The boys of summer…in 1956?

The 1956 TOPPS baseball cards have been a favorite of mine for many years now.  There are quite a few of players that you can find in this set—Jackie Robinson and Al Rosen are just two of them.

1956 topps

When TOPPS came on the sports cards scene in the early 1950’s, they competed with another company named BOWMAN.

When 1956 rolled around, TOPPS bought out BOWMAN.  The wonderful thing that happened for the collectors was that all of the players were featured in just one set.  In the years before 1956, you could only find certain players on BOWMAN cards, while other players were just on TOPPS cards.

Collectors today also look for varieties in the set.  Two of the more famous verities deal the back of the cards with one being called “white back” (this is a white or cream color) and the other is called the “gray back” (this has more of a gray color).

A word of advice though—these cards are a little larger than today’s cards.  Be careful if you want to put these in pages for a three-ring binder (the cards won’t fit).  You may have to buy some pages for these to fit in.

You can see all of the 1956 TOPPS baseball cards that the Etsy Vintage Team has for sale here.

You can also see the card that is featured above in the Wisdom Lane Antiques Etsy shop here.  Have you ever run into these cards?

Furniture terms that could make you think they mean something else

Like pretty much every area in the vintage and collectible world, furniture has its own vocabulary.  There are even words and phrases out there that would make you think they mean something completely different.  Here’s a few of them:

Dovetail—this is a term in wood working that’s used to designate a method of joinery. This is used a lot to join corners of drawers and cabinets.  It’s a series of cuts to make a tenon or tongue that looks the shape of a dove’s tail that interlocks with alternating similar cuts piece of wood.

Vitrine—this is a French term for display or china cabinet.  This type of cabinet has large sections made out of glass so that you can show off the items stored inside.

Escutcheon—this is an ornament plate that surrounds a keyhole on a piece of furniture or a door.  These plates come in a wide variety of motifs.

This is only a tiny amount of what is out there.  What have you heard?

How long is too long to list an item?

One of the questions that you will ask yourself whenever you are selling online can stop you in your tracks—how long is too long to list an item?

From my own personal experiences, you can list the item from one to four months (that’s depending on the site you are on).  These sites will charge you a small fee not only to list the item but to renew the listing as well.  The renewal fees itself can add up pretty fast, cutting into your profits once the item sells.

What I do is I look at the listing to see what I can change—a better description or title and even different pictures can go a long way to help sell the item.  There have been quite a few of the items that I have sold online that I have done these tricks too that help sell them.

The next thing that I do is I look at the price and lower it a little if I feel that will help.  Don’t lower the price too much—it could mean that you would take a loss on it when you make a sale.

I usually don’t let any listing that I have online be renewed more than five or six times.  After renewing that many times, I take the listing down and I will combine it with something else to help sell it faster.  If I have a set of Tupperware measuring cups that looks like they are not going to sell by themselves, I will take that listing down and combine those measuring cups with something like a set of Tupperware measuring spoons.

One other thing that you might want to consider is switching the listing to offer free shipping if your profits are high enough on the listing.

How long the listing is active also depends on what the item is (like a car or furniture) or how expensive it is.  Both may play into how long the listing is active.

What do you do to help sell the items you have up for sale?

At what price do you walk away from a piece?

One of the first questions you ask yourself when you are out shopping for antiques is at what price do you walk away from a piece?  It’s a very simple question that every collector and dealer ask themselves, sometimes even on a daily basis.

It doesn’t matter if you are looking at a piece of pottery, a coin or even an advertising piece.  This question will be asked on pretty much everything that you look at.

A good rule of thumb that I use is I ask myself how much I can actually sell the item for.  I then try to pay half for the item (if I can sell it for $20, I try to buy it for $10).

The reason that I only pay half for the item is that this gives me a good cushion to cover any expenses that I happen to run across.

Some of these expenses that you also have to factor in is the cost of shipping materials like the box, packing peanuts bubble wrap and even tape.  Even the cost of the shipping label also must be considered.

There are also fees that you pay to the selling site whenever you sell an item (you usually will have to deal with these at the start of the month).

When I am looking at a piece, I also look to see if I need to make any repairs or even do something like rewire it or replace parts.  This will definitely drive up the price of the item and eat into (and potentially eat up) any profits that could be made.

What do you consider when you look at the price of an item?

Etsy Vintage Team Store Highlight: KitschyVintage

This week’s Etsy Vintage Team Store Highlight is KitschyVintage that’s run by Anne.

Anne began collecting as soon as she could walk.  It started with pretty rocks (what kid doesn’t like those?) and toads & salamanders, but quickly graduated to penny machine prizes (remember rat-finks?), trolls and comic books.

She has always loved old things, old stories, family history (her husband calls it ‘ancestor worship’) and the link that vintage and antique things have to the past.

Anne loves to go to flea markets, estate sales, thrift shops and the occasional curb-side.  She’s not above dumpster-diving and should have a bumper sticker that reads ‘I Brake for Other People’s Trash’!  Often the cast-off and forgotten hides a nugget of wonderful-ness that just needs to be found.

One of those great nuggets is this great plastic cheese server with Mouse handle on the top.

Plastic Cheese Server with Mouse Metal Handles Covered Cheese Tray

The cheese server dates to the 1960’s, and it can be found in the KitschyVintage shop here.  Another great item in Anne’s shop is this great Vintage Androck Whipper with a glass jar.

Vintage Androck Whipper in Glass Jar

The Whipper dates from the 1930’s to the 1940’s and would be great for making cream, mayonnaise or even beating eggs.  You can see it in the shop here.

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

Getting out of your comfort zone can be a good thing

When you are buying items to sell either online or in your shop, getting a little out of your comfort zone can be a good thing.

What do I exactly mean by this?  This could be considering an item when you know absolutely nothing about it.  If it’s cheap enough, you could go ahead and buy it so that you can learn something and earn a little of a profit when you sell it.

It could be anything, really.  It could be a book, a piece of Fiesta pottery, a Fenton glassware piece or even an advertising piece.

When I started to sell items, I knew absolutely nothing about clothing (except for what I found at Walmart).  After a while, I had a decent working knowledge of what brand names are out on the market.  Not only that, I now offer a wide variety of clothing from earrings and necklaces to prom dresses and even designer shoes.

So keep an eye out—you may find something today that you can learn from!  What kinds of items have you run across like this?

There are many different types of tables to consider decorating with

Dinner tables, coffee tables and even side tables can be seen in pretty much every house nowadays.  Did you know there are many, many different types of tables that you can decorate your house or apartment with?  Here’s a few for you to consider:

Flip-top table—This is a table that has two leaves, and the leaves are one on top of the other.

Pie-crust table—This is a small, round table having a top with its edge carved or molded in scallops. This type of table is common in 18th-century English furniture.

Gate-leg table—A gate-leg table is a type of table that was first introduced in England in the 16th century. The table top has a fixed section and one or two hinged leaves on the sides.  This type of table also has two legs that swing out to hold the leaves up.  When the leaves are not in use, the legs fold in and the leaves fold down below the fixed section and hang vertically.

This is just a small sampling of what’s out there.  What kinds of tables have you run across or have used?