Antique Collecting

Antique Collecting

ABOUT fifty years ago, when the subject of English furniture first began to be studied and to be written about, it was divided conveniently into four distinct types. One writer called his books on the subject The Age of Oak, The Age of Walnut, The Age of Mahogany and The Age of Satinwood. It is not really quite as simple as that, for each of the so-called Ages overlaps the others and it is quite impossible to lagt down strict dates as to when any one timber was introduced or when it finally, if ever, went out of favour.

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Kovels Antiques Price List th edition

Here's a tip for you the above book, Kovel's antiques guide, is considered the book in the industry. So if antiques and furniture are your thing, you will definitely want to check this out KOVELS ANTIQUES PRICE LIST, 14 EDITION 1981 This 14th Edition, paperback book The Kovels' Antiques Price List by Ralph and Terry Kovel is considered the antique collector's bible, Contains 755 pages of over 500 colored and black & white illustrations, Current prices (19B1-19B2) for 45,000 antiques and collectibles including 150 factory marks, 5 1 4 by 8 -copyrightj 1981 by Crown Publishers, Inc. Excellent condition, very minor wear, A great guide for all antique collectors and dealers, U.S, shipping is 4.95. Indiana residents add 5 for sales tax. Buyer pays cost of shipping and insurance as listed for shipment in US, International shipping will depend on country and location. VISIT NOBLESVILLE ANTIQUE MALL IN NOBLESVILLE, INDIANA - A GENUINE INDIANA ANTIQUE EXPERIENCE

Timing The best time to use this strategy is September to May of each year when antiques and collectible items receive

I'm talking about selling other peoples antiques, collectibles or even a businesses' used machinery or manufacturers' overstock on eBay for a percentage of the hammer price. Search eBay Seller ID topcat to see his listings (99 of the items he's selling are on consignment from other antique dealers).

Consign Merchandise to the Local Antique Mall

An antique mall is a retail store that's often run by several people who take your merchandise on consignment. You can probably find a few in your area Your items are sold in the store (good for you), and the storeowners take a commission on each sale (good for them). They take your items, tag them with your own identifying tag, and display them for sale. Antique malls usually see an enormous amount of foot traffic, and this may be as close to having a retail store that you'll ever get.

Researching on eBay Buyers or Sellers

Part of doing a good job in buying or selling an item on eBay is doing your homework and finding out everything you can about the item you want to buy or sell. This includes researching the actual item and comparing such things as price, components or parts available, possible conditions (such as with coins or antiques), identification markings, and so on. You can also research the seller you are buying from. Does the seller have a history on eBay Is the feedback mostly favorable to the seller Where is he or she located will they require shipping internationally, for instance

Looking at a sample description

Good luck bidding We owned Cheryl Leaf Antiques & Gifts in Bellingham, Washington. Our Grandmother was Cheryl Leaf, and she owned and operated her store for 51 years and was highly respected in the antiques and collectibles business. She was a charter member of the National Association of Dealers in Antiques and wrote many articles for its journal.

Caching as a Practical Performance Enhancing Technique

Cached searches work on the principle that people tend to look for the same things, so placing these common items in a cache can improve application performance and reduce resource usage. For example, if you have a small business that sells antiques, then it's quite possible that the employees in your organization will consistent look for the same types of information from eBay, even if the actual items differ slightly. If you can identify a request commonality in your company or for your personal use, a cached search can be quite productive. In fact, you'll receive the following benefits from cached searches.

Include the right keywords

One of the best ways to drive traffic to your eBay auctions is to make sure you have the correct keywords in your titles. I specialize in antiques and collectibles, so I make sure that my listings use antique, collectible, old, vintage, and rare in the title. If you specialize in books, make sure you use book, books, fiction, nonfiction, antique, rare, first edition, and so on in the majority of your listing titles.

