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!

Etsy Vintage Team Store Highlight: Starfish Collectibles

This week’s Etsy Vintage Team Store Highlight is Starfish Collectibles that’s run by Gwen.

Gwen has always been a collector of unique things. Her love affair with household vintage items began in her 30’s when she started shopping in second hand stores to supply stuff for her home. She discovered a whole new world that had existed before she was even born- the 1950’s and earlier! Gwen loved looking, finding, and fitting new found treasures into her home. She loves things that are cute, have character and a bit of a history.

One of the great things that Gwen has found is this terrific Whirligig.

Wood Hand Made Whirligig Man Saw Wood Folk Art Propeller Garden Outdoor Decoration Wind Toy

I love that it looks like a man sawing a piece of wood.  You can see it in Gwen’s shop here.  Another great item in the Starfish Collectibles shop is this great book by Winston S. Churchill.

Winston S. Churchill

The book is titled PAINTING AS A PASTIME and dates to the 1960’s.  You can see this great book in their shop here.

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

Sulfide marbles—what exactly are they?

Cats Eye, Steelies, and Latticino Core are all different types of marbles that you’ll run across.  One of my favorite type of marble is what’s called a sulfide.

Sulfide marbles were made from the late 1800’s into the early 1900’s.  More often than not, they are the size of a shooter.  This type of marble is made of glass with a chalk inside–and that piece comes in a wide variety of shapes from an animals, buildings, people, flowers and even numbers.

Sulphide Shooter Marble With Lamb

The most common type of glass that you’ll see is clear, but different colors like green and blue have been found.

There are some things that you need to remember when you are either starting to collect these.  Since this was a shooter (and sulfides were actually played with), there is a very good chance that there will be some surface chips or cracks in the marble.

Another thing to remember is that the chalk piece was inserted into molten glass when these were made.  The chalk piece stands a good chance of breaking in half when the marble is made.

Beware though—there are modern varieties of sulfides out on the market.  It’s easy to tell the old from the new marbles when you are looking at them.  The quality of the glass and chalk figure are of a better quality on the new marbles.  Pay attention to the chalk piece itself—it’s almost always painted on the new ones too.

What kinds of Sulfide marbles have you run across?

Etsy Vintage Team Store Highlight: mascarajones

This week’s Etsy Vintage Team Store Highlight is mascarajones that’s run by Mascara Jones. Mascara Jones is obsessed with the 1970’s and is Insane Collector and Incessant Shopper.

There are a wide variety of items in the mascarajones shop, like this terrific Modernist Lucite Jewelry Vanity Box.

jewelry box

I love the shape of this great vanity box, and it can be seen in their shop here.  Another great item in the mascarajones shop is this funky ring.


I love the combination of the sterling silver and the pearls, and the ring can be seen in their shop here.  As a matter of fact, you can check out everything in the mascarajones shop here.

Head on over and check them out!