Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Wishing my eBay friends a Happy New Year and a wonderful upcoming year!

Thanks for reading my blog - hope to post at least weekly throughout 2009.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Betty Crocker Pie Cover Cookbook

Just a head's up -- this cookbook is very collectible, and always a good find for eBay (or for your personal collection).

It is known as the Betty Crocker Pie Cover Cookbook because of the pie chart diagram on the cover. This book is 1972, and was made with a Sears tie-in (even more collectible).

This book (eBay Item number: 360117936888) is currently at $49.99 with bidding still open. I'll let you know how it does!

Update 12/30/08 -- book sold for $59!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Favorite of the Week - Genuine Copper Vintage Christmas Card

This is a very unusual Christmas card (and I have three of them listed separately in my store). It is genuine copper, with a cool, slick metal feel. It is a wonderful 1920's - 1930's vintage art deco design of a mission church bell. Really beautiful - and really unique! I bought this card as part of a big box lot of ephemera from a Texas estate. I have many more vintage cards (Christmas, Valentine's, Easter, and more) to list in the next month or so.

You'll find this card - and all my others - at the link below:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Favorite of the Week - Rum and Coca Cola, or -- Morey Amsterdam, Songwriter

Did you know that Morey Amsterdam of The Dick Van Dyke Show was a songwriter? I didn't, and I thought this was interesting trivia! He wrote "Rum and Coca Cola." I had no idea ... until I listed this Andrews Sisters sheet music last week:

Friday, November 28, 2008

Favorite of the Week - Vintage Framed Prints and Antique Photos

I hope you'll take a look at the wonderful framed photos, prints, and ads that I posted this past week. They are from an old Ruby Tuesday's restaurant, and they have a great variety of vintage themes. You'll find the pictures at:

These wonderful vintage pictures include:
  • Victorian print of a woman on an old-fashioned telephone
  • Victorian print of a woman with a gramophone
  • 1940's photo of a young woman roller skating
  • 1930's to 1930's photo of a little boy fishing - and he has caught a big one!
  • 1945 photo of the graduating class of B.F. Lee Seminary at the historic black school Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Very interesting photo of Goodman's newsstand in Louisville, Kentucky. You'll see a number of baseball related publications. I would date this 1930's to early 1940's ... and it has a great Walker Evans quality. (Unsigned photo)
  • 1950's vintage advertising poster for Brunswick Bowling - lots of fun!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Favorite of the Week - Vintage Christmas Ornaments, including Shiny Brite Decorations

Wow! It's raining Christmas ornaments here -- or should that be it's snowing Christmas ornaments?

I've enjoyed reading about Shiny Brite ornaments and learning more about vintage Christmas decorations this week. I love retro Christmas -- these ornaments always just look like Christmas to me.

A tip for new sellers or collectors -- always look at the silver cap on the ornament. Shiny Brites are labeled there, and other maker's marks appear on the silver cap. Vintage ornaments made in Germany are also very sought after.

I went through a liquor box full of vintage ornaments yesterday and listed them separately and in small lots. My very favorite -- the beautiful pale blue glass tree topper pictured here. It has two indents (front and back) and is exceptionally pretty. I could not find a maker's mark, but it is the style and era of Shiny Brites. Really a lovely decoration!

You'll find lots of my ornaments here:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Christmas Rush - Tips for Improving Sales

The Christmas rush has begun on eBay! I have had slim listings the last week because I've been busy packing and shipping.

A few tips to improve sales:

(1) Raise prices.
(2) Lower prices.
(3) Pull some store items to Fixed Price 30 days (higher visibility).
(4) Run a series of short sales (i.e. cookbooks on sale for 5 days, then children's books on sale for 7 days, then jewelry on sale for 4 days).
(5) Use Best Offer on your Fixed Price and Store listings. I am a huge fan of Best Offer ... it generates lots of sales!
(6) Be sure all Christmas items have the word CHRISTMAS in the title.

Just a few ideas ... I've done these for several years and they work!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Favorite of the Week - A Very Young Dancer by Jill Krementz

A Very Young Dancer by Jill Krementz is a rare and especially lovely book about ballet for young readers. The photographs by Krementz, of a young dancer who is chosen to perform in the New York City Ballet's Nutcracker Ballet, are wonderful.

Jill Krementz was a Vietnam War photographer, and she is the widow of Kurt Vonnegut. While I like all her children's photography, I especially like her A Very Young series of books.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Favorite of the Week - Antique Christmas Postcards

I went to an ephemera show a while back and bought a wonderful assortment of antique postcards. I kept a few favorites ... and have listed many on eBay (with many more still to list). I put a bunch of vintage Christmas postcards up this week. They are beautiful cards! The greetings on the back are fascinating reading, too.

