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The Collectors Newsletter #401 February 2006
The Collectors Newsletter #401 February 2006
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1. Stories from our readers
2. Today's Headlines from News-Antique.com
3. Your Classifieds
4. Lost and Found
5. News from the Kovels
6. Newly listed items
7. Funny Old Stuff
8. Wanted ads. Can you help?
9. A Vintage Recipe
10. A Vintage Recipe Request from a Reader
11. New Online Merchants
12. Helpful Resources For Collectors
Turn your collecting hobby into a business.
Yes you can sell antiques and collectibles online. We make it easy for
you at TIAS.com. For over 10 years, we've been helping people just like
you to open their own online antique and collectible shop.
There are no start-up fees and it's so easy. To give it a try, just go to
And follow the online instructions. We look forward to serving you!
1) After you read these stories, tell us your interesting story. Send your
story to email@example.com and we may publish it here . We want to
hear any interesting or unusual stories you would like to share with us
that are related to collecting or anything vintage.
Another large batch of additional comments came in about charity "Thrift
Shops" following those posted in our last issue (#400).
As a former antique store owner and a current antique appraiser myself,
I can tell you it is EXTREMELY UNETHICAL to volunteer (or for that
matter) or get paid for your services and then to turn around and buy/
keep something for yourself that you appraise/handle that is valuable,
whether you resale it or just keep it! And it shouldn't matter if you are a
certified appraiser, a non-certified appraiser, an antiques dealer, an
employee or a volunteer because if you are getting paid for your
services or you are volunteering your services and you are there to do
a job for someone or a company. You are NOT there to get something
for yourself or go shopping. You can always do that on your day off
and have the same chance as everyone else does to get the item! As
hard as it may be to "walk away" from a great find (and believe me it is
VERY HARD TO DO at times) you always will have another opportunity
later on down the road where you are NOT the appraiser or employee
or volunteer! Have you ever seen any of the appraisers on the
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW buy an item after they appraise it? I believe
this is one of the most important "RULES" that the 3 major appraising
societies stress. I think that these so called "charity thrift stores" need to
re-evaluate who they have working for them or volunteering for them.
They should go back to the way it was before they started trying to get
the top dollar for everything and make it a first come first serve
proposition. I'm not saying they don't have the right to make money off
of these items but I thought the whole purpose was to help people who
couldn't afford to buy new things in the first place and at the same time
create income for the charity. Less and less people are shopping at
thrift stores anymore because they can buy the same thing new for the
same price. (Not to mention it just isn't "fun" anymore to go thrift store
shopping.) I didn't think the purpose was to become the next Fortune
500 company! Lynda H
After reading several letters complaining of thrift shop practices I had
to write and present some of the issues that the thrift shop where I
volunteer one day a week deals with everyday. Our thrift shop is run
by a national church related organization; almost all the work, including
cashiering is done by volunteers; we have a fairly large section of the
shop devoted to antiques and collectibles; and all profits go to support
projects that help needy people here and abroad. We are located in a
medium sized college town, not a big city.
I help identify and price antiques and collectables based upon my
previous experience as a dealer, price guide book listings, and Ebay.
I am retired and no longer a dealer. It is truly amazing what comes in
the door. We try to price things fairly, low enough that we can turn
merchandise around within a month or two, usually well under the
antique shop price level (dealers are some of our biggest customers)
but not giving things away, either, as that is not fair to our donors or
beneficiaries. Occasionally we receive an item that deserves a wider
market than just our store. If a volunteer who is sorting or pricing
wishes to buy something that comes through his or her area, we
have a procedure whereby he or she does not price the item and
they pay "full" price to the cashier just like any other customer.
In the few months that I have been helping, I have learned from
customers (some of the most notorious, sad to say, are dealers)
more ways to cheat the store (whose profits all go to the needy) than
I could have imagined. Some examples: lower price stickers from
other merchandise are routinely exchanged for higher ones on the
desired items; the price tag on a $25 doll was removed (we found it
on the floor) so that the volunteer cashier would charge the standard
$2 for a doll from the toy department instead (we find ripped off tags
from higher priced items on the floor almost every day); cashiers
have even been asked to remove high dollar items from a locked case
for examination, then the customer takes the item with him or her
ostensibly to shop some more, changes the price tag, and pays the
unsuspecting volunteer cashier who only works one day a week and
has no idea of what the item is worth, a pittance; one customer
apparently planned and substituted a fake ring for an expensive
diamond during examination and then returned the ring in its box to
the again unsuspecting cashier as unwanted; the list goes on and on.
It is unfortunate that we have to expend extra effort to curtail these
types of theft but obviously we do. It seems that as we figure out
how to prevent one scam, another takes it place.
The scams invariably take place within a few hours or days of a
good item being put out for sale. So all those "good" items that don't
ever show up on the thrift shop floor may not be going home with a
volunteer; it is much, much more likely in our case that they are
walking out the door with an unscrupulous customer who has taken
advantage of our volunteers. Marian
I am a volunteer at my local Cancer Society Discovery Shop and
was horrified reading the most recent letters concerning thrift stores.
The Discovery Shops have very strict guidelines regarding donations
and purchases by volunteers. While the shops accept almost
everything brought to their door there are items which cannot be
accepted because there is no way to determine if they work, i.e.
computer components, or for sanitary reasons, i.e. durable medical
equipment, or because there just is not sufficient space available to
display them, i.e. bathtubs, used doors, old lumber, etc.
Discovery shops guidelines dictate that merchandise must be
CLEAN and have approximately 75% use left. Smaller shops do not
have laundry facilities and therefore must sometimes fore go selling
wonderful clothing items because the donor brought them in dirty.
When items can be cleaned, polished and minimally repaired, the
volunteers d o so. Items not suitable for the Discovery Shop are
passed on to other non-profit organizations.
Volunteers are only allowed to purchase merchandise after it has
been on display and available to the general public for 3 HOURS. No
one is allowed to take any of the unsuitable items, no matter how
much they want them.
I do not understand the furor over the use of appraisers. It would be
incompetent for a charity to not attempt to get the very best price for
an item that it can. The object of thrift stores, fund raisers, raffles,
etc. is to generate funds for causes for which there is no other
means of support other than tax dollars. Why should a thrift store
knowingly sell valuable items for pennies on the dollar? As a donor I
would be disgusted to know that an item that I donated was knowingly
sold for far below its actual value. Besides sorting, cleaning, polishing
and min imally repairing donations I also research collectibles and
We use appraisers when we know an item must be rare or very
valuable, a reputable appraiser will never offer to buy an item that
they have appraised. We do not price those items at their full value,
therefore the customer still gets a good buy. Marie W.
Several of these organizations run their own national auction sites...
things that could conceivably be damaged in the local store are put
on the site and can be bid upon...I applaud Goodwill especially for
expanding their marketing focus to a national level with on line
auctions. Not all of their districts participate in the on line auction
so those stores still have many nicer items on the floor.
What we seem to forget is that thrift stores are in business to sell
the items received. That the organizations have folks that buy items
as soon as they come off the truck is unfortunate for those of us
who haven't cultivated that relationship of first review. I don't see
that as unethical on the part of the buyers of the items. They've
done their homework (by developing the relationship).
In the comment of the company that provided appraisal services
for the church organization who declined their offer on the vase...
what many people don't understand is the 'wholesale versus retail'
pricing. Which is probably what happened with the misguided
church members that refused the store offer for a possible higher
auction return and lost.
I love buying 'memories'. What we have to remember both in
buying and selling is that the price often reflects the 'memory'
value of the item, not insurance value or replacement value. Once
that memory price has been determined by the seller, hopefully
a buyer will come along that agrees and makes that particular
item their own. Maggie V.
SEND US YOUR VINTAGE STORIES! send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments, thoughts? Post them online at:
We collect interesting stories about collecting. Things like your best find,
unusual collections, bizarre collectibles. Anything and everything that is
interesting that has to do with collecting. We may publish it here. Send
your story to email@example.com
2) The Latest Antique News
Get the latest news about antiques and collectibles delivered once a week
to your email inbox. Sign up at:
Today's Antiques & Collectibles Headlines from
Chicagoland Antique Advertising, Slot-Machine & Jukebox Show
New York City Winter Coin Auction No.259
Bath City Estate Sales
ĎTHE HAMMERí STRADIVARI VIOLIN LEADS CHRISTIEíS MUSICAL
Music Memorabilia and Concert Posters at Auction March 11
West Of England Antique Dealers In Positive Mood.
