Merle's Vintage

San Diego, California · 4065 Sales


Merle's Vintage

San Diego, California 4065 Sales On Etsy since 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars

MerlesVintage is taking a short break


Note from shop owner Short-notice closure to help with family matters. I will periodically be checking convos, so don't be too put off by the auto-reply. I can't estimate just now when the shop will be live again, but hopefully not too long. Thank you.

Note from shop owner

Last updated on Jan 15, 2017

Short-notice closure to help with family matters. I will periodically be checking convos, so don't be too put off by the auto-reply. I can't estimate just now when the shop will be live again, but hopefully not too long. Thank you.

David Higgs

Contact shop owner

David Higgs


Average item review
4.5 out of 5 stars
Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson on Jan 21, 2017

5 out of 5 stars

Was thrilled with this purchase. One of the Christmas gifts for my daughter and son-in-law. She has been looking at N, but was not expecting to get one so unique. They loved it.

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I'm beginning to suspect that the UDC (Union of December Mondays) put a hit out on me
Completely unexpected and wonderful honey hole I picked today. Building after building... and practically in my backyard.
Just back from an epic 2 week pick. Look for lots of new (old) good things from all over the Golden State, available soon.
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Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

I've always been one to collect quirky, oddball things, and that's really how Merle's Vintage came to fruition.

In San Diego, 2010, I went to a buddy's garage sale (whom I always thought had good taste) and was, for some reason, instantly attracted to a handful of old distressed sign letters. I took them home, realized that my walls were already covered and thought I'd give Etsy a whirl. I posted, had a cup of coffee, and they instantly SOLD! That's when the lightbulb went off and I started brainstorming. I contacted my buddy straight away, and sure enough he had more letters. They also sold within hours.

I spent a few days mulling my potential new business venture over and realized that there was a niche in the market that I could fill. I guess you could say my main profession in life (or one that I've stuck to for 30 years) is a bookseller, so taking the *Etsy Letter Plunge* was quite an exciting / scary adventure. I've bounced around as a woodchopper, chef, recycling plant truckdriver, bartender, bouncer, jewelry maker, etc., so this risk was well within the range of acceptable norms.

Letters started out as my main focus, but eventually I started selling my own possessions; I've always been keen on the '60s -- from fashion, to furniture, to music – and as my personal collections dwindled began sourcing all manner of vintage & antique goods to further uniquify Merle's Vintage. For a while now I've had the largest and widest variety of sign letters on Etsy, but get more of a tingle from selling a oner antique from the 1800s or an indescribably odd piece of outsider art.

Merle’s Vintage has been my full time job for 4 years now and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I love hearing what other creatives are doing with the goods they purchase from me and am truly satisfied with my work.

And the name? That comes from my best friend in the entire world, Merle the Tosa Ken.

Happy Shopping!


Shop members

  • Dave Higgs

    Owner, Maker, Designer, Curator

    Alaska born. Montana raised. California aged. Q*berting up, down & around the staircases of life, until I reach the kill screen.

Shop policies

Last updated on July 21, 2016
Enjoy browsing the largest vintage sign letter collection on Etsy -- or anywhere online, as best I can tell -- plus a variety of unique antiques from miniature toys to industrial lockers.

Happy shopping! And please, take a look at my reviews to see what shoppers are saying:

Accepted payment methods

  • Pay with Visa
  • Pay with Master Card
  • Pay with American Express
  • Pay with Discover
  • Pay with PayPal
  • Buy with Apple Pay
  • Pay with Sofort
  • Pay with iDeal
  • Accepts Etsy gift cards
Orders typically ship within 3 business days. Very large or fragile orders may take a few extra days. All orders include tracking. I pack on the side of caution. Very large orders will be shipped via GPX & require pick-up at your nearest depot.

INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS: Shipping options for bulky items are very limited. I'm happy to ship internationally, which will vary greatly depending on the item and destination, and so will be calculated individually. An example: the average-sized channel letter will cost anywhere from $50 to $100 for S&H alone. A multiple-letter shipment will cost into the three figures. Please convo only if you're OK with that rate, and please indicate that you have read this note.
Refunds and Exchanges
All items are sold 'as is'. I am not an expert on everything I deal in. I *do* quiz my sources & research items as best I can, but, for example, I may be off by a decade when dating an item. When I truly have no idea or am flat-out guessing, I always mention this.

No returns without prior authorization: please convo first. Customer is responsible for return shipping costs. Items must be returned in original condition. Thank you.
Additional policies and FAQs
Please Note: *ALL* of my available sign letters are listed; if you see one in a group photo that you like, check the "quick zephyrs" section of my shop: If you don't find a separate listing for it, it is sold. I'm pleased to say I have far-and-away the largest selection and widest variety of letters on etsy. Shipping can be combined on multiple purchases. All orders shipped with tracking.

Although I offer good discounts on orders of multiple sign letters, and am always open to trades, please do not make me 'offers'; prices are as listed.

If you're in Southern California, search the San Diego Craigslist using "Vancouver Vintage" (I know, a different moniker, just for confusion's sake) for more of my unique treasures, typically larger items such as furniture, architectural salvage, and items that I prefer not to ship. For a specific item listed on Craigslist, a specific appointment time must be set. I do not have a brick-&-mortar store that is open for browsing.