How do you take a photograph of an item that’s round?

When you get to selling items online, you will run across a wide variety of items that are different sizes and shapes.

Round items were always a problem when I needed to take photos of them.  I was afraid that they would start rolling around (and eventually fall and break) before I could take the photo.

Because of this, I would have to hold the item and have to take terrible photos.  That is, until I came up with a simple (and very cheap) way to help take the photo.

IMG_2104.JPG

The trick is to put a rubber washer under round item.  I know it sounds silly, but it works.  The washer helps prop up the item to keep it from rolling around, and the center of the washer is open to accommodate for the round surface.

The washer that I have set aside for photographs didn’t cost me much at all—it was a couple of bucks (the good thing about it is that I have used some of the other washers around the house).

shade

The trick works on a wide variety of items, just like the lamp shade in the picture above (you can barely see the washer at the bottom of the photo).

What kinds of tricks like this do you use to help you take photos?

Advertisements

3 simple tips to remember when you sell an item online

You decided not to long ago to sell some of your items around the house, and some of your item have sold.  What are some simple tips that you need to keep in mind to help things go smoothly?

Tip number 1—when selling items online, make sure you have a scale to help weight items you are shipping.  You don’t have to worry about getting a scale from the post office—you can use a bathroom scale if it registers anything less than a pound (this will help with first class mail).

Tip number 2—make sure that you pack the items you sell as good as you can.  When I pack an item, I will use bubble wrap and packing peanuts to help keep the item I sold from getting broken.  You never know what might happen when the item is being shipped.

Tip number 3—If you are unable to get an item you sell to the Post Office, you can always schedule a pickup with them.  This can be very useful if the weather outside is bad or if you have to get to work (you can tell the post office to come where you work if it’s ok with your boss).

This is just 3 tips to remember when you sell an item.  What kinds of tips have you run across that help you out?

A little history for the Goudey Baseball cards from 1933

When 1919 rolled around, Enos Gordon Goudey started a chewing gum company called The Goudey Gum Company.  The company was in business until 1962, and they are known for chewing gum and the baseball cards that they produced.

The company and its gum was so popular that Enos Goudey was called “the penny gum king of America” by William Wrigley Jr. in 1933.

In 1933, the company dove into making baseball cards, and they released a 240-card set.  The set was also called BIG LEAGUE CHEWING GUM, and each pack that was sold came with a stick of gum.

After the set was released, the Goudey Company realized that they did not have a card #106 after collectors sent the company letters complaining that there was no card for that number.

In 1934, Goudey released a card #106, and it featured the retired player Napoleon Lajoie.  In order to get this card, you had to write to the company (they would send you one for a cent).

1

2

As you can tell from the photos, the cards had the name of the set at the bottom of the front and a little biography of the player on the back.

You need to be careful when you are out looking for cards for your set.  Since this is a popular set to collect, there are quite a few reprints and fakes of the cards—especially of Napoleon Lajoie, Babe Ruth (Babe was featured on 4 different cards) and even Lou Gehrig just to name a few.

There are many players that are in this set that have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, so a word of caution is to be taken when you are looking at a card.

Which cards have you run across?

 

What are some of the vintage serving pieces that I may not find on today’s table?

Over the years, there are new types of serving dishes that are introduced, and then there are times when a certain piece from a dinner set for the table that may fall out of favor.  What are some of the pieces that have fallen out of favor over the years that may not be on the table of today?

Cheese dish—this is a covered dish meant to store and serve a whole piece of cheese.  The bottom of this piece is a little larger than a butter dish, and you may see a small cutting board in the place of this today.

Cream soup dish—this is a two-handled bowl that comes with its own saucer and is meant to serve bouillon, a soup or even consommé (a clear soup made from a rich stock).  This type of dish could be confused with a sugar dish without the lid.

Aspic servers—these are used to serve aspic, which is a clear jelly that is made from broth. Generally, aspic is used to accent the serving of meat, and it is a lot like cranberry sauce. The aspic server has a curved and sharp end for the cutting and serving of aspic.

This is only a small sampling of what you can find.  What have you run across?

