When I started to buy and sell pottery, there were some terms that I picked up pretty fast that I use quite often. These terms are pretty common and help describe the manufacturing process of the piece. Here’s some of the terms:
Pinholes—these are faults in the surface of a ceramic body (or even the glaze) that resemble pin pricks. These are not very big at all, and there is usually no other damage around them. Air bubbles are the most common culprit that causes these.
Bloating—this is the permanent swelling of a ceramic piece during the firing in a kiln. It’s caused by the expansion of gases like air not being able to escape out of the piece.
Iron oxide—this is a common oxide in glazes and some clays that generally gives the item a reddish color.
Biscuit pottery—this is also called Bisque pottery. This is pottery that has been fired, but no glaze has been applied to the piece.
This is only a few of the terms out there. What have you heard?
This week’s Etsy Vintage Team Store Highlight is LaKimonoya that’s run by Isabelle.
The first time Isabelle came to Japan, she fell in love with the local flea markets, kimonos, haoris, kakemonos. She loves Japanese vintage items, their uniqueness in color, touch and designs. Isabelle has lived in Japan for few years now and feels very lucky that enjoying those became a part of their daily life!
One of the items in the LaKimonoya shop is this terrific Japanese long Kimono.
I love the wine red leaf pattern that is on it, and you can see this terrific item in their shop here. Another great item in the LaKimonoya shop is this great Lacquered Wood Lunch Box.
This great 1970’s lacquered wood lunch box was originally aimed for festive food presentation (something like New Year’s celebrations or even for a wedding). It could also be great storing little treasures, and you can see it in their shop here.
As a matter of fact, you can check out everything in the LaKimonoya shop here. Head on over and check them out!
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 do 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!
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?