Collecting Rae Dunn: The Truth About Collectors, Hunters and Resellers
As a lot of you visit my site know, Rae Dunn is very trendy now amongst those who love minimal and farmhouse decor. It is so trendy that the demand continues to increase, but the supply hasn’t increased along with that. It has always been produced in small batches, usually two of each big items at a time and more on the smaller items, like mugs.
But, there is another world out there for Rae Dunn: there are numerous groups on Facebook for Rae Dunn for buying, selling and trading. There are large, general groups that help newcomers learn about joining in on collecting and trading and also is a great place for everyone to see what is being found all across the country. They are very resourceful!
There are even more groups targeted at local areas. Typically they are titled Rae Dunn [Your City] and are easy to find. Most are private as a lot of the admins try to keep them for locals only, but they also do this so they can prevent those who have been blocked from the group for whatever reason from seeing any future posts.
And this is where it gets nasty, folks.
Most groups only allow for trading and selling, but have around a $5 “up-sell” charge that you can tack onto the price of each item you want to sell. They are trying to keep it friendly for collectors who just want to find items they are looking for and not have to pay in excess for it. I get that, I do. I personally collect Rae Dunn and keep my collection to a minimum. I would never pay more than retail for two reasons: 1) I don’t have a lot of money sitting around just to buy RD and create a ginormous collection that I don’t have room for, and 2) I typically find Rae Dunn easily.
But here’s the problem…
There are people out there who want to buy Rae Dunn from others and are willing to pay more for what they want. There are a lot of people who don’t live anywhere near a TJX store, so it just isn’t worth their time to travel to possibly not find anything. Plus, a lot of people work full time+ and don’t have the time to get out and hunt. They say it’s worth it to them to not add up the costs in gas and mileage on their cars, so they’d rather just pay more from the comfort of their own home. Why should we put a limit as to what they are willing to pay, especially when supply is low and demand is high?
As Billy Mayes would say, “But wait…there’s more!”
Another nasty part of that are the horror stories I have heard about people who do trades and aren’t local. I’ve heard of someone receiving cans of beans instead of their Cookies canister. I’ve heard of people receiving empty boxes. I’ve also heard of people pretending to ship and not doing so. And then there are the people who send broken items…yes, SEND broken items…as in, they packed it up broken.
So, there is a scary side to trading, so you have to be careful should you decide to do a trade that isn’t local. But, you can certainly find enough people to trade with that are local to you. You just have to find them in your local group and make arrangements.
There is still more to the nasty side of all of this…it isn’t over yet.
Up-sellers are often frowned upon in the Rae Dunn world. Collectors feel as though they are to blame for the lack of their ability to find things in stores. What they don’t realize is that if there weren’t people who were willing to buy from them, they wouldn’t be in business. But, there will always be those who would rather buy and be done with it as I mentioned before.
It doesn’t stop collectors from blaming and bashing up-sellers though. Nope. I am a member of several of these Facebook groups and I have often seen up-sellers outed and banned, but not before being called nasty names and basically having a witch-hunt after them. Luckily, there are several groups available that allow for selling of any kind. It still doesn’t stop all of the negativity towards up-sellers, though. And not once have I ever seen an up-seller call collectors nasty names or post their photos calling them out.
Shelf-clearing is another thing that is frowned upon in the Rae Dunn world. But, ohhhh, the hypocrisy. As I mentioned, RD is often put out in small batches, which makes it hard for many collectors in one area to get what is out. And oftentimes, these collectors have “Dunn sisters” they buy for, so they scoop up for them as well. If that’s the case and only two items are on the shelf, do you really think they are going to not take both, which in essence makes them a shelf-clearer? There are so many women who act so sanctimonious in this regard, saying they would NEVER clear a shelf. So, do they mean to tell me if they stumble across 2 Pour pitchers, that they would leave one behind and tell their friend, “Sorry, Susan. I just had to leave one behind for fear of damaging my reputation (even though no one was looking). I’ll grab one for you in a few months or so when they are back in rotation.” Yeah right. They know they would take both to help each other out. And if they aren’t getting it for a friend, they would take it to use to make trades with.
