Make Money from collecting Stuff

October 12, 2015 by  
Filed under How To, Spotlight

Make Money from collecting Stuff

If you want to make money from collecting stuff a great source of cashable items can be Estate Sales. These are also known as content sales. These refer to the liquidation of household contents. This is sometimes done to facilitate a faster ‘move’ by the residents. They simply might not find value in packing and shipping their old belongings.

To make money from collecting stuff means going to the source.

Other reasons for holding the sale may be the homeowner has gone into a senior care facility or passed away. In situations like this the property is usually prepared for resale. But it must be emptied of items first. The estate agents will catalogue and price each item to be included in the sale. This can sometimes take days even weeks.

To give you a frame of reference, I’ve been to small homes where a homeowner has passed away. They had only a few boxes of possessions, barely filling a single room. And only a 2 or 3 buyers inside. I’ve also been to a large two-story home vacated by a couple that went into a care facility together. The home was full of items, from decades of raising their family.

Those children, now living abroad, were not available to deal with the home and contents. This particular home took two weeks to catalogue. It had 7 or 8 rooms, absolutely full of items. And the items continued out into the yard, garage and the driveway.

To get an idea, first realize that this home was occupied by the same family for over fifty years. Besides the appliances and furnishings there were tools and sporting goods. There were bicycles, vintage board games, rock collections, model cars, electric train sets and Barbie doll collections.

On the higher end, they had Waterford crystal pieces, dozens of Lladro figurines, as well as other collectables.

More than two hundred people arrived the first morning to take part in the three day sale. Dozens of people arrived hourly for the next two days. These sales are planned and coordinated using the sales agent’s website and classified ads. Sometimes you may see an Estate Sale sign on the day of the sale.

The first in the door are usually the professional buyers. They may’ve been given email notice about the upcoming sale. Notification is as simple as signing on to an email list. And it’s not just the pros going to these things. Regular people looking for interesting items to collect make up the bulk of the sales traffic.

When it comes time to enter it’s usually done by number.You check-in upon arrival and you’re issued a number. Every sale can vary a little but usually they admit blocks of numbers. Ten or twenty people may be given access. When they leave another group is admitted.

This keeps some sense of order and doesn’t tax the hosts of the sale. You can also estimate how long your wait will be, giving you a chance to get a coffee. Be forewarned, do not bring young children. You may be denied access. Please remember you are a guest on the property.

“To make money from collecting stuff means being in the right place at the right time.”

If you are a collector of a specific niche you may want to get there early.As for deciding what time or day to go, it all depends on your goal. If you are a professional that searches out antiques then first day first hour is best. The prices will be at their highest but quality and availability of deals will be at their greatest.

I think for the average buyer just looking for interesting or practical items, you can afford to go after the first big push. The prices become more flexible with every passing hour. Remember the organizer wants maximum revenue. They could collect a final commission around 30% or higher. And they don’t want remaining items at the closing bell.

Anything left over has to be handled, carried or disposed of. You may want arrive during the last few hours, for the best deals of all. But only the most picked over items usually remain at that point. One exception might be that someone had not returned to pick up an item placed ‘on-hold’.

Overall there are great items to be found in estate sales. If it’s a quality address to begin with, chances are they have some collectible items. These sales can last for days, giving you time to decide on a purchase, assuming no one else buys it.

Prices are usually high to start but trend downward steadily.You can, and should, bargain. The hosts are experienced at pricing but it’s still in their best interest to collect as much as possible. It’s only on the last afternoon that they go into “just sell it” mode. This is all about the final numbers.

Estate sales are a lot of fun if nothing else. It can be a great way to spend a few hours. Another idea for you is to source out a big sale on your next business trip. Instead of being stuck in your hotel between meetings, why not explore a sale?

Do an online search for “estate sales”, followed by your destination. For example – Estate Sales Chicago. This can be a great way to see a city and learn about a community. You may even unwittingly make money from collecting stuff while your away. Or at the very least add some unique souvenirs and memorabilia. to your existing collections.

Best of luck and collect well.

