Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Slight glitch & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Well, I don't know what happened, but sorry folks, the photos didn't show up in the ephemera article. I reckon I'll have to look into that. At any rate, I also want to wish all of you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. Until next time,
Adios,
Whiskey Jack

Update: Well, talk about a head scratcher! Now the photos have shown up, but now I have all this HTML code showing up as well. And it doesn't show up anywhere except on the blog itself! I reckon I got me a gremlin in the system somewhere. Oh well, such is life!

An Introduction to Ephemera

Howdy Folks,

In today’s (or actually yesterdays) “Tips, Tricks, and Secrets” article, I’d like to talk a bit about some basic tips to help boost your online sales. You know, when we surf the net these days, it’s usually to look for something specific. Especially when we’re buying something, and we all a tendency to just quickly scan a web page to see if it has what we’re looking for, and if not, then we just as quickly move on to the next web site.

Now, there are literally tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands (or even more) people online selling things, and in order to stand out, and not get buried by the multitude of “other guys,” there are some basic tips that we should follow. Ready? Okay, here we go!

1. Titles That Sell

As I said, we all tend to just scan web pages when we’re looking for something specific. In order to really reach out and grab your potential buyer’s attention, you need to have a really good title that is concise, descriptive, and free from useless words and widgets. Avoid phrases like “Ultra Rare”, “L@@K!”, “COOL!” and similar things that really do nothing other than take away from the title itself. Let’s say you have a blue lace edge basket by Imperial Glass. You might say something like, “Katy Blue Laced Edge Basket, Imperial Depression Glass”. This title gives the proper color name, the pattern name, the manufacturer name, and the approximate age (depression era. Imperial actually made this pattern during the 1930’s). Now that you have your title down, you’re ready to move onto your items description.

2. Clear, Concise Descriptions

As you write your item description, try to write it as from your potential buyer’s viewpoint. Think about what you have liked best in the descriptions of items that you have purchased. Keep your information easy to understand, and you might try using bullets to highlight key points such as size, capacity, weight, color, age and so on. Bulleted lists tend to draw the readers eyes, and can be a good selling tool. Also, don’t forget to avoid any and all temptation to sugar coat. If your item has any flaws of any kind, state them for what they are. A chip is a chip. If it is a small chip or nick, you might use the term “fleabite.” However, if the chip can be measured, do so, and include the size of the chip, and it’s location in the item description. The same holds true for cracks, holes, stains, etc. You don’t have to go overboard, but you do want to be as honest as you can. Remember, honesty helps build customer loyalty, which equates to increased sales and repeat customers. It is also important to clearly state your shipping and return policies up front, and always be honest and fair with them.

3. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

With regard to online sales, this is one of the “Golden Rules.” Customers love to handle items they are considering purchasing. Since they obviously can’t do this with an online sale, use as many clear photos as you can. Usually between 4-6 photos is adequate. Make sure your photos are not too large as they can slow down the loading time of the page, and buyer’s will often become impatient while waiting and simply go on to the next site. Remember that golden rule, a picture is worth a thousand words? It is so very true, and good pictures can actually sell a good item, even without a detailed description. However, the reverse is also true. Bad pictures can kill a potential sale. It is vitally important to use only clear, well lit pictures. Avoid grainy or blurry photos. Also avoid touching up your photos in photo shop. Buyers are looking for honesty, and a photo shopped picture just screams out that you are trying to hide something.

4. Encourage Impulse Buying

Have you ever wondered why the candy, and soda, and magazine and geegaw items are on stands at the head of the check out lines in stores? The answer is impulse buying. When folks are done shopping and standing in line, they are always looking at the items near and around them, and almost always, they will buy one or more items from these stands that they really didn’t want. It’s human nature. This same premise also works with online sales. Even though you can’t really put a candy stand next to your check out button on your web site, you can suggest, near the end of your description, related or associated products that you are selling. Using the example above, in addition to the Laced Edge Basket, you may also have candlesticks, a fruit bowl, or platter in the same color and pattern. Remind the buyer that these are also available. Often, they will at least go and look, and quite possibly purchase them as well.

You can also use words and phrases that encourage impulse buying such as “Limited Time Offer!” or “Only 2 Days Left!”. But remember, if you are running a sale, or if your items really are only available for a limited time, then hold to that. Don’t use these phrases just to lure in buyers for items that have been up for sale for weeks and will continue to up until they are sold. You can also offer a free gift with every purchase, or with purchases totaling a specific amount of money. Folks always love getting a deal, especially getting something for nothing, so offering a free gift is a great way to boost sales. And this brings me my last point.

5. Free & Combined Shipping

Shoppers hate paying shipping charges. I know I do. I mean, why buy something for only a few dollars less than the local store’s identical item, when you have to pay extra to have it shipped? Especially when the shipping charges are high. Whenever possible, offer free shipping. This one single tip can really help to boost your sales, and it also encourages repeat customers. Also, avoid “padding” your shipping charges. Be fair and only charge what the shipper charges. Nothing extra. It also helps to offer a variety of shipping options, such as FedEx, UPS, and the Post Office. The Post Office also offers a variety of shipping options such as Express, Overnight, Priority, First Class, Media, and Parcel Post. Be sure to check with your local post office and learn about the different regulations regarding each of these options.