What to remember before you refinish a piece of furniture

You finally found that piece of vintage furniture that would look great in your house or apartment.  There are some things that you need to remember before you refinish the piece.

The first thing to remember is that you could be messing with the value of the piece.  With antique furniture (like items in the Chippendale era for example), there is a sizable chunk of the value of the piece invested in the original finish.  I’ve seen the value drop up to 50% when the piece of furniture was refinished.  A good rule of thumb on valuable pieces of furniture is to refrain from doing anything major yourself (dusting it off is more often the way to go).

The second thing to remember is how much it will cost to refinish and repair the piece.  I have seen furniture at auctions, flea markets and estate sales that need a good amount of repair work to go along with the refinishing.  Replacing legs, chair seats or even table tops could drive up the cost quite a bit.

The last thing to remember is how much time it will take to do the refinishing.  Over the years, I have seen a refinishing project take up to a week because of the number of steps in the process.  If you don’t have much time to begin with, you may want to stick with just stripping the old finish off and putting on some new stain.

What types of furniture have you refinished?

What are the different types of manufacturing for enamel advertising signs?

Just about every area of antiques and collectibles can be divided into several different sub categories.  It could be collecting the denomination or country of origin of coins, a certain glass company or pattern, or even a certain type of manufacturing process like majolica pottery.

This is true for enamel advertising signs, and one of the ways you can do this is the style of manufacturing of the sign itself and how it can be displayed.

The first type is a flat one-sided sign.  This style has advertising on just one side of the sign, and this would be perfect to attach to a wall or the front of a building.  With only one side having the advertising, the back will have just one color of enameling.

The second type is called a flat two-sided sign.  This style has advertising on both sides of the sign, and most of the time this type of sign will be in a stand or frame of some type to help see both sides.

The third type of sign is a flanged two-sided sign.  This type of sign has a built-in 90-degree angled mount on it that allows the sign to come out from a wall or even a side of a building.

The next type of sign is called a curved sign.  This sign will have a curve in it to go around items like a telephone pole, a street light or even the corner of a building.

Another type are gasoline pump signs, and they will advertise the brand of gas that it is.  Not only are there gasoline pump sign examples for automobile gas, there are also some examples known for marine and aviation gas known as well.

The last example is called a neon porcelain sign, and this type has neon lights on it.  This type of sign can light up and you can see the sign better at night, and the most notable type is on a movie theater.  You could also find this hanging in a window of a business.

What types of enamel advertising sings have you run across?

What you need to know when you set up an antique booth

You start to look around the house and you notice that you have quite a few things that you have collected that you now want to sell.  You know that the items are too expensive for a garage sale, and you don’t have the time to list the items for sale online.

What do you do now?

A booth in an antique mall or a flea market is a wonderful way to help you make some money and clear out some of those things that you have around the house.  There are some things that you need to know before for jump into renting a booth.

The first thing you need to do is to find the perfect place for you to set up a booth at.  This could be at a place that you love to shop at or even heard of.  The best thing to keep in mind is to see if that place has a pretty good amount of foot traffic going through it.  This will help you have more potential sales.

Another thing you need to know is if the antique mall or flea market requires you to stay a certain amount of time.  It’s rare for this to happen in the area that I live in–you can shut down the booth after just one month if you want to.

More often than not, you will need to pay for your first month’s rent on the booth.  I’ve seen the rent cost anywhere from $35 for a small booth or showcase all the way up to $300 for a large booth.

The place that you want to rent a booth at may charge you a commission on every item you sell.  You need to ask if they do, and even how much the commission is (I’ve seen it around 10% of the selling price of the item).

You might be able to opt out of the commission; the mall might charge you a little more on the rent of the booth to cover this commission.

The mall will require you to have a number—this will help the mall separate out who sold what.  This will be done the day that you set up the booth, but don’t worry—the mall will have a list of what numbers the other dealers have so there is no confusion.

A word of advice—look to see what kind of tags the dealers are using (a piece of tape may not be wanted at the mall).  One thing that I have seen a lot of is a piece of paper cut into a small square tied on with twine or ribbon.

Good luck and lots of sales to you!