My Weekly Score: Cine Kodak

This was a pretty neat vintage find. We knew it was a camera of some sort, but we didn’t know any specifics about it. We got it for $17.50.

It turns out that this is a movie camera from the 1920’s. It is called the Cine Kodak Model B and was made by the Eastman Company. We had the camera, the original case, a box of Ednalite filter adapters, and some slips of paper with information on them.

The condition wasn’t fantastic. The case was worn and the strap was only attached on one end. The camera looked fine, but we had no way of testing it. If someone wanted this, they’d definitely be taking a chance.

Well, it turns out that someone was willing to take that chance! Or maybe they even knew how to repair it if it turned out that it didn’t work. Either way, in the end, we pulled in $86.00 for this awesome find. That was a well invested $17.50!

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Word of the Week: Goofus Glass

This strange term is equaled only by the strangeness of the item itself. The history is not very well known, and there are many theories as to where the actual expression came from. But it doesn’t really matter, because Goofus glass is cool.

Goofus glass was made of pressed glass that was decorated with an unfired paint.

This was a giant 19" platter that we recently sold. The center was definitely all painted at one point, and it's possible around the edges was too.

Pretty simple, right? So, where does it get complicated?

Well, here’s the thing. This was considered a precursor to carnival glass or (depending on your source) as a cheaper method in answer to carnival glass. It was often given out at fairs as prizes because it was glitzy, but also incredibly cheap to make. The problem, however, was that the “cold” paint (meaning the color wasn’t fired into the glass like carnival glass) flaked off too easily. Some say that someone “goofed” up thinking that this would work or that manufacturer’s were trying to “goof” buyers into thinking it was carnival glass.

The history is notoriously undocumented, but it really matters very little. Why?

Because Goofus glass is cool.

(Whoa. Déjà vu.)

Here's a closeup of the center. You can see that some of the paint is missing.

I like Goofus glass because the paint is on the underside of the piece, which allows the top to be smooth and clean. The colors are generally red and gold, and are really quite classy looking. It’s also extremely difficult to find a piece that doesn’t have some or most of its paint already chipped away. If you’ve got a piece of Goofus glass that is fairly intact, you could have a pretty valuable item in your hands.

If you’re selling Goofus glass, be aware that not only is the glass fragile, but the paint is too. Take care that you don’t wipe it away when you’re trying to clean or dust it.

Here's the underside of the platter. As you can see, it's red here and this is where the paint was applied. Be careful when cleaning it off, because it flakes really easily!

How to Sell: Wade Figurines

I love Wade figurines. I don’t know what it is about them, but I really enjoy buying, researching, and selling them. Maybe it’s the cute little designs or the beautiful colors.

And at least I know I’m not alone. There are a lot of diehard Wade collectors out there. And you know what that means? There’s a lot of diehard Wade collectors who are willing to buy their next figurine from YOU.

We had 250+ pieces here and just couldn't afford to list them individually anymore. We got rid of them in one giant lot!

This is a nice little niche to get into because it overlaps a lot of different fields. Of course you have your Wade collectors, but don’t forget about your Anglophiles (these were made in England, after all). And what about someone who LOVES penguins? There’s a Wade for that (or two or three…). What if your brother just joined the circus? Yep, Wade has a whole series of characters!

And the best part yet is that Wade figurines can make you money. Lots of money, if you know what you’re doing. Just like with costume jewelry, you probably won’t get a $100 profit off of each piece, but all the small sales will start adding it up. If you find them interesting like I do, it’ll be well worth your time!

What exactly are Wade figurines?

In 1810 a workshop called George Wade Pottery cropped up in England. It sold bottles and pieces of pottery. When this didn’t turn out to be as profitable as they had hoped, they turned their attention to ceramics. The company started making figurines and everything took off! After a little snag in the production of these cute pieces (the glaze flaked off after a while), they finally found a formula that worked.

Apparently some were used in pubs and kitchens as a way to light a match – that’s why the bottoms have ridges! These were also perfect for kids, or for adults who just loved to collect them. They started showing up in Red Rose Tea and have been a wonderful collector item since!

So, how do I buy these things?

