If you have ever seen an eBay or Etsy listing for NOS and wondered what that meant, let me explain.
NOS – New Old Stock is the term for an old item that has never been sold at retail. There are warehouses, stores and basements across the Country that when closed (for whatever reason) the remaining items were left behind, or consolidated in another location and left largely ignored.
As decades (sometimes a Century) pass, and the items rediscovered, what you have is akin to a consumer goods time capsule- items are found in the condition they were left in (save for any effect the elements have had over the years). It is common for original packaging to be damaged when you find a NOS item, but it is not always the case. The item itself however, will be in completely original, unused condition.
With the growing popularity for shows like American Pickers, Storage Wars, etc. discoveries of these old stock items are garnering more attention. When these abandoned buildings are sold, the items that have been hiding away are being acquired by savy collectors and dealers and brought to the marketplace for the very first time.
While you may be able to find the exact same item online or in a shop, in similar, if not better condition (with regards to packaging) I think that its a really fascinating concept, to have an item that you know had been tucked away somewhere for years, and rediscovered as it was left. I’ve mentioned before I love the history behind an item, and while there are plenty of times when the provenance of an item that has traveled through many families to end up with me adds an incredible layer of excitement to the item; I am just as fond of the mystery of an item that sat untouched for 50 years, completely forgotten, and now finds its way to me after being recently uncovered for the first time.
I recently, unintentionally, acquired a small variety of NOS items ranging from Colored Pencils from the 20s with original box & instructions to 1960s miniature tin toys from Japan. I’ve got a real strong affinity for vintage office supplies and office decor, so naturally I’m obsessed with these Dixon Paperex Blue No. 50 pencils from the 20s.
I came across 3 boxes at a shop in Tacoma, WA and couldn’t resist picking them up. They are available at the store, and are also online at our Etsy shop.
What NOS finds do you have tucked away? Is it completely weird to be captivated by the forgotten item now found? Or, would you rather have the same item with a long history to tell when you find it at a shop like ours? Either way, enjoy!