Harold Bell Wright

One name that has remained popular here in the Ozarks is Harold Bell Wright, an author that wrote several books about my area.

One such book that he wrote is called “The Shepherd of the Hills”.  The story is based mainly in the Branson area, and at one time was second in sales only to the Bible.

Even to this day, you can still catch a play at the park that has the same name as the book.

All of his books are still well received here in the Ozarks, and you can still find them in just about any flea market or antique mall you go to here.

What are some of the books by Harold Bell Wright have you run across?

Beginners tip: what are some auction no-no’s?

You are new to the auction world, and you have found one that is close by that you want to attend.  What are some of the things that you need to keep in mind that you should not do?

Do not bid if you are not sure if you want to buy the item.

Do not bid just to drive up the price.

Do not be rude, especially to the auctioneer.  This is an easy way to get people mad at you, and it could also get you kicked out of the auction.

Do not go in unprepared.  When I go, I always have packing material and a box or two to pack everything that I buy.  Another good thing to bring is a two-wheeler to help move the heavy items.

Do not start bidding on an item at the highest amount you are willing to pay.  If you listen to the auctioneer for a second or two, you will hear them lower the price down until they get a bid on it.  If you are patient enough, you will get a good deal on the item you are bidding on.

These are a few no-no’s to keep in mind when you attend an auction.  What are others that you have heard of?

A buying lesson for the beginning shopper—make sure to check for damage!

When I was at an estate sale not too long ago, I managed to find some really cool items.  One of the items was a Lefton salad plate made for the Order of The Eastern Star.

I had purchased it under the notion that the plate was in good shape.  When I got the plate home, I found the plate had a chip on the edge of it.

Today when we shop, we have the ability to use our cell phone to check out the worth and rarity of a piece that we are interested in.  To a great extent, it has diminished the need to go with your gut, but not completely.

You still have to be able to judge if in item is fake or real—and frankly to discover the flaws on an item.  You need to use your fingers and the light that is around you to discover chips and even cracks.

Fortunately for me, the purchase price of the plate was inexpensive, it was less than 5 dollars.

What kinds of mistakes have you made when you purchased an item?

How do you find missing parts for a vintage item you bought?

You are out shopping at one of your favorite places, and you run across an item that you are interested in buying.  You notice that it is missing pieces, and you go ahead and buy it with the thought you will hunt down the missing parts.

There is only one thing you are not sure of—how do you go about finding replacement parts for it?

The first thing that I would do is to try and find what the item looks like with all the parts that it originally came with.  This way you can compare the photo and the item you have to see what is missing on the item that you have.

I have seen what’s called an exploded view diagram that shows all of the parts an item has and how they fit together.  You might get lucky and find one of these to help with not only finding the parts you need but also how they fit on your item.

The next step is to search the internet for the parts that you need.  I have seen quite a wide variety of replacement parts for vintage items on the web.  I have seen everything from parts for a toy airplane to vintage refrigerators and even vintage fan parts.

If you strike out on the internet, then you are going to have to search for the replacement parts when you go to your favorite places to shop.  This might take more time to accomplish, but it can also be more fun to do.

Another thing that you could consider is to visit a place like your local scrap yard or even junk yard.  I have seen several replacement parts for a vintage metal Coca Cola cooler and even metal patio furniture at a junk yard that I was at several years ago.

This is a few ways that you can find replacement parts for vintage items.  What places or ways have you found replacement parts?

What are some things to expect when you begin to sell antiques and collectibles?

When you dive into selling antiques and collectibles, you quickly find that there are some expectations when you sell an item.

What are some of the things that you should expect to happen when it comes to selling antiques and collectibles?

You will sell quite a few items that are priced below $100.  I cannot count how many items that I have sold over the years that are below $100.  There are several reasons that can account for this—it could be the shopper wants to decorate with the item or it could be a gift for a friend or loved one.

Another reason is that selling the high-priced items will take a little longer to do.  It’s not that the item has a problem with it or that no one wants it, but rather it might take someone a lot of thinking about in order for them to break out the money and buy it.

You will get an offer on an item that you are selling that you will not be able to take.  I have heard of several reasons when a price is not accepted, but the most common reason is that the offer on the piece for sale is too low.

This is a small handful of things to expect when it comes to buying and selling antiques and collectibles. What others have you run across?

How do you start a collection?

You have made the leap and started to attend some auctions, and you have even gone to antique malls and flea markets in your area.  You might have even gone to thrift stores and even some swap meets.  Then it hits you—how do you go about starting a collection of your own?

