Friday, December 29, 2006

I Survived Another Holdiay Season in the Antique Retail Business

I love the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping season. It can get a tad hectic when you are the retail store and all of your seasonal help has grown up and have "real" jobs with "nicer" bosses. But we survived and I think that everyone got their gifts in time for Christmas.... I haven't heard otherwise.

The vast majority of folks are amazing to work with and my regular customer's know that I will do whatever it takes to get their orders to them as quickly as possible. 6 trips to the Post Office a day was the norm there for a few days and I even went looking for a few special gift items for some customer's.

Each year there seems to be at least one person that is just insane... there is no other way to put it. They are rude, crude, out of control, insane.

This year a family had me send a gift to a woman. They did not want to pay to have it gift wrapped just a little note that it was from them with love. It was a $12 copper colored aluminum mold.

I wrapped it first in white tissue (I do this on all items) bubble wrap and then I wrapped it in a festive decorative paper. I attached a pretty card with the requested text in it. Packed it carefully and mailed it to the recipient.

Well, the next week I checked my email and there was one of the nastiest emails I have ever seen from this gift recipient. The mold is cheap looking, the wrapping looks like I took it out of the trash and I am an idiot.

I am pretty heavily medicated on cough medicine and Benadryl due to some nasty bug I had picked up so I decided that I really didn't want to deal with this wacko. I contacted the folks that bought the item and sent them the email. I asked them what they wanted me to do about it.

Later in the day I have 5 more emails from angry lady and no response from the customer. I decided I had better say something to her and told her that I would refund the full price plus shipping - TO THE PEOPLE THAT PAID FOR IT, but I needed my mold back ... in the same condition as when it was mailed to her. She responds that she is not going to do anything for me and that includes send the mold back.

I just took another swig of cough medicine and went back to bed.

What do you do with people like this? Obviously her family bought her a token gift, I have some beautiful copper molds on my website and they picked the least expensive one for her. Also, I was taught that it is the thought and not the gift so just accept it graciously and either re-gift it later or donate it to a charity.

When I opened my email the next day, there were at least 15 more emails from this loony toon. She was making personal attacks on me at this point and I was angry. She is the kind of person that will say these things in an impersonal forum such as email but I bet you dollars to donuts she would not make statements such as this to my face. She is a bitter, angry, no self-esteem, rude person.

I contacted DHL to see if they could pick the package up and send it back to me, sure they would but the nasty lady would not cooperate, she would not even sit the mold on her front porch for them to pick-up.

The end result was, I refunded the buyer all of his money while his mother stole my mold. I did tell her son that he needs to ask her to donate it to a charity so that someone who would appreciate it could have it.

Later I began thinking... this might be a scam. Person #1 buys a gift for person #2, #2 hates it and goes through the above process until the seller just gives in (like I did) and lets them keep the item and they get their money back.

In this case we are not talking about anything worth much money but it is the principal and it could evolve into "keeping" wares that are valuable. Legally I did not have to refund the money until I had the item in my possession, I was just too sick to fight them on it but be aware of situations such as this especially if the recipient is in North Carolina.

I also believe in Karma, so what this woman did and said WILL come back to her threefold.

Watch for a redo of my online antique shop site

The new year will bring a new look for the antique shop site. Be sure to check in for all of the changes.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Speaking of eBay

A very good friend of my oldest daughter recently purchased on eBay for the first time. She and her significant other hand blow amazing glassware items and found a piece of equipment they needed at a great price. Isn't this what eBay is all about.

She won the auction and the seller would only accept checks.... so they paid by check, over $1,500. 2 weeks pass and no item so she contacts the seller and was informed that "she had to order the equipment."

3 weeks later she receives notification that the equipment came with additional parts and the price would be more. Our friend argued that they already had the other parts and did not need those, only the equipment originally bid on and paid for.

The seller then files a non-payment claim with eBay!!!! So B. sent the crazy loon seller the extra money for the parts she doesn't need.

The item and all parts finally arrive over a month later yet the non-payment claim is still appearing. B finds a phone number for eBay and a human (wonder of wonders) sends them a photo along with all email correspondence and they remove the non-payment claim. But the seller has left her bad feedback.

