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The Collectors Newsletter #860 -- July 2011
The Collectors Newsletter #860 -- July 2011
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1. Work from home selling antiques & collectibles
2. This Week's Survey
3. Stories From our readers
4. This Week's Antique News
5. Your Classifieds
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 On line Merchants
12. Helpful Resources For Collectors
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1. Work from home selling antiques & collectibles.
In your spare time you can sell antiques and collectibles from home.
Since 1995 TIAS.com has been helping dealers and collectors just like you to sell their antiques and collectibles online. It costs you nothing to kick the tires and see if an online store is right for you. Give TIAS a try today at:
2. This Week's Survey
Every week we post a new survey question and the results from the previous week's survey. Survey questions are about anything related to antiques & collectibles. If you have a suggestion for a survey question, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we might use it in the next newsletter.
Come and visit us on Facebook where you can post comments and photos - see us at
This weeks survey question is ....
"While attending an antique show you find a porcelain vase that you have been trying to find for many years. Surprisingly you found 2, offered by two different merchants. The first merchant is offering the vase for $1200 and the second merchant is selling the vase for $1800 but it also comes with documentation that this particular vase was owned by a famous person that you admire. Which one do you buy?"
It takes just a few seconds to give us your answer to this questions at:
We'll tabulate the results and comments and publish them in next week's newsletter.
The Last Survey Question Was....
"John finds a vintage child's pedal car in the basement of his uncle's house. His Uncle wants him to find out what it is worth. John calls at least 6 different dealers that specialize in pedal cars to get a retail value for the car. They all tell him that they would be happy to give him an appraisal for a fee. He is annoyed that no one will tell him what it is worth unless he pays them. Should antiques & collectibles dealers charge the public for appraisals or should they give this information for free?"
68.6% - said "Antiques & Collectibles dealers should charge people for Appraisals."
31.4% - said "Antiques & Collectibles dealers should NOT charge people for Appraisals"
Here are some written replies that were included with the results from our last survey
a) "Reputable" dealers gain their knowledge from years of study. They should be compensated for that knowledge.
b) It takes knowledge, skill and time to ascertain the worth of an antique. I believe that some monetary compensation is deserved for their effort.
c) If all John wants is a valuation, then a dealer is quite right to quote a fee for the time spent. If John seriously wants to SELL the pedal car, then he can expect a wholesale offer from a dealer. This is what dealers do! One expects to pay a plumber or a lawyer for their time and their expertise, so why should it be reasonable to expect an antiques dealer to work for free ? If John is interested in retail values, then he can consult a catalog in a library or spend a bit of his precious time doing his own online research.
d) Considering the simplicity in providing an estimated value on something like a pedal car and that it requires no real effort I don't think a dealer should charge. Such a simple gesture is good customer relations/advertising and may promote business in one way or another. Something like a precious stone that needs to be weighed and scrutinized or a philatelic item that would require some time and effort is a different story - charging a fee to appraise an item like this is understandable, and should come with a written appraisal document as well. Any competent dealer only has to look at a pedal car for 4 seconds to provide an estimate of value.
e) It takes years for an antique and collectible dealer to accumulate the knowledge that they have and after all, they have a business, You pay your Doctor, the jeweler and others for their knowledge. I don't see where this situation is any different. Linda at Relics
f) I I ran into a similar situation with my parents stamp collection. Our lawyer sent me to a stamp dealer in Chicago to determine the worth of the collection. In this case, the gentleman looked for particular stamps that had some real value. When he did not find them, he gave us an approximate value stating that without some of the rarer, more expensive stamps it was not worth a great deal. He went on to explain that if we wanted an appraisal, there would be a cost involved, as he would take the time to look at every stamp in the collection. He did not charge us for his cursory look and it gave us the basic information we wanted. I felt it was a very fair way to judge something that was dear to my parents, but had no real worth to anyone else.
g) They are a business. You can do your own research if you don't want to pay. That would give you a ballpark figure.
h) If they provide this service for free, they would be swamped all day with requests for free appraisals. Information like that could be found on the internet, and besides, a dealer very well make a low-ball appraisal so he could purchase for re-sale.
i) I think it should be free because usually the average person does not know what it is worth. I think it should have the wholesale value and the retail value.
