A little history for the 1925 Broadmoor Polo Association Foxhall Keene Trophy Pitcher

Several years ago, I happened across this wonderful trophy that is in the shape of a pitcher at a local flea market.  When I first saw it on the shelf, I didn’t see the engraving on the side of it.  When I read what it said, I got to wondering about who Foxhall Keene was and what exactly what the Broadmoor was as well.

The first thing to do is to look at the pitcher itself.  It was made by the Wilcox Silverplate Company, and it dates to somewhere between the 1910’s and the 1920’s.  This helps solidify the date that’s on the pitcher, so the next thing to do is to figure out what the Broadmoor was.

Just what was or is the Broadmoor?  The Broadmoor is a hotel and resort that’s located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The original hotel is Broadmoor Main, and it was built in 1918.  The resort has had hockey and golf championships, and there’s even polo that is played there.

There’s only one question left for this trophy—who in the world is Foxhall Keene?

Foxhall Keene was quite the competitor.  He was a golfer who competed in the U.S. Open, an amateur tennis player, and he was also a pioneer race car driver who vied for the Gordon Bennett Cup (this was a racing cup that ran from 1900 to 1905 with several clubs racing for it).

Not only did he do all of this, he was also an American thoroughbred race horse owner and breeder.  To top it off, he was a world and Olympic gold medalist in polo.  Not only that, but he was also rated the best all-around polo player in the United States for eight consecutive years.

And that’s where the trophy comes into play.  When the Broadmoor started to play polo at the resort, they named this trophy after Foxhall Keene because he was so accomplished in polo.

It’s always fun for me to find out what the history of a piece is, just like this trophy.  What kinds of finds have you run across that you have found out the history of?

When it comes to selling an item online, how do you know how to price it?

Not too long ago, you purchased an item that you were wanting to list online and try to sell.  You have some terrific pictures of it and even a killer description of the item to post in the listing.  There is one thing that you are now starting to mull over—what kind of price do I put on it?

An easy thing to do is to do a general google search for it.  This way you can get a good range on not only what it is listed for sale online, but what it sells for as well.

Another thing that you can do is to ask a fellow dealer and see if they have sold a similar item.  One thing to keep in mind is if the dealer thinks that they can make a profit on it, they might make you an offer on your item.

The third way that you can find a price for your item is to do a little bit of math—I have seen a LOT of people take the price that they paid for the item and double it (if you paid $10 for it you would charge $20 with this method).  I have seen people use this method myself and it works (especially if I really can’t find a comparable item online or if I am talking to another dealer).

This is a few of the tricks to keep in mind when you are trying to get a price for an item you are going to sell online.  What kind of tricks have you heard of?

It happened in 1947

It happened on April 15th, 1947, and it happened to be a Tuesday.  The first day of Major League Baseball is a day that people always look forward to, but this year was special.  Spring was in the air, the smell of hot dogs was wafting around, and Jackie Robinson was making his Major League debut.

When Jackie Robinson took the field on this day, he became the first African American to play baseball in the majors.  He succeeded in every way possible, and he eventually found his way to Cooperstown (this is the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame).

When it comes to the collectibles area that features either Jackie’s name or likeness, it is very wide-ranging.  It includes everything from hats to jerseys, ads or even bats and gloves (this doesn’t even begin to cover how much is out there).

One of the areas that is very sought-after are baseball cards.  Not only are they easy to store, but they can also command a very pretty penny.

The downside of the collectibles that feature Jackie Robinson is that there are plenty of reproductions or fantasy pieces on the market that you will run across.  You need to do your homework to see what an authentic piece looks like so that you don’t get taken for a ride.

One of the best ways to tell if the card pictured above is authentic is to look for the TOPPS copyright information on the card.  One of the best areas to find it is on the back of the card where the players stats are.  Another way is to look at the paper stock that the card was made of.  For 1956, TOPPS used paper stock that had no sheen to it, and the card itself is a little bigger than modern cards.  If you have a question about a certain card, lay a modern card over it to compare the sizes.

The picture above shows what to look for about the size differences on the cards.

What kind of Jackie Robinson collectibles have you run across?

What are some questions to ask when you decide to sell an item?

When you are going to sell an item online or in person, there are going to be times when you will need to ask some questions.

Here are some of the questions that you should ask:

Are there fees that I must pay when I sell my items and how much are they?  This is a good question to ask, especially when you sell an item online.  There are fees when you sell an item online, and I have seen the fees be anywhere from 4% to 16% of the final selling price of the item.

Are there any restrictions on the item that I am about to sell and what are they?  The first two items that I know of that have restrictions on them are ivory and Brazilian Rosewood.  Both have been over harvested to the point where both are almost extinct.  To get a good idea on what else the selling site restricts, visit either the FAQ section or SELLER SECTION of their website.

Will I have to pay rent on a space that I want to set up at a local antique store or swap meet?  Yes, you will.  The rent will depend on the location that you want to be at.  I have seen rent be anywhere from as little as $20 at a local swap meet and around $130 to be the average cost of a booth at an antique store.

This is just a handful of the questions that you will hear when you start to sell items.  What are some of the questions that you have heard?

Simple photography tips for vintage jewelry items

One of the first things that I have learned while selling things online is that taking pictures of the item you are going to sell is one of the most important things to do.  When it comes to photographs of jewelry, simple tips can really help make your piece really stand out.