It appears to me that the seller is running an extortion racket and not only should be banned from eBay but have criminal charges filed against them.

Granted, B should never have bid on this item for this amount of money with the seller not accepting Paypal or a credit card. To me this just reeks of scam or shady dealings.

Our friend B. is turning all contact information over to me for me to get involved in this matter and I do plan on contacting the authorities.

I think that I might just start my Wall of Shame with this jerk. Anyone that would take advantage in such a way needs to be shut down atleast temporarily. I abhor people that take advantage of others.

Karma comes back on you threefold........

eBay and Non-Payors.... I have had it

I have been buying and selling on eBay for 10 years. Granted, in the past 5 years or so I do more buying than selling because it is generally less of a hassle and because I have my online antique shop. Yet, recently I listed a few items of teen clothing and children's VHS tapes that I had picked up for my teenage daughter and grandaughter. I also listed a few items I had not posted in the shop such as an Eric Clapton store display and some sports items.

Of course, the teen hated the clothes and the wee one had the tapes already.

Several items of clothing sold and one of the Magic School Bus tapes as did some of the antique things. Everyone paid or atleast made contact with me that they were going to send payment, which they have all done.... except for one person.

I have got more "Terms and Conditions" on my auctions than you would believe. One of which is, "by bidding on this item you are entering into a contract to buy this item if you are the winning bidder."

Well, little Miss 13 feedback has decided that she just isn't going to pay for her $4.00 name brand shirt. She is going to break this contract.I, on the other hand will have to pay eBay because of her decision. It will cost me about $2.89. In the grand scheme of things this is not a lot of money but at this point it is the principal. Everytime I put items up for auction I have atleast 1 person that doesn't pay for their item so I eat their violation of the TOS.

This time I have decided that I will send the violator a bill everyday through Paypal. Each day I will add 28% interest to the amount. Her only option will be to change her email address. I will leave negative feedback on eBay for her and I will file the non-payor claim ... which means crapola.

I am also going to change my future auctions so that no one with feedback under 25 can bid on my auctions. It seems that only those with a low feedback score tend to not pay for their auctions. At this point in time I don't see eBay auctions in my future.

I only hope that I don't end up being the one that gets in trouble for this but she has broken a contract with me and I am doing what I can to recoup damages and expenses.

I am also going to create an online auction function on my website. I will be no competition for eBay but it will make me feel better. Non-payors will have their names, email addresses and other personal information posted for all to see.... just like retailer's post returned checks.

If you can't play by the rules, then don't play at all.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


You have got to read some of the memories of heirlooms and childhood that have been submitted by visitor's and customer's to my antique shop website.

We are slow in getting started but I LOVE the few comments that have been contributed.

Please take a moment and visit and please submit a comment with your favorite memory of growing up, your Granny's favorite perfume, Sunday supper, the bowl that was always used for mashed potatoes or fruit salad... whatever it is. It gives you a good feeling to think back and reflect on these wonderful memories.

Antique Memories

Friday, October 27, 2006

Vintage Hats and Ties... Coming to my Antique Shop

I am so excited about this consignment that I just took in. Vintage hats, in the original hat boxes, or atleast most of them are in their original hat boxes.

The man I am selling them for, his 83 year-old mother recently passed away and she was a hat lady. When I went to his garage sale I noticed a mink trimmed hat that he was selling for $3.00. I offered him my card and told him that any hats he did not sell, I would be more than happy to sell for him.

He asked me what I thought they were worth and when I told him... he pulled them all from the sale. This past Wednesday he brought them over to me and it looks like there are about 40 hats, he sold about that many at $3.00.

I guess that I could have taken advantage of his lack of knowledge of the price of vintage hats... like atleast 1 dealer that I know of had already done. But there was just a little voice inside me that day that lured me in another direction.

When he came over the other day to drop the hats off, he said that the dealer came back to buy the rest of the hats and when he told them that he was putting them on consignment with someone she became rather beligerent and said something to the effect that he would probably get ripped off by the person doing the consignment, you can't trust those people. He said that his reply to her was that he doubted that because I had been honest about the true price of the hats in the first place and didn't just swoop in and buy them all up.

