Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Getting Out of the Gate with Antiques, Collectibles & Paintings
Talking each day and sharing with you gets me so excited, I usually can't wait for the next day to roll around. Telling stories of sales bringing in tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands gets my blood pumping. It's like being back in that race car in the days I thought I might someday race in the Daytona 500.
But Cindy brought me back to earth yesterday. She told me, "Daryle it's okay to talk about all the items in the way high range, but let's take care of today and first help people get out of the gate." I understood. I was getting caught up in the excitement of where I wanted to take you all. That's why it's good to have a partner who can douse you with a bucket of cold water when you need it.
I've given you plenty of information and insight about the path we'll be heading down, so let's focus on getting you out of the gate. When a horse jumps out of the starting gate, they take very short strides until they are underway. That's the way it is in the race you are beginnng. After you've take a few strides, then it's easier to put it in drive and sail along until you get near the finish line.
Let's spend your first $100, and then, the money each later buy and sell creates for you. I'll spend more of our time here writing about the kinds of items you'll be starting out with as you climb the steps toward the more rare and valuable items. You see, it's those early steps that will provide the seed money that will eventually produce the funds that will enable you to be well taken care of in your golden years (or way before that if you are diligent.)
So rather than talking about Tiffany, Daum Nancy or even Stueben, let's talk less expensive glass, pottery and porcelain. Like Carnival Glass. Names like McCoy, Haeger and Frankoma. These first steps can be taken in anything you find that you can buy low and sell high. Things like comic books, political memorabilia, vintage Christmas items, vintage kitchen ware, vintage cook books. I've written about some these during the year, so scroll back if you're new to the Blog and the 31 Club.
If you'll remember, our member, Vicki H. purchased six boxes of vintage phonograph needles for her first step. She spent $100, and she divided them up by manufacturer, then sold them individually on eBay, making herself about $800. Mike, from Vancouver Island, was working on his first step and found a bagful of vintage sterling bridle rosettes he paid $30 for. He sold one of the rosettes for $183.
While there are rare pieces of Carnival Glass listed, like the People's vase for $50,000, there are far less expensive and more common pieces listed for around $200, too. While you are studying, you will begin to recognize the more common pieces from the valuable ones, and if more common items appear at a sale and meet the requirements to be purchased, this would be a good place to start. For example, if the most current price guide shows $200, then you should add it to your inventory if you can get it for $50 or less. Remember, the goal is to, at the very least, double your money.
Glass, pottery, porcelain and even paintings can be used to complete your first step, so let's take a look at some pottery that can get you started. McCoy, Haeger, Frankoma, and many others are pottery you're more likely to encounter. If you'll buy a pottery and porcelain price guide -- one of those big thick ones, you'll be able to see just how many makes of pottery there are out there. These guides can serve you well. Don't forget to look up some of these names on eBay and do a completed listing search to see what some of these items look like and sell for.
You might find a Haeger Blue Dog figurine at a garage sale, because you'll have recognized the name. Today's Photo shows a Royal Haeger Collie figurine that sold a couple days ago on eBay for $108.28. There were 11 bidders. Familiarize yourself with the different types of items these companies produced.
You might run across a McCoy cookie jar, even the McCoy Harley Hog made in 1984. In my 2001 guide, that cookie jar lists for $155. Do you think you might find something like this at a garage or yard sale? You bet. Do a search of "McCoy cookie jar" on eBay in completed listings and see what prices come up.
When you get a good price guide, frequently studying the manufacturer names will etch these names into your mind. A method of study that Cindy uses is to make flash cards. She started with 5 names, and every couple of days, she adds three more and reviews them them all. Then she quizzes herself.
At a sale, When you come across an item whose name you recognze, or that you can recognize on sight, you'll feel great and you can say, "Aha, I know that." Keep the price guide with you in the car. If you have internet access on a lap top or phone, that helps, too. And don't forget -- if you see something you think might be of value, pick it up and claim it as yours. You can always have someone set it aside for you while you check your guide back in the car.
Paintings can often be found at garage and estate sales. Though most may not be listed artists, you can still make money during your early steps with these items. I see many of my friends buying paintings for $25-$35 on Friday and Saturday, then, at the local auction house on Tuesday, there they are awaiting auction that week. These often bring in $250 - $450 for a quality piece. Not a bad return for two days. I've even known dealer friends of mine who have picked up a painting for $35 and it turned out to be the work of a listed artist and sold for thousands.
When attractive paintings showing some quality are found at garage sales, it might well be worth the risk to buy them, and turn the pieces quickly at a local auction. There are always people looking for decorative art.
As you get started on your 31 Steps, I am just as interested in helping you with these kinds of items, as I am in the items you find down the road.
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