Saturday, November 17, 2012


News Flash!
Twinkie the Kid Found Dead!
President has hand in demise.

Twinkie the Kids twin brother Billy.  Former gunfighter. Saddened
by the loss of his brother.  "All he ever wanted was to spread his cream filled joy
to everyone in America." 


Twinkie the kid was found dead this morning, presumably at the hands of our President Obama.  Obama care and......
.....were found to blame.

Conservatives were quick to blame the president for the demise of the world famous cream filled cake stating......
.......and his wife Michelle and her healthy kids crap, really pushed him into it."

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney stated, "I could have saved Twinkie the Kid by simply......
.......on day ONE!

Profiteers abound.  Local antiques and collectible dealers are buying up the remaining cupcakes at a near record pace.  One dealer who would only refer to himself using his eBay handle "Dream Cream" commented "that at over $100 per box....
......he would fill himself with cream"

Ridicules, why in the world would people react with such stupidity over a box of cupcakes, that ironically enough, are absolutely horrible for you.  The announcement of the demise of the Hostess brand has created a new business, selling boxes of Twinkies on eBay for astronomical prices. 

Asking prices for a box of Twinkies is as high as $8,000! As a society are we really this stupid?  The answer is yes.  It seems that anytime something tragic, such as the death of a high profile celebrity, or the demise of a tasty treat, the American public goes crazy. For those of you that absolutely cannot live without one, I am sure that someone will either buy out the Twinkie brand or will come up with something equally as tasty. 

In any event, if your a seller and have access to Twinkies go out and buy them immediately.  Even though Twinkies can survive a nuclear holocaust the timeline for selling them at a premium price will be short lived.  If you a buyer of Twinkies online, your an idiot and should be locked away in some Russian managed asylum.

By the way, the chocolate filled Twinkies (ughh) sell for even more and some very interesting photo's come up when you google twinkie. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dog plays with antique toy!





Notice how not a dog toy is missing its wooden feet. It seems that what we humans deem to be dog chewable and what small dog deems as chewable are not in agreement.

Don't leave $200 schuco windup human toys were non human inhabitants can get to them.

For sale...cute boston terrier. $200 OBO

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Online Auction Time!

I've been an auctioneer for over eight years and live auctions have always been my forte. But times are changing. This is actually the third time that I've had an all online auction, but it's the first with collectibles only.

So, if any of you have a strong desire to purchase a Longaberger basket or a Christmas Barbie the go to ;

44512 zip code
And follow the bouncing ball to my auction listing.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, October 22, 2012

Best of craigslist

i could use some paint, indoor, outdoor both. most colors would work. have any lying around?? would trade for black walnuts, red raspberries. call 222-xxxx
Location: salem

I regularly check Craigslist. I do it because you never know what will turn up. This is a classic Craigslist posting...I suspect that the author lacks teeth, is married to his sister and his truck has yellow license plates.

Doesn't it make you wonder what the non-working colors are? Is he (she) an artist painting a mural on the kitchen wall? And how about the offer for a trade, mm mmmm good.

Anyways, if tins got a bunch a ol paint liyun aroundt gimme a holler.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, October 12, 2012

Garage sale stamp collection

Sometimes it just make you wonder what people are really thinking. We arrived at this particular garage sale 3 hours after it opened. Sitting gon the floor in a box was a stamp collection for $10.00 or best offer. I

I spent about 30 seconds looking through it and decided that the $10 asking price was more than fair and I told the owners that I would take it.

As it turns out there is over $300 worth of unused / uncancelled postage in the box. So this Christmas I will be licking and sticking what amounts to free postage for me. Don't ignore old stamps, sometimes they are still useable.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, July 9, 2012

I Was Walking Down The Street One Day...

This evening I decided to take the dogs for a walk around the block.  They were their usual uncooperative selves, sniffing, peeing and pooping with reckless abandon.  But, as luck would have it it was trash day and my dogs love to look at trash cans...so do I.

As the walk progressed I couldn't help noticing a particularly interesting pile of trash.  Stacked high and scattered across the devil strip (tree lawn in everywhere but N.E. Ohio) was an incredible offering of interesting trash.  I nonchalantly peered into the receptacles as the two dogs did their thing.  After some delicate maneuvering of some interesting smelling items with what appeared to be a bunch of wiggling yellow worms all over it when I discovered these albums.

