I’m a picker and no I don’t want to sell my art at a discount

Actually, I’m technically not a picker, nor was I ever.  But I came close.

Some people will lie, and tell you they aren’t.

They will shuffle their feet and hem and haw and then play the Joe dumb card.

They are liars.

Some people will just come right out and brazenly and proudly say – yeah I’m a picker.

I’ve done both.

If you are uncertain if you are a picker or don’t know what I am talking about here is a pretty good article with an explanation of the term.

It is a lot like playing poker, or so I gather since I’ve never played the game. You go to a venue and you see stuff that you are interested in, but you don’t want to play out your cards straight up.  You want to get a feel for the person, see if they know what they have and what it is worth.  And, how badly do they want to part with it and what their bottom line is.

What a game – you can ride high or sink low.

Over twenty years ago, I systematically lured my husband into coming over to the dirty side with me.  Back then the only people who used the term picker, were the people who were truly in that line of work.  If you told someone outside the industry that you were a picker, chances are they would look at you like you were crazy and that you were talking about a bodily function that should only take place behind closed doors.

Picker. Dealer. Seller.  Buyer.  Whatever specific role you play in this trade, it is a disease.  It will slowly and methodically take over your life.

Thanks to the insurgence of TV shows featuring, dealers, pickers, estate sale buyers, and auctioneer’s and lets not forget those people who frequent storage unit sell offs.  These shows tell you it is okay to play your cards and to be proud that you are a picker and worst of all that anybody can be successful at it and that there is easy money to be made.

It isn’t easy, it isn’t clean work and it is risky. It is also like real estate. Location. Location. Location.  It is a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

It can be fun though and if you like the thrill of the hunt – my favorite part – or the rush from haggling – my least favorite part, it can be a fun and interesting occupation or hobby.

My days of doing this line of work are over.  There have been a few times this past week as I prepared for my yard sale that I really got all caught up in the memories of the auctions and flea markets, estate sales and such.  I would have a momentary slip and think hey maybe I should do this again.  Then I would come to my senses and remember just how much I didn’t like the haggling and the constant hauling and packing and unpacking.

Come to think of it, it is very similar to selling my craft at shows.  The packing, unpacking, setting up and displaying. Location, being at the right place at the right time and having the right person feel your art, understand it and purchase.  And, every now and again a person will expect that I should sell my art-work at a discount.  I just don’t get that – I wonder if these people who think artists should discount their work have ever had anyone come into their office, or place of employment and ask them to work for less money on any given day – just because their boss doesn’t think they should have to pay full price for their labor.  Just sayin’.

Anyway the yard sale was fun and I am quite happy with the end result.  I got to see some old customers from back in the day when I had my store, I got to meet some really interesting new people and a group of girlfriends surprised me with a nice visit and lots of support.

Oh and to Crazy K – hope you are enjoying your shiny gold – you aren’t banned yet  – but watch your step, missy!

I’m all smiles.

I’ll leave you with photos from the yard sale, until next time,



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10 thoughts on “I’m a picker and no I don’t want to sell my art at a discount

  1. You beat me to it!! I was going to tell you how incredibly happy I am with my cut glass bowls with shiny gold edges!! You made me so happy featuring them in your photos and allowing me to swoop down and carry the treasures away to my nest.
    It was great to see you – I always leave feeling warm and happy – you and C and that spot on the map will always feel like home to me….

  2. OMG! Why don’t you live closer! This is the coolest yard sale I have ever seen!!! Utterly amazing! Problem is I would have gone broke and would have needed an 18 wheeler to get my treasures home =) Love this post!

  3. Great post, Kim. Thanks for sharing it.

    Along a similar vein, artists having their own discount sales to the public, to their artist friends, and their collectors, and advertising it as such, is a practice I don’t understand. Recently a very well known artist friend did just that with her work. Probably seconds or cast offs, but still.
    In my opinion, if my name is attached, I’m selling it at the listed price. Period. If it is a second, it gets trashed. How can anybody have respect for the work if the artist is willing to discount it?

    Like you, just sayin’.

    Have a creative day!

  4. Oh Kim, I’m definitely a picker, but like you, I am ready to let go of that, and unload my treasures hopefully to another loving home…You sure have great taste! Glad I’m not just down the road, you might have made me waiver! BTW: my boutique garage sale is slated for Nov. 4th and 5th. It sure is hard to part with all these hard-won treasures…How many things did you grab back, now, be honest? 🙂 Rhonda

  5. Kim,I am the worse. Put it out-take it back. I will never sell a piece of artwork for the same reason. I would rather hoard it all. Now I didnt see “Hoarder ” in there?

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