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.