism!

Sales that are posted EVERYWHERE, on Craigslist for a week, etc. The more publicity, generally the higher the pricing and the less impressive the merchandise.

You may see a trend at this point. Basically, the best sales are from people who just want to get rid of some stuff and happen to have really good taste. Case in point. Yesterday I stumbled upon a woman selling some stuff on a stoop on Union Street. She might have had one sign up. She was a high-end shopper trying to clean out shoes, mainly. I ended up buying (for resale) a pair of Ann Demuelemeester boots and a pair of Fiorentini + Baker books. The Ann D (not typing that out again) boots were $10, and she ended up GIVING me the Fiorentini + Baker boots because she just wanted to get rid of stuff.