Things that are Surprisingly “Collectible”

It still amazes me to see what people collect. I just received a link to a place selling old vintage, not even antique typewriters. Stuff I never bothered to even look at. Everyone thought it was weird when I picked for pocket calculators. I’m sure my collection has some real winners. There were a few local companies that manufactured them in town, and I even have a couple of prototypes! I’m sure somewhere there is an amazing collection of old cell phones. After all, cell phones, especially old ones have GOLD in them. Many have been ground up and burned, and recycled for the precious metals. If anyone out there in blog land collects something weird, I’d like to post something. Please write up something, and even send a photo of your weird collection.

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Finding Great Estate Sales!

There are several ways to find good Estate Sales. The old standby is the Newspaper. Don’t discount the newspaper because many people handling the estate of a loved one are caught by surprise, and are not really aware of many ways to advertise these events, so they just place a classified ad in the local paper. The family run estate sales are usually the best place to find the best stuff. Dealer run estate sales have cleaned up the mess (sometimes throwing out some good items) and priced everything, and sorted it all out. Many times dealers will high grade the sale, keeping the best items for themselves “as part of the payment for their service”.
The internet is a must when checking for sales. Craigslist is a great resource. We have a local radio station with an online classified section that has been a very popular place for ads of all kinds for many years. Estate sales are numerous here.
The best place for an estate sale, is the “pre-estate” sale. The one that just happens out of the blue, usually by word of mouth, because someone knows you are interested in the type of stuff. These sales are great because you are the only one shopping. There are no dealers, no competition, no hurry. Sometimes you have several days to go through the estate. Pricing is sometimes by the pile, or by the pickup load! Word of mouth? (This means you need to spread the word!) Business cards, ads online, tell friends, etc.

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Antique secrets the BOOK!

I actually wrote a book called Antique Secrets
It was then recently reprinted under the name of Picker’s Bible: How To Pick Antiques Like the Pros
Also, it is available as a Kindle book Picker’s Bible: How To Pick Antiques Like the Pros
You may wish to check these books or ebook out for lots of great ideas and tips to find your favorite collectibles.

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Picking for Antiques in the Cold Winter Month of January

Today was actually a pretty day, and I found an ESTATE SALE I wanted to go to. I like to get toward the front of the line, not only because it’s better to get in first, but to stand close the the hard core pickers and dealers waiting to get inside. The pros are always bragging and shooting their mouths off about sales they went to, fantastic finds, etc. Sometimes you can get great information just listening. I learned a couple of sales back more about gold and silver finds, and actually used it for good, and found a smashed 1930’s school ring, 14KT, at a sale later that day. The ring was bad, but the gold was fine.
Anyway, I found myself number 26 in line when I counted, and then a couple of people went closer, as someone was “saving a spot” for them. As the door opened at 10AM, and everyone rushed in, I counted. I was there probably 15 minutes to 1/2 hour later than many in front of me, but in counting the seconds until I got through the door, it was 31 seconds. so big deal. Besides this house was so crazy, no walls were square in the whole house, it took a long time to see it all.
Things I found today were: a 1980’s Digital Rainbow 100 Personal Computer with cables, software floppys, and a monitor, for $5.00, two 1963 wooden plaques, with a heavy metal casting of the Organ in the Salt Lake Tabernacle with a plate giving thanks for service in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Broadcast, and KSL Radio. $7.00 each. I got a 1.5 ft diameter fan of Black Coral mounted on a stand, for $10.00. A Hasbro plastic adding machine (way pre-calculator) for a couple bucks. A book for my sweetheart wife on gardening for $2.00. and 3 Jethro Tull record albums for my son who is a Jethro Tull “nut” for a buck a piece. Oh, and a small but heavy brass set of 3 monkeys “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” for a buck. It was a fun sale.

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Antique Secrets: Picking, Scouting, Scrounging, & Rescuing Valuables and Collectibles from the Trash

I have been a picker for most of my life. I discovered dumpster diving way before it was a fad, or to some, a lifestyle. I have had my own personal “college education”, and several advanced engineering “degrees” from the piles of stuff I have taken apart, figured out, reversed engineered, and even sometimes fixed. I love technology, electronics, science, art, and natural sciences. My hobbies have included, reading, optics and holography, mineralogy, antique radios, and many other types of antiques, both technical, and beautiful, and now, glass, (hot, warm, and cold). I have found that people throw away, give away, trade, sell off, auction and donate more boxes, piles, truckloads, and pallets of the stuff that fascinates me! There is not enough room to store it. I cannot, by myself evens sell it fast enough to make room for more.

What we are going to do here is share stories, secrets, tips, ideas, and see if we can make sense of all the world has to offer to those who like to find and collect and study… things!

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For all of you American and other Antique Pickers out there…

Welcome to Antique Secrets! There is a lot of recent interest in all the fun shows available on finding wild weird and interesting or valuable old things, like, Oddities, American Pickers, Storage Wars, and Auction Hunters. I hope to share some things I have found on this fascinating field!

If there are any of your interesting stories you wish to include, please post them. (spam will be ignored).

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