Use search engine keywords

Click on the Search Engine Keywords button on your Manage My Store page and make sure that the ones that eBay has chosen for you are correct. As an example, when I checked the primary and secondary keywords on my store front, they weren't the best choices. My primary keywords were The Queen of Auctions All Aboard Inc., and my secondary were dinnerware, collectibles, flatware, antiques, new gift items, and ' jewelry. I changed my primary keywords to The Queen of Auctions How to Sell on eBay Tips Tools Tricks, and I changed my secondary to dinnerware, flatware, antiques, collectibles, royal Copenhagen and bing & grondahl. This is much more indicative of what I am selling. Check to see how eBay has listed your keywords and correct them, as needed.

Turning into a fulltime seller

After my grandmother passed away in 2000, I spent the next two years liquidating her store estate using eBay and an estates liquidator. At the end of that two-year period, there was still a lot of really great merchandise remaining. Instead of giving it away at 10 on the dollar, we decided to divide it up among the heirs myself my sister, Kristin my brother, Lee and my mom, Sharon. I wanted to remain in the antiques and collectibles business and realized that with eBay, I didn't have to have an open shop anymore. It was a very hard decision for me, but on August 2, 2002, we closed the doors of Cheryl Leaf Antiques & Gifts, established 1950. I still put 100 new items up for auction each week on eBay, and I know that I can make a good living with that amount of merchandise. I also know that if I want to make more money that week, all it takes is more items. eBay is really a numbers game. The more items you put up for sale translates into more items sold. Price-wise, it's such a funny...

Link from other Web sites

Use Google, Yahoo , or Alexa and find the names of similar or complementary sites that sound interesting. Next, contact those sites to see what they charge. Most of them charge by click, though. As an example, (a large online antiques and collectibles Web site) charges 30 per click for a You may be wondering why someone else who is selling similar items would want to network with me. Aren't we all competitors No, we aren't. I learned this fact years ago from my grandmother, who taught me that the majority of antiques dealers are a super bunch of people. They are not mean spirited and are more than willing to help their cohorts in any way they can. This is the same with eBay. After exhibiting at eBay Live (2005) I have to say that I have never met a more helpful, gracious, and fun group of people. We were all happy and willing to trade tips, tricks, and secrets. It was a marvelous experience

Find Customers Worldwide

A number of the sellers I interviewed while writing this book used to operate, or still operate, storefronts where they sell antiques or other merchandise. eBay has revolutionized life for such sellers. On one hand, they had to start selling online Many auction enthusiasts are savvy shoppers who need to save money on things they purchase either for personal or business use, and the time spent searching for them in conventional sales outlets. They're actively seeking rare items to add to their collections. They don't have time to schlep around the country for months or years visiting antique stores, flea markets, and sales to find them. They're happy to find something they want on eBay and have the chance to obtain it from the comfort of their own homes. If you're a seller, your adrenaline starts to rush when you anticipate having two bidders who will offer you far more than you ever expected for what you have to sell.

Choosing a category by entering keywords

Keywords in the example shown in figures 12.3 and 12.4. I recommend not getting too specific or too vague. When I get too specific, like bronze Malcolm Moran soccer boy, I get confusing results or none at all. I've found from experience that you should choose the two or three most important search words and use only those. If you choose four or more, you may get nothing. Notice in Figure 12.4 that there are several good options to choose for this category. I decide against choosing the second one, Antiques Decorative Arts Metalware Bronze, at 22 percent. I don't feel comfortable using this category, because the boy is not antique, and I try to never mislead my customers. There is not a category on eBay for collectible bronzes (which is a shame). Because of this, I choose the first category, Art Sculpture, Carvings, which is 553 and the exact category I chose in Chapter 11. Great

Where To Buy Collectible Merchandise Locally To Sell On Internet Auctions

There are many booksellers and glass dealers and other antique dealers who only do business by mail. Get on as many mailing lists and ask for as many catalogs as you can. You will find bargains from time to time and it's worth getting the catalogs even if you never buy anything because they provide important market information and descriptions of items. Not all shows and fairs are for antiques dealers. There are many craft fairs, and other kinds of shows. Here are a few additional ways to buy collectibles and antiques that will guarantee even more profits. Anyway, these are most of the ways that I know of to buy collectibles and antiques at dirt cheap prices. The important thing to remember is that if you bought right you will be able to sell right and make substantial profits.

