Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dear Antique & Collectibles Buyer

I found this letter from an anonymous seller and just had to share it. It really hit home

Dear Antique & Collectible Buyer, 

I started on eBay in 1998, first listing I posted using WebTv. 

Remember my Auction ? 99 cents: old Robot Toy in old box. 
No pictures. I described the heck out of it. Took me 1/2 an hr. No shipping posted. (You eMailed after you won, I weighed & charged exact postage). 

You fought a bidding war and won my Robot for $38.73, mailed me a check. When I got it, I eMailed you. 
I boxed my Robot up & sent him off. 
You got him a week later & left me my first positive Feedback. 
You eMailed: he was better than described, you were happy. 

I'm still on eBay. Selling old stuff in old boxes. 
Still describing the heck out of my stuff. 
Taking & posting 3-12 pictures. 

You do not read my description, look at my photos, or ask me questions before you buy. 

If you did, maybe you wouldn't have to leave a weird comment in your feedback text, or, smash my as described star. 

My stuff has been around a long time. I was not with it in its life journey. I don't know for a fact if anyone ever enjoyed a pipe in the same room as my item. I never sniffed my Robot in 1998. I don't think he 'reeked' as you might claim, today. 

Maybe the good Lord did not give me as good a sniffer as you have. 
If smells bothered me alot, I'd buy new stuff, which only smells of plastic. 

I pack in plastic & foam & bubble, but, I use a paper box, which is a hard sponge. If the guy at the hub, or, the UPS or USPS driver smokes by your box, I can't be there to tell him to 'snuff that out' ! 

I appreciate your 'make an offer & get it for less', but, alas, my items are unique. That means I cannot make a small profit in volume, e.g., I buy 1000 of them from China and make $1.00 on each. 

I devote many hours driving, standing, handling, & carrying old items home. I clean, inspect, research, measure, weigh. A Seller of old stuff, puts 2-10 times more work into bringing items to visibility than a big box online, (who makes one template and hits relist a thousand times). 

I understand you want 'free shipping'. 

I went to the P.O. & UPS and asked. 
They would not ship for free. 
I tried. 

If, by 'free shipping', you mean, I pay, then, you need to understand that, if I list 'free shipping', I pay higher listing & end *FVF) fees on the item. As I figure I need to make X on the item, so I make at least minumum wage, that extra fee from eBay has to go into my price. 

It is cheaper for you if I list item PLUS shipping, and YOU decide if it is what you want to pay. 

I am trying to STAY on eBay, offering old, unusual, better made, unique items. 

You might not always FIND them. 

You need to be sure to click many tabs: ending soonest, newly listed, stores inventory, to find me. 

'Best Match' is eBay's 'tracking' opinion of what you want to see. NOT what's available. You're missing out on some great stuff if you only use 'Best Match'. 

Want me & my fellow junque Sellers to be here for you? 
You need to read, ask questions, and communicate with me. 
If you're not happy, why can't you tell me first ? 

If you leave a 1 or 2 star, I'll get suspended. Then, you'll never get to see what treasures I might have for sale. I'll take them to a show or flea, where buyers do all the inspecting & measuring, I just sit there & take the money. 

I don't have to wait 3-21 days for PayPal to 'clear' your payment. I don't lose up to 50% of the sale to fees. I don't have to worry that the post office lost or crushed it, or, you changed your mind & want a refund & for me to pay the shipping back, too. 

Most new stores, you need to waste your time & gas to return it. And, if you don't have your receipt, packaging, etc., they give you a hard time. 

I am selling at 25% of new, and you want me to pay for things new stores do not give you. If you want those 'free returns, etc.', I need to raise my prices to theirs: retail prices. 

If that is what you want, if you want to pay for services like returns, that you will never use, let me know. I will price that, and eBay & PayPal fees, into my start price. 

Thank you, 
Your Seller.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spotting a Fake Roseville

Reproduction Alert

The Real Thing!!!! 

Recently one of the most widely collected and sought after pottery makers, Roseville, has become the target of reproduction vultures. I do not believe there is a shop that I have visited in the last year, that I have not stumbled across a piece of Roseville Pottery that upon examination, proved to be a reproduction. It appears that this new quantity of reproductions first started showing up in our markets en masse about 9 months ago.

The quality of these reproductions has been fair to very good and has succeeded in fooling even the most seasoned of dealers. Reproduced items have been acquired in reputable Auction Houses, flea markets, yard sales, and through just about every source that dealers in this trade use to bring their wares to the public. From what I have seen , these pieces are being acquired at very low prices and are , in turn, offered to the public at prices that turn a quick tidy profit.

So O.K. , How do spot the reproduction? The glaze on most fakes is very dull and lacks depth.  Colors are used that real Roseville never used in the original different patterns. For instance, Brown was not used in the pattern Foxglove, yet, a lot of brown Foxglove has appeared on the market. Initially, the Roseville fakes had a raised (in relief) Roseville USA on the bottom. Apparently, U.S. Customs had a problem with that, so the ones being produced now just say Roseville, with a space below that word where USA would have been.  According to reference material, Roseville (without USA) was used only from 1932-1937 and only as an impressed mark, never in relief. If a piece has Roseville in relief without USA, you can be pretty certain that it is a fake, particularly if there is an empty space where USA should be. 