You ever heard "One man's trash is another man's treasure."?  Well, here is my treasure.  Approximately 400 vintage 78 rpm Victrola records.  I quickly took the dogs home, threw them into the car and drove directly to the treasure trove.  Five minutes later I was at home.  It took a some time to take off all of the little worms (the dogs seemed to really like them, they must have tasted good) and after a quick analysis, I determined that my walk with the dogs was going to be profitable. 

Assuming that there are no rare classics involved I should be able to turn them over for around $100.  Not bad for an evening walk...and the little dogs got a special treat too!!

Friday, June 22, 2012


The tire is fixed, $158.00 at Sears.

I didn't get to drink the Crown Royal.  It seems that people actually collect the bottles.  Off to Ebay.  Hopefully to bring enough money to pay for the tire.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I purchased this really cool 1960's bamboo bar today at a garage sale.  After purchasing it I manhandled it onto the back of my trailer, towed it 30 miles, flipped it upside down and over the railing of the trailer and then found the bonus...a full bottle of Crown Royal. 

I really don't drink very much (less than 6 nights a week) but finding an unexpected bonus like this can lead to good things.  Now I know that it isn't a diamond ring, but my usual fare comes in a box that costs less than $15.00 and contains approximately 8 bottles of this size.

Hopefully, this stuff is still good.  I'm going to test it out on the dogs first, just in case.

Sears, Can You Fix This?

I decided to go to an auction in Pennsylvania today and ran into a little problem.  It seems that bolts and tires don't mix together very well.  As I was driving along I80 a slight clicking sound was emanating from my truck.  I suspected that one of the tires on my trailer was making the noise, wrongo, it was my rear truck tire, a rear truck tire with a 3" bolt stuck in it.

Fortunately, I'm cheap.  So cheap that I am the guy that everyone bitches about on the highways.  I've found out that my gas mileage is 20% higher when I drive 55, so I do.  In this case it was a double blessing, I got the gas mileage and when the tire blew I didn't end upside down in the median. 

Well, I missed the auction.  Thank you AAA for your prompt service. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Clover Knitting Needle Case

What knitter wouldn't want to have one of these babies laying around waiting to be used. Storing the needles properly is an important thing. At over 18" long this would keep even the most particular knitters satisfied. The mid section can be readied for use by gentle grabbing it with both hands and wiggling it open. One open the hollow shaft is revealed for storing your needles. The head can be popped off to reveal even more storage.

  Its handsome design makes it perfect for displaying for your family and friends, can't all of you imagine how proud the owner would be to have this standing tall in their knitting bag. I tried to determine if there were any alternative uses for it, after all re purposing is a great way to add saleability to an item.

Here a few of my ideas (most of them do make it necessary to stick it into some type of hole);

1. Use it to plug up those pesky chipmunk holes. Its just about the right size and would prevent them from destroying your bushes.

2. Flower planting, use the pointed end to open up the ground for planting. One push and the annuals could go in.

3. It could be used as a toy, after all it does look like a rocket ship.

Any other suggestions? Send them to me, I promise I'll post them and give you full credit for them.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

International Harvester Watch Fob

I've taken a little time off from blogging because I just plain needed a break. It seems like I've been on the run almost constantly for the last few months and the blog was the thing that suffered.

  But, I'm back... It seemed like a really good buy. Forty five watch fobs for just a few dollars. Perfect for Ebay, I thought that making money on these would be easy. Afterall they were inexpensive, easy to list, easy to ship and pretty cool looking. How could I go wrong?

The primary problem is very simple, I hate listing things on Ebay. I continually purchase things like this thinking, "I'll put them on, everyone will love them and I'll make loads of money." It usually doesn't work out this way. What really happens is I buy the items, throw them into my storage barn and then promptly forget about them. The next step, because I've forgotten about them, they accidentally end up in a big box and ultimately get sold at a local junk auction. Instead of making money, I loose.

The moral of the story, don't buy it unless you are able to follow through on the sale. I too often end up loosing money due to my inability to follow through on the selling end of the business. I'm working on it, but old habits die hard.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Aunt Shirley and Uncle Joe

Aunt Shirley and Uncle Joe are both in nursing care, unfortunately in two different homes, this is a summary of today's telephone conversations.