Timing The best time to use this is when the CR are below and prices are depressed

Here's a small twist to this type of buying on eBay and selling locally A lot of antiques, memorabilia and collectible items are made in a certain location and find their way to distant places when the people move. Let's say I'm looking for a book that was written about Utica (my hometown) on eBay and I found one.

Jobbers and wholesalers

Another option in the jobber wholesaler category is to check with your local wholesalers. You may be able to get some great deals right in your own back yard. I know that in my hometown of Bellingham, Washington, there is a jobber named Pace. If I were still in that area, I would try to forge a relationship with the owners and let them know the kinds of items I am looking for gifts, antiques, collectibles, and so on. This is a great way to find items that aren't going to cost you an arm and a leg in shipping.

Be Encouraged by Success Stories

As I write this, eBay is one of the few parts of the world e-commerce that are not only doing well but continuing to grow with leaps and bounds. More and more individuals are taking to selling on eBay part-time, to get a little extra money, or have even moved to making eBay their sole source of income. The amazing thing to me is that people figured out on their own that they could make a living selling solely on eBay, or supplementing other sales with eBay auctions. eBay didn't market itself as a place where you could create your own eBay business eBay sellers figured that out by experience. They realized that no matter how offbeat or unusual the item, they could find a buyer for it somewhere around the world. They also discovered that, with a worldwide pool of buyers available, they were likely to get a far higher price online than they could selling through an antique store, flea market, or garage sale. Listen to the stories of the people I interviewed for this book, whose profiles...

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She's also a collector and veteran eBay shopper. Her first transaction was buying a small bronze bulldog that was signed on the collar. She purchased it for half of what she had previously paid in an antique store for similar items. She now haunts eBay regularly for small bronze and metal bulldogs. She also purchased a framed, signed, and numbered Blue Dog lithograph by Louisiana artist George Rodrigue. She paid 1,800 on eBay and had it appraised recently for 8,000

Minimum and maximum success requirements

Just how hard do you have to work at this business anyway Well, it all depends on you. There are huge numbers of folks who view Net auctions as a casual game. Perhaps they like browsing antique stores and flea markets. When they see something they think will sell, they list it, just to see what happens. Maybe it will sell, and maybe it won't. But either way, it's no big deal -- it's just entertainment, after all.

To Weekend Bargain Paradise

7) Antique malls and co-op markets -- The dealers who rent these spaces keep them well-stocked with constant changes of merchandise. They are also an efficient way to shop, since you can see merchandise from dozens of dealers in one relatively small space. The quality of the goods varies from garbage to great -- sometimes even in the same stall. That is why you have to know your merchandise. Antique malls often feature In addition, some antiques shows offer benefit previews for charities and or organizations such as museums. They throw elaborate parties the night preceding the show's opening to the public. If you are willing to join these groups and learn the key elements of this field, you will have the inside track on all kinds of merchandise.

Obtain a Seal of Approval

The Junction Antique Mall's About Me page includes BBBOnline reliability seals, as shown next. Junction Antique Mall is located halfway between Cleveland and Toledo on US Rt,20 in the old railroad town ofBellevue, Ohio. This town has very close links with the Nickel Plate Railroad and is home to one of the largest railroad yards in the U.S. as well as the Mad River & N.K.P. Railroad Museum. We are only a short drive (25 mms) from the heart of Lake Erie Vacationland, (Cedar Point) Sandusky area. For more information about our location and other points of interest please go Junction Antique Mall has been in business since March, 1996.

When the Objective Connection Comes into Play

For example, a coin collector wants to know the details. They want to see how far down the Indian's cheekbone has been worn on the buffalo nickel. A movie fan really doesn't like those folds and creases in the poster, but if they exist, the potential buyer wants to see how bad they really are. The antique toy collector knows the colors on the Buck Rogers ray gun are faded and that there may be a tinge of rust but how much You need to consider these details if you plan to make the emotional connection 128 with your buyer. The more you know about what they want, the better you can show

When Selling Online Is

I sell only vintage and antique stuff, she says. I basically spend a lot of time combing the newspapers for estate sales and antique auctions, sometimes in my local area and sometimes not so local every Thursday night, I'm checking Internet newspaper sites for garage sales. Sometimes, I have to get there at 6 30 or 7 A.M. to wait in line so I can find some treasures. My mother was an antique dealer, and my boyfriend's Dad was in the business. For me, the fun of it is selling stuff I really love.

