January 8, 2016

One King’s Lane Fire Sale

No, they’re not having a sale, they are for sale. I made a lot about OKL’s crazy sales, the amazingly stupid things with eye-wateringly ridiculous prices, that they had on their flash sales. I used to anticipate that daily e-mail that came at about 11:00 a.m. and see what bargains I could find (not many) and what I could laugh at (tons). I even created a category of these finds, here.image

Now word comes that One King’s Lane is for sale. From a high vaulation of $900 million, to a possible sale price of $150 million, the mighty have fallen. This news comes from Fast Company and you can read it here.

After a while, I just quit reading and even opening the OKL emails. You could find the exact items, with a little looking at Home Goods, Amazon or even Goodwill, as I proved several times. It wasn’t worth the effort to scroll through pages and pages of items looking for that one bargain.

Just for fun, let’s revisit some of OKL’s more ludicrous offerings.

Metal clamps on a stick. image

Framed tea towel. It must be the recipe that inflates the price.image

There’s an expression: Dumber than a box of rocks. Hmmmm.image

My dislike of canning jars intensified here.image

Complete insanity. And how do you know that the wood is circa 1930s?image

This was the post that got me a long, scolding email from another blogger. But it provided a great challenge which you can read about here.image

Are you surprised about this? Did you ever shop at OKL? I did, and got some great things, but it was all tempered by their unreal prices on mundane items.


  1. It doesn't surprise me. Their daily emails are always a source of amusement. It didn't look as though they were selling much, as the "Sold Out" sign rarely showed up. And no wonder, at those prices.
    And I'm glad I'm not the only one who dislikes canning jars. They are perfectly good for canning, but certainly not as any sort of decorator item. Please. You know they have become ubiquitous when they show up new at JoAnn Fabrics and are on the markdown shelf because no one wants them.

  2. Half those "evaluations" are just so dodgy and ridiculous - it's like a phantom number that doesn't really mean anything. But then that's a whole other economic tangent. I doubt it is even worth the lower reevaluated estimate by half that! So not surprised and they were of the school of thought that was - build it and they will come. But I can't believe those racquets were sold out.

  3. I too used to love the daily emails from OKL when they offered mark downs from designers such as John Robshaw etc. In the past few years, I too have found the "deals" laughable. Generally, if you saw an item you liked, you could google it and find it for less than 1/2 the price through another retailer. The "vintage" items like the tennis rackets, jars, "art" etc. almost all looked exactly like the items in my local second hand stores that all sold for less than $20.

  4. I happen to like canning jars and usually buy them whenever I see them. I use them for canning and each year I need more because I give things I canned away and seldom get the jar back. I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion.

  5. Hi Meg,
    When OKL hired a new CEO and moved to New York they completely changed their platform and ruined the business.
    All of us OKL dealers have been practically shut out for the past year. It's a pity as the site was great before "they" started messing with it. KISS is still the way to go. HAPPY NEW YEAR!! xoxo Mary

  6. Hello Meg, I haven't heard from OKL in a long time and assumed they were out of business. Those bizarre prices did make me suspect some sort of 'racket.'

    I agree with you about the modern trend for fruit jars, but their serious collection is both fascinating and important. And here is one very rare c.1860 canning jar (sold for $550, but not on OKL!) that I am sure you will appreciate:


  7. Back to brick and mortar go the customers... :)

  8. Meg Today the museum in town had a collector's day. People displayed their collections and answered questions. I saw coins, tea cups, coins, salt and pepper shakers, barbed wire, pez dispensers clown things, handbags, poke' mon, Puffin items M&M things, billiards banjos and Beatle memorabilia. I learned early plastic billiard balls would explode, Bank of Romania issued polymer plastic bills, PEZ were not always rectangular, and it is possible to memorize the dialog from A Hard Day's Night. And the original pool table cloth was blue.

  9. I hate to be churlish, but good riddance. Mary's comment was most enlightening. What is KISS?

  10. KISS is a "glam " rock and roll band from the 80s. these men wore make up as if they were in a a Kabuki theater presentation or is it Noh anyhow, they entertained the crowd with pyrotechnics or perhaps it is the acronym for keep it simple sugar!!





  13. I feel like it OKL is darn close to Wayfair at this point. I just ordered a mirror from Horchow that I originally found on the OKL website. I think it was $50 less from Horchow. You know the prices are nuts when Neiman Marcus is less expensive!

    The designers who are involved these days seem to be cleaning out their storage units for the site. Boring.

  14. I recently ordered a set of lovely, hand-blown water glasses from OKL. When they arrived, I was disappointed to see a greasy film on the surface of each glass and made in China labels on the bottoms, which had I known, I'd never have purchased them. Having been a glassware designer, I immediately recognized the film as "out-gassing", a by-product of cheaply made borosilicate glass, which can never be permanently removed and will eventually return, even after washing in the dishwasher. When I called OKL, they told me to give them away or throw them away, but not to bother returning them. That was a first and made me realize something was up with OKL, as previous returns were always such a task!


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