The three cards pictured here are all by artist Ellen Clapsaddle. She lived 1863 to 1934, and was the most popular postcard illustrator of her time. I love her cards -- especially the ones for Christmas and Halloween!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Favorite of the Week - Uneeda Pee Wee Doll House

Too cute for words! I had to share a picture of this adorable vintage doll house. This dollhouse is 1960s vintage -- I would date it as 1966 to 1968. It's a Uneeda dollhouse for Pee Wee dolls. Perfect Liddle Kiddle scale, too. Super cute and oh so retro! I couldn't find a reference for this dollhouse anywhere online, so I believe it is a rare one.

Sold for $49.99 from my store.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Favorite of the Week - Purefoy Hotel Cook Book

My favorite this week is the Purefoy Hotel Cook Book from Talladega, Alabama. It's a 1971 softcover book with spiral binding, and it says on the cover "true and tried recipes of real Southern cooking." As you flip through the pages, you will find lots of charming, old fashioned Southern recipes here. It made me hungry to list this book!

A tip for both collectors and for eBay sellers - when I worked in bookstore management, we called these books "Junior League style" cookbooks because they are similar in format to the popular Junior League cookbooks. These books sell really well on eBay, whether Junior League, church group, regional restaurant, etc. ... and the recipes seem to always be wonderful! I have a very small collection of these cookbooks myself, from my hometown, and from restaurants I have really enjoyed eating at over the years.

Here is a little peek at a few of the cookbooks you'll find in my store online:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Favorite of the Week - Mardi Gras Cookbook

I love New Orleans, and Mardi Gras, and the whole Cajun culture (especially Cajun Zyedeco music, but that is another post for another day!).

This is a fun and very rare cookbook. It's called Le Vieux Mardi Gras Des Cajins - Mardi Gras Cook Book and it was written by the St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Eunice, Louisiana (1994). It is chock-full of fabulous Southern and Cajun recipes.

Sold on eBay at $9.99.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Favorite of the Week - 1920s Cookbook Full of Handwritten Recipes and Old Food Clippings

This is such a wonderful vintage cooking find. It is an old book called Good Meals and How to Prepare Them, and research indicates that it was published in the 1920's. The spine of the book is delicate, and the cover is worn loose -- but the book is full of old handwritten family recipes and recipes clipped from old magazines and newspapers. Most of the recipes tucked into the cookbook seem to date from the 1920's to the 1950's. What a treasure for anyone interested in food history or vintage recipes!

Sold on eBay - $9.99 - to a collector of vintage food history.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Favorite of the Week - Eloise Wilkin

I love Eloise Wilkin. She is absolutely my favorite children's book illustrator. Her illustrations for me blend nostalgic baby boomer imagery and the joy of childhood. As a child, the Little Golden Books she illustrated were my favorites. (I still have these books and I treasure them!)

Eloise Wilkin was born in Rochester, New York in 1904. She was a trained illustrator, a wife, the mother of four children, a doll designer, and a star of the Little Golden Book community. She often illustrated books written by her sister Ester Wilkin, and she also worked with Jane Werner Watson. She passed away in 1987. Some of the books she illustrated are still in print, and others are out of print and quite collectible. (One of my best early sales on eBay was a lovely copy of the Little Golden Book The Twins.) I highly recommend the lovely Maud Hart Lovelace (author of the Betsy-Tacy series) book that she illustrated, The Tune Is In the Tree.

I always try to keep a few Eloise Wilkin books in my bookstore. Here's a link if you'd like to take a peek:

Friday, August 15, 2008

In Praise of Old Recipes

I love old recipes! One of my favorite personal possessions is a pair of recipe file boxes full of recipes given to me by my mother, grandmother, aunts, cousins, friends over the years. So many happy memories -- and so much fun to cook these favorite dishes again.

I love to find file boxes full of vintage recipes. While I enjoy looking at them myself (I love food history), I also love to share them with other people who will enjoy them as well.

I have 5 of these treasures listed right now. They were from a local estate sale and they contain recipes from the 1940s to present, both handwritten and clipped from magazines and newspapers. I was with my estate sale friend and we went into a basement sale. Everything had to go -- and there were boxes and boxes of vintage cookbooks, handwritten notebooks, and recipe file boxes. I felt like I had discovered treasure! (And yes, I bought many boxes from the sale -- they will appear in my auctions in the next few weeks.)

Some diverse and interesting finds here! A few of my favorite recipe titles in these boxes include: Hundred Dollar Cake, Amish Bread, and Hershey Chocolate Pie (Polly's). As you can see, I like to bake!

Favorite of the Week - Hawaiiana! - Pohaku Kiln Figurine

I've never been to Hawaii, but I would love to visit there someday. I love the beach, and beautiful outdoor settings (especially warm weather ones!). This is my first time to list some vintage Hawaiiana and I am looking forward to seeing what happens.

I found this charming little Pohaku Kiln figurine at a local estate sale. I would date this as 1940s to 1950s. It's a white glazed clam shell, open to show a little hula dancer and ukulele player inside, surrounded by coral and seashells. I love it! What a fun little mid-century souvenir.

