Three things to consider when you sell an item online

When I first started to sell online, there were some things that I found out pretty fast.  Here’s a few of them:

The weight of an item matters.  This will be a major factor of how much shipping and handling that you charge for an item.  The weight will be a combination of the box, packing materials and the item itself.  A good rule of thumb is to find a box that is a little bigger than the item to you are shipping, but not too big—it will definitely cost you more.

There are restrictions on what items can be sold.  Each website that you sell on will tell you what you can and CAN NOT sell, and each selling website will tell you when you set up your seller’s account.  If you already have seller’s account, you can find this pretty fast in the HELP section of the website.

Use social media to your benefit.  Facebook, Twitter and even Pinterest come in very handy when you want to spread the word that you have listed an item—I usually include a photo when I am on one of these sites so people can also see what’s for sale.

This is just a few of the things to consider when you sell an item online.  What other things have you found out?

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All the different colors of glassware can make your head spin!

Whenever you are shopping for vintage glassware, hearing all of the different colors of vintage glassware can make your head spin.  Here’s some of the colors that you can run across:

Ice blue—this is a very pale color of blue, and it can have a pastel iridescence if it is on a piece of carnival glass.

Vaseline glass—this is a glass color that has had uranium salts added to the molten glass mix.  When you look at this type of glass under normal lighting, the glass will appear to be yellow or even a yellow green.  When this glass is hit with an ultraviolet light (a blacklight), the glass will fluoresce in a very bright green (it looks like it could be glowing).

Reverse amberina—this is a type of glassware that is the opposite of amberina.  The central part of the glassware is red and it blends out to yellow at the edges (amberina is yellow at the center and it turns red at the edge).

Amber—this type of glass can vary from almost a yellow to a brown.  The best way to visualize the color of amber that is used when jewelry is made.

Horehound—this type of glassware is an amber color with a gray hue to it.  Some collectors call this color of glassware “Root beer”.

This is a small sample of what you can find on glassware.  What other colors have you run across?

Great examples of glassware serving pieces that you can find

When it comes to finding serving pieces for the table, you can find some great glassware items in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.  Tumblers, creamers and even plates are only a few examples that you can find.

One terrific example that you can find is this milk glass creamer.

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Not only is it made out of milk glass, this terrific 1930’s creamer also sports a silverplate handle and spout.  To make things even better, it has a hand painted and embossed floral motif on it.  You can see this creamer in my Etsy shop here.

Another great serving piece that you could find is this great nut dish.

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This great nut dish was made in the 1950’s by Westmoreland, and it sports a light blue satin mist color.  The dish also has an enameled floral motif on it, and it could also double as a candy dish.  You can see this dish in my Etsy shop here.

Cruets are perfect for your favorite salad dressing, and they can also be great to display on any table.  This pair would be perfect to do both.

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This pair was made by Hazel Atlas in the 1950’s, and they sport a frosted look with a hand painted floral motif on them.  You can see them in my Etsy shop here.

As a matter of fact, you can see all of the great glassware serving items in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check them out!

Make sure you tip your waitress!

Tip trays have been around for many years now, and they can be found with a wide variety of advertising on them.  It could be an advertisement for beer, a company or even a soda pop company like Coca Cola.

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In 1914, Coca Cola made the tip tray pictured above.  As you can see, it has a picture of a Victorian Era Woman in a bonnet or hat.

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This advertising tip tray was made out of tin. Tip trays like this one are a rarity to come by with the original paint, since the coins they meet every day tend to wear most of it off.  To top it off, the paint on the edges of the tray get worn off pretty fast as well from being handled every day.

You can see this terrific tip tray in my Etsy store here.  Head on over and check it out!

Vintage furniture pieces that you may not run across everyday

When you are out and about shopping for vintage items, you will run across some vintage furniture that you may not know what it is.  Here’s a couple of pieces that you might run across:

Tallboy—this is a piece of furniture that incorporates a chest of drawers with a wardrobe on top.  The tallboy was considered to be the wardrobe of the 1700’s.

Highboy—this is a piece of furniture that consists of a double chest of drawers (it’s also known as a chest-on-chest).  This piece of furniture has a lower section that is usually wider than the upper section.

Pie safe—this is also referred to as a pie cabinet, pie safe cupboard, or even a pie chest.  It is a piece of furniture that is typically used to store pies.  The cabinet will have sections that consist of either pierced metal or screen to help the pies cool.  In the past, some people also stored meat, perishables, and other items inside of their pie safes.

Hoosier cabinet—this is also known simply as a “Hoosier”.  It is a type of cupboard (or even a free–standing kitchen cabinet) that also serves as a workstation.  It was popular in the first few decades of the 1900’s.  This was because most of the houses did not have built–in kitchen cabinetry.

This is just a few of the vintage furniture pieces that you may not run across everyday.  What other pieces have you run across?

READER’S HELP: that’s a friendly wall-crawling superhero…made from plaster?

When you start to dive into the world of antiques and collectibles, you quickly find out that you will find really cool things in unexpected places.

Not too long ago, this happened to me when I came upon a local garage sale.  And do you know what was there?  Just a bust of Spiderman himself!