Most of the time I just go on about my business and purchase items for myself or that I can resell without a second thought as to what price might be on them. But there were just so many of the hats, he also had a full length leather coat and a tea length black mink coat, and I just did what I felt was appropriate for the situation. Right or wrong.

I just can't wait to get into these vintage hats and get started putting them in inventory. Red and purple seem to have been her favorite colors, so all of you Red Hat Ladies... you need to keep and eye on my shop over the next couple of weeks or email me to be notified when I get them posted.

Some of these old hats are pretty outlandish as well, which in my mind makes them all that more amazing. She is / was an African American lady and I can just visualize her wearing these.
We have camel hair, straw, satin, beads, feathers, felt, veiled and one that has a lampshade look to it.

Now to the vintage men's ties. I have had these vintage clip-on and regular ties for quite sometime and just never got around to getting them posted in the antique shop site but while I post the hats I will also get the ties listed as well.

I also have some faux suit pocket handkerchiefs. These folded satin hankies are attached to a piece of thin cardboard and you just slip that down into the pocket of you suit coat pocket. It looks like you have a perfectly folded hanky in your pocket. I have a variety of colors and styles.

I will be adding more vintage infant and children's clothes too.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Reproducing my vintage ephemera for scrapbooking

A wonderful reader of my blog.... yea, I have one! Asked me for more details on the reproduction of the vintage paper pieces I have.

I do want to respond to the question of why I would reproduce it versus sell it as it is. I feel that some of the pieces I have might be either in very limited quantitites, such as the newspaper's, letterheads, magazines (especially the children's magazines for the 1800 and 1900s). I would rather reproduce these pieces in high quality scans and have those cut, glued and pasted than have the originals destroyed. One of these days, if a museum or other entity has any interest in the originals they can have them, but for the time being... they are mine, all mine.

I also have some amazing old photographs. I will be selling these but only after I reproduce them. I have been collecting these for over 20 years.

This is going to be one of my winter projects so look for these wonderful items in the Spring.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Compiling a Book of Blog Sites - Let me know if you want your site listed

I am compiling a book of blog sites. It is in the final stages of being written and I have loads of sites but I want more.... I always want more.

If you would like to have your Blog considered for publication in this .... publication please email me or leave a comment and I will check out your Blog.

Current Categories Are:
  • Funny
  • Politics
  • Sad
  • Inner Beauty
  • Informative
  • Internet Related
  • Computer Related
  • War / Veterans (I might have to break this down into the different wars if I get enough for each
  • Music
  • Art
  • Poetry
  • Recipes
  • Medical
  • Decorating
  • Antiques and Collectibles
  • Hobbies
  • Gaming
  • Sports
  • Family Blogs - they must be great
  • Lifestyles
  • Religion
  • News
  • ... Open to suggestions ....

Please be sure to give me a way to contact you and please don't submit a site that will not be maintained and will be offline in 6 months.

Thanks for your assistance on this, it will be fun.

New Shop Inventory & Coming Soon

I have taken in some wonderful Homer Laughlin Dinnerware. A few of the pieces are considered hard to find such as the Orleans shape. I am slowly getting them put in the shop because I am desperatly trying to find all of the pattern names.

I also have several vintage cook books such as The Boston Cooking School Cook Book or Fannie Farmer Cook Book, 1930, a two volume set of cook books from the Culinary Institute and a multi-volume set of cook books from the same. These are just a few of the vintage and collectible cookbooks that I have to offer. I have so many of these that it will take awhile to get them listed but if there is something you are looking for please let me know.

Antique and vintage hats….. Next week I am taking in a consignement of vintage hats. These belonged to the 83 year-old mother of a gentleman. I went to his estate sale and noticed all of these wonderful hats for $3 each (one of them had a mink trim) I just couldn’t let him sell them for $3. I gave him my card and also the names of several ladies of sell vintage clothes but he called me yesteday and we will be meeting next week so that I can look them over more closely. The ones that I have seen are stunning. So if you are a hat person please keep an eye on the shop or email me to be notified when I have them all posted. I will also be selling her beautiful black mink coat.