UJ Dave, call me when you get a chance

AS. Dave call me.

Me. Called Joe, Joe said he had not spoken to AS

Me. Called AS, she said that she had not spoken to UJ.

UJ. Called to say that he could not remember AS's number. Asked me to tell her to call him.

Me. Called AS and asked her to call UJ.

12:00 pm
AS. Tried to call UJ

AS. Called me to tell me that UJ was not answering his phone.

Me. Called UJ to tell himAS was trying to call him. He said OK.

Me. Called AS to tell her that UJ was in his room.

AS. Tried to call UJ

AS called me to tell me UJ would not answer his phone. Asked me to call UJ to tell him to call her.

Me. Called UJ to tell him to call Shirley. Said he could not. Told me to have her call him.

Me. Called AS to tell her to call UJ.

AS. Called ...

As of 8:49 this evening each of them have called me over a dozen times each. They have not spoken to each other. I'm on my way to the nursing home to dial the phone for them.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, April 12, 2012


In the category of "What????" and "Why????" are hankies. I can say that outside of the 80 plus year old's, that I have never seen anyone use one of these. The very idea of carrying a snot laden rag around in my pocket all day, just seems a little gross. After all who can ever forget Grandma taking her stiff and crunchy hanky out of her pocket book, spitting on it, and then using the now moist rag to wipe cookie crumbs off of your face.

So, who in the world is buying them now? I'm just not sure. All I know is that they do. Pretty, flowery, feminine type hankies sell for a couple of dollars to a couple of hundred dollars. Men's hankies sell for quite a bit less, but still do sell. Unused, or at least clean hankies are normally the way to go. I just can't imagine selling Aunt Millies used crusty hankie for very much, but then again you never really know.

Sell them on EBay or Etsy. I normally sell mine across the auction block. It usually doesn't maximize your cash, but then again I'm a little lazy and the auction can be the quickest and easiest way to sell. The hanky with the dog on it sold for $175 on ebay!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Rookwood Vase

Rookwood production pieces like this one used to bring strong prices. A vase like this one would have sold in the $250-300 range just a few short month's ago. Right now I would suggest Stashing items like this. The tough economy, high shipping costs and just plain lack of enthusiasm from buyers has resulted in a drastic drop in value on items like this.

We recently sold this piece for $125.oo, less than 1/2 of its previous selling price. Hold off if you can, if not be careful when buying. You can still make money, even in a down market if you adjust your purchase prices to the appropriate levels.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mountain Lions

I really didn't do too much this weekend, so I spent a few minutes looking back at old photo's of treasures past. This one popped up and I thought it was pretty cool so here we go.

This mounted mountain lion showed up a a local auction several years ago. I was immediately interested in it because cool looking, unusual items often sell very well. The problem with this mount is (was) you have to be very careful about selling certain types of animals. I'm really not sure about why, after all they are already dead, but the department of wildlife frowns on the selling of certain mounts. Their frowning comes with high fines, jail terms and public embarrassment.

So, before bidding on it I did some research. This particular type of taxidermy it is legal to sell. I ended up purchasing it for around $100. The question now became what do I do with it. Initially I attempted selling it at the antique mall. I priced it at $450, I chose this price after some Internet research showed other dealers asking $1,500 or more for similar mounts. The antique mall that I have space in has a price point of $8.00 so needless to say, it didn't sell.

Being a consummate daredevil I decided to try the auction route. This may seem like a crazy concept to some of you but, buying at one auction and then selling at another can be a very effective method in money making. Auction goers tend to become "groupies" for one particular auctioneer (or auction company), and will ignore all other auction companies. It seems silly to me because I try to go to every auction I can, but then I really don't care because it enables me to make more money.

The other auctioneer in this case was a whopping 40 miles from where I initially purchased the lion. The result of this gamble, a profit of $800 after commissions. That's right $800. The lion was advertised the same at each auction, the difference being the stuffed animal buyers went to one auction and would not go the other.

Insane? Sure, but then again, who cares. Your goal as a dealer is to make a living for yourself. Paying attention at all auctions to see who buys what, and where they buy it at can really payoff for you.

Marked Woman, or How I Ruined Raggedy Ann...

Priced to Sell!