j) Very little is "free" anymore - including any form of professional consultation - why should antique appraisals be any different? What should be given freely (if asked) is what a dealer would offer the seller to purchase their item for resale.
k) Verbal should be free. (non- binding) Written, people should expect to pay for
l) You wouldn't ask a doctor to give a diagnosis for free. Dealers have spent years and money learning their profession and shouldn't be expected to give away their knowledge for free.
m) Reputable dealers have spent years gaining knowledge and researching their product so I think that knowledge is worth something. It is the same with most jobs today, part of your salary is for what you know and part is for what you do. If I am paying for an appraisal though, I would also expect to receive a written valuation.
n) If you bring the item to them, then no charge, if they come to you, then yes they should charge
o) If you are calling a business, then you should expect to be charged. If you are asking a friend for their advice, that's a different kettle of fish. Would you call a Doctor and expect his/or her opinion to be free......a business is a business.........if you don't charge, you will NOT be in business:)
p) Any skill required to be learned, that your making a living doing, should be paid for service rendered. Would an auto worker go into the plant for free? Would a house painter paint just to be nice? If someone wants something for free, they are just trying to take advantage. Nothing is free. Time is the most precious thing of all. It is just common sense. What is the asker's time worth?
q) As a Realtor I do a comparable market analysis for my clients without a charge when listing their properties. No dealer should charge a fee for an estimate of value.
r) I have gone to appraisers paid % of the appraised value only to find out at a later time the appraisal was not even close to correct. Not the item value. They were very wrong about everything. Perhaps for a flat item price, per item or even admit they don't have a clue about the item or value of the item might be a better explanation. People hate to be ripped off.
s) Charge for a written appraisal? YES for one over the phone (verbal) no. Give the person an idea what it is worth in a range (ie $50 to $75) not a specific price. Tell them a range of prices that dealers would pay too. This would help them to decide what to do with it, you might even get their business if they decide to sell! I often get asked by friends & family what an item is worth and I always try to get a range of prices from ebay, amazon, my experience, etc. When I give them a price range and advise them how they can sell the item if that is what they want. Sometimes I can refer them to a dealer or someone that might be interested in buying the item but I ALWAYS leave it up to them and what they want to do with it, I don't get involved in their negotiation!
t) Dealers are in the business. They have a right to charge a fair fee for appraisals. If John doesn't want to pay he can buy a book that gives values for his piece.
u) Unless you are a licensed appraiser you should not be giving out appraisals, much less charging for them! A ball-park estimate usually satisfies most people making sure you acknowledge that you do not profess to be an expert. Often times you get more (or better) information by doing an online search. Properly trained appraisers, however, are another story. They have the education, training and experience in their field and one should not expect to receive their services without paying for them. Too many people have watched Roadshow, Pickers, Pawn Stars, etc. and now think everything their grandparents owned is worth alot of money. The "value" of an item at any given point is, after all, only what someone is willing to pay!
v) Dealers have to spend a lot of time and money keeping up with price trends, so they should charge people. The dealers have to examine the pedal car themselves to be sure of its condition and maker and model. This costs them in travel and time. If the uncle allowed it, the man could carefully take the pedal car to dealers and ask them to look at it. Then, the dealer could decide whether to charge for an evaluation. If a charitable organization asks dealers to serve at a public appraisal clinic, they could do that for free or for a much reduced price, because it helps their reputations and gives them a chance to see many items and talk with other dealers.
w) For a single item like a pedal car I do not think a dealer should charge a fee. If the appraisal was for an entire estate or for a high insurance valuation a fee would be appropriate. I've seen about 30 pedal cars sold at auction in the past few months none of which realized a price in excess of $300. Certainly not worth paying an appraisal fee for.
x) With all the internet and print sources available today, John should get off his lazy butt and look up the answer himself. Part of being an antique dealer is the knowledge that is accumulated only after years in business, and that is surely worth something. An item I found at a yard sale recently took almost an hour's worth of online research AND a trip to the library before i was able to get even a rough idea as to value. Why is an antique dealer's time not worth anything? You'd better believe I'd charge for it, especially if it involves a lot of research!
