Etsy Vintage Team Store Highlight: Kultur

This week’s Etsy Vintage Team Store Highlight is Kultur based in Carmel Valley, California.

Kultur is the Etsy shop of two European transplants to California’s Central Coast.  One is a finder and describer, the other is the shipper when not functioning as a feeder of beasties.

Kultur is the word for ‘culture’ in German and most Scandinavian languages.  The shop examines the treasures of culture past. The goodies that are special enough to make us smile or even grin are presented in their shop.  Sometimes it almost feels like they are an adoption agency finding new homes for orphaned vintage items.

One of these great items is this great silk scarf.


The scarf was made in the 1950’s by VERA, and I love the orange and gold color on it.  You can see the scarf in their shop here.  Another great find in the Kultur shop is great book from the 1910’s.

Uncle Wigglys airship

The book is titled “Uncle Wiggily’s Airship” and was written by Howard R. Garis.  This copy is a first edition, and the book can be seen in their shop here.

As a matter of fact, you can check out everything in the Kultur shop here.  Head on over and check them out!

Two Cents worth? Yep.

Did you know that there was actually a 2 cent coin that was produced by the United States mint?

2 cent coin
Photo is courtesy of

The Two Cent piece officially ran from 1864 to 1872, but there was a copy made for collectors in 1873.

The economic turmoil of the American Civil War caused any and all government-issued coins to vanish from circulation, they were hoarded very heavily by the public. Even the Indian Head cent—which was made of bronze—was pretty much gone from circulation.  The Coinage Act Of 1864 authorized the cent to switch to a bronze composition and the production of the Two Cent coin.

Even though there were other mints actively producing coins at the time, this coin was only produced at the mint based in Philadelphia.  What this means is that there will not be a mint mark anywhere–which is the way this mint was marking the coins until 1980.

Two of the more famous die varieties happened in 1864.  One is called the “large motto,” and the other is called the “small motto.”  These two varieties deal with the motto, “In God We Trust.”  The words IN, GOD, and TRUST has some small differences, while the word WE has the most differences.  It all hinges on the size of it, and it is very noticeable.  The WE on “large motto” is larger than the WE on the “small motto.”


2 cent coin large motto
This is the LARGE MOTTO variety, the photo is courtesy of
2 cent coin small motto
This is the SMALL MOTTO variety, the photo is courtesy of

The “small motto” is much scarcer than the “large motto.”  The best idea is to keep an eye out for it in case you might walk across a case full of coins at a mall, or happen to be at a coin shop or show.

Have you seen one of these really cool coins?

Shipping practices as an online seller

Over the years, I’ve bought quite a few items on Etsy and on other selling sites. The sellers have quite a few different policies on shipping. It could be shipping the same day you buy it, and I have seen sellers take what they sell to the post office only once a week.

So here’s my question: what’s the best policy to have when it comes to shipping? Is it one trip to the post office a day or even once a week?

Bill and Kerry Atkins from the BatnKatArtifacts shop say they used to ship in 3-5 business days and make bi-weekly trips to the post office, which is 12 miles away. About a year ago, they changed their policy to ship within 1-2 business days. At the same time, they started scheduling free package pickups with USPS during regular delivery. Best decision ever! Not only has this their boosted sales, but it has also reduced their stress level tremendously. Customers love the fast turnaround as well.

The stonebridgeworks shop says that they’re on a rural route but we’re very close to town. They can get a fairly large package in their big mailbox or take it to the Post Office if they are going that way.  They try to ship on the same day so having boxes ready is important. They often use USPS flat-rate or their 7×7 and 12×12 shipping boxes. You can order all of these in bulk online and that saves time and hassle.

When I sell an item through the Wisdom Lane Antiques shop (either here on Etsy or other sites), I try to ship it within a day so that it can get to the buyer as fast as possible (even if it means handing it to the post man when he drops off my mail).

You can also see more shipping practices from more Etsy Vintage Team members here.  What works for you when you sell an item online?

Storage ideas for your collection

Where and how do I store my collection?  This can be a tough question to answer, especially if you are new to the collecting world.  Here are some ideas for you to consider for storage.

The first one to consider is what type of collection that you have.  If you are trying to put a set of dishes together, you can get a china hutch or cabinet.  These are more than big enough to store a set of dishes, and the great thing is that you can show it off as well.