Recently, we held a very successful household tag sale. Most of the time I try to lead the sellers to the auction route, in this case we determined that the most effective means would be having a tag sale. It was a lot of work but the payoff was worth it. Over the course of 3 days we sold over 90% of the items in the house, but it was not without incident.

Chastised, threatened, humiliated over a $1.00 figurine. I made the fateful error of using an erasable marker on a Raggedy Ann figurine. I was unaware at the time of marking this item that the removable marker could not be removed. It seems that removable markers, while not permanent, become permanent when not used properly. Bisque figurines apparently constitute improper use. Raggedy Ann was bisque.

Enter in one of our tag sale patron's, who we will simply call that Whiny B*#ch.

Whiny B*#ch was very upset because of my inappropriate use of an "erasable" marker. I tried explaining that although unfortunate we would make every attempt to remove the now unremovable markings from the front of the doll. Whiny B*#ch followed Stephanie (my wife) from room to room while she looked for anything that might lead to the restoring Raggedy Ann to her original pristine condition. It was to no avail. Raggedy's pristine appearance, just like her lost virginity could never be returned. Water, soap and scrubbies did not work. We even tried contacting the erasable marker company, their response almost equaled the Whiny B*#ch's, "They were meant for use on dry erase boards only!". Oops.

Whiny B*#ch left in complete and utter disgust. She was last seen slamming her car door shut while nervously lighting a cigarette. She sped off wheels squealing in an apparent display of disgust.

Embarrassed and not knowing what to do, I purchased the figurine myself. I plan on carrying her with me everywhere with me to remind me that not all markers are created equally. I'm now a dollar poorer, and I will forever be reminded of the day that I took a clean ceramic dolls beautiful finish and ruined it. I will spend the rest of my days taking care of her, with the hope, that someday we will be able to unring the bell.

Meeting Gus!

Favorite Movie TARZAN

Smelling the Roses

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Greater Youngstown Home and Garden Show

This weekend we will be conducting an antiques and collectibles appraisal show at the Greater Youngstown Home and Garden Show. The event is held at the Austintown Plaza in the Austintown Expo Center. We will be conducting the show 1:00 to 3:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday, March 17 and 18.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sandusky, Home and Garden Show

On the road again, this weekend Sandusky. We will have an antiques and collectibles appraisal show this weekend in Sandusky, Ohio. The event will be held at the Kalahari convention center from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Longaberger Baskets

Not really antiques, but definitely collectible, would best describe Longaberger baskets. They used to be great sellers, currently however they mostly collect dust. These baskets belong to a long list of things that used to sale for good prices and are now just a shadow of their prior selves.

A typical basket like this will sell for $10-15 each. As recently as two years ago you could get $50 for this same basket. There are, as always, higher prices for the more unusual examples of Longabergers. The higher priced baskets are low compared to where they were in the recent past.

My recommendation; stick to buying them at garage sales for $2-5 each and sell them for under $10. Getting competitive on things like this based on their past history could be detrimental to your financial health.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Niles, Home and Garden Show

This weekend we will be conducting an antiques and collectibles appraisal show at the Home and Garden show in Niles, Ohio. The show will be at the Convention Center located directly adjacent to the Eastwood Mall in Niles. The show will go from 1-3 on Saturday and Sunday. There is no admission to the show so come on out and enjoy to Home show and get a free appraisal.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Enameled Mesh Purse

Sorry about the delay in doing some posts from the Pittsburgh show. Dealing with sick relatives has been the order of the week.

Enameled mesh purses are in a category of antiques that can just plain drive you crazy. I have watched and purchased this type of purse since my early days as a dealer. The problem is, has been, and will always be inconsistency. It seems that the prices for these purses changes more often and quicker than any other item that is available. I've seen these sell for hundreds, and I've seen them sell for dollars.

Lately they seem to be on the low middle side. This particular purse was in very good condition. I would expect it to sell for around $75.00. I wish that I could have told the person when the best time to sell it would be, I can't. The next one that I see sell will probably go for $250. It is sometimes a fickle market. Purses can be the most fickle of all.