As I was leaving the sale a woman approached me and asked why I didn’t buy them all for $3 and sell them myself. I guess I could have done that and it would not have been wrong… he did set the price. But why take advantage of someone and their lack of knowledge in a particular area? The consignment situation will be mutually beneficial.

In the Sports Category on my website I have a vintage fishing reel, hubby has gone through a few of his NASCAR collectibles and found a 1999 Chase Car collection. These are mint in the box and I think there are 12 Chase Cars. I will finish getting the antique and vintage baseball gloves listed in the next week or two. I also found a KC Royals child’s poncho still in the package that I will get posted and I have 2 suitcases full of ??? who know’s what but I think it is old Boy Scout stuff.

Vintage and collectible books are running out of my ears. I just can’t seem to get them all posted. So please let me know what you are looking for and I will see if I have it.

I have decided, after all these years to start buying wholesale items but I don’t want to purchase the usual stuff you see everywhere. I will be posting a poll on the antique forum to see what types of items you want to see in the shop.

I am getting more of the Raggedy Ann and Andy Nutcrackers. We sold out but are getting more. The company that makes these has come out with a new line of Inspirational collectible items, I haven’t seen them yet. But I am sure we will all love them.

I have more vintage sheet music sitting right beside me that I will be adding to the shop in the next couple of days.

One last thing, I have gobs of vintage ephemera that I will be creating high quality scans of for all of you scrapbookers. I have some very unique pieces. Including a couple of newspapers for the early 1900s and a large pattern book from the 1800s. I am getting it archivally photofinished but have to share this wonderful piece and since I don't want the original damaged or cut up I decided to reproduce it in a limited run. Email me if you want to purchase this when it is complete.

Be sure to browse the new items that have been added. Please excuse the mess, I am still trying to revamp the shop site.

Thank you for being so wonderful.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Slide show.... I guess it's not working

Sorry about that, I must have coded something wrong. But you can see my full inventory on my website at

I have about 20 boxs of inventory sitting in my dining room that I will be adding over the next couple of weeks and I also have antiques and memorabilia that I have purchased over the past 20 years that has been packed away and recently "uncovered", it to will be added to my online shop so that we can all begin our holiday shopping.

We have some great items, crocks, a vintage gum ball machine, vintage sheet music, books.... oh my gosh you would not believe the vintage books that I have, and so much more.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

RPM Backstamp on Antique Porcelain and China

I have another update to the RPM porcelain mark, this is in our new Antiques and Collectibles Information Center. Hopefully this update will take care of any questions that should crop up about this backstamp.

It does indicate that one needs to closely evaluate the antique china piece in order to determine when it could have been created.

An old piece of china will show signs of wear whether it is utensil marks on the surface from years of eating from it or rough places on the rim from a plate hanger from being on display. The underside will also show signs of wear. Whereas a new piece will not have these age spots. You might have to get a magnifying glass out to really study the piece.

Antiques and Collectibles Information Center

I am working on a new component to my antique shop website. It is the Antiques and Collectibles Information Center.

You can catch-up on the latest antique news via RSS feeds from several different sources. I will be posting vintage recipes, you can read articles covering a variety of antique, collectible and memorabilia topics such as Early American Pressed Glass, Kitchenware, etc.

This area is to educate and inform. My hope is to make you a more knowledgable collector. In this day and age of mass reproduction of so many antique items I believe this is very important to us all.

Be sure to drop by and let me know what you are interested in learning more about.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Here is a great article for us accumulators....

I thought that this article was great. I have posted the link but I am also going to post some excerpts because I just can't stand it when you post a link to a website and the site goes away and you are left wondering "what was it all about."

I have always been called a "pack-rat" I guess that this is why I became an antique dealer, my accumulating had become out of control and in order to accumulate "new" items I needed an outlet to rid myself of the old.

I love what I do, I love the research and the history of each piece, but I also love the collecting and the shopping. I display and use my antiques and collectibles, very few items are behind glass or out of reach. I wouldn't have it any other way. But organization has never been one of my strong suits.