Peter
SmokinMonkey.com

“Links in this post may be affiliate links. By clicking + purchasing I would receive a commission.”

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How to collect Pewter Figurines

October 6, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, Spotlight

How to collect Pewter Figurines

Children certainly enjoy collecting just as much as the adults do.
They may even want to participate in collecting figurines. Parents are often reluctant which is not entirely surprising. This is likely due to the risk of the items being broken or the children being hurt.

One solution might be to collect figurines cast from pewter. They are durable and generally inexpensive to collect. They are also available in a range of subject matter. Through this article I’ll delve into not only how to collect pewter figurines but answer why they are a great choice of collectible.

A few facts about pewter.
Pewter is a workable metal alloy comprised of approximately 85–99% tin. The remaining portion could include any combined mix of copper, bismuth and antimony. Silver may also be present in varying amounts. The copper and antimony are added for durability and hardening. Be aware that in some situations figurines may contain lead. For more about lead content keep reading.

It goes without saying that any figurines containing lead are to be avoided. This should generally not be an issue with figurines being produced nowadays. Now, keep in mind I say ‘generally’. There will always be producers that try and save costs by reworking the raw materials.

This is not so much an effort to knowingly harm the consumer as it is to cut costs. Because lead has such a low melt point it is much cheaper to utilize.

NOTE: Learn how to collect pewter figurines responsibly.

Figurines dating back several years may also be suspect. Some figurines could have been produced prior to the findings on lead toxicity. And since this article is all about collectability it’s worth mentioning. If there is any question at all it’s best to avoid that figurine.

The lower grades of pewter contain lead which gives it the recognizable bluish tint. If you notice a tint or cannot certify the metal content avoid any contact. An easy way to do that is to buy only from a dealer that will certify the figurine content or their source.

Does this mean you should throw away any old figurines you may have?

Not necessarily. Remember your figurines are likely behind glass or at least displayed out of reach. The findings on lead toxicity are more to do with skin contact or ingesting.

But make sure to always research current findings as this can always change. And who knows? The presence of lead traces may actually cause them to be even more rare therefore more collectible.

If at all concerned simply pass them on to another dealer. But fully disclose everything you know and that includes your concerns. In all cases follow with due diligence and act responsibly as a collector.

This is a perfect chance to instill responsible collecting within your children as well. Safety for our fellow collectors should be paramount because we are all part of the same community.

Some of you may have a small shop or hobby foundry. Or for those with an interest in mould making or even sculpting. For those interested in casting their own figurines it’s worthy to mention some specs.

Pewter has a very low melting point of around 338-446 degrees F or 170-230 degrees C. This makes DIY casting a real possibility. This could add to the attraction and options of experimenting with pewter. This may even be an opportune time to create a small cottage industry for yourself. Especially if you’re an artist, craftsperson or mould maker etc.

Some ideas for new pewter castings would be doll house pieces, game board player pieces, novelties, costume jewelry, film and stage props…and it goes on from there.

And if you do decide to pursue the casting route why not create (re-issue) new moulds from original lead-models. You could recast them in safer materials. I’m just rattling ideas off the top of my head now but you can see the possibilities.

The obvious upside to all of this is more money for you …more cash for collecting figurines.

Any more good reasons?
They are durable and inexpensive. Your child can be rough with little risk of injury in the process. There are many subjects for these figurines that your child can choose from. They can portray favorite pastimes and hobbies for both boys and girls.

There are also common items from different manufacturers including dinosaurs, clowns, animals and angels. Once your child has chosen a theme they want to collect it’s best to look at the variety of figurines that are available.

To help the child grow their figurine collection they could share their interest with family and friends. When an occasion, such as birthdays or Christmas, arrives they may get some great new pieces as gifts. They may even find that they will be able to purchase them with their own money as their knowledge and interest grows.

“Why not teach the child how to collect pewter figurines as well.”


The price of a pewter collectible is quite reasonable when compared to other types of materials.