Comparing shipping companies

At the top of each Antique Trader article, it looks like I have handwritten a note that says, Dear eBay Customer We have packed your item with care and want you to be satisfied. If you're happy, please leave us positive feedback. Thank you so much for your business Lynn. E-mail me at LDralle Of course, each sheet doesn't have my real handwriting on it. I had my local print shop copy 1,000 of them so that it looks as though it was handwritten. This extra touch ensures good feedback and encourages repeat customers.

Wanttobuy and forsale classified advertisements

Placing a want-to-buy ad in your local paper or one of the national publications can be a lot of fun The main thing is to try to catch trends before they happen. If you think that the next biggest thing is going to be 1980s hearts and rainbows, place an ad in a publication like The Antique Trader and let sellers from all over the world contact you. Everything is cyclical, and I can see the 1970s and 1980s coming back into favor.

Stock and Bond Auction

14) Guns-USA (http ) is another gun auction for firearms dealers, collectors, and sportsmen. They have some items listed in Non-regulated categories which do not require shipment through licensed gun dealers. Firearms manufactured prior to 1898 are considered collectible antique firearms. They are not subject to federal gun control legislation except in regard to the age of the buyer and seller (18 years of age for rifles and shotguns, 21 years of age for handguns). This site is primarily for licensed gun dealers but non-licensed dealers may sell, too.

Accept Credit Card Payments

If you already run an antique store or other brick-and-mortar business, you probably know about merchant accounts and credit card payments. Credit card payments are ideally suited to transactions on the Web you enter your card number and personal information in a Web page form, click a few buttons, and you're done.

Sell on Consignment

Chances are you aren't going to want to sell exclusively on unless you're already a dealer of art, antiques, or the like. You can still sell on occasionally, however. You should look around and find someone who is an approved seller who can sell the item for you on consignment. Go to the page where the current Associates are listed (http pages.sothebys.ebay .com buy dealers index.html). Scan the list for an Associate who deals in what you want to sell. Be sure to review the seller's previous sales and pay attention to the way the business is presented online. Make sure the Associate's sales are presented the way you would want your own to appear. Look at the seller's feedback. Then approach the seller to see how well you get along. Usually, the seller's About Me page on has a selection of feedback presented, as shown in Figure 15-5.

Review Want It Now Listings

Depending on the type of items you sell, you may be better suited for the services of one Marketplace Research subscription service over another. If you sell unique items, such as antiques, you'll probably want to sign up for the Pro level to get the longer historical record of data (90 days), which will give you more potential data on the fewer items that are typically listed, somewhat compensating for the lack of comparison information. If you sell commodity items, such as DVDs, there is a plethora of data available, and you could get away with a Basic subscription with its shorter historical look-back period (60 days). Antiques Art Baby Books

Timing The best time to use this strategy is when you have a catalog to follow up with prospects or you have an

(1) 50 -70 of items are sold at or above low-minimum bid (2) there is a 25 -50 profit margin, after eBay expenses, built into each listing (3) there are approximately 22 working days in a month in which you can list items (4) if your Low-Minimum bid is between 35 and 99 you'll get your highest number sold on new items (I'm not talking about antiques or collectibles) (5) the maximum number of listings you can put up on eBay during a working day is between 32 to 64 (if you're completely automated ).


There are some fakes and reproductions in the pottery and glass area, so educate yourself. A great book to learn more about this area is How to Sell Antiques and Collectibles on eBay . . . and Make a Fortune by Dennis Prince and myself (McGraw Hill). Also in pottery, think California pottery, Rookwood, Weller, and Roseville. In glass, consider art glass, carnival, Depression, and EAPG (Early American Pattern Glass). You can even sell glass insulators, used in power lines to prevent the flow of electricity. I sold a Westinghouse insulator on eBay for 72.99 It sat in our antiques store for 20 years, with no takers at 8.50.