If you have an advertising collection, it all depends on how big the pieces are.  If it’s signs, you can display them either leaning against or on the wall itself.  If the pieces are smaller, you could have them on something like a book shelf.

If the collection is something like trading cards (like baseball or football), you can get some pages that hold them and store them in a three-ring binder.  If you had the cards graded and they are encapsulated, there are storage boxes that can hold them.  You could even get a vintage box that’s made of metal or wood to put them in as well.

There are many ways to store your collection.  How do you store yours?

Some things to consider when you start a collection

So you’ve decided to start collecting vintage items.  There are so many ways to go about it—you could restore the items you collect, or it even could be a collection of something like folk art or even pottery.  The real question is where do you start?

Whenever you start a collection, there are some things that you need to consider before you dive head first into it.  The first thing that I would do is to decide on an area that interests me and I would love to collect.  It could be McCoy pottery, depression glass, clocks, advertising items or even lunch boxes.

There is a phrase in coin collecting that goes “buy the book before you buy the coin.”  That applies to just about any area of collection, really.  More often than not, you can find a value guide at a book store or even an antique mall.  This gives you a good idea on what’s out in the market and even a price range on the items.

Once you have settled on an area to collect and have picked up a value guide, you need to figure out a budget on what you can spend on your collection.  What I do is I figure out what I can spend every month and I set aside some spending money for my collection.

After all of this, head on out and see what you can find.  You never know where you will find pieces—it could be at an antique mall, flea market, thrift store or even at a swap meet or a garage sale.  It’s fun for me to see where these items turn up.

Here’s a little piece of advice for you: I would create a checklist (either a physical one or one on something like your smartphone) and carry it around with you.  This way you know what you are looking for when you are out shopping.

Happy hunting and I hope that you find many treasures for your collection!

What are some good shipping practices as an online seller?

Over the years, I’ve bought quite a few items on Etsy and on other selling sites. The sellers have quite a few different policies on shipping. It could be shipping the same day you buy it, and I have seen sellers take what they sell to the post office only once a week.

So here’s my question: what’s the best policy to have when it comes to shipping? Is it one trip to the post office a day or even once a week?

The merrysunshine shop always tries to ship the next day, even though their policy reads 1-3 days. (Every once in awhile something comes up and they don’t get it out the next day so they don’t want to be dinged for not adhering to their policy.)

They are very lucky to live about 4 blocks from our post office, so next day isn’t a problem for the shop.  They do not like to wait when they purchase an item and once a week shippers are usually passed by in favor of faster shippers.

The RattyAndCatty shop has a shipping policy is 3-5 days, but they usually ship next day. Having the option to take up to 5 days came in really handy this past winter when both of the people that run the shop came down with the flu and could hardly drag themselves out of bed.

For them, setting our buyers expectation at 3-5 day for shipping, then over performing by getting the package out quickly, the buyer is usually happily surprised with it arrives so quickly.

Amy and Sean of the Pistilbooks shop ship twice a week – Mondays and Thursdays.  Their default shipping is Media Mail, which most buyers of books are used to and is not super fast, so immediate shipping is usually not expected from our buyers.  They have had customers ask for quicker methods occasionally – usually for a gift – and they can make other arrangements for priority or even overnight if requested.

What works for you when you sell an item online?

What do you do when you attend an auction?

So you have decided to go and see what goes on at an auction.  You scouted out the perfect one, and have even showed up about 30 minutes before it started.  Now what do you do?

The first thing that you need to do is to register to get a bidder’s number.  More often than not, the auction company will have a special area set up for just this purpose.  All that you need to is to show the auction company a valid ID and supply a phone number, and you have a biding number.  What this is for is to let the auction company know who you are and even able to contact you if something arises (like if something that you bought gets left behind).

Whenever I have attended an auction, this will only take a few minutes at most, and it doesn’t cost me anything to do so.

The next thing that you will want to do is to look at the merchandise that’s in the sale.  Getting to the auction a few minutes before it starts will help you look over the items to see what’s there and to see what kind of condition that it’s in.

Make sure that you listen to what the auctioneers say at the very beginning of the auction when they make their announcements.  This will let you know what will happen during the course of the auction and what will be sold first.

So, have some fun when you go to auctions and see what’s out there!