After writing about a nightmare experience selling online on eBay, I want to follow-up with a few stories of angelic Buyers who gave me the benefit of the doubt.
Nothing is straight forward when selling and shipping antiques online.
My workflow: I research the item in our library and on the Internet. I place a value on the item and write an ad for eBay or Etsy. I take phone photos and hubby takes studio photos if needed. When the item sells, he packs & mails. We work for perfection — but to error is human.
And when we make an error, things can go north or south.
Classic Angelic Buyers
EBayer buys one frog gig, but we mail six.
Inadvertently, we had mailed every gig in our toolbox. The Buyer calls after being pleasantly surprised to order one and receive six. In good spirits, he wraps and returns the extra gigs. We paid the return postage and said, Thanks – you are an angel!
Really, had the Buyer not alerted us to our error and mailed back the extra five gigs, we could have spent months wondering, “What happened to all of our frog gigs?”
We sold a pitchfork online to Australia. The Buyer did not pay immediately, and I was beginning to wonder when I would receive payment. The following week, I opened the mailbox to find a hand-addressed envelope filled with dollars and coins. The Buyer had mailed cash from Australia for his purchase. Lovely trust between Buyer and Seller – and the postal system. Continue reading Angelic Buyers When Sales Go Awry on eBay
Art of Barack and Michelle Obama in the Smithsonian
Thanks to patriotic benefactors, two prestigious portraits now hang in the Smithsonian: Kehinde Wiley’s oil on canvas of Barack Obama and Amy Sherald’s oil on linen of Michelle Obama, our 44th President and First Lady. These insightful character studies offer a measure of creativity and embody the essence of why America fell in love with Barack and Michelle and elected them our First Family.
We sold a dreamy framed print of Pharaoh’s Horses on eBay. My husband remembers seeing it on the wall in his grandparent’s parlor, and we were hoping to find someone who would treasure it, which we did … but first came a nightmare eBayer.
Hubby photographed the art for eBay and packed it for mailing: two of the five scary steps to selling on eBay:
Write item description for listing,
Package and weigh item for shipping,
List item with proper information and photos,
Ship sold item securely to Buyer.
Selling on eBay with fingers crossed
Even before my nightmare saga, we had misgivings concerning the pitfalls of selling online due to the drama of mailing fragile antiques.
The frame had a delicate gessoed border. The wood frame had a fragile veneer. And the rolled, antique glass was fragile. Hubby cut round foam spacers for the inset glass and customized the packing materials for travel into the great unknown, the postal system.
In January we gave away an antique half doll from Germany. In February, we gave away a figurine in the Hummel style, Made in Japan, and known as Banjo Betty. Our March GiveAway is a miniature tin can chair.
April 1 update: March Trinket GiveAway winner is Melissa in California – congratulations!
Gallery of Monthly, GiveAway Trinkets
Gallery of the current and upcoming monthly GiveAway Trinkets.
Tin Can Miniature Chair, Perfect for a Doll House or Collector’s Shelf
Enter our March Trinket GiveAway! for a tin can chair, a retro collectible, made by hand.
Made by a creative craftsman of the past, this tin can chair miniature features a woven back and curlicue arms and chair lets. A perfect addition to your collector’s shelf or doll house.
We chose Banjo Betty as our Trinket GiveAway to collectors in February 2016 at Estates Trinkets & Treasures. Banjo Betty is a copycat of an early Hummel by W. Goebel, from the art of Sister Innocentia Hummel titled Joyful (number 53).
When I first discovered Banjo Betty in our estate items, I was curious. Who made it and what is it worth? … need to know info because we planned to sell it on eBay. I searched through my books of antique porcelain companies to identify the figurine.
We have a library of books and magazines on antiques
I searched through our library of charts on antique marks, but the manufacturer’s mark on this figurine was unreadable. Even though the figurine looked like Hummel, I knew the mark on the bottom was not the famous Bee mark incised on Hummels.
We have a Hummel collection, and the marks are always quite legible, such as on Skier.
Charts abound in books and online to help date a Hummel. Thanks to Hummel’s fine catalog system, the date and name of the Hummel can be determined by the marks on the bottom of a figurine – whether it’s Bee, Full Bee, etc.
My famous process-of-elimination theory led me to error
After my research, I happily decided the figurine must be early Beswick, a fine English porcelain company, since it was not a Hummel.
Convinced it was Beswick porcelain, I posted it for sale on eBay as a $valuable and antique Beswick figurine.
Day’s later, a Hummel collector e-mailed to say the figurine was NEITHER Beswick NOR antique but rather a copycat Hummel by Japanese importer Akiyama, dating from the 50s. (Reference: Hummel Copycats; Author, Lawrence L. Wonsch, pg. 43; 1987). Continue reading Banjo Betty Trinket GiveAway, Made in Japan
First came Estate Trinkets & Treasures –next came Swim Yellow Duck!
Estate Trinkets & Treasures dot com
Estates is an online reference guide for antiques and collectibles. The website came about because we wanted to post our research and photos of antiques. After years of selling online, we had a boatload of photos and a ton of sticky notes, all about the thingamabobs we were selling.