Ma & Pa's Vintage Collectibles @ Public Auction
General Antique Auction March 7 @ 6pm - Hudson Valley NY
There are MANY more fresh news stories online at:
Put the latest DAILY news about antiques and collectibles on your Web site.
It's easy to do. Go to
to get the code.
3) Your Classifieds...
Do you have antiques or collectibles you are just itching to sell? A simple
classified ad in this newsletter might just be your answer. Over 240,000
readers subscribe to this newsletter. One of them just might be able
to help you out. Place your ad today at:
Vintage Victorian Paper-Prints-Photos-Trade Cards Scrap
Auction of Complete Set of Royal Copenhagen Figurines
Want to know what our advertisers think? Check out the testimonials at:
4) Lost and Found
We have a new email address for lost and found comments and requests!
Send them to -- LostAndFound@tias.com
We accept two types of Lost and found submissions for publication in this
1. You have a vintage item in hand and you are trying to find relatives of
the original owner(s). This could be an old photo album, baby book, diploma,
Family Bible, or other vintage items that can be linked to a specific person
2. You are looking for a fairly common vintage item that has deep personal
meaning for you or someone you know. I'm sorry, but we do not post
requests for "one of a kind items" that have been lost or stolen.
Remember to include as many details about the item(s) as you can. For
your story to run in this section, you must include your email address and
allow us to publish it. If this service helps you eventually track down the
relatives or find an item, please tell us about it in a follow-up story.
Iím hoping your readers can help me identify a much loved book from my
past. Itís a larger format, illustrated childrenís book -- probably from the late
1940s or early 1950s -- about how the angels designed the first lion. The
angelsí early ďversionsĒ of the lion were colorful and silly, until they got the
lionís tawny fur and mane correct. Every time the bookmobile came to our
school in the mid-50s, I would check out this book Ö but I canít, for the life
of me, remember the name or author. Does anyone recognize it from my
description? Do you know the name of book and/or author? If so, please
contact Judith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please let us know if the item is found! Our readers enjoy hearing how
these searches are resolved. Send your email to LostAndFound@tias.com
How about you? Do you have some special vintage item that is in need of
its owner or are you looking for a special item or person? Maybe we can
help. Send us info at LostAndFound@tias.com
5) NEWS FROM THE KOVELS
Aprons are back in demand, if not in style, according to Ralph and Terry
Kovel in KOVELS ON ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES newsletter.
Vintage and copies of vintage aprons are in demand at shops, and so are
new designs. Perhaps it's because of Bree, the apron-wearing
perfectionist in Disparate Housewives.
For more information on the Kovels' newsletter, click:
6) Newly listed items for your online shopping pleasure for Tuesday
February 28, 2006 Stop by and check out today's fresh inventory at:
7) Funny Old Stuff
This is our humor section. These are humorous family stories and comments
that are sent in by readers. If you have a submission you would like to share,
please send it to email@example.com and we may run it in the next issue.
My brother, Marv, back in the late 50's (or was it mid 50's ?) got a new pair
of Red ball Jets. this was a shoe kind of like a tennis shoe. I remember he
put them and went "tearing out the door" to an area we called our "little woods"
- an area of smaller trees and a clearing in the middle. One of the trees had
fallen to about a 2 o'clock position. That knuckle-head had seen the ad
where the kids could do wonders in their Red Ball Jets and he ran straight to
the woods and up the side of that old tree. I will never forget the look on his
face when gravity took over and fell flat on his butt. He yanked those shoes
off and growled, "you cannot climb straight up in these". He did get about 3
feet up before he came crashing down so it was a funny site to see. He
must of been about 8 years old. He was so disappointed. Pat in Michigan
Do you have a funny family story you would like to share? Make someone
feel good by sharing it with us. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we may
publish it here.
8) Wanted ads. Can you help?
Here are the latest wanted ads from the TIAS Exchange. Can
you help someone out? To place an ad of your own take a look at:
WANTED: WANTED: Milk Bottles from all 50 States
Looking for something? Place a "Wanted" ad in this newsletter. Over
248,000 subscribers. It's easy, go to:
9) A Vintage Recipe
Tessa was looking for a recipe for "Featherbeds"
here is one of the suggestions came in. See below....