Anyway... back to the article

"Creative people's clutter needs to be organized too"
Sonja HallerThe Arizona RepublicOct. 6, 2005 12:00 AM

"A right-brainer likes to leave things out where they can see it," Silber said. "They're more comfortable juggling many things and flitting from one thing to another." Nakone says creative people fall into either the "harmonizing style" or "innovating style" of operation and organization. Harmonizers struggle to set limits and may lack focus and structure, while innovators have a hard time with follow-up and dealing with details.Both authors say the benchmark of when organized chaos becomes disorganized chaos is the point where creative people can't find what they need when they need it. The emphasis is on the word when, since right-brainers often claim they can find what they need, but not often in a timely manner. Thus, they are wasting their time, their employer's time and their family's time. Nakone cites a statistic that the average office employee spends the equivalent of six weeks a year looking for things. "

This article refers to a "piling not filing" system of keeping clutter in control... this is my method. My daughter's and He Who Lights Up My World tease me about my "piles" of stuff. My piles are neat and orderly stacks of items and I know what is in each and every one of them.

Here are some methods offered for staying organized:

  • Pile, don't file: Right-brainers loathe filing. So they shouldn't have to. They should, however, have a method to their madness: Pile by projects. All papers pertaining to the writing project piled in this location. All bills needing to be paid, piled here. Or pile by zones. All messages that I need to return are filed by the phone. All things that I don't want to forget to take with me are piled by the door. "Or if you work or live with an extreme left-brainer, find a clear container with a lid and pile everything in there," Silber said. "It's the same pile. It's just that now it's contained."
  • Set limits: Right-brainers don't want to spend precious time organizing, filing and sorting. That's OK, Silber says, but they still need a simple system to stay ahead of the paper avalanche and a left-brain spouse's recriminations.For example, a right-brainer could decide to answer or dump all e-mails once they reach 15 in their in-basket.
  • Make duplicates: Duplicates are an efficient way for the right-brainer to keep life moving because they're likely to misplace those small, loose items. Buy extras of loose items that get lost often such as keys, glasses, pens and tools. Keep them in the car, in a work desk or a special drawer where all duplicates go.
  • Find an organizing buddy: People who can't stop collecting and are sentimental about possessions need a buddy to help them purge. "Someone who isn't a family member is best," Nakone said. "This person should guide them and let them know that what they're getting rid of is going to a good place, such as a charity."
  • Buy a big clock: Right-brained thinkers often get immersed in a single task, which can result in accomplishing the impossible. But it can also result in missed deadlines and appointments and tardiness. Sometimes having something as simple as a giant clock can keep creative thinkers on task and organized. "

I don't know if I will change my way of doing things but it is good to know that there is help for folks like me...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Antiques and Collectibles

This photo is a Balinese shadow puppet. I have a couple of small ones that I acquired in the mid-1970's when I lived in Singapore that I will be posting in the shop to sell soon. They are fabulous works of art, great decorative pieces and don't take up much room. I think that I even have the original box for atleast one of them.

At a recent sale I purchased some vintage books and tucked away inside were some ephemeral pieces from the old Fred Harvey House Restaurants. I have 2 original bookmarks and a piece that might have been letterhead, it shows a Harvey House Restaurant and has the Santa Fe RR logo.

If you aren't familiar with Fred Harvey, when he was only 15 years-old he came to New York from England. The time was the late 1800's. He began working in a restaurant but along came the Civil War and this hit the restaurants pretty hard but was a boom for the railroads. Mr. Harvey began working for the railroads and quickly climbed the ladder. He saw a need for drastic improvement in the food department.

Upon his arrival in Kansas in 1870, Mr. Harvey met Charlie Morse, President of the fledgling Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. For the next near century, Fred Harvey's company would bring good food at reasonable prices in clean, elegant restaurants, to the travelling public throughout the Southwest. They also brought civilizaton, community, and industry to the Wild West.

Mr. Harvey hired only young women to work in his restaurants, the Harvey Girls. They wore uniforms, he gave them a place to live and paid them relatively well for the time.