In lots, like many small items. You’ll get the best prices that way. If you do buy them individually, make sure you don’t pay more than a dollar or two for each one. You can find these in antique stores all over the place, and they’re usually only being sold for a low amount. I think the reason why they’re so cheap in stores is because antique shops don’t have a wide audience. Selling Wades on eBay is going to be a lot more profitable.

Okay, then how do I sell them?

This is completely up to you. If you’ve got a full set, I highly recommend selling it that way. Some people like the hunt for individual pieces, but I think most would rather get them all in one place. If you’ve got individuals, you can sell them that way, too. We usually get around $8-$10 a piece for them. If you’d rather group them, try assembling a set for those in the same series or those that you think would complement each other – all cats, all bears, all people, etc.

There are some helpful websites out there that will allow you to identify the pieces. ALL Wades have a name and have a series that they belong to. This is vital information for a seller, as buyers will more than likely be looking for something specific. Here are two sites that should help get you started:

My Wades World (This site is great for figuring out names/series, but does not have a lot of pictures.)

Red Rose Tea (This site is direct from the manufacturer. They don’t have everything, but they do have pictures and names.)

(And if that doesn’t work, just Google a description of the figurine. You should be able to find something that way.)

Lastly, make sure you describe your figurine to a T. Buyers will want to make sure that there are no cracks or chips. Wades often have small irregularities called “factory flaws,” but this shouldn’t affect the sale. Make sure you mention it anyway, though. Color can sometimes be the difference between two identical designs that were actually made in different years. The colors are specific, such as “honey” versus “beige.” The more you work with them, the more you’ll be able to tell the difference.

I’ve found that the figurines will more realistic coloring (as opposed to a single solid color) sell better.

This has realistic coloring, plus comes with the original box - always a plus!

And, shipping is easy, right?

You betcha! Any tiny little box will do the trick. These aren’t super fragile, so unless someone stomps on it, it shouldn’t break in transit. It should only cost a dollar or two to ship it to anywhere in the continental US. I’d suggest including the shipping in your sell price as an added benefit for the buyer.

So, what’s the bottom line?

The bottom line is this: Wade figurines are easy to buy and easy to sell. Doing the research can be time consuming in the beginning, but once you start learning what the pieces are, it’ll be super easy. You can stock these and have multiples quantities of each, and replenish them as they sell. Your fees might start adding up if you list them all individually, though, so you might want to consider grouping them together. If you stock a lot of Wades and become known as having many different kinds, I’m sure you’ll start seeing them fly off the shelves. Wade figurines are just as popular today as they were when they first came out. The demand is there, you just have to find your buyer.

You can't tell from the picture, but this actually has a "recessed" (indented) bottom. These seem to be slightly more collectible than flat-bottomed Wades.

Good luck!

My Weekly Score: Stoddard’s Lectures

We’ve scored a lot of really great finds in box lots at auctions. Box lots – for those of you that may not have experienced the wonder that is going to an auction – are boxes filled with miscellaneous items that are then auctioned off for a price per box. For example, you bid the amount you would be willing to pay for a single box. If you win the bid, you get to pick as many boxes as you want at that price. This continues until all the boxes are gone.

So, what’s so great about box lots? It’s true that the items in them might not necessarily be worth a fortune. Most of the time they’re things the auction house doesn’t want to take the time to sell individually. However, sometimes the auction house might not know what they have. Or maybe they don’t think it’ll sell well if it goes up on its own. In either case, you might be able to buy an incredibly valuable item for an extremely low price.

We have two finds that came out of box lots that are our favorites to talk about. The first one was an original Monopoly game from 1935 – still wrapped! – that we were able to sell for $350. The other was a silver bell that was part of a collectible series. We almost gave it to the birds to play with, but it’s a good thing we didn’t…we were able to sell it for $500! Both of these items came from a box in which we only paid about $4 for the entire contents.

Now that’s a deal!

While we didn’t score anything that big this time around, the box lot of books that we landed a week or two ago did produce a nice surprise: a complete set of books titled Stoddard’s Lectures.