y) First of all, I am an antiques dealer AND an accredited appraiser. I occasionally give people free information if it only takes a few minutes of my time and I can do it via an email or a phone call. I don't have a storefront though, so if I must go somewhere to physically inspect an item, then it's a different story and I must charge my typical appraisal fee. That being said, dealers and appraisers are in business to earn a living. Giving free information doesn't put food on the table, and I can understand that the half dozen that he contacted were willing to conduct his appraisal, but only for a fee. I might also point out that John probably has access through the internet to most of the same resources we dealers and appraisers have access to when we do our research, other than the paid subscription sites that we use. There are free auction results websites available and if John doesn't want to pay someone for their knowledge (which didn't come free, I might add) he can spend a little of his own time and do the research himself, probably arriving at a conclusion quite similar to the value he would have been given had it paid for it. The majority of internet search engines, as well as eBay, should give him plenty of information, and if he still needs more, there are specialty books on the subject that he can order.
z) You're paying for THEIR time and expertise. If "John" was a "top" information person, should he be expected to give up HIS time (AND money as time is money) to give something HE earned the hard way (through a dint of giving up HIS time and money)? NO one can continually give away without seeking remuneration to replenish the coffers; yet that is what EACH person is hoping for when asking for a "free" appraisal.
aa) I suppose it is like any other field of expertise, should dr.'s charge for their knowledge? But we don't like it! I would however look on line & wing it best I could at some freebee website or go to the library & find a published book on it. The web has made it very easy to find out just about anything, plan B the old fashioned way....library. But it's really only worth what someone will pay for it.
bb) As I see it, if you are not a professional appraiser, you really have no basis to charge for appraisals. You should give a ballpark figure, and make clear to the individual that yours is not a certified appraisal,,,,,that worth is based on several factors, including condition and market ups and downs. Any individual can get a good idea of what his item is worth by noting what those dealers have their pedal cars priced at. If he wants a more reliable idea, he will have to PAY an actual appraiser.
cc) If an accurate written assessment of value can be given by a dealer, then they should definitely charge for this service. However, the assessment should be based on thorough research and the written assessment should include the basis of the value. If the customer just wants a "shoot from the hip" estimate that isn't given in writing, and no research is done, then that shouldn't warrant a fee.
3. Stories from our readers
We collect interesting stories about collecting. Things like your best find, unusual collections, bizarre collectibles even things that bug you. Anything and everything that is interesting that has to do with antiques & collectibles. We may publish it here. Send your story to Phil@tias.com
Our current question is...
What was the best thing you ever found at the curb? We received the following...
I started collecting antiques when I was a 3rd grader in 1951. My Dad had a used car & implement business along with some rental buildings in Tecumseh, Nebraska. Around 1959 or 1960 I found a octagon barrel from a muzzle loader in a trash can next to my Dad's business along the street. I kept this barrel until the 1970s when I found a black powder shop in Bellevue, Nebraska. They said they found a marking on the barrel indicating it was made around 1830. I had them make the barrel into a wall mounted muzzle loader which looks really nice. Although it will not shoot, it is a nice collectible. Should probably mention that the black powder shop tried to buy it from me, but I declined saying it was not for sale.
Mike in Colorado
WE NEED YOUR STORY ABOUT COLLECTING. DO YOU HAVE AN INTERESTING STORY TO TELL? SEND IT TO PHIL@TIAS.COM
4. This week's Antique News
If you want to tell the world about your antiques & collectibles business, auction, club or upcoming event related to the antiques and collectibles trade, you can post it for free at
the #1 listing on Google for "Antique News" Your news release will get published online and will also appear in this newsletter so that 16,000 people can read it. To post a release, go to
1. Marilyn Monroe-Kissed Baseball, Lou Gehrig Uniform, Shoeless Joe's Bat in Impressive Sports Auction
2. Houdini Master of Magic This Week at LiveAuctionTalk.com
3. Paul Fraser Collectibles'... Top Five items of Harry Potter memorabilia
4. BuyYourCoins.com Recently Added Scrap Gold to their Growing List of Precious Metals Buying
5. Gray's to auction Civil War Painting
6. A SUMMER AUCTION IN “TWO ACTS” AT GARTH’S
7. Japan Auction Useful Info
8. Morphy Auctions opens sports memorabilia department
9. Bids Soar for Old Texas Cowboy Spurs l Top Selling eBay Auction
10. Original Spider-Man #49 Cover Art, by John Romita Sr., expected to bring $100,000+ at Heritage
11. Charities Recycle 60 Million Books a Year
12. Discover the ten most expensive items of Apollo 11 memorabilia
13. Buy vintage jewelry easily and most conveniently, online through vintageyard.com
14. The Rising Trend for ‘Ultra Modern Collectibles’
15. Southeast Asian Art Takes Auction Spotlight – artmarketblog.com
16. AS CHINA TAKES LEAD IN INTERNATIONAL ART WORLD, SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST ASIAN ART FOLLOWS STEADILY BEHIN
17. Questioning the Art Market – artmarketblog.com
18. Six Super Art Investment Tips – artmarketblog.com
19. Gibbons Stamp Monthly Defies Publishing Downturn
20. Bid Online For Several Exceptional Relics of the Past
Check the latest news headlines about antiques and collectibles at
MANY more stories are added several times a day. You can read the latest news about antiques & collectibles now at:
5, Your Classifieds...