Some of these ladies act all high and mighty when in reality, they would take it if they needed it or if they would benefit from it. We would all clear the shelves if we needed to. Some of us are ok with admitting that while some of us are in denial or straight up lie about it to try to look like a good guy. “We just can’t be on the same level as those greedy up-sellers!”
If you stick around the groups long enough, you will learn how to become a seasoned member:
- First of all, remove your location from your personal profile so no one know where you live and hunt. Can’t be giving away your hunting grounds.
- Secondly, never share anything you find and especially don’t share which store you found it at and what location. You will be inviting competition and you might not be able to find anything after that.
- Third. Never truly share everything you find with your girlfriends. Those greedy bitches always want your goods, but never reciprocate. Plus, I can get more, more, MORE if I use everything for trades. Gotta do it on the down-low, though, so no one calls me out.
- Fourth. Don’t be active on these groups because then people know what you have and will call you out. The groups are really for newbies who will unknowingly spill all their hunting secrets. A seasoned member sits back quietly.
- Fifth. Never trust anybody. They probably have a secret group they’ve decided to make that you aren’t invited to because you aren’t good enough. Sound anything like Mean Girls yet?
So much for being here to support each other, right?! Basically these groups are full of stingy people who will only use you if you have something they want. I’ve experienced it. I have friends (a.k.a Dunn sisters) I buy for. One of them I met through my local group. They always throw me extra to help pay for my gas and time because they know both can add up.
I am a collector, a sharer (the term for those who do trades or hunt for others) and an up-seller…in that order. I am not ashamed. When an item or line becomes a collectible, and the demand is high and supply is low, it becomes more valuable. Just like your home…sometimes it increases in value just simply over time because of the market. You wouldn’t sell your house for less than what it’s worth, would you? I didn’t think so.
Same goes for Rae Dunn. Some items are worth more because they aren’t produced as much or because many, many people love that specific item. Cookies is one. The salt and pepper cellars are another. Same for the Eat plates (which is my unicorn). A lot of collectors say they will only trade retail to retail, but don’t based on the item (because they know some are worth more and in demand more while others aren’t). Another part of the hypocrisy. If they were really out to help each other out, wouldn’t they trade retail to retail regardless of what the item is??
Rae Dunn was recently quoted as saying that it makes her sad that people fight over it and buy everything and resell it. It’s predominantly sanctimonious collectors who have the nastiest attitudes from my experience. Here are a few examples just from local groups I am a part of (yes, some were directed at me):
To sum it all up, up-sellers are not the only problem. There are collectors who are shelf-clearers, too. And these collectors are mostly the ones with the bad attitudes about it all. If you were nice and reasonable, perhaps you could befriend an up-seller and they would help you with your collection as I do for my “Dunn sisters.” And also come to realize that they aren’t the only problem in all of this. That nasty attitude is like a flat tire, you won’t go anywhere until you change it. Be nice to everyone and you might find you have an easier time growing your collection.
I hunt for my friends. I hunt for my father and bonus-mom. I also collect. I have given away multiple pieces of Rae Dunn on my site and to newbies in the groups. I have never fought over it. I have never gotten in an argument with someone at the store over it. I have never gotten physical with another trying to get to it first. I have never stood around waiting for hours for it to hit shelves. I’ve never asked employees to do me favors nor do I call and have them check multiple times a day for me. I often leave Rae Dunn behind in stores. But I also up-sell and for that, I will always be demonized and banned from groups (even though I don’t try to sell on them unless it’s allowed) if an admin feels like it. But, I also have received lots of support from some great Dunnies and admins who may not approve of what I do, but see that I am not just some “greedy up-seller.” Thank you.
To me, this whole ordeal has turned into a competition for some. I think some want to be the first of their friends to have that hard to find item. Their collections are like a trophy collection – something to give them bragging rights. It’s the equivalent of men who compare the size of their penises. I sure am glad that the ladies I’ve befriended aren’t like that. And others can find that in a Dunn sister as well, you just might have to look a little harder for her.