The series has ten volumes that discuss various countries and are packed with all sorts of interesting information. It also comes with five supplemental books. All are hardcover and were copyrighted in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. The covers even have genuine leather accents along the spine and across the corners.

After breaking out the contents of the box, we ended up only paying $2 for this set. Even if we sold the books for $1 a copy, this would still be a great profit (have I said, yet, that I love box lots?). But, we did MUCH better than that. Our final price was $78.51 for this beautiful set.

Keep your eyes open for these books at antique shops and yard sales – you might be able to get a nice little profit from them. Remember that having the complete set is ALWAYS better than having just a few books.

Word of the Week: Cased Glass

Cased glass is a piece of glass that has two or more layers in different colors.

Of course, it’s not always that simple, either. (What’s life without some controversy?) Some collectors consider casing to be only when there is more than a single extra layer of glass. They call pieces with just one extra layer “plating.” There’s also a difference in technique. While casing is done on the blow pipe, plating is actually done after the piece is made.

For the purposes of this blog and eBay, though, let’s just stick with the initial definition that’s says casing is layered glass that happens to be in different colors.

Now, here’s some cool examples:

This is a bride's bowl which features pink and white glass, inside of a layer of clear glass.

Fenton Silvercrest Bowl in Spanish Lace pattern.

Same bowl as above, but with a close-up of the crimped edges.

Fenton Silvercrest basket.

Same basket as above, but with a close-up of the crimped edges.

I usually try to look for the part along the edge where it looks like one layer of glass is “encased” in another. That’s a pretty good indication that what you have is cased glass.

Hope this helps!

How to Sell: Clothing

Now, we’ve rarely sold a piece of clothing for a whole lot of money, but there are definitely bucks to be made in this category. The best thing about selling clothing is that it is easy to buy, easy to list, and easy to ship! Just because you can’t always hit a home run with this category, doesn’t mean you should ignore it completely.

Where to Buy

Buying clothes is easy because you can find them just about anywhere: department stores, discount stores, Goodwill, antique stores, and yard sales. For obvious reasons, you probably won’t find great deals in department stores, unless they’re having a killer sale. Discount shops like thrift stores are great because most of the clothing is new or gently used. Antique stores might be a little more expensive, but you can usually come across some unique finds. Yard sales are great price-wise, but you have to watch out for condition – make sure there are no holes or stains!

How to Buy

Always look for big name brands! This is very, very important. You can try to sell clothes from WalMart all you want, but brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs, or Banana Republic are going to do much better. Some of the lesser known brands will sell too, but we’ve been having a lot more trouble with brands like Old Navy or American Eagle. It’s best to stick with the good stuff.

This is a nightdress from Missoni. Missoni is a HUGE name and can sell really well if you get your hands on the right items.

Material is important too. If it’s made out of genuine leather, buy it! It can be worth a lot of money. And while we’re speaking about information you can find right on the tag, let’s mention where the item was made. Places like China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan have very little pull for buyers. However, places like the USA (to an extent), England, and India have higher standards and will do much better.

Also check for logos that may be printed on the clothes – is it a Scooby-Doo shirt? Is it a Giants jacket? Is it a pair of sweatpants that says “Team Edward” down the side? Selling to a niche market will be more lucrative and probably keep the same people coming back for more.

Lastly, a lot of yard sales will have deals like, “fill a bag for $5!” This is great to do! You can roll up your clothes and fit a lot into a single bag, and it’s also a great way to get some higher end stuff for a much cheaper price if you’re able to take this route.

How to Sell

Selling clothing is easy! First off, make sure that you have your stuff in the right category. Although I can’t say that I know the numbers on this, I do think that categories for clothing are more important than almost any of the other categories. Think about it. If you’re looking for something super specific, you’re not going to click through the countless categories to find it. You’re going to type it into the search box and boom, it’s there at your fingertips. But what girl knows exactly what she wants when she goes out shopping? We love to look, and on eBay this means we’re probably going to go by category: Women’s > Shoes > Size 11 (what? I have big feet) and then find a style we like. Therefore, make sure your clothes are in an ideal category.

Buy brand names and, if you can, buy them NEW.

