03 December 2013

Chillaxing til I'm Glacial

The view from the back of our
stand at the Peregian Beach Market.
We attended the Peregian Beach Market on Sunday, and had great fun.  We had a stand in a newly created extension, nicely located just a few steps behind the sand dunes, so we had a lovely view to the ocean behind us.  It was a blustery day, but we were assured that it was far more windy than usual, and that’s good because we wouldn’t want it any more blowy.  Both of us ended up sunburned – that’s what you get for stupidly spending five and a half hours at the beach without a hat or sunscreen.  Who knew that selling antiques would be so hazardous? 

Our neighbour at the Market neglected to peg down her marquee so after an unexpectedly strong blast of wind her marquee took off like a spinning top and we all leapt to save her and her goods.  In anticipation of disaster we had our marquee double-pegged at all corners, so even though we copped a fair bit of buffeting we remained intact.

We kept the stock selection nice and light
and 'beachy'.
At one point I noticed a group of kite-surfers undertaking spectacular manoeuvers just off the beach directly behind us, diving about like deranged giant butterflies.  I intended to get some photos, but we were kept busy all day and by the time we had a quiet moment there was no sign of them.  So no pretty pictures of kite-surfing for you, but you get to see what we were focused on – our stock.

As usual, the vintage French images were popular.
Lucky I have a lot of them.
It was interesting to see what the High Demand items were, and they turned out to be 1930s golf clubs, and our vintage French magazine images and advertisements.  We didn’t sell a single reproduction image, even though we had some great pictures, but lots and lots of originals. We also sold a small amount of jewellery, although I expect that to increase the closer we come to Christmas;  French copper, and again I expect that to improve given the interest that so many people showed in it and who said they’d be back; vintage fabric and some fly fishing gear.  All in all, we made excellent sales and have rebooked to attend again on 15 December.  I live in the probably forlorn hope that I’ll be able to put out some of our new shipment by then, but more on that below.
These vintage glass fish look beautiful on shelves
when back-lit by sunshine, but the windy
conditions at Peregian Beach means that
shelves won't be happening at our stand.
Surprisingly, I didn’t sell my vintage glass fish, although I thought that a beachside location was a good spot to display them.  But no.  At least, not on this occasion.  They look their best when displayed on shelves with the light streaming through them, but there was no prospect that I could put up shelving with the wind at the Peregian Market.  So off to eBay they shall go, once I have a sufficient selling record with eBay so they will allow me to list multiple items.

Golf clubs were very popular, and we sold a lot. 
Next Market I will offer better quality clubs and
we'll see if they're just as popular as the
cheaper ones.
You’d be amazed at the number of people who tell me that I should sell online, via sites such as eBay, when those people have no idea what is involved.  Now I’ve looked into it, and it turns out that you can only list a very restricted number of items until you have what eBay deems to be a sufficiently good selling record with them.  So to that end I have popped a number of good vintage books onto eBay, at ridiculously low prices specifically to generate the necessary number of initial sales, and thus be granted permission to sell more items.  I have listed them under the user ID chequeredpastantiques, so if you are interested in picking up some good vintage books at a fraction of their normal prices, do have a look.  I’ve already sold five within two days of listing them, which is good news, but they are all worth significantly more than I have listed them for so it’s not surprising.

Vintage fabric sells well.  Usually French linen
is the most requested but at Peregian our
customers liked the vintage Kimono silk best
Once eBay lets me operate as a Proper Grown Up Seller I’ve got heaps of things I’ll offer at discount prices so I can clear some space for the new arrivals.  And the good news on that front is that we have finally received the Pre-Alert Notice from our customs agent, which means our shipment is nearing Australia.  The ship should dock in Brisbane on 6 December, and then comes the annual dance with Customs and Quarantine.  Customs never gives us any grief, and neither should they seeing how I always provide a detailed customs inventory. 

We had a lovely old French chap come by and
tell us all about his experiences as a young
man working in a Parisian restaurant, where
naturally they used old French copper pots and
pans.  He said he would tell all his French
friends that there is no need to travel to Paris
to buy their kitchenware when they can
just come to Peregian instead.
But Quarantine go nuts the moment they see anything made of wood.  I have a pretty good idea of what woodworm damage looks like – you will recall that on the buying trip I declined to buy the first of the Jamie Oliver giant wooden boards I saw because it had woodworm damage.  So I don’t buy items that have evidence of even long-dead woodworms, let alone anything that looks current.  But no matter how smooth and unblemished the wood is, it’s never good enough for Quarantine.  I can only surmise that anything made of wood is automatically ordered for fumigation, rather than Quarantine officials making an actual assessment as they are paid to.  That’s the only explanation I can think of, after my considerable experience dealing with them.  But as Doug says to me every year when we face this exact same issue - Chillax.  You know I can’t readily do that, but I’ll go through the motions of trying.

Now here are two experts at chillaxing.  Look at how
solid Caleb is, compared to Artemis.  But she is still
Top Cat and the one Caleb turns to when he wants
a bit of mothering.
So in the spirit of Chillax and to reward ourselves for having such a good day at our first Peregian Beach Market, we headed off to our favourite Noosa River cafĂ© for breakfast on Monday.  We always get a table on the verandah directly overlooking the river, and I always order their most excellent Eggs Benedict.  So we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, watching the sunlight glittering on the water and the pelicans sneaking up on their rivals to push them off the best vantage points. 
You’d think that pelicans would notice a great, lumbering rival clapping its giant beak and flapping its wings as it “sneaks” up behind them, but they all seem oblivious of impending calamity until they’re suddenly jumped on.  Can you imagine a pelican looking a bit squashed and going “Ooooof” and their eyes bulging a little bit as their rival lands heavily on their back?  It was almost like watching cartoon characters.  So after a nice meal and a laugh it was time for a stroll along the foreshore and we were suitably chillaxed.  Until our first encounter with Quarantine, that is.

This is one of the vintage books I've
listed on eBay - The Book of a
Thousand Thrills: All-Star Stories
of Mystery, Crime & Romance.
All my prices on the books start
at $2.99, making them among the
cheapest on eBay.
In a late breaking development, on the basis of our stand at the Peregian Beach Market we have now been invited to take a stand at the Eudlo Market this coming Sunday, 8 December.  Eudlo is in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, so it’s a lovely part of the world, all green and tropical with rolling hills.  On its Facebook page the Eudlo Market looks to have lots of crafts, so not really our thing, but high quality goods and at the upper end of the crafts market, so maybe it will work for us.  Many of our pieces are hand-made, afterall, just 100 years ago.  And anyway, it’s not far from home so we’ll give it a go.  I’ve got plenty of stock that I didn’t have room to put out at the Peregian Beach Market, so we can make our Eudlo stand look completely different.  First report will be made to you, naturally.

This is an aerial view of Eudlo, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.  It's a little village in a pretty location, so we'll see how it goes at the Market on Sunday.



  1. Hi Debra,
    fish looks lovely. We are going to mind a little seal-point kitten for 4 days, starting tomorrow!
    can't wait!

  2. Hiya Helga. End-of-day glass fish look particularly beautiful when back-lit. Just be sure to keep your little house guest away from it!