There were many ups and downs for the Fred Harvey Houses. Mr. Harvey died in 1901 and his sons took over the business. By the 1950's railroad travel had slowed, all the Harvey's had passed away and for all intents and purposes the company was defunct.

I believe that there is one Harvey House Restaurant still around that is in operation and here in Kansas City there is talk of redoing the old Harvey House space.

Anyway, be sure to check out all the new inventory coming into the shop. I have taken 2 wonderful consignments filled with many amazing items including vintage costume jewelry.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

RPM Porcelain Marks

I need to make a correction to the RPM porcelain comment in a previous post.

There was a manufacturer that marked their wares RPM.

For more information please see my Porcelain Marks page for this specific mark.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Be Careful About What You Buy On eBay.... Lot's of "Hot" Loot

The days of selling stolen goods to pawn shops and fences is coming to an end. The new way to sell hot goods is online at the auction sites, preferably eBay.

The Tiffany Co. filed a lawsuit against eBay sometime ago to stop the sale of reproduction Tiffany items and this lawsuit brought to light just how lax eBay is in their monitoring of the posting and sales of items that should not be allowed to be listed in the first place. But along the same vein, they are quick to pull items for what they term "keyword spamming" and other nonsense things that don't bring harm to anyone.

Back to the sale of stolen goods..... Folks are stealing things such as giftcards, clothes, razor blades, teeth whitening systems and other small items then selling these things on eBay. The innocent buyer doesn't know that the items are stolen so they bid their hearts out and life is good. But when they receive their giftcard in the mail and try to use it, guess what, it is worthless.

Several of the large retail stores are stating that eBay needs to be held somewhat accountable, I agree. They can monitor new accounts for a period of time and the items that these folks are selling. After all eBay is aiding and abetting in the commission of a crime by allowing the sale of these items on their website so I think that they do need to assume some responsibility.

If they can shut down an auction because of the words a person picks to use then they can monitor for illicit activity. They certainly have the $$$ and they can get the manpower. Hey for $45.00 per hour I will monitor the auctions for them.

So once again it is buyer beware.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Garage Sale Season, finding that one perfect collectible or antique

Garage sale season is here in full force... YIPEE. Even though I don't need to add to any of my personal collections, I am always on the lookout for that one missing item.

You learn how to drive by a house and from the street tell if it is a sale worth stopping at or not. In general, I avoid the new high dollar homes filled with young families. They will sell baby items, clothes and cheap junk at high prices.

I head for the older neighborhoods and the wealthy... extremely rich should I say. This is where you will find the real treasures.

Since I do tend to have the "itis" I can't throw anything away, I have had quite a few garage sales of my own over the years, and very successful ones I might add. So here are a few tips if you want to attract a large crowd of people ready to spend money.

  • Put a price on everything, yes it takes some time but folks don't like to ask how much an item is. This is a personal pet peeve.
  • If it isn't for sale.... get it out of the sale area or cover it up.
  • Put a variety of nice large items close to the street to looky-lous (like me) can see them when the cruise slowly by.
  • Be willing to bargain just a little, I never expect to get a great item for nothing but I don't want to pay antique shop prices at a garage sale either.
  • Donate your clothes to a charity, or atleast only put out the best. I personally will not dig through dirty old clothes.... and I have run across some rank stuff.
  • Baby clothes are great to sell.
  • Have newspaper or tissue for wrapping fragile items and bags or boxes for putting purchases in.
  • Let the kids sell lemonade or sodas, especially if the weather is really hot. I always have a few extra lawn chairs scattered around for folks to have a seat and rest (or the men while the women shop) this keeps folks around longer... and the longer they are there the more they will buy.
  • When your sale is over please remove your signs from the area. How many times have your driven around and around looking for a sale that ended 3 weeks prior.
  • Have a free bin of toys for the kids, one toy per child.
  • Have fun and make you sale fun

Maybe I will stop by this garage sale season.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Antique Estate Sales - UGH

I sell antiques online. This requires that I spend several hours a week attending sales and auctions in order to maintain my inventory. For the most part I don't have any complaints about the way folks conduct their sales and their business. I know who has the best estate sales, who has fair prices, high quality antiques and collectibles, knows their antiques, etc. But this past Saturday I met the dregs of the estate sale lot.