On the other hand, the use of Roseville USA does not guarantee that it is authentic. Other indications are present in the fakes that I feel are the most indicative of forgery and they are the futile attempts of using stain under glaze on the bottom to simulate aging. Even the oldest pieces of real Roseville, that I own or have seen, do not look as old as the fakes. Below is an example of the Reproduction Mark most commonly seen today. This mark is always in high relief.


Let the Buyer Beware

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Art deco: An Understanding

I have written many articles in the past. Thought I would share this one with you to help you understand the Era that has had a profound impact on all of our lives. Enjoy!

Art Deco

During the period between the two World Wars, an eclectic design style developed that later became known as Art Deco. The name was derived from the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs Industriels et Modernes, held in Paris, which celebrated living in the modern world. Today, "Art Deco" is used to refer to a mix of styles from the 1920s and 1930s.The Art Deco era was one of contradictions. Through the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Art Deco style infused the everyday world with an elegant style of cool sophistication. Singers and songwriters entertained audiences through the new medium of radio, and Hollywood musicals offered the hope of better times and a temporary escape from daily troubles. Travel was in the news with ocean liners racing the Atlantic and trains crossing continents, as speed became a metaphor for modern times.

What characterizes Art Deco design? The architecture and applied arts of the period reveal a varied mix. However, most share the hallmarks of geometry and simplicity, often combined with vibrant colors and simple shapes that celebrate the rise of commerce and technology. From luxurious objects made from exotic materials to mass produced, streamlined items available to a growing middle class, the world of Art Deco represents a "graciousness of form" from a simpler time. The Empire State Building, finished in 1931-32, ended the era of Art Deco skyscrapers. The building's tiered structure, reminiscent of the Egyptian and Aztec pyramids, reflects the popular skyscraper style of the period. The building is topped with a mast for mooring dirigibles, (An Airship or Blimp like the Zeppelin or Hindenberg) an expression of the machine age and its focus on transportation.

Interior Design during the Art Deco era reflected a unified approach. Indeed, the line between Art Deco interior design and industrial design is often difficult to distinguish, with many of the era's top industrial designers and architects often designing interiors as well. Many of the furnishings incorporate industrial materials such as glass and metal and were designed to create a cohesive environment reminiscent of a fine-tuned machine.Industrial Design made a name for itself during the Art Deco era. During the 1930s, industrial design consultants were commissioned by manufacturing companies to produce a variety of goods. Influenced by efforts to develop a more aerodynamic automobile, industrial designers adopted streamlining for a number of objects. Made from the latest materials, such as plastics, chrome and aluminum, domestic goods had a modern, high-speed look and were available to everyone due to mass production.

The popularity of Art Deco has seen a resurgence in the last ten years and it is predicted to continue to attract an even larger following. Collectors from every walk of life are seeking the "Art Deco" look and are paying premium prices to acquire the pieces of their dreams. There appears to be a new "old" movement. Investors are encouraged to take a serious look at this genre of period pieces.

I'm sure you all own and cherish items that are classic Art Deco style. This era will always remain a favorite of the masses. It ranks right up there next to Art Nouveau for me. Enjoy I'll be back with more. I'm full of all kinds of worthless?? or maybe not information.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Wonderful World of Antiques & Collectibles

"In another time people cared about helping others and took pride in what they did or created. This Blog is dedicated to helping others learn about those wonderful times through the Antiques and Collectibles that survived."

Having run an Antique and Collectibles Store, I am now starting to auction and sell a very large inventory of Victorian, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Retro and every era items. You'll find Porcelain, jewelry, silver, collectible, antique collectible, pottery, glass, doll, Boyd’s, bears, ceramic, figurine, collecting, flea market items, vintage toys, bottles, advertising, collector, furniture, furnishing, vase, ornaments, Asian antiques, oriental, cosmetics, appraisal, antique clocks, Shawnee, Josef, politic, depression glass, dinnerware, comics, Fenton and just about anything collectible.

My goal is to share with you about 35 years of knowledge and experience in the antique and collectible field and to present as many options for learning and enjoyment as possible. There are many resources that are available on this blog. I will be writing articles that will teach you how to repair and restore antiques, how to care for your treasures, how to spot fakes, help you identify your finds, great reference sources, a variety of informational articles, and I will try to help you get answers to any question involving treasures from the past and will answer in this Blog. Stay awhile and enjoy the wonderful world of antiques and collectibles. My first goal is to Define and Differentiate Between Terms in this field:

Antique: Generally this term is used to describe an object made over 100 years ago (It is now common to see 80+ years as the benchmark)

Vintage: Objects made 20+ to 80 years ago

Classic: Term used to describe an object made 20+ years ago and serving as the established model or standard. Example: A 1950's Diner

Collectible: An item which has value due to its rarity and desirability; examples include antiques, coins, and art.