Friday, February 3, 2012


1. Kennedy Shot
2. Nixon Resigns
3. Two Bushes
4. The Gipper?
5. An African American President
6. Vietnam
7. Desert Storm
8. Cuban Missiles
9. Iraq
10. Falkland Islands
11. 1976
12. 2000
13. July 4
14 September 27
15. November 20
16. Black Monday
17. Jim Trafficant
18. Mayor Flask
19. Lyle Williams
20. Lenny Strollo
21. Farah Faucet
22. Linda Lovelace
23. Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders
24. Gay Rights
25.Womens Lib
26. Radial Tires
27. Color TV
28. 8 Tracks
29. Cassets
30. CD's
31. Man on the Moon
32. Space Shuttle
33. Christa McAuliff
34. First American in Space
35. Space Lab
36. Star Wars
37. The Godfather
38. Patton
39. Sound of Music
40. Indiana Jones
41. American Idol
42. Mork and Mindy
43. MTV
44. ABC, NBC & CBS
45. Who Shot JR?
46. Calculators
47. Computers
48. Internet
49. Flat Screens
50. Microchips
51. World Trade Towers
52. Camille
53. Charles Manson

I could write a million more. Its amazing what has happened in 53 years. February 3, 1959...the story continues.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Crazy Man Sells Safe...Wouldn't Recommend Doing It This Way!

The other day I wrote about purchasing this safe. I paid around $80 for it and I thought that with a little luck I could sell it at the local Amish auction for a small profit. I went to the auction where I bought it at and had them set it onto my trailer with a forklift. I'm guessing that it weighed in excess of 500 lbs. The trailer creaked and groaned as the safe was put on it. The trailer wheels sank into the soft ground from the weight.

I knew that the auction that I intended it for also had a forklift, so, in theory I would never have to touch it. Wrong again. As it was sitting on the trailer, someone noticed it and asked me how much? Being a capitalist, I responded with $150. He said "I'll take it.".

I did end up taking it to his home,where he unloaded it by hooking it to a backhoe. Moral of the story, sometimes its better to be lucky than good.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

End Tables

Not very interesting today, but very practical. End tables. They like many items are in virtually every home. This set was in a mahogany finish, with a gently flowing cabriole leg. The set was in perfect condition and as a bonus, made by a known manufacturer, Drexel. Originally purchased for close to $500 for the set they should be considered by anyone looking to make money.

Maybe not. One thing that you have to keep in mind when buying things like used furniture is, how much of this type of furniture is actually available. When you are driving home from work today, count the number of homes that you pass. For the majority of you it will be several hundred. Then think about the fact that most (probably close to 90% ++) of these homes have a set of end tables in them. Then come to a rational conclusion, high availability / average demand equals low price.

I sold this set for seventy five dollars. Five hundred new, seventy five used. Whenever you have items that are widely available with average or below average demand, figure low resale prices. On the plus side if you are looking for stands (or other common items), patience will usually get you something good for a low price. I actually purchase this set for $35 at a local auction. Ultimately, the trick is to be aware; buy low / sell moderate.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cranberry Home Show

This weekend, February 4 & 5, we will be conducting a free antiques and appraisals show. Grab your best stuff, antiques, collectibles, jewelry or just about anything else and come out to the show for a free appraisal.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Safe! Your OUT!! Of Your Mind!!!

There's an easy way, there's a hard way. Take the easy. So, what did I do today? I purchased a safe. Why? I don't really know. It just seemed like a good idea.

Today, I attended an auction that had, among other things this very large, very heavy safe. When it was announced that they had the combination, I was so taken, that I through my hand up in the air, and in a single flash of a second, it was all mine. Weighing in at around 400 pounds I now have the honor of trying to move it. The real question is where? My living room? The basement? How about leaving it on the back of my pick up for added weight in these tough winter months.

Stupid people do stupid things, smart people do stupid things, since I am neither, I suppose that this means that average people do stupid things. Oh well, I'll try selling it on craigslist before I'm forced to move it. It probably won't happen. Do you think that Stephanie (my loving wife) would like to see this in her kitchen? Maybe if I put a flower arrangement on top of it first....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Have No Clue

In the gotcha category, this item came into the Easton Show for appraisal. The problem, I have absolutely no clue as to what it is. This happens occasionally, do any of you have an idea as to what it is? Send me an email if you do.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tiffany and Company Sterling Candlesticks

This pair of Tiffany and Company, sterling silver candlesticks came through the Easton Home Show this past weekend. This pair defies the odds. Most candlesticks are worth the weight of the silver only, the exceptions to the rule are usually name associated. Tiffany, George Jenson and Taxico (Taxico must come with identifying makers marks) are among the few that will exceed scrap silver prices. This particular set I appraised for $450-500 for the pair.