Spiderman bank (1)

As you can see in the photo, the bust is made of plaster and it is also doubles as a bank (the coin slot is on the back of Spiderman’s head).  Not only that, it is extremely detailed—you can see and feel the ribbing in Spiderman’s mask, and it also feels like the head actually has cloth on it.

Spiderman bank (2)

Here’s the problem that I have with the bank—I know what it is, but I have no idea who made it.  I was told that it was made in Mexico, but there is no maker’s mark or even a country of origin mark on it.

Does anyone know who could have made this great bank?  Could it be a homemade piece that a fan of the character made?

Any information is greatly appreciated!

What a great gift idea for any stamp collector!

What a cool gift idea for a stamp collector—finding them a vintage stamp album to accompany their collection.  One album that you can find is titled “The International Postage Stamp Album Junior Edition.”

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This album is great, it is by the Scott Stamp and Coin Company.  Not only does it have the look of a regular book, it has space dedicated to have stamps from many countries of the world.  Some of the countries that are included are the United States, Austria, Bavaria, Germany, Cuba and even Hungary (there are many other countries that are not listed here).

stamp book (1)

There is a copy of this book in my eBay shop—not only does it have all of its pages, it also has some stamps with it.  There are about 150 stamps in total that are included, and they range in date from 1876 to the 1920’s (two of the stamps from Hungary are OVERPRINTS from 1919).

You can see this book in my eBay shop here.  Head on over and check it out.

Wow, how great is this?  Remember when stamps were 1 cent?

Grab yourself a cup and saucer, it’s tea time!

One of the areas that you can dive in and have a lot of fun collecting are cups and saucers.  They come in a wide variety of makers, sizes and even decoration.

Some of the materials that they could be made of are glassware, pottery or even fine china.  They could be decorated with just about anything–flowers, people and even outdoor scenes are just a small portion of what is out there.

Hocking Glass, MacBETH-Evans and even Royal Doulton are but a tiny portion of makers that have made cups and saucers, and there are many more.

One cup and saucer set that you could run across is this great Depression Glass example.

As you can see, it sports the CHERRY BLOSSOM pattern and is by the Jeanette Glass Company.  It was made from 1930 to 1939 and can be found in my Etsy shop here.

Hand painted examples are always fun for me, you will never find two that are exactly alike.  One cup and saucer set that fits in this area is this one by NAPCO Pottery.

This set features a yellow floral motif, and it dates to the 1950’s.  You can see it in my Etsy shop here.
Wedgewood also made several examples, and one such example is this terrific Mulberry handle less cup and saucer from the 1800’s.

It sports the WASHINGTON VASE pattern, and you can see it in my Etsy shop here.

There are quite a few ways that you can collect cups and saucers.Not only can you collect cups and saucers by the pattern that is on them or the manufacturer, you can also find examples that could go with a certain color combination that is in your house or apartment.

You can see all of the cups and saucers in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check them out!

Gas Station Collectibles from…ElReco?

As long as I can remember, people have been on the lookout for items that were once in use in gas stations.  Gas pumps, signs, vending machines and even advertising from a certain brand (like Marathon or even Phillips 66) have been sought after.

I have even heard of people collecting items from the lesser known gas station companies as well, like ElReco.  I am going to be honest with you—I never heard of ElReco until I found this paperweight.

EL RECO Gas Stations Figural Paperweight

It turns out that Elreco stands for the Eldorado Refining Company. They operated out of El Dorado, Kansas until the company was sold to the K-T Oil Company (they maintained operations there after the sale).

When 1958 rolled around, that company was sold American Petrofina, and the stations were then renamed to the FINA brand.

elreco back

This paperweight was made in the early 1900’s, and it still has a good amount of the original paint on it.  The great thing about this paperweight is that it’s a perfect size so that it can be used anywhere from your desk to holding down a recipe in the kitchen.

You can see this terrific paperweight in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check it out!

What in the world is an encased postage stamp?

In 1862, the United States was smack dab in the middle of a coin shortage.  It was bad, really bad.  Everything was being horded—even the cent was being stockpiled.

An American entrepreneur and inventor by the name of John Gault created something to help with this—the encased postage stamp.

The encased postage stamp is a stamp that was inserted into a small coin-size case.  This case has a transparent front or back. This type of “coin” was circulated as legal tender during periods when coins were scarce.

John Gault was pretty savvy—he saw two ways to make money off of his creation.   The first way was to sell them to businesses and stores that had a high demand for coins.  He sold his encased stamps at 20% of the face value of the stamp.

The second way that he made money was to sell the blank back of the case of the coin as advertising.  There is a minimum of thirty different companies that took up the advertising on the coins.  All of the different companies lend to find some great and different varieties on this type of coin.

Encased postage stamps circulated for about a year (until about the middle of 1863).  This is when the fractional currency released by United States Government became popular enough to help ease the coin shortage.

There were also some other factors that helped bring encased postage stamps to an end.  One reason was was that the postage stamps that were being used for this started to become unavailable.  Not only that, it cost more to buy the encased postage than what they were actually valued at in the market.

Encased postage stamps are rare today with a small fraction of the 750,000 that were originally sold surviving.

This is just one item people came up with over the years to help with coin shortages over the years.  Do you know of any other ways?