The fact that they are also durable makes them well worth the price. The more weight to the pewter collectible – the more expensive it will be. Size sometimes plays a role in the price but generally it has to do with the overall weight of the object.

Many pewter figurines also increase in value over time.

If your child keeps the collection for years they may end up increasing in value. Of course, as with adult collectors, many children would rather have their collectibles than the money they are worth.  It is still something to consider when building a collection.

Since pewter is so durable these types of figurines can easily become family heirlooms. Many have been passed down within the family. You could start a new tradition by purchasing a few figurines to get your child’s collection started.

For adults that enjoy collecting items pewter figurines are a good option for them as well. They don’t have to worry about their collectibles being broken if they have small curious children.

Pewter is a great looking material and you can’t go wrong buying children collectibles made from it.

Many of them are amazingly detailed and they will be cherished by any child.

You can find them online, at retail stores,  flea markets or yard sales from time to time. Help your child find something they are interested in and start collecting together.

And if you do decide to teach your child how to collect pewter figurines you may very well be building some cherished bonding memories. Feel free to drop me a comment.

Best of luck and collect well.

Peter
SmokinMonkey.com

“Links in this post may be affiliate links. By clicking + purchasing I would receive a commission.”


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Native Pottery

October 3, 2015 by  
Filed under Treasure

Native Pottery
Native pottery is wonderful to admire and can be satisfying to collect as well.
For this article we’ll concern ourselves with the American south west. If a south western Native pottery collection is your goal then read on.

This form of pottery art has been practiced for thousands of years. There are so many different pueblos and each one has its own style of finished pottery. Yet it is constantly improving as modern artists are experimenting with combinations of new techniques and designs with traditional disciplines.

There are pros and cons to collecting both antique and the modern pottery.
While collecting the pottery you are also learning a lot about Native American art and culture.

This will help you get a feel for native pottery as well.

The older pottery is more expensive because of the added value as an antique especially if it’s in prime condition. Having said that, the newer pottery can be just as beautiful or even more so. It is important to collect what you like and can afford.

The first thing you should do is visit some websites and look at photos of Native American pottery. When you see enough quality pottery you will eventually train yourself to recognize what is desirable and collectible.

Be sure to take advantage of as many books on the subject, as you can find. It never hurts to be over-educated in what adds value to a collectible

If you can visit New Mexico or Arizona, be sure to visit some of the pueblos where the pottery is made. Often the pueblo will have a cultural center where they display works of the local artists, along with a lot of information about their history and crafts.

While you can purchase pottery at these cultural centers you would be better off buying the pottery directly from the artist if at all possible.
You can also purchase pueblo pottery online.

Good discounts can sometimes be had from sites online. Of course the drawback is that you can’t actually handle the pottery before deciding to purchase. Just be sure they have good photos of the pottery on the website.

“If possible avoid the native pottery in the expensive tourist shops of the southwest.”

Try to get the largest example of pottery you can afford.
It should not have any chips or cracks, as that will reduce the value. While pottery made from molds is just as acceptable the hand-made pottery is far more valuable. In any case even the pottery made from a mold should be hand painted beautifully by the potter.

It can be interesting to collect pottery from the different pueblos.
It is amazing how different they can be. The differences could be in the color of clay used, the shapes of the pottery, the subject matter of sculptures, the amount of carving on the piece, the style of painting, and so on.

Look for a qualified reference book detailing the various styles of Native pottery.
It will help you to distinguish individual pieces as well as levels of quality. There are many different types of pottery too. Some are ollas, bowls, seed pots, traditional wedding vases, story teller figurines, figures of animals, among many others.

Some of the Native American potters have become quite famous, so it follows their work can be very expensive. But it’s without a doubt extremely beautiful. The work of lesser known potters can also be lovely. If you are just beginning to collect pottery you’ll find these less-known artists are also more affordable.

You can always start out simply and purchase more expensive pottery as you get more familiar with it. Now go out and enjoy your new native pottery hobby.

Best of luck and collect well.

Peter
SmokinMonkey.com

“Links in this post may be affiliate links. By clicking + purchasing I would receive a commission.”


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