The first sale we went to seemed a little odd... 5 complete dining room sets, very few items were priced and those items that were priced were HIGH. It just did not look like a true estate sale or atleast any that I had been to before. I went into the kitchen of this house and it was piled with boxes filled with holiday crap, not antique or vintage not even collectible, it was all cheap new stuff heaped and piled in boxes. I counted 23 boxes. You couldn't move in this room much less rummage around through the items to try and find anything to buy. In another room there was a MELTED plastic doll with no head with a $10.00 price on it. I did find a few items to buy... all not priced offered them $10.00 and left.

As we were walking to the car I overheard 2 gentlemen talking behind us about how the items in the sale didn't belong to the man who lived in the house. I turned and asked what he meant and he said that he knew the family the wife died several months prior and the man recently moved. The gentleman I was talking to had been in the home on numerous occassions and recognized very little that was offered for sale. Evidently the "company" conducting the sale just hauls stuff from sale to sale in hopes that they will eventually get rid of it. There is nothing wrong with this stuff is stuff, I don't care who it belongs to as long as it's okay for you to be selling it. ATLEAST HAVE THE COURTESY TO PRICE THE CRAP!!!!!! I think that this is the deal, they don't put prices on items because some neighborhoods may be able to bring in more than others and if you have priced something then you may be cheating yourself out of a quarter or two. I do know that I will not be going to anymore of these folks sales.

The next sale was amazing. It was a family run estate sale plus it was 1/2 price day. Everything was clean and neatly displayed. I found numerous items, visited with the ladies, all sisters, they told me the stories behind most of the items I purchased and we had a great time. I really found some treasures both to sell and to keep.

Here's the downer.......
The 3rd sale, turned into our last one. It was in a fairly well-to-do neighborhood and from the outside the house looked very nice. I found a few items on the front porch, all unpriced, but at that point I was okay with it... I started a pile by the "cashier". I entered the kitchen first. OH MY GOSH it was gross. Grease was on all of the dishes, nothing was pulled out of the cabinets or on display so I reached up into a cabinet and pulled out a plate and mouse turds fell out onto my head. I flipped the plate over and it was Wedgwood. It looked like there was service for 12. There was some antique ironstone dishes but I didn't touch them they were almost black with grease and grime.

I ventured on through into a den of sorts and noticed boxes filled with family pictures. There was a stunning portrait of a lady dressed to the nines. I started wheezing..... there was mold on the walls. I found a cookbook I was interested in and grabbed it and warily made my way to another room.

The living room had several broken boxes and figurines. I went into what looked like a childs room and all of the surfaces were covered in dirt and grime and there was mouse crap on the stuffed animals. The carpet was covered in trash throughout the house.

Mind you none of this stuff had a price tag so you didn't know what they wanted for this dirty stuff and you weren't really sure what disease you were going to catch simply by touching it but I have found some great buys in worse places so I trudged on into the final room.
This room had a sign "all books in this room $2.00", cool I'll look at the books. I love books, I love selling books and I collect vintage first edition books. By this time I was having a very hard time breathing because of the mold and mildew so I was moving quick. I spyed a print on the wall that I was interested in and found 8 books that I also wanted.

I hit the front door at a dead run straight to the cashier. I grabbed my pile and asked for prices.
She grabbed and I do mean GRABBED the books out of my hands, I told her that these were in the $2.00 book room. "We won't sell anything with an inscription in it." I'm stunned but okay with that. She hands me back 3 books. I ask for the price on the print.... $25.00, I tell her to keep it. And so it goes. They wanted retail +++++ prices for this dirty, infested, greasy, crap that they couldn't be bothered with pricing beforehand or even pulling out the items they didn't want to sell. I was angry I felt that we buyer's were there to clean up and bring out the "good stuff" so that they didn't have to ruin their lungs and health by going into that nasty house.

