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Fri Aug 10 2012 10:03:40

Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell

By: Julia Wilkinson

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A couple Fridays ago we ran a survey to find out more about you and what you sell, so we could better serve you with information and stories about those categories. So this Friday we're sharing with you the results.

I found them very illuminating, especially the wide range of niche categories you named under the "write-in" option. Here there was everything from lamps and English transferware (and other specific types of China), to smaller, historical items like "stampless covers with mss letters," menus, and "transportation hardware & paper."

But all the categories are fascinating and no doubt have their own nuances that probably have taken many of you years to learn. So, enjoy the survey results for today. If you have time to answer today's blog question, I'd love to know: what got you started in your specific niche? One particular sale? A grandparent? Stumbling across something at a yard sale?

Survey Results:

1. Do you sell antiques and/or collectibles online?

Yes         100.0%   
No          0.0%  

2. Which categories most closely match the type of antiques or collectibles you sell?


Antiquities                                          11.6%  
Books/Manuscripts                            26.1%
Cameras/Photographic                       11.6%
China, Porcelain, Dishware                39.1%
Clothing (Vintage)                               8.7%    
Coins & Paper Money                        8.7%    
Dolls & Bears                                   10.1%    
Furniture                                             2.9%    
Jewelry                                             27.5%
Pottery & Glass                                39.1%    
Textiles/Fabric                                    5.8%   
Maps                                                 4.3%   
Musical Instruments                            4.3%   
Silver                                                13.0%    
Sports Memorabilia or Equipment       7.2%   
Stamps                                               7.2%    
Toys                                                 17.4%    
Other (please specify)                       43.5%

Of the category you named, do you have a niche within it? If so, please enter it here:

Lamps
stampless covers with mss letters
Mostly sell jewelry 50s-70s
Obsolete die cast model cars
stemware and tumblers
hats
50s rock and roll/ Bill Haley and His Comets' records & memorabilia
Canada, Stamps and Covers
kitchen wares
Cameras
science fiction and fantasy
stamps and coins
China, Porcelain, Dishware; Pottery & Glass
English transfer ware
photographs
Postcards
Glass Shades and various metal parts
Drag Racing magazines, ephemera from the sport, photos and more drag racing paper.
publish the slot card price guide for collectors
menus
we aim for higher end names in porcelain and glass
Wedgwood
Glass
Patterns, signed and plastic jewelry
coffee mugs
Oil Lamps
Shelley China, English items, tea party collectibles
yes, French items
canine collectables
Vintage series books like Nancy Drew, Dana Girls, etc.
Covers
Transportation hardware & paper
military and audio
Americana
vintage womens handbags and art
collectible gun parts
Superheroes
Mostly Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern - All Wood - No Smalls
Railroadiana
Meissen

****

What got you started in your specific niche? Post a comment here, or on the AuctionBytes Blog forum!




Comments (9) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell   Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell

by: mylifeisgood This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 10 10:49:52 2012

The old stand by BEANIE BABIES

Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell   Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Fri Aug 10 10:54:49 2012

Very interesting to see the diversity (not a surprise).

And clearly readers are selling across multiple categories.

Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell   Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww
Web Site

Sat Aug 11 10:46:43 2012

Hey all,

Well, I'll confess to some of my obsessions/niches. One of them is books..I especially like obscure ones and old ones that were beautifully made, with leather and the gorgeous endpaper designs. Not sure where I got that obsession other than being a book nerd most of my life, and later an English major and writer.

I also like to sell jewelry and clothing..esp nice clothing I couldn't afford as a kid..heh. :-) Later in life I got into China, and I adore Meissen, and lately have been learning more about Herend too. But as a yard sale addict I've dabbled with all kinds of things; those are just my main areas of focus. :)  

Would love to hear how you got into what you specialize in, or if there's a story there. (I have a sad blue shoes story, but that's for another day).
Julia

Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell   Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Sat Aug 11 11:05:21 2012

How I got started?

Outside of an abiding fascination with railroads, I started as a custom painter of models with a local hobby store, became friends with the owners & started to learn the hobby shop business. Earned enough to put a downpayment on my house but kept my day job though as a systems programmer.

Fast forward 10+ years later when the railroad museum I was involved with got and offer they couldn't refuse - consign transportation related items from a defunct business & keep half the proceeds for the museum. I got ''volunteered'' by saying what a great opportunity it was and somebody should run the enterprise.

That placed me (and a couple of others) on the ''show circuit'' covering an area between Maine and Maryland for the weekend sales & allowed the museum to pursue its goals.

Around 1996 our museum went from a non-operational tenant on another's property to operating on a 20 mile mainline. Needless to say, the weekend sales routine was replaced with maintenance & operation of the railroad.

But eBay started at that point and was somewhat stable. I saw it as a less time-consuming venue for selling stuff with which I was then familiar with. Over the next 6 years, I was a casual (not powerseller even though that designation came later) seller and buyer learning the eBay ropes and amassing some 1400 FB.

By the time I was done with Korporate Amerika (sorry, was a radical in college in the Kent State era and Nixon was my favorite prez) I wasn't ready to retire and went full time selling transportation collectibles.

Naturally, the learning curve was steep and mistakes were made - got a shoebox of one type of postcard which sold for as much as $16/per but you can't sell to many at once! Some types of items I don't get involved with - such as toy trains, Lionel & the like cause I don't know enough. But overall, it took me over 20 years of starting with a hobby, a fascination with something as a kid, and a few serendipitous events to bring me to this point.

To quote the Grateful Dead - ''What a long strange trip it's been''.

Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell   Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww
Web Site

Sat Aug 11 11:36:32 2012

Al, interesting story..and love how your picture matches your niche! So transportation paper and hardware..just curious what kinds of hardware? And paper, like post cards and ephemera?

Cool that you were a custom painter of models...a real artist!
On an amateur level, my brothers both painted model airplanes and the like..you don't see kids doing that too much anymore, it seems.

Whenever I see train-related books or even ephemera I snap them up. :)

Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell   Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Sat Aug 11 13:44:14 2012

@Al G: Fascinating niche! I've always wanted to learn more about it because my grandfather was a railroad man. I used to play with a model railroad setup with my brother and loved painting models and making props.

The niches I deal with, though, are more tied to the domestic arts: vintage dishes and kitchenware, sewing items, and women's magazines. Kind of funny, since I was always adamant as a child that I was not going to be a homemaker when I grew up. I still hate house cleaning, but have developed a love of cooking and sewing. I did end up becoming an engineer in my day job, just not the railroad kind :-)

Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell   Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Sun Aug 12 16:49:24 2012

Julia:

Hardware - just about anything transportaton related and relatively small. I've sold steam locomotive whistles to the UK, diesel locomotive horns, builder's plates for the larger & heaver stuff.

The small items range from cap badges, buttons, uniforms, dining items, lanterns & globes, signal items, wax sealers, ticket validators & punches to name some.

Personally, I like the original railroad shot or old fashioned glasses with embossed, cut or etched logos/lettering. Having an adult beverage whilst looking into the glass and seeing ''PULLMAN'' on the bottom is quite refreshing.


Paper - timetables, passes, brochures, artwork, advertising, maps, calendars, postcards, tickets, photographs.


Not really an artist to paint models, more like a body shop mechanic - pimp your ride & all that - each customer is unique in how they want a model done - some give you a photo, other's give you a date & say paint it for that period. It takes a lot of research, but you do gain a lot of knowledge.


_____________________________


Tula:R>
In
the 1900's-1920's about 1 in 5 workers was employed by a railroad or railroad related industry - a far cry from today, but we move more goods by rail than ever before with less of an infrastructure. So it does not suprise me that your grandfather (and probably his relatives) were on the railroad.

I do have a locomotive engineer's license now, but I had to take a detour through systems programming because my parents would have killed me if I went to work in the New York City Subway as a motorman - my childhood dream.



_______________________________

Peace y'all

Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell   Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell

by: scview This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Aug 13 07:01:19 2012

I sell postcards...lots of postcards.

How I got started:

Background : I have collected stamps & coins since I was a child. Postcards are an extension of that. While in the U.S. Navy I obtained University degrees in Art & History. These degrees easily apply themselves to the content of postcard images.


I first got into postcards by accident.

A stamp shop I was working part time for bought a VW bug full of postcards for $100 USD. All you could see was the driver and the postcards when the seller showed up at the shop. The Bug was packed! The store owner realized that most of the cards were foreign.

Since my specialty was foreign stamps & coins, he stated I was the new postcard ''expert''. Yippee.... I was not interested at all in postcards at the time. I quickly  looked through the piles of postcards he bought, found one of a black dancer (Josephine Baker) at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, and called a customer. I sold it for 100 USD within 15 mins after we had bought the collection. I then told the store owner, ''Ok, I got you your $100 back. Let’s throw the rest of the postcards away and get back to stamps & coins.''

Luckily for me , he did not listen to me. Eventually over time the cards grew on me and I came to enjoy them.

Now I have over 200,000+ online at anypoint in time.

I have a fulltime business (With 10 employees) in a niche market that I enjoy.

Best of all...you never know when another VW bug full of postcards may show up at the front door of your shop.......

Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell   Antiques Friday: Survey Results on What You Sell

by: racecarguy This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Aug 13 11:02:31 2012

I have always built and collected vintage model car kits. At a certain point, I needed to sell some items to make room for more and a business was born.
Eventually, the business grew to include all types of ''boy toys'' and collectibles.

I started on eBay early enough that you could actually go through an entire category in less than an hour...and find some bargains to boot. Those were the days...

I still build models and collect diecast cars and the business, despite eBay's attempts to kill it, is still an enjoyable pursuit, which I look forward to doing each day.



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