Monthly Archives: June 2010

Exploring New Venues for Buying and Selling

28 June 2010

It’s easy for me to get stuck following the same old paths but sometimes it becomes apparent that I need to think outside the rut.  Living in a smaller more remote communinty than previously has taken away a lot of choices for funding good collectibles either for myself or to sell. There must be others who have falen into the same situation.  It is time to beat the bushes and start down the path less traveled.  Who knows what fine collectible cliches we may find.

In the near future I will be uncovering  and reporting on alternative venues for buying and selling antique and collectible items.  Ebay is not the only game in town even if it is the biggest, which it is.  Certainly I am not completely soured on the Bay as some have become.  Local antique stores don’t seem to have as broad a selection as I like and the prices often leave no room for me if I choose to sell.

A quick recon of internet alternatives shows that the competing auctions tend to be more narrow in focus.  For instance I just registered at mynotera.com which is an auction site specializing in ephemera.  As this was a favorite niche market of mine back in the day I am going to check it out with a little interactive testing.  I will be reporting back in due course.  Sites like this have nowhere near the numbers of dealers or buyers as the 800 pound gorilla. Is that a good reason to stay away?  If nobody goes to these sites they will not prosper and grow.  Let’s put the competition back in capitalism and build a healthy marketplace.  If you know of a particular internet auction or collectible store that you would like me to check out send an email my way.  I think I’m ready to shake things up, are you?

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An Antique Attitude

23 June 2010

Som where on the way to 57 I became cranky.  Not mean and nasty, just cranky.  I got into the antiques trade as a stress reliever.  The law firm I worked in as a paralegal was a collection of tightly wound people crouching behind typewriters. They dug through endless file folders for the scattered parts of statutory weapons with which to bludgeon their prey.  You can probably tell I wasn’t happy in that job.  On Saturdays I spent most of the day cruising garage sales.  It was where I first got caught up in the thrill of the hunt.

Antiqueing brought me back into a saner world.  However, some baggage remains from those times and here I am – a crank.  let me use an “antique” word and say curmudgeon.  A curmudgeon is a guy with an antique attitude.  The motivation comes from the past.  you can’t be a proper curmudgeon without a sense of history.  The things I get cranky about are based on ways of living that the world has passed by.  I see a worn and work polished old hand tool and it seems like any one of various abandoned moral codes.  I have a fine old low angle block plane of a type Stanley doesn’t make anymore.  It is beautiful in it’s simplicity and reliability.  Only a cranky guy like me would actually use it in a modern electrified cabinet making shop.  It delights my soul when some young woodshop wunderkind asks to borrow it.  Why is there an antiques trade?  Because quality endures.

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Cap Pistol Collectors Go To The Round Up

16 June 2010

Bang, bang! You’re dead.  No I’m not. Yes you are!  Ah, the peaceful days of childhood.  Why is making noise such a large part of being a kid?  Whether we old guys like it or not, noise is fun.  One of the all time great kid noisemakers is the cap gun.  They first showed up sometime after the Civil War when gun manufacturers augmented their reduced sales revenue with toy guns that fired loud gunpowder caps.  They became a common American toy but really came into their own after WWII when radio, then television popularized western dramas.  When the genre faded about 1965 so did the cap gun market.  As the children of that time period grew up a collectible marketplace was born.  The number one driver collectibles in the economy is nostalgia.

The memories of shoot ’em up days is about to surface at auction. Kenton, Ohio resident Bob Bailey will be auctioning off his extensive collection of over 230 cap pistols at Kenton’s 17Th annual Gene Autry Days, June 26-27 at the Pokies Hardin County Fairgrounds.  Bailey’s collection is the largest in the country and features guns made by the Kenton Hardware Company from 1904 to 1950.  He has one Gene Autry model gun from each year of manufacture from 1938 to 1950.  His collection is on display at the Hardin County Historical Society.

It will be interesting to see what kind of interest will be shown in this day when children are more likely to relate to light sabers and and ecologically friendly fun.  Social change also made cap guns a less popular item on the American scene.  The 1960’s anti-war movement, the counterculture in general and academics in the field of psychology pointed to violence on TV and violent toys as influencing violent behavior in children.  The point is debatabe but the effects of the discussion can be seen on the shelves of  toy departments across the nation.  It’s clear that  the big box stores are kinder and gentler places than the old Woolworth’s stores of my youth.  And quite a bit more sterile.

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Ebay Does it For Free

9 June 2010

This past Sunday saw the end of my eBay auctions which were listed the previous week.  They did one of their rare free listing periods.  Essentially an eBay dealer could list anything without being charged an insertion fee.  You pay nothing unless an item sells at which time the usual final value fee is taken.  It’s a pretty good deal.  If you are selling on eBay always keep on the look out for these opportunities.

The recent occurrence offered free listing of auction style sales only from May 30 to June 1.  This gave a little boost to sales which typically flatten out around summer holidays.  When the nation goes vacationing in a big way they tend to leave eBay at home.  Memorial Day, July Fourth, and Labor Day usually show less activity in page views and watchers.  Sales can slow to a crawl. It’s a good time Casino En Ligne for dealers to take a break .

free listing opportunities sometimes show up around holidays.  This one a bit of an intrusion but as a dyed in the wool capitalist I rose to the bait and put up 22 auctions.  All I had to do during the holiday weekend was post the auctions on Sunday at 6:00, my favorite eBay sweet spot.  The real action occurred the following Sunday as the auctions came into their last moments and snipers came out of the wood work.  I didn’t make a killing but it did net me some much needed cash to feed to a hungry gas station.

Unfortunately this means that it will be some time before another free listing day occurs.  I always hope for one around Christmas.  They have done it before and when they do it is worth all the time and effort you can spare.

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My Newest Collection – Old Friends on Facebook

3 June 2010

It’s been a long time since I started a new collection.  Without realizing it I have done just that.  I have been gathering friends on Facebook for about two months.  I was unsure about becoming involved with this particular piece of popular culture.   I’m generally not what you’d call “cool” or extremely social.  I mostly joined Facebook because the current thing in internet businesses is “social media” and I didn’t want to ignore a valuable marketing tool.  I’m not sure that it has done much for marketing but it has been fascinating.

I am on the other side of the continent from almost everyone I knew up until eight years ago.  That’s a lot of people who I have not been in contact with for a long time.  It was a revelation to find out how many of my relatives had Facebook accounts.  Facebook kindly offered to make me friends with various members of my high school class.  I declined that one because of the years of therapy it might bring on.  However, it occured to me that there might be other connections that I could reestablish with some degree of comfort. The results have amazed me.  I am now in touch with valued friends I haven’t seen or heard from in decades.  One recent connection was bittersweet as It brought me the knowledge of a friend’s passing.

Friend’s are the two-way artifacts of social interaction.  They point to us and we point to them.  I hold them in fond memory and reread the pages of our stories like a good book that always has a new twist waiting to be revealed.  There is a value to my collection of old friends transcending time and ever increasing in value.  You won’t find that at an auction.

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