"But people are asking more for them on eBay." This is absolutely true. An eBay search will reveal that several similar pairs of Tiffany candlesticks are being offered for sale at a much higher price. The key to this is "offered for sale". Simply stated, anyone can ask any price, for any item, anytime they want. This is not a guarantee that they are worth that amount. If you want to actually sell them, get them priced at $500, if you want them to sit, price them at $1,000 or more.

The reality on a pair of candlesticks like this is they are available. In other words "not extremely rare". Not everything marked Tiffany is rare or for that matter expensive. The name does help, but, the name does not automatically make them worth thousands. In summary, if you see Tiffany candlesticks you want to try to buy them. Just don't be crazy about it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sand shaker / Pounce Pots

OK, someone stumped me! Saturday, we were conducting an appraisal show in Columbus, Ohio (FabulousEaston Home Show)' and a gentlemen brought in a small wooden shaker. Initially I misidentified it as a salt shaker and was told its true identity as a sand shaker.

Sand shakers were used to dry ink. They originally dated back to the 1600's and had continuous use thru the early 1900's. I correctly dated the shakers to the mid 1800's, I also correctly appraised them at $100 each. A subsequent eBay search unveiled several of the same vintage selling for $80-100. Sometimes even when you don't know an item specifically, you can still come to a price that is correct. It's just a simple matter of connecting the antiques and collectibles dots, and adding 35 years of experience.

As I have said before, every single day I learn something new today it was about sand shakers / pounce pots.

I'll follow up with a photo on Monday, I still haven't totally figured out this iPad for putting on photos.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Staffordshire Dogs

This pair of Staffordshire dogs came in at our show in Columbus, last year. Original Staffordshire dogs were very desirable back in the day. A good set could sell in the thousand dollar range. Then a bad thing happened on the way to the forum, they started reproducing them.

Some reproductions are easy to pick out. They have obvious flaws or are of such lower quality that determining them to be repro's is an easy task. Staffordshire dogs are a little more difficult. Many of the repro's are actually pretty good. This fact along with a declining market in general for classic antiques such as these, has lead to a drastic drop in prices.

A quick look at eBay will show you that the reproduction dogs can be purchased for just a few dollars. A good set of verified antique dogs sell for around $250. Quite a drop from the good old days. I would suggest to anyone who is just going for the look, buy the new. You don't have to worry as much about them being broken, and the overall appearance is close enough to the old, that you won't notice the difference.

For you antique purists out there, make sure that you ask for a guarantee on any dogs that you purchase...especially on any online purchases.

Monday, January 16, 2012

This weekend; Appraisals at the Easton Home Show

Ou annual tour of the home show circuit, begins this weekend in Columbus,Ohio. This years first sow is at the Aladdin Shrine, 3850 Stetzler Road, Columbus, Ohio. We will be on stage on Saturday, January 21 from 1:00-3:00 pm. On Sunday, January 22, we will beon stage from 1:00 - 3:00 pm.

If you have antiques and collectibles this is the place to be this weekend. Everything from fine artwork to boxes of buttons will be brought in for our live, interactive presentation. So even if you don't have anything yourself, come on in to see what shows up.

Appraisals are limited to one item per person during the live portion of the show. Additional items will be appraised after the live shows end. Furniture cam be appraised through photographs.

So, come on in for your free appraisals and enjoy seeing all of your favorite home improvement vendors.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Nissan truck update.

When I purchased this truck it wasn't running. I thought I knew what was wrong with it, I was wrong.

Today, I actually made some time to work on it. When I finally got it to start, the truck was running so rough that it would have been impossible to drive. So, I decided to try the obvious fix, a tune up. My reasoning was sound, by eliminating all of the typical stuff that would make a car not run right, I would be able to concentrate on whatever major problem it really had.

So off to the parts store, $135 later I had all of the basics needed to do a tune up on the truck. I started with the easiest first, the air filter. I pried off the clips holding it in place, and I tried to remove the filter. As I pulled out the filter I noticed a huge amount of "fluff", this "fluff"was created by some type of rodent living in what used to be a air intake.