The first thing to do is to start a collection on what interests you.  If you love enamelware or even records, the best thing I can recommend is to start there—you never know what kinds of cool pieces you will find.

The second step is to figure out how much of a budget you can afford to spend on your collection.  It does not have to be big at first—over time you will want to expand your budget to help with buying the more expensive items.

You will want to spend time (especially when you first start a collection) on things like how to identify real from fake.  It can be a couple minutes a day worth of research to help you out in the long run.

A good tip to remember is to settle on a fairly wide area to start collecting in—this way you can narrow down the topic of your collection over time.  I have seen people start collecting in an area like coins and then settle on Morgan Dollars and Franklin half dollars.

It’s also perfectly fine to have several collections going on—this way you don’t get burnt out looking for just one topic.

When you start to shop for items to add to your collection, start out at shops, auctions and swap meets where you live.  This way you are not spending a lot of money on getting to where you are going. 

Another thing that you can do is to shop around online.  There have been plenty of times that I have run across items for sale online that are cheap enough that you can add it to your collection.

This is a small handful of tips to help with starting a collection.  What tips have you run across?

What exactly is End Of The Day enamelware?

One of the areas of collectibles that I run into quite are piece made out of enamelware.  It could be tea kettles, plates and even pitchers.  You also never know what color you will run into—it could be white with red trim, blue swirl or even chrysolite!

One type of enamelware that you do not see a lot of is called “end of the day” enamelware.  This type of enamelware has several different colors on it, and it got its name for when it was made—it was made at the end of the workday.

The reason for the different colors on it were because the workers making the piece would take whatever colors they had leftover at the end of the day and make random designs on the piece.

A great example of “end of the day” enamelware is this dinner pail or bucket.  This example dates to the early 1900’s and it has chocolate brown, black, white and gray colors on it.

You can collect “end of the day” enamelware several different ways—two of the more popular ways is the pattern that’s on the item or by the colors on it.

What kind of “end of the day” enamelware items have you run across?

What was introduced in 1929?

For 1929, the year is known for being the start of The Great Depression and the crash of the stock market.  Even with all of this going on, what items were introduced during 1929?

During 1929, Pine-Sol cleaner was invented while both the Tarzan and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century A.D. comic strips debuted.

In January, the comic character POPEYE made his debut in the “Thimble Theatre” comic strip.  Popeye is often credited with encouraging children to eat their vegetables as the character often ate a can of spinach to become stronger in dangerous situations.

The book titled “The Magic Island” By W.B. Seabrook debuted in 1929.  This book is credited with introducing the idea of a zombie into pop culture.

In August, British inventor John Logie Baird began conducting experimental television brodadcasts at the British Broadcasting Company (also known as the BBC).

This is a small handful of things that debuted during the year.  What items have you heard of that debuted during 1929?

What are some tips to remember when you are buying inventory for your business?

It does not matter if you sell at a swap meet, online or even in a booth in a store—you will eventually have to buy inventory to stock up with.  What are some tips to remember when you are out and about buying items?

When you are beginning to sell, the easiest thing to do is to buy items that you know a good amount about.  When you start to expand your business, you can expand what you know by expanding into other areas (like glassware or even pottery).

When you are buying, keep in mind on where you are going to sell the item.  Heavy items or even items that are large like a 5-foot tall sign will be harder and more expensive to ship if you sell it online—it might sell better in a booth or at a swap meet.

The biggest thing to remember is to know what your budget is.  Things will get out of hand very fast if you don’t know what kind of wiggle room you have in the budget.

This is just a few tips to remember when you are buying inventory.  What other tips do you keep in mind when you are buying inventory?

What are some tips for attending an estate sale?

You have found a local estate sale nearby that you would like to go to.  The problem is is that you have never been to one before.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind while attending your first estate sale:

Ask about any unmarked items—if there is an item at the estate sale that you are interested in, feel free to ask about it.  There is a good chance that the people running the sale have not had a chance to price it, or the price tag could have just fallen off.

Check to see if there is a pick-up policy—if there is a large item at the sale that you are interested in and have no way of taking it with you that day, see if the people running the sale will allow you to come back for it either that day (or even the next).

Respect the property—there will be rooms that the people running the sale that will want you to stay out of.  They will have the door shut and marked off with either a sign or tape, so stay out and be friendly.

Have fun—there is a good chance that you might leave without buying anything.  The cool thing is that you get to meet some great people and get to see what other shoppers are interested in buying.

This is a small handful of tips for attending an estate sale.  What tips do you know of for attending estate sales?