Darrell came up with the snappy name for the website, Estate Trinkets And Treasures, thinking it was descriptive. Although, we cannot boast about the name name being memorable or easy to type in a search bar.
Swim Yellow Duck dot com
To sell antiques online, I needed a User ID. I decided on SwimYellowDuck after many failed attempts to create a unique ID on eBay with its multi-million buyers and sellers.
It followed that after being SwimYellowDuck online for years, I wanted to connect with collectors I had met, which sponsored a new website, SwimYellowDuck.com.
Further, I fell in love with the art of the antiques and the hand-painting that embellished china and porcelain, the gloss and matte glazes on pottery, the art of blown and molded glass and especially, antique dolls.
First-ever Trinket Giveaway at Estates Trinkets & Treasures
The deadline to enter the January Trinket Giveaway for a porcelain half doll ends January 31, 2016. Enter at Estate Trinkets & Treasures. This half doll is a petite, 2-1/4″ tall. It’s finely painted, glazed, and incised, “Germany.”
Half-doll description: lady in a pompadour hair style looking in a mirror. The paint palette is red, purple and gray.
Note: The porcelain half-doll Trinket Giveaway ended January 31, 2016. The half-doll was mailed to the lucky winner, who lives in Virginia.
Each month: a new Trinket Giveaway
The trinkets will be vintage or antique and will be varied in subject, from toy to porcelain to paper ephemera to mechanical (Trinket Giveaway Gallery).
Because we have a stash of trinkets and treasures from estates and our personal collections, we decided to giveaway a vintage [antique] trinket to collectors who frequent our websites, each month in 2016.
The registration form includes a space for a name and address for mailing purposes. The e-mail and mailing addresses are not archived. Each month is a new drawing and a new registration. Continue reading Antique Half-Doll Giveaway
A china head is art on a doll. With or without a body, these remarkable china heads tell a story from the 1800s about a doll industry of artisans who created beautiful art for a child’s toy.
China heads are made into dolls by attaching the head to a body of fabric, leather or wood, either by threading lengths of twill fabric through sew holes in the shoulder plate, gluing the head to a leather body, or fitting it onto a peg, wood body.
By contrast, a collector can add to a doll’s value by (1) dressing the doll in spectacular or “appropriate” clothing or (2) providing the provenance of the doll and its unique history. Continue reading The Art of China Dolls
Are you busy digging out Christmas ornaments like me?
I’ve decided mine have grown either more precious or more ridiculous with age. Sometimes I have to laugh over the things we’ve hung on our tree.
For years we hung a parking ticket on our tree. We got the ticket on Christmas Eve, one starry night in the 70s. We were busy with Christmas when Darrell looked out the living room to see a parking ticket on the windshield of our car, which we had parked on the street and not in our driveway.
When Darrell spotted the ticket gleaming brightly in the street light —on Christmas Eve — he marched out the door and down the sidewalk, huffing and puffing all the way to the car. Minutes later, he came back in the door dancing a jig.
Our friend, Lieutenant Ed Sweeney on the Aurora [Illinois] Police Dept., had left us a ticket, and the ticket read, “Fine $40,000 – Merry Christmas! Ed!” We hung the ticket on the tree that night and laughed about it for years.
“Yes! We get to get a dress for the inaugural ball!” was one of my favorite quotes from Tuesday night’s mid-term victory speeches. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s win meant much to many and for the two darling daughters of Lieutenant Governor Sherry Kleeficsh and Representative Joel Kleeficsh that meant new dresses. Finally, politics I can understand.
Speaking of dresses, a vintage dress in pristine condition can add to the price tag of a collectible doll. Original clothing and in good condition can add to the value of a doll. The description original or appropriateclothing in a price guide on antique dolls indicates prices for a doll dressed either in its original clothing or wearing clothing designed and stitched as the doll might have worn at the time of production; thus appropriate.
Today, when we buy a doll, it comes dressed, but that wasn’t always the case. In the 1800s, shoulder head dolls were available without clothes and/or a body and clothing, which the mother could buy or make separately. The shoulder head included a shoulder plate with holes that could be latched to a cloth body or molded without holes and glued to a kid-leather body. Shoulder head dolls were a less expensive solution to German and French dolls made of bisque and composition. (Click for shoulder head dress patterns, either in the style of the Civil War or the American Revolution.) Continue reading New Dresses for the Innaugural Ball and for Your Antique Doll
I’ve been watching the History Channel documentaries on the White House. I listened more closely this time for some reason as they re-played excerpts from the inaugural addresses of Presidents Bill Clinton, Bush 41,George W, and Barack Obama. When I heard George W say that our country is the only democracy in which there is a peaceful transfer of power, it reminded me of our amazing gift of freedom. Further, it reminded me of the patriotic collectibles we’ve had and the fortunes of freedom that permeate our art and lifestyle.
I was born into a family that was not steeped in politics. I always thought my parents voted until my teen years when my mother commented that there was no point because she would vote one way; Dad another – and they would cancel out the others vote.
I have no doubt my parents voted for Eisenhower because my father was a veteran of WWII and would have marched barefooted through the snow to cast a vote for General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Continue reading Politics. Yikes.