Tom Ross: The never-ending search for great buys on rare items resumes in Steamboat this weekend |

Tom Ross: The never-ending search for great buys on rare items resumes in Steamboat this weekend

Tom Ross

— I was probably the cheapest customer to show up for the estate sale in the Blue Sage neighborhood Friday. I spent a total of $3 on three items including two forged iron hooks for hanging outdoor flower pots and a well-used but ultra-sturdy garden trowel that my wife may or may not fall in love with. Probably not.

This promises to be a good weekend for estate sales in Routt County despite the dicey weather. The second day of the Blue Sage sale begins at 8 a.m. Saturday with the prices of most items cut in half promised Annie Tisch, of Annie’s Home Consignments. Then on Sunday, Lockhart Auction will host a mega multiestate sale on a rural property on Routt County Road 46 about 10 miles outside town.

Cookie Lockhart promises items that will appeal to guys (How about a bright red 1929 Ford pickup?) and gals (lots of dolls including a new in-the-box Princess Diana Doll and a 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers Barbie Doll). And no, all you wise guys, Barbie does not play tight end for the Huskers.

Auctions and estate sales are a great place to meet people and find out what makes them tick. Debra Kuzemchak scored a good buy at the Blue Sage sale Friday. She came to hunt for bargains on decorative Christmas items and left with a beautiful oak bookshelf with glass doors for each shelf. She paid $225. Heck, you can spend that much on a bookshelf from Ikea.

Tisch said summer 2013 brought her 10 estate sales and theorized that the pending opening of the Casey’s Pond senior living campus is the reason for a number of them (though not this weekend’s sales). It’s reasonable to think that some local households are downsizing before moving into an apartment at Casey’s Pond.

On Friday, Tisch’s crew managed so sell some patio furniture even though there was a thin layer of wet snow on everything in the driveway of the home. They also sold 82 pieces of Paul Selb Bavarian China dinnerware by Belmont for $350.

Smartphones permanently have changed the experience of shopping estate sales, and I was able to confirm that a single pie plate in the same pattern was advertised at $10 on eBay. Fine China isn’t my thing, but Friday’s buyer, who payed an average of $4.25 for the 82-piece collection, got a genuine bargain. And as of midday, there was another set of desirable China that had not sold.

If I’m able to attend Lockhart’s auction Sunday, I’ll be looking for antique pulleys, a battered, old cow bell and maybe that signed Cowboy Downhill racing bib from 2004, which marked the 30th anniversary of the ski race for professional cowboys.

Don’t even think about outbidding me on that one.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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