Live auctions are a fun place to pick up merchandise. There are auctions for everything imaginable, including furniture, cars, antiques, and livestock. Well, I won't talk about livestock auctions in this section because (remember from Chapter 3), you cannot sell any live animals on eBay. The best way to buy at a live auction is by the box lot. I love when I can pick up boxes of china and antiques for 5 to 50. I can break these items out individually and make good money.

Your house

As you know, I've been very fortunate because my grandmother, Cheryl Leaf, owned and operated an antiques store for over 50 years. Can you imagine how much stuff I still have I am probably the exception, Attic Antique clothing, ephemera (paper goods like Victorian scrap, letters, and postcards), old magazines (my ex-husband's skateboard magazines from the 1970s sold for 20 to 50 each ), old toys, collections, and anything that has been put away for a while

Where the Gold Is

In every gold strike (California, Colorado, Alaska), it never seems to be the miners who get rich. It's the store owners in the gold-mining towns that spring up who make the money. Similarly, you might consider providing services to eBay retailers. I know of an antique dealer in the Bay Area who provides the following package of services to other antique dealers she knows 1. Puts their antiques up for auction on eBay 4. Ships the antiques All an antique dealer has to do is stop by and leave the antique off at her office. She gets a percentage of the selling price. In other words, she does not only the fulfillment but also the auctioning.


I don't have to tell you how much work it is buying antiques or other items, bringing them home, describing and photographing them, selling them at auction, and completing the transaction. It makes sense to share the work (and the benefit) with another person. You might want to draw up a formal partnership agreement that spells out how business decisions are made and how any disputes that arise should be settled.

Estate auctions

Estate auctions are the higher level of estate garage sales. Here you can find fine art, antiques, ephemera, rare books, and collectibles of all kinds. Aside from the large estate auctions, most auction houses have monthly estate auctions in which they put together groups of merchandise from various small estates. Find out when these auctions are being held and mark them on your calendar.


It is a mistake to think that there is some agreed grading scale on eBay. Different types of items have traditionally used different words and different grading scales. Never use abbreviations for grading. Many eBay users won't know what you are trying to communicate. Abbreviations are a convenience for you but are terrible customer service. Even words like mint and excellent do little to communicate properly except in the context of a particular commerce (e.g., antiques, stereo equipment, farm implements). The trouble is that different categories of items use different words or assign special meanings to commonsense grading words.

Niche Sites

1) Free Bid (http ) is a German site specializing in antiques and art, both European and German. The entire site is in German so I was at a disadvantage to understand it completely but it gets reasonably good traffic and it might be a good source for anyone interested in international sales. 4) Nickleby's (http ) has been in business for 25 years and specializes in fine arts, antiques, collectibles. Until just recently, they did all the auctioning themselves. But they are now allowing individual members to conduct their own auctions. They act as an escrow agent, and they certify, authenticate and appraise merchandise which certainly increases buyer confidence. Obviously, this is a high-end site and doesn't auction 2 posters. Selling is temporarily free. 7) Collect It Now (http ) concentrates on collecting. Their categories include such goodies as perfume bottles, antique toys, pottery and vintage electronics. Selling is free and...

Pay Pal

PayPal charges a fee to process these payments. On average, it costs me about 3.5 percent per month. This is higher than what I pay for my business credit card terminal, which costs about 1.9 percent. However, PayPal saves me time. When I had my antiques store and took 50 percent of all transactions over

Ask for help

I e-mailed a photo of the butter dish (Figure 11.2) to a good friend of mine, Elaine Henderson, who is an expert on EAPG. I met Elaine when I was writing my antiques and collectibles book, and her Web site is wonderful ( She e-mailed me back that it was a copy of a cut glass pattern and she didn't know the name, but that it was 1900s. Based on her knowledge, I knew that my butter dish wasn't one of the really rare ones I saw in the completed auction research. It wasn't Vaseline glass or a fancy color, just plain, clear Early American Pattern Glass.

