02/07/2019 at 9:24 am #56534
Something I’ve been thinking about a lot since I began scavenging is the knowledge we accumulate while researching items and what happens to that knowledge after an item sells. I know I’m not alone in finding truly rare and unique items on occasion, and spending a lot of time (possibly too much :-)) investigating them and learning their history. I usually share the information that I find in the listing, but once the item sells, that disappears from eBay in 90 days and is lost, except possibly to some portals like Worthpoint. We’re basically freelance historians of pop culture, furniture, glass, etc… And unlike most websites that may have info, we take great pictures from every angle and in high resolution. Even in the age of the Internet, it amazes me how often something I find seems to have fallen off the face of the earth with little shared information.
What got me thinking about this again was my quest this month to identify a trove of 85 fishing lures that I purchased at auction last year. I managed to identify all but two in the end, but only after scouring countless websites, purchasing two reference books, and joining a Facebook group where anglers hang out. I really enjoy the search and hopefully the time spent will be rewarded. I spent $150 on the lot and so far have sold 5 for a total of $210. I have the asking at more than $1200 for the remaining and may be putting a few up for auction that appear extra rare.
My personal solution for now is to upload pics of everything I think is unique or interesting to Pinterest. That at least copies the picture and the title. You can check out my “museum” of finds here: https://www.pinterest.com/michaels0669/
Wondering if anyone else has found their inner historian and has a way they preserve their research.0
02/07/2019 at 10:11 am #56547
- Location: Washington DC
Hey great job on the lures. That is definitely my MO for eBay selling. It’s all about the treasure hunt for me and digging out the history. Unfortunately the listing part is the hardest for me….
So as not to go down too many more rabbit holes than I already do, I stay off Pinterest and the like. It helps that I’m an old guy and a slow adapter.
In pre-internet days as a collector and occasional picker and flea market/antique co-op dealer I maintained a pretty substantial reference book library and kept notebooks to preserve the knowledge I gained. That started getting really unmanageable for me just as I discovered consumer-level computers were getting more and more useful for data storage. So now I try to stay paperless to the extent I can and I have multiple directories by topic of notes, scans, and photos for my reference. I keep everything but only electronically. Even that is cumbersome, though. My inner historian won’t be denied but it must be held in check.1+
02/07/2019 at 11:22 am #56557
Temudgin, Totally agree. If I don’t find something a bit interesting I can’t hardly sell it, and if I do buy it, it sits in my death piles for a while. The hunt and research is what it is all about for me and where I get the most thrill from this.0
02/07/2019 at 10:53 am #56553
- Location: Washington State
Lukas great job on the lures! I also spend way to much time on research- the eye is always drawn to something foreign – I’ve included the history to some military relics when I get them directly from the estate of a veteran who clearly served in infamous battles, wars, etc.
In 20 years, the collector ( or their estate ) will want to know what the heck these things are, and their historical value. Provenance of sorts.
What lures should I be looking for on the west coast? wood plugs?
02/07/2019 at 11:17 am #56556
Hi Sally, Regarding what to look for, it’s tough to pin down. There are literally thousands of different types out there, and usually there is a collector for just about any one. THere are a few things to look out for, but as I’m sure you know, there’s always exceptions. Generally, lures prior to the 1960’s that are made of wood with glass eyes are some of the better sellers. That said, there are old metal lures, lures without eyes, early plastic lures, that go for hundreds or thousands of dollars. There is no great single resource that I’ve found for researching them, and eBay is rife with errors, so not necessarily a great one. If you ever get you a good stash, I’d start with finding a copy of Fishing Tackle Antiques and Collectibles, by Karl White. Not the best for history and information, but a great tool for identification.2+
02/07/2019 at 12:50 pm #56569
- Location: Virginia
Worthpoint already does what you’re suggest. I think they pay eBay for access to all historical sold data. People pay Worthpoint a monthly subscription fee for all that research data.
I’ve always felt that eBay should give sellers access to all that data for free or part of their seller subscription.
- This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by Jay.
02/08/2019 at 7:24 am #56616
I’ve never used Pinterest, but I find that Instagram is good for posting interesting items found and sold. It’s easy to connect with people with similar interests who can appreciate what you have found.
When items sell, they’ll still exist on in the feed for people to look at and like months later. With Ebay, once it’s gone it’s gone.
You definitely have to have an enjoyment for what you sell to feel this way.1+
02/08/2019 at 7:48 am #56617
- Location: Central NJ
From what I understand, third party listing software programs, like Six Bit or Wonderlister, save all your listings for you. Ink Frog is a more basic one. At this point in my very small business, I just can’t justify the cost, but this is a great feature. There are certain items that I pick up every once in a while, and I have to start the listing from scratch.
I did set up Amazon Photos on my computer. My dad has a Prime account, and he lets me use it. If I’m looking for an item I photographed in the past, it does have some basic search capabilities. I can search through both the photos on my hard drive and the photos in the cloud. I set up my phone to save all my photos in the cloud last year.
I save links to websites that I use for research. When someone on the forum posts a link, I’ll save it in case I need it later.
Other than that, I don’t have the time (I’m too lazy) to save the information in some systematic way. Love the Pinterest method!1+
02/08/2019 at 2:36 pm #56638
- Location: Washington DC
Here’s my historical record system: After an item sells I make a screen print pdf of the listing saved with a file name that contains sale date (six digit year month day), then a one-word broad category, then one-word for the type of item, then any other key words important to me with increasing specificity. The pdfs all go in one directory. In Windows Explorer I can sort that directory by date (by clicking on name), then search with progressively more detailed keywords if I’m looking for something. I got in the habit of using the ascending-specifics description style in the military.
An example: 181022 Militaria Holster Makarov East German Brown
That way I always have examples of sold item specifics, condition, and description that are easily searchable to pull up. (I’m the opposite of R&J – I tend to go into detail). The only thing missing from the screen print that might be helpful is weight and shipping information but I’m pretty good at winging that. Also you don’t see all the photos. Depending on your browser, you may have to print in landscape and adjust scale size to fit all the text in the pdf or to get the pdf to a manageable size.
If I was really good about doing this every time something sells I would omit the date in the name since the file itself would have the sale date, but sometimes I get busy and I’ll wait and do a week’s worth of sales at a time.
All my sold item photos are in another directory with each item having its own subdirectory under broad category subdirectories. I may also have a word document with research notes or other useful files in the item’s subdirectory. I list on a desktop so this is all pretty quick and easy for me to do, but I am a low volume seller, only selling about 150 items a year these days.
This is all just for historical information. I use EasyAuctionsTracker for the numbers.2+
02/10/2019 at 9:39 am #56683
- Location: Southeastern New England
Five years ago, I started a blog (with an associated Pinterest account) intended to clarify certain common attribution errors (Reed & Barton enamelware being attributed to Alexander Calder, or Harpswell House pieces being attributed to Philip Lloyd Powell and Paul Evans) and also to document my research about certain marks, artists, or other designers. Unfortunately, my main scope was a little bit too narrow (I ran out of interesting attribution errors pretty quickly) and recording my research began to feel unnecessary, given that there are already a lot of resources out there.
It’s been a long time since I solved a good mystery for myself, although I hang out over at the “What is this Painting?” subreddit and help identify mystery artists for fun. 🙂1+
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