If you have a variation of either recipe that you would like to share with
our readers, please post it to:
Be sure to also check out this weeks recipe request, below.
1 med. potato
1 env. yeast
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter
1 egg, beaten
4 1/2 c. flour
Cook potato; reserve 3/4 cup water. Mash potato. Dissolve yeast in
1/4 cup warm water. Mix next 3 ingredients. In a bowl, add reserved
potato water. Cool to lukewarm. Add yeast mixture, potato, egg, and
2 cups flour; stir or beat with mixer until smooth. Add rest of flour; mix.
Knead on table until smooth and satiny. Put in greased bowl; turn to
grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place until double in size. Punch
down. Shape in 24 small balls. Put 12 balls each in a 9 inch greased
pan. Brush with melted butter. Rise until double. Bake in 375 degrees
for 20 minutes or until done 24 rolls. Hope this helps - Nancy in
Did you know TIAS merchants have over 1000 vintage
cookbooks for sale online? They make great gifts. Take a
10) A vintage recipe request from a reader
As with collectibles, people also have very strong feelings about foods
from their past. Sometimes these special recipes get lost. This section
is to help people who are looking for lost recipes from their past. If you
submit a request, please include the geographical region where
you had this recipe.
A Thank You!
I made the Chocolate Meringue Cookie recipe that were sent in by Jim
B. in response to my request (Newsletter #395). They were fantastic.
If you are looking for a great cookie recipe, give them a try... Bill
Hello! My mother passed away last year, and as I was cleaning out
her recipe cupboard, I was quite upset to find (or NOT find!) her
recipe for Pinwheel Cookies. She would make these each year at
Christmas only, and they were like little pieces of cookie heaven, that I
looked so forward to. I always assumed that recipe would be with all
the others, but ... these particular pinwheels were made initially with a
kind of shortbread dough, which was separated in half - one half was
then made into chocolate (I remember she used melted Baker's
chocolate). The white and chocolate dough were rolled thin, then
rolled together and refrigerated. When you sliced them before baking,
the white and chocolate dough made a pinwheel design. I haven't
been able to find a recipe that approximates my mother's! I would love
to make these cookies every year at Christmas, as my own special
memory of her. Can anyone help? Thank you so much. Linda.
If you can help this reader with this recipe, please forward it to
email@example.com . If you have a vintage recipe request send it to
firstname.lastname@example.org and we might just publish it here.
Be sure to check out our vintage kitchen collectibles section online at:
11) New Online Merchants
This merchant just opened shop online. Stop by and check out their
Elegant Antiques By Eve
Antiques, Vintage Items and New. Many from Auctions, Estate Sales,
even from the U.K. A little bit of everything.
Hope you will browse my store daily, as I will be adding new Items.
I've been a dealer for over 30 years and I have many satisfied
customers. My inventory includes Pottery, glass, cookie jars, sporting
goods and many other fine antiques.
Hello fellow collectors! Here you will find an enticing store full of
goodies and treasures! There will be new inventory added weekly,
so check back often, and see what treasures await for you!
This year, open your own online Antique & Collectible Shop.
If you have one or a few items to sell, try our classifieds at
If you have more than a few items to sell,
open your own store at TIAS. It's easy and fun. Over 170,000 customers
visit us on an average day. It costs you nothing to get started. Take a
12) Helpful Resources:
1. What's it worth? Try Kovels' free online price guide to over 300,000
antiques and collectibles. It can be found online at
2. Looking for an expert to help you with repairs, or an appraisal?
Or just some help finding an auction house or a collectors club? Try this
free service at
3. Looking for prices for antiques and collectibles?
PriceMiner.com has millions of them. Most items listed include color photos
as well. Sign up today at:
(Not affiliated with Kovels.com)
4. Get an online appraisal
For just $9.95 from "What's It Worth To You?"
(Not affiliated with Kovels.com)
5. The Latest News regarding Antiques & Collectibles
Take a look at
Thanks for reading. Feel free to forward this to a friend. To subscribe to this
newsletter go to:
Please note that stories and
recipes from readers are not checked for accuracy. They may be edited
prior to publication. For questions or comments, you can reach us at
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