When I was in the den I noticed quite a few framed letters signed "The Eisenhower Brothers", the books that they would not sell to me were inscribed to Mrs. Eisenhower and there were numerous Dwight Eisenhower items in the house (there probably were not for sale either).
DD Eisenhower was from Kansas but I know it was not Mamie Eisenhower's house. So I did some research. President Eisenhower had several brother's all of whom left the area except for the eldest, Arthur. Arthur had a wife Louise, Lousie had a daughter from a previous marriage, Katherine that Arthur adopted. Katherine married Berton Reuche (sp?) (I did buy one of his books at this sale) and they had a son. So my deduction leads to me believe that it was the home of Katherine.

Then I start feeling sorry for her. I cannot find an obituary and the family tree I looked at doesn't show her as deceased so she is probably in a home. Where were these 3 people conducting the sale when she was living in the house? Why didn't they care as much for her "name" when she was living in squalor as the do now that they are "selling" her life and letting folks tromp through her filthy house? I would bet dollars to donuts that they books and other items of note that they would not let us buy they will try to sell on ebay thinking that they will bring big bucks. I am really upset with these folks that I don't know and will probably never see again as long as I live for allowing this person to be shown to the world through the filth in this house, they could have plugged in the vacuum cleaner and taken a couple of swipes. No wonder they were sitting on the front porch.

I do believe in Karma and I know that what you put out there come back to you 3 fold. I don't want to be anywhere near these 3 ladies when their Karma catches up with them for this instance.

Shame on you and God bless you Ms. Eisenhower where ever you are.

Friday, March 17, 2006

What has happened to people? It seems like everyone has become flat out lazy, take the easy way out, put no effort into anything and to hell with whoever it hurts along the way.

This ideology is driving me up the walls. I am not just seeing it in a certain age group either. It is spread pretty equally amongst every age group, race, religion, etc. Laziness and ineptness has become epidemic in the United States. Let someone else do the work as long as the proverbial "I" benefit from it.

I see it quite often among so called antique dealer's. They find themselves a "treasure" that they are unsure about and instead of researching it they slap a name to it, put it up for sale at a ridiculous price and some poor soul buys this piece ... believing and trusting in what the "expert" says about it. Then come to find out the "expert" has sold a piece of trash that was made yesterday in China.

Every item I am unsure about that I offer for sale, in my online antique shop or the online auction site, has been researched. It does not go public until I am satisfied that it is what I think it is and until I know something definative about it. If I have any questions I am humble enough to admit that I don't have the answer or that I don't know the pattern name of the china, whatever the case may be. But I can certify that it is an antique or a vintage piece.

It might take me months to find the information I need but I am going to make that effort.

I recently had a very pleasant yet unsettling conversation with an avid and educated Limoges collector and seller. He had purchased 2 different pieces on ebay from two different alleged "antique dealer's." When he received the first piece he knew straight away that the piece was not an antique. The second piece was not as easy to identify as a new piece. It took him several months to locate the information he needed to verify it as piece recently made in China.

The marks on these allege antique Limoges pieces were PMC Limoges and PRC France. I am sure that there are pieces out there with variations of these two marks. PMC is Peoples Mainland China and PRC is Peoples Republic of China.

When the buyer contacted the ebay seller to inform him of the ripoff he was informed that the seller had purchased the piece from an local antique shop... as an antique. So the lie is being perpetuated by so called knowledgable experts. I prefer to call them lazy assed fools who just want to make a fast buck and not take the time to do a little research.

Another mark that has caused some confusion lately is the RPM Germany mark. As it turns out this is a decorating firm established in 1980, it is in Germany. But I have seen several online antique dealers and ebay sellers listing these items as being made in the 1930's and 1940's. Once again, folks are not taking time to do their research. The mark has the crowned eagle and looks like a KPM mark BUT IT ISN'T KPM IT IS RPM... there is a difference. None of the mark reference books list RPM so this is a clue that there is a problem.

Use some common sense. Any real dealer in antiques has a vast library of marks books, reference books of all types, magazine subscriptions, etc. A weekend seller of antique or ebay seller that occasionally dabbles in antiques does not have thousands of dollars invested in these resources so they guess or rely on work of mouth.... or websites such as mine.

I will get off my soapbox for now but this is a burning issue with me so I am sure I will bring this topic up again.