Next, you want to make sure your title will bring in as many people as possible. (Again, you always want this…but it’s more important when selling clothing.) The number one rule is this: make sure you state what you’re selling. I know it seems super obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rattled off a list of fabulous keywords and forgot to put the most important one in there: “shirt.” Oops. Also, be specific when you list colors – if the shirt is purple, also mention if it’s lavender or plum (or something in between). Someone might be trying to find a specific color to match another piece of clothing they have. Lastly, a lot of people search by size. I usually try to spell it out and put an abbreviation in there (ie. extra large and XL).

And now that I’ve said all of that, I’m going to take some of it back…kind of.

Item specifics are huge for buyers in this category because it allows them to narrow down their search field to something a lot more specific to their wants. This is especially true if they didn’t think about typing some of that information in the search box initially. If you don’t have the item specifics filled out, your items will not show up after the buyer has narrowed his or her search down. In the clothing category, at least, some item specifics are now required. Make sure you fill out these and as many other ones as possible.

So, here’s the part that I’m sort of taking back – if you’re listing information in your item specifics, you don’t necessarily have to list it in your title too. Item specifics are searchable, so technically you’d be wasting valuable space if you put that info in the title, too. HOWEVER, sometimes people just scroll down through the listings and glance at the titles. If you don’t have “XL” or “Plum” or “Dress” in your title, they could skip over your listing entirely.

Sometimes brand names don't matter if the piece is really cute!

So, what am I actually trying to say? Pick and choose. Put your most important keywords in your title, but don’t be afraid to leave some out and just add them into your item specifics below. Both places are searchable and more than likely you’re going to come up in the search results if you build a strong title and fill out your specifics.

The last big thing is the description. Always describe your clothing as specifically as possible, especially colors and pattern. When talking about colors, be specific. There’s nothing worse than trying to find a pair of aqua pants with daisies on them and getting them and realizing they’re actually turquoise with sunflowers.

😉

But seriously. Color and pattern are important. So is condition. If there’s a stain, make sure you mention it. If it’s small enough, most of the time it won’t matter. The buyer may even have a trick to remove it. And let’s not forget that holes are so in right now. You might be surprised at what will sell. Make sure you mention material and size, too. I ALWAYS put in the dimensions in addition to the listed size because different companies have different sizing charts.

(For pants, I include the waist, inseam, and rise measurements. For shirts I list the length, bust, and sleeve length. For dresses I include length, bust, waist (if it’s fitted), and sleeve length.)

Think seasonal. Hawaiian shirts with big floral patterns tend to sell pretty well in the Spring and Summer months. (On the flip side, remember that while it's winter here in the US, it's summer in Australia. You can list any type of clothing year-round!)

The best part of about selling clothing is that it is wanted all around the world, so you have a HUGE audience. There are a lot of developing countries that try to emulate American culture and will snatch up popular name brands. And shipping is easy! Most items are small enough to fit in an envelope and light enough to go First Class.

There you have it! It’s a bit general, but if you’re just venturing into the world of selling clothes online, this will be a good place to start. If you want to only sell clothing, or at least make that your main income, I suggest narrowing the field down and trying really hard to stick with a certain brand name or theme. It’ll make it easier on you as far as listing goes, and your customers will probably return to your store if they know that’s what you sell.

Good luck!

And as always, if you have any questions or comments, please leave a message below! I make it a point to respond to as many people as I can.

My Weekly Score: Pewter Measuring Cups

We picked up these neat measuring cups at our local auction house for $10. They’re made of pewter, so we figured they’d be worth a little bit of money. They’re pretty medieval looking and would make a great addition to a kitchen, dining room, or bar.

It turns out that these awesome measuring cups are actually from France! Even better than that? They were made in the 1800’s.

These cups were kept at the bar and used to measure the amount of alcohol someone was being served, as a sort of assurance that they weren’t getting jipped. The cups were often inspected and stamped with the person’s initials. Three of the four cups that we had were stamped with the letters “JH.”

So, these four little cups sold on auction for $49.99. Not bad for a $10 investment! This is what I like most about going to auctions and selling the items online – you never quite know what you have until you do a little sleuthing.

Happy hunting!