Well folks, I hope you have found these tips helpful and informative. I know that I have used them, and they have worked for me. I hope they will work for you as well. Until next time, take care and have a great Christmas Holiday Season.

Adios,

Whiskey Jack

Today’s Word of Wisdom: “Genius has its limits. Stupidity knows no bounds.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Slight Delay in Today's Article

Howdy Folks,
We've had a little bit of an emergency here at the ranch, so today's article about "Online Selling Tips" is going to have to be postponed until tomorrow evening, so check back then and get the low down on some really great tips that will work to increase your online sales. Until then,
Adios,
Whiskey Jack

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Collectibles-Museums.com & Collectibles-Articles.com Web Site Reviews

Howdy Folks,
Today’s I am reviewing a couple of web sites for the web site review article, and these are the Collectibles-Museum.com web site and the Collectibles-Articles.com web site. Both are PR3 sites and ranked #1 by Google. Both sites were a joy to visit, and I have to say that I learned quite a bit just from looking around. About a week ago, I received a comment to the web site review blog articles, and in that comment was an invitation to visit and review these two sister web sites. Since I didn’t have any particular web site in mind to review for this week, I decided to take the gentleman up on his offer. Not really knowing what to expect to find on these sites, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised, and a bit overwhelmed! The amount of relevant information available on these sites is phenomenal! Let’s take a look at the Collectibles Museum site first.

Now I have to admit that I was kind of expecting a museum type layout to this web site, where I would be able to visit photo gallery “exhibits” of various kinds of collectibles. And in a sense, that is what I found, as some of the links are actual online museums. But I also found a whole lot more. In fact, this web site is actually a collection of online directories relating to a huge variety of collectibles.

On this site you have access to “over 700 online collectibles museums.” Although the links provided are not necessarily “museums” in the traditional sense of the word, they do serve as a type of “exhibits” for this museum” site. The links take you to hundreds of other web sites, relating to a multitude of different collectibles, with innumerable photos and a huge amount of relevant information. The “museums” are listed in four separate categories: Entertainment (Old Radios, Movie Posters, Circus Logos and others), Devices (Antique Medical Items, Glasses, Lamps, Toasters, Unusual tools, & others), Books, & Ephemera, and include links to the Museum of Modern Art, the Phisick Antique Medical Collection and others. Believe me when I say, if you can think of a collectible, then it’s probably here somewhere. Not only are these “exhibit” sites fun to visit and browse through, they also offer an invaluable resource of pictures and information with which to research collectibles.

In addition to these links, visitors to Collectibles-Museums.com also have access to a huge collection of collector’s glossaries, price guides, and reference guides, as well as a dictionary of collector names, and collector blogs (bloggers can register to have their blogs included on this site). With regard to the price guide links, I found that some of the links I checked were not true price guides, at least not in the sense that they gave an average of current sales values from a variety of venues. Instead, what I found, were some sites that were selling collectibles and of course, gave prices for those items. A notable exception to this was the inclusion of the Auction Wally “What’s it Worth?” blog, which is an excellent resource in and of itself. It is important to note, however, that price guides (whether online or in book form) are really only good for use as an identification and research tool. We all know that an item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, and it is a mistake to expect to receive what a “price guide” says is the items value.

With regard to the “Reference Guides,” I found a collection of web sites containing information on and about collectibles. But then, isn’t that what a reference guide really is?

This is one site that you could conceivably spend an entire day or more just browsing the site and reading the various reference and price guides. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the amount of information to be had from this site is just phenomenal. The information is relevant and not simply a bunch of fluff and filler. All in all I have to say that this is a site that I can, and will, definitely use, and use often. I have already bookmarked it, and I’ve placed it on my list of recommended links found on the left side of this page.

The companion site to Collectibles-Museum is Collectibles-Articles.com, and like the museums site, Collectibles-Articles.com is a directory site which provides access to literally hundreds of articles relating primarily to collectibles. I found that the articles were categorized (although not as neatly as I would have liked, but still workable) by a multitude of subjects. Enough to surely satisfy any collector or collectible researchers needs. Among the subjects I checked out, I found that the articles were factual, informative and well written. I attribute the quality of the articles to the article screening process, which each article submission goes through prior to its inclusion on the site. Each article is “human reviewed” for “high quality content.” Authors can also submit their own articles for submission on the site.

As with its sister site, you could spend days just browsing the articles on this site, and never find yourself bored. It’s a great site that I intend to use often as a tool to help me as I research the collectibles and antiques I sell online. And also, as with the museums site, I have already bookmarked this great site, and added it to my list of recommend links.

Both of these sites are packed with information that is not only relevant, but helpful and enjoyable as well. I think you would do well to bookmark these two remarkable sites, and visit them often.

Well, that’s it for this weeks review of antique and collectible web sites. My sincere thanks to Mr. Jack Straw for letting me know about these two great sites. I hope that you found this article helpful, and I hope that you’ll tell others about the Whiskey Jack’s Treading Post blog, and visit often. Also, if you’re looking for some great deals on antiques, collectibles and other items of interest, be sure to check out my Bonanzle Booth and eBay Store by clicking on the links at the top left side of this page. Take care and have a great day, and I’ll see y’all next time.
Adios,
Whiskey Jack


Today’s Word of Wisdom: “When you give a personal lesson in meanness to a critter or to a person, don't be surprised if they learn their lesson.”

Monday