Here are some tips to remember when you are taking some photographs of jewelry:

When it comes to taking the phot itself, you don’t need the most expensive camera on the market.  There are some really good digital point and shoot cameras out there—if you have access to a DSLR camera you could also use that too.  Another great way to take photos is with your smartphone (you can even list the item while you are at it with the selling app on your phone).

Take the time to steady the camera that you are using.  Putting it on a flat area like a chair or even using a tripod can help keep your photos in focus especially when you are zooming in on the item.

Another thing to remember is that your jewelry should be clean when you take photos of it.  There have been times that I thought I could skip giving the piece a quick polish before I took some photographs.  Boy was I wrong!  The second I looked at the photos that I just took is when I found smudges on the piece of jewelry (and wow, did it look bad!).

Any piece of jewelry will look a million times better if you take some time on how the background looks behind the piece of jewelry.  A ring holder, a piece of colored felt, and even a marble slab will make your jewelry really stand out.

This is a small handful of tips to remember when it comes to taking photographs of jewelry.  What tips have you found that works great?

Where are some of the strange places that you have found inventory to sell?

When it comes to finding inventory, the best rule of thumb is to keep your eyes open.  You never know where you will find something—it could be anywhere from the trunk of a Honda to a Church.

One weird place that I got some inventory was a neighbor’s trash can—a person was throwing away a TOMS countertop wire rack.  Another neighbor down the street from me was going to throw away a movie card that I asked if I could have (and I still have it).

Countless sheds, outbuildings and barns have also had many things that I have bought.  Make sure you even check the rafters of these buildings.

There was also the out of business grocery store.  There was a local auction company that was having a sale there—you could still see that the meat department still stocked with its slicer and tables there.  It was interesting to see all of that when I bought a wood Hayward Wakefield table at the sale.

One of the strangest places that I found a piece to sell is a chicken coup—it had a 4-foot tall by 8-foot-long enamel Coca Cola sign inside.

What was the strangest place that I have ever bought something out of?  It was a haunted house that was on the back of a person’s property.

This is a small handful of strange places that I have bought inventory to sell.  Where are some strange places that you have bought inventory at?

What are some things to think about when you are beginning to sell online?

When you are beginning to sell items online, there is so many things to think about.  Here are a few of them that you will run across pretty fast:

One thing to do is to choose a venue to sell on.  Etsy, eBay and Ruby Lane are three of the more popular ones to sell on, but it doesn’t have to be just these.  You could run across a site that works the best for you.

Another thing to think about is what you are going to stock your shop with.  It could be anything from comic books to DVDs to jewelry—it does not matter what it is.

Who pays for the shipping cost of the item need to be figured out before you make your first sale  Free shipping is commonplace now a days, but there will be times that the buyer will need to pick up the cost.

When you get you shop up and running and you have some items listed, you will need to think about how you are going to promote everything.  Will it be by promoting the shop through social media sites or will it be by paying for advertising that is provided through websites like Etsy and eBay?

This is only a handful of items that you need to think about when you sell online, especially when you first start out.  What things have you run across?

What are some of the things that happened in 1984?

Whenever I look for info on an item that I buy, I try to find out some things about it (like when it was made, the value, etc.).  When I do this, there are times when I run across tidbits of information that happened during a certain year.

I knew that the Summer Olympics and the Louisiana World Exposition were going on in 1984, and there were some tidbits I saw that were really surprising.

On January 24, The Apple Macintosh was released to become the first mass-marketed featuring a graphical user interface and mouse.

May 14 saw the introduction of the one-dollar coin in Australia.

June 6 was the release date of the video game called TETRIS.  This immediately became popular, and the game has been recognized by The Guiness World Records as the most ported game in video game history (it has been on 65 different platforms as of 2011).

Do you know what really surprised me?  The Chrysler Corporation officially debuted the first vehicles that are to be officially labeled as minivans (I thought this one actually happened in the 1970’s!).

This is a small handful of what happened during 1984.  What were some of the things that happened during 1984 do you remember?

What are some photography tips for items that you are selling online?

When it comes to the online selling, one of the first things potential customers will notice is the listings photographs.  What are some tips to remember to help you with getting great pictures that could help you sell your items?

Make sure that the item is clean—there have been plenty of times I have put taking photographs on hold to either give the item a dusting or a complete cleaning.

Get close to the item you are taking photos of.  Getting close up shots of marks, tags and any potential defects go a long way to help you sell the item.

Show how small the item is.  Having a good shot of the item that fills the image can be great, but there will be a time when you need to include something like a ruler to show how small the item truly is.  Another item that I use is an apple to help show the scale—people will have a good idea how big common items like apples or even coins are.

This is a small handful of tips when it comes to taking photographs of the items that you are going to sell online.  What other tips have you run across?

Tips to remember when you are buying inventory

When you are new to the world of buying and selling, you may not know where to buy inventory for your business.  What are some tips to remember when you are out and about looking for deals?

It might sound like I’m pulling your leg, but I keep an eye out for inventory wherever I am.  You never know where you might be when an item might turn up.  I have literally found items that people are giving away by the curb of a street that I have turned around and sold.

Carry pocket change—it can be a life saver.  When the summer rolls around, I throw a couple dollars’ worth of change in my pocket.  It is always welcome by the people running the sale.

Poke around online.  You can find cheap inventory for sale, even with the shipping added in.  You can also look online at websites like Craigslist for items that might be for sale that you could pick up and then sell.

This is just a handful of things to remember when it comes to buying inventory for you to sell.  What tips have you run across?