Do you have any teawares on your wish list? One design I have long wanted was Royal Albert's "Petit Point China" pattern cup and saucer. I think perhaps it's because I am a former cross-stitcher and needlepointer that I have always loved this pattern, simply because you could indeed use it as a stitchery pattern if you so desired. However, this cup and saucer always seemed to run about $30 to $40 when I'd come across it, and I knew I could do better if I waited.
When I was out antiquing with my mom over the weekend, we went to an antique mall in Marietta and I saw some pretty teacups. There was a lovely pink Royal Albert pattern I'd not seen before, but it was $28, as were all the other teacups near it. And then I spied the Petit Point China set. Would it be $28 too? No, it was actually $12. I wondered why. Nothing was wrong with it. I did my old trick of looking away from the cup and saucer while running my finger around the rim and base of the cup and the rim of the saucer. (You're more likely to "feel" a chip before you see it, so I always do that test when buying cups and saucers.) It was perfect!
I got to the counter and realized they were having a special Fourth of July promotion where you selected a red, white and blue ribbon that was hiding a special discount. Mine was 20 percent, so the new cup and saucer cost me just $9.60. Not bad! (And interestingly enough, the set does seem to feature the colors red, white and blue pretty prominently.)
And I do have a matching piece, a beautiful little scalloped dish that was a gift from a friend. The eBay prices for other pieces in this pattern aren't bad, but the shipping definitely ruins the bargains, so I may just have to continue my strategy of wishing, waiting and watching!