Word Order

A potential bidder probably searches on vase. He or she is already in the Antiques section, so there's no need to include the word antique. Eighteenth-century immediately categorizes the vase, although a more specific description would be better. Mentioning miniature indicates the vase has hand-painted art.

Of Your Life

My brother and his wife were shopping recently in Canada. On the way back to their home in upstate New York they happened across an estate sale that was going on. They got there late in the day so a lot of the antiques and other more obvious items of value such as the furniture and silverware were already sold.


As you start out, keep your overhead low by deferring as many expenditures as possible until you absolutely need them. My grandmother always taught me to keep my overhead low. She would wait months and months before buying anything expensive. It took me six months of constant convincing to get her to buy the first computer for her antique store in 1993 (computers then cost about 5,000, with all the bells and whistles). Boy, it was sure worth my effort But she was a very savvy businesswoman and always took her time when making big monetary decisions. Table 5.1 shows a sample start-up costs worksheet. Business cards are a must (see Figure 5.1). I actually have two different business cards One is my eBay business card that I give to everyone except the people I buy from. Why People having garage, estate, and yard sales don't want to know that you're going to make money off of their items on eBay. They don't mind if you're an antiques dealer, but for some reason, taking their items and...

History and age

Provenance is a term used a lot in the antiques and collectible world, and it's worth mentioning here. Provenance is proof of ownership or proof of the history of your item. For example, if you're selling a plate that belonged to the Kennedys, and you bought it at a Sotheby auction, use the auction catalog and your receipt of purchase as your provenance. It's best to include these with the purchase and mention them in the description. If you bought more than one item at the auction, go ahead and include a photocopy (color) of the auction page and a regular photocopy of the receipt. I bought the

EBay Bestsellers

Decoray has been in the antique business since 1976 All those things that never sold in my antique store, I can sell on eBay, he laughs. He has been on eBay for five years. He is not a full timer, yet, he still puts in about 40 hours, part time, six days a week. Much of that time is spent packing and doing other post-sale activities, he points out.

Selling Your Image

It's you versus the other guy, and the competition is stiff. Whether you're selling off great grandma's china, some extra stamps from your collection, or knickknacks from your own homegrown antique store, you want to take a picture that helps sell your stuff, a photograph that connects with the viewer and makes your item look better than the competition's.

Introducing eBay

Remember the days when yard sales were the best way to sell the junk you had in the garage Other options included posting a for sale ad in the local newspaper. I even remember venturing out to the local flea markets and antique store with my mom in hopes of getting that awesome deal. Well, those things haven't changed much since then. What has changed though is the world around them. Welcome to the wonderful world of eBay, where anything and everything can be bought or sold. Since its inception, eBay has revolutionized the web and how we do business. Many sites have tried to copy, but none can truly match eBay's magnetism and popularity. eBay is a runaway hit with no slowdown in sight. In the following chapters, we will explore eBay and ensure you are comfortable with the lay of its land.


It's a little different for used goods. Some retailers enjoy a healthy market for used goods but cannot find enough inventory to buy for resale (e.g., antique dealers). However, eBay provides them with a major source of used goods that they can depend on for acquiring inventory. Here the strategy is to build up your used inventory but you still have to get the goods at a discount deep enough to enable you to resell the goods and make a reasonable profit.


One more note before you get started Always place a business card or thank-you note into each box you ship. This extra step shows your customers that you care and are, in effect, asking for their repeat business. I also put an Antique Trader article that was written about my grandmother and me into each box, along with an order form for items that we carry in quantity. Many of my customers take the time to e-mail me and tell me what a wonderful grandmother I had and how lucky I was to have grown up in the business. They are right

Questionable items

Many people collect rare and antique bottles of wine and other alcohol. Korbel bottles have featured artwork by designer Nicole Miller and comedienne Whoopi Goldberg as well as designs by Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, and Jane Seymour. People also collect Jack Daniels bottles, decanters and miniatures that are even more valuable when they're full. You can sell these on as long as you fulfil the following requirements