Time Was Antiques English Royalty Items Specialists
Need an Unique Business or Special Occasion Gift?
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 15,000 readers subscribe to this newsletter. One of them just might be able to help you out. Place your ad today at:
Want to know what our advertisers think? Check out the testimonials at:
6. Newly listed items for your online shopping pleasure for Friday July 22, 2011 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.
Hello from Georgia,
A couple of weeks ago I went to the hospital to see my sister in law who had recently had major surgery. She was not feel great so I told her that when she was tired to let me know and I would leave. She said she thought she would like to take a nap so I immediately got up to leave and I said to her "I need to get home anyway as I need my beauty sleep". She came right back with "And what day did you miss". I chucked all the way home.
Thanks for a great newsletter, I enjoy them so much.
Sincerely, Norma C. - Griffin, GA
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?
WANTED: Vintage Medical and dental Items. Especially quackery.
GET YOUR WANTED AD HERE! Just $10 and we'll send it out to 15,000 people who get this newsletter. Go to
Looking for something? Place a "Wanted" ad in this newsletter. Over 16,000 subscribers will see it. It's easy, go to:
9. A Vintage Recipe
Be sure to check out our vintage recipe archive online at:
Over 1200 wonderful vintage recipes are listed.
In the last issue Becky requested some recipes for blackberries. We received the following...
2 env. unflavored gelatin
1/2 c. water
1 qt. whole milk
2 c. dry milk solids
1 c. sugar
Pinch of salt
1-2 tsp. vanilla extract
Sprinkle gelatin over cold water and set aside. In saucepan put other ingredients. Add gelatin and cook over medium heat until gelatin dissolves. Let cool. Freeze in refrigerator trays to mushy stage. Remove and beat with mixer. Return to trays and freeze until firm.
Buy a Vintage Kitchen collectible from us. We've got lots of them here:
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.
Do any of your readers have a good shrimp gumbo recipe. Rose
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
Be sure to check out all of the fresh inventory offered by these new merchants at TIAS.
Featuring a wide assortment of fine vintage and collectible items including glassware, pottery, jewelry, ephemera, books, toys, holiday items and much, much more! New items added regularly, so feel free to stop and browse anytime.
Old Charm Inn
Welcome to Old Charm Inn. I have been a collector for 30 years. My shop sells, costume jewelry, china, collector's plates, art, books, photos, dolls, gifts. I provide a 7-day money back guarantee. We accept checks and money orders.
Our store offers antique pictures, chromolithographs, engravings, delightful rarities, botanical and animal prints, artistic sceneries, also miracles of natural history from the 19th-20th century. Please feel free to ask any question if it seems necessary. Don't miss our collection!
Welcome to Precious Peddler! We feature vintage china and glass pieces, as well as many collectible items. New treasures are added daily, so be sure to check our store often. No sale is ever "final" - we guarantee your satisfaction.
Pieces of the Past
Quality collectibles & antiques at fair prices! We pledge customer satisfaction and service for every item that you purchase from our store.
12. Helpful Resources:
1. Find an antiques or collectibles club. Nearly 2000 different clubs listed. Take a look at:
2. What's it worth? Try Kovels' free online price guide to over 600,000 antiques and collectibles. It can be found online at
3. Make money with your Web site. Join the TIAS.com affiliate program today. Go to
4. Get an online appraisal. For just $9.95 from "What's It Worth To You?"
(Not affiliated with Kovels.com)
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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 newsletter@TIAS.com ©1995-2011 TIAS.com Inc.
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