It took about 10 minutes of cleaning to fix the problem. Afterwords the truck ran perfectly. The moral of the story, don't ever allow mice to nest in your automobiles engine compartment. As it turns out I could have fixed the truck for free.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A&W Auction Insanity

Today, I worked at an auction for the iconic A&W restaurant in Boardman, Ohio. It's fame was based on its long history as a hangout for car aficionado's. The auction was conducted by Paul Basinger Auctions. Paul is a master of promotions. This sale was promoted on television and print media like few others that I have ever attended.

The crowd was tremendous. The prices equaled the crowd. The equipment's prices were on the high average side, the memorabilia would knock your socks off. Groups of 4 A&W mugs were selling for over $150, the ordering stations averaged over $300 each, porcelain signs sold for $900 each and the clock brought an amazing $800. What makes this even more impressive is there was a 10% buyers premium added to all purchases.

But, even though each of these items did fantastic, two other items set new standards for auction insanity.

The first was a photograph of two hot rods, I like hot rods as much as any other guy, but the two gentlemen bidding on this photo must really like hot rods. The photo sold for over $400!! It's not like this was an exceptionally rare photo. I actually thought that it was a good quality stock photo. I either really missed it this one, or they did. I'm voting for them. Sometimes with memorabilia bidders get caught up in the moment, this was one of those moments.

But, as crazy as the photo was the plastic gum ball machine was beyond imagination. I personally thought it should bring around $350-400, not at this sale, it brought in a whopping$2,300!!! The photo is a little grainy, but, I think you get the idea.

There are times when auction magic defies logic. It will happen whenever buyers become enamored with the idea of owning a perceived piece of history. So the next time that you think that you have to own a $10 item for $200 think of this lesson, then leave immediately.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Success at the car auction

Last Saturday, Stephanie and I wenT on a whirlwind auction tour. The first stop of the day was at George Roman's Auto Auction. I usually try to attend all of the car auctions for a couple of reasons. One very good reason is every now and then a car (or truck) will sell for a reasonable price. A second is the auctions are a lot of fun.

This particular truck was towed in. For the most part tow vehicles are a huge gamble. Typically they are wrecked beyond driving, or they have some horrendous mechanical problem. This Nissan would turn over but once it was started it would immediately stall out whenever the gas pedal was depressed. This made it impossible to drive.I gambled.

A few years back I had another car that did the same exact thing. The darn car would start and as soon as you tried to put it into drive it would stall. I fixed it by replacing the mass air flow sensor. It's a $100 part that anyone with a screwdriver can fix. In absolute terms I didn't know that this was the problem but I took a chance.The gamble paid off. I paid $1,150 for the truck and after paying for it I tested the air flow sensor.

Bingo!!It ran fine! Now I know that I'll be spending several hundred more to get the truck just right, but where can you buy anything for that much money. The trick to buying cars at auction is patience, observation and a little luck. Patience means passing on a lot of cars before the right one comes along. Observation, look carefully at every car and be willing to bid on the best one. Luck, pray that you were right about the first two.

This is about the 20th car or truck that I have bought at auction. I've had a few that we're bigger pains in the @&/es than they were worth. But, because I paid so little for them I've never lost any money. Often I've made pretty good money on them. So give the car auctions a try. They are like a box of chocolates Forrest.

Oh yeah, it's a 4x4, automatic,a/c and a little on the dirty side.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Whiffle Pinball Machine


Business is slowly picking up. Yesterday, I had a call to look at the contents of an old garage. It turned out to be mostly miscellaneous junk, but hidden in the attic was this really cool Whiffle pinball machine made in Youngstown, Ohio in the 1930's. This particular machine was in poor condition. It had been sitting in the old garage attic for as long as anyone could remember.

The wood was suffering from varying degess of dry rot, the base was very shaky and it was missing several pieces of trim work. Rodents of some type had decided that it made a great placeto hide their nuts for winter, it was full of nutshells. In spite of all of this I wanted it anyway.

I offered $250 for it based on its need for extensive repairs. They didn't sell it. My guess is they were unduly influenced by eBay. I checked on it after leaving and found that someone was trying to sell their Whiffle for $1,400. It was in far better condition (the one on ebay) and I suspect that they were fishing, hoping to get a higher than average price. The sellers most likely saw this and thought that my offer was to low.

It wasn't. One of the problems with inexperienced sellers doing their own research is they don't really understand how the business works. An asking price is not necessarily an indication of true value. In this case the ebayer was plain too high. Whiffle's in good working condition sell for $700 in the Youngstown area. Poor condition models like this one sell for $350. My offer of $250 was more than reasonable given its condition. Since I do Need to make something on my purchases I had to walk away.

This business can be frustrating at times. I wish that every deal worked out for everyone but sometimes you just can't make it happen.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Winter costs money.

I succomed to the pressures of boredom, I went to a casino today. Bad move. I should stick to what I know!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Surviving The Winter In NE Ohio, Judge Judy or Work in the Cold?

Today's big adventure...standing outside in fourteen degree weather looking at repossessed cars. Since there are not many auctions or for that matter many anythings going on right now, I will do pretty much anything to occupy my time. Good friends of mine run a bimonthly auto auction and when things are busy for them they ask me to help out. My task is to write up auto condition reports. In a nutshell I look at the cars and write down what I see. It's real high tech, paper, pencil and clipboard in hand I simply look the cars over!

It doesn't t pay exceptionally well but I do make more doing this than I would sitting at home watching Judge Judy, though I do enjoy watching episodes of stupid people and their lease issues. A second by product is I get to take a first hand look at the cars without other people watching me. This is a great advantage on auction day. I'm able to look closer and longer than everyone else so I can make better buying decisions. This is vitally important to a person who won't spend more than $1,000 on a car!

So this Saturday, armed with all of this superior knowledge I hope to pick out a possible replacement for the red truck that I currently don't like. I'll let you know how it works out.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sorry about the photo's

For some unknown reason the photo's from yestarday's post did not show up all of the time. Hopefully its fixed now.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

GMC Truck

GMC two wheel drive trucks are great in the summer. They absolutely suck in the winter. I spent the day trying to drive this toboggan around town. A dog sled would have been better, but my sledding team is a little weak. They seem more concerned with staying warm than pulling a sled. I haven't seen an antique worth buying in 4 weeks.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Wig Auction

This time of year there just isn't enough going on to kep me occupied. So I will go to absolutely any auction that I can find. Today's sale was at a now defunct wig and hairpiece store. Since I am somewhat follically challenged trying one on "just to see", seemed like a great idea.

I picked out this little number because it seemed to match up to my skin type and color. It was a dark brown with purple hues. Unfortunately a very large person with a much greater need for a brown and purple wig outbid me. I'm pretty sure that I would look better as a redhead. Hopefully the antiques auctions will start again soon!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

As Seen on Television, $50 Buffalo Gold Coins

The commercials seem to run constantly. Fourteen Milligrams of pure 24 karat gold. First issued by the U.S. Government demand was so high that they are no longer available. You can now buy these exact replica's. Limited time offer. Buy now to secure your future. Introductory price of $9.95 plus shipping and handling. National Collector's Mint. Strict Limit of 5 proofs per order. Certificate of authenticity. With gold skyrocketing to over $1,500 per ounce, price can only be guaranteed for 7 days. Based on famous buffalo nickle designed by James Earl Fraser. Made out of .9999 gold that's four nines. Wildly popular with collectors. Iconic. Final issue was going to be $50 each now only $9.95. Must hurry, avoid disappointment and future regret.

Wow, what a great deal!. Being able to buy a $50 gold piece for only $9.95, get your credit cards out, but before you do lets put on our thinking caps and see if its worth it.

Let's do some math:

Assume gold at $1,600 per ounce (actually higher than their advertised claims).

Gold $1,600
Pure content x .9999

total 1,599.84

divide by grams per ounce

.9999 pure 1,599.84
Grams per ounce 31.1

total 51.41

Sounds great so far, oops need to divide by 1,000 to get the cost per milligram

Cost per gram 51.41
Divide by 1,000 1,000

Total .o51

Now multiply by 14, the number of milligrams your actually purchasing

Cost per milligram .051
# of milligrams 14

Total Value $ .72

That's right seventy two cents of gold for only 9.95 (don't forget to add shipping charges).

Doing reverse math gold would have to be worth $30,603 per ounce to break even on your investment. What a deal!!!