Sold on eBay - $8.00 - to a collector of Vintage Hawaiiana.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Favorite of the Week - Vintage Valentine - Girl Knitting with Kitten's Help

Okay, I'll admit it -- other than vintage children's books, my favorite thing to list is vintage Valentines! I lucked into a big box of them recently (I'll be listing more the next few weeks) and they are fun to look at, read, and learn about. This cute little Hallmark Valentine card is from the 1960's. I love the '60's look of the little girl with her ponytail and retro dress. She is knitting as her kitten "helps." The card reads, "I'll string along with you, Valentine." CUTE!

Here are a few of my vintage Valentines:

Friday, August 1, 2008

Favorite of the Week - Early 1960s Sailor Dress Pattern

How cute is this dress design? I love sailor dresses and this dress has such a wonderful early 1960s retro look.

I sell a lot of vintage patterns on eBay. I do well with 1940's - 1960's -- especially:
* designers
* unique and harder to find designs
* children's clothes
* wedding dresses
* costumes
* toys and doll clothes
* embroidery transfers

This pattern sold, but I have many more in my store, if you'd like to take a peek!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Favorite of the Week - Dean Walley - The Little Girl Story

I just love this cute little book by Dean Walley. This was published by Hallmark Books and I have always done well with the small Hallmark books by Dean Walley. This book is called The Little Girl Story: A Child's Experience of Growing and Helping. It was published in 1970, and has illustrations by Arlene Armacost and Gloria Nixon. It's about a little girl's life as she grows from toddler to "big girl" of 4 or 5 or so. Cute!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Christmas in July!

I couldn't resist sharing a few photos of some very old glass Christmas ornaments that I have listed on eBay this week. I love vintage and antique Christmas and always have a number of vintage Christmas books for children and boxed ornaments (i.e. Shiny Brites -- I love them and try to keep a few boxes online all the time). These ornaments that I listed tonight are really unusual. Check out the tiny Bordeaux wine bottle ornament -- it's glass! They are older (I would date these as 1900's to 1940's vintage) and really unique. Here are a few photos - and a link to my Christmas goodies!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Favorite of the Week - Moulin Rouge Ashtray

Hi again,

This is my first blog post in a while! I'm going to start a feature that I'll call "Favorite of the Week." I'll post a photo of my favorite recent listing, and tell what I find interesting about it.

My favorite this week is a retro ashtray with a Moulin Rouge motif. It is heavy yellow glazed pottery with a great Mid-Century Modern/Eames era design (similar in style to California pottery ashtrays). The design is labeled Moulin Rouge and it has a vintage Paris motif. I would date this as 1950's to early 1960's.

I don't smoke (never have) but I just love the look of this piece.

Friday, January 25, 2008

What to include when listing Book on eBay

I started on eBay buying books -- you know, those "oh, I remember those from childhood" favorites. Then I started selling. I still shop for vintage books on eBay, but a lot of auctions are missing vital information for a collector. Here's the information I like to see in a book auction:

Title - full title

Author or authors

Illustrator - this is KEY with children's books, as I often am looking for an illustrator (i.e. Eloise Wilkin, Corinne Malvern) more than an author

Publisher - be sure to also see the dustjacket and back of book, since Book Club Editions (i.e. Weekly Reader, Book of the Month Club, etc.) are frequently listed in these locations

Publication date - look at the copyright page and list the MOST RECENT date. I've made several purchases and been disappointed because auction seller listed the EARLIEST date instead of MOST RECENT, and I ended up with a reprint.

Type of book - Hardcover (with or without dustjacket?), trade paperback (larger paperback, i.e. same size as a hardcover book), mass market paperback (the smallest of the paperback sizes)

Edition - look at the copyright page again for the words FIRST EDITION or string of numbers, i.e. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. I always include this with listings.

Description of book - What is this book about? This is also the place to interest illustrations that may be of interest to a collector - i.e. "lots of vintage illustrations featuring a cute Scottish Terrier" or "illustrations show travel on a Delta Airlines jet."

Condition - Be as specific as possible! Creases? Writing in book? Any dog-eared (turned down) pages? Spots or stains on pages? Foxing (tan coloration) on front or back endpapers? Wear at edges of dustjacket? Library markings? You can't list too much about condition!

I hope this is helpful ... I know this information helps me as a buyer, and I hope it helps my own buyers too!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Vintage Brochures from Old Tourist Attractions

A few years ago, I read a wonderful book called DIXIE BEFORE DISNEY by Tim Hollis. It is about old fashioned tourist attractions in the southern United States. Lots of great memories in that book! So when I found a shoebox full of old travel brochures, I bought them all. They have done really well on eBay, selling from $5.00 to $46.00. The star was a front and back brochure from Florida's Rainforest in Wildwood, Florida. But I've also had Weeki Wachee, Silver Springs (Ocala, Florida), Potter's Wax Museum (St. Augustine, Florida), and more. So don't pass up those vintage travel brochures! Besides -- they're fun to read and travel back in time.

Here are some great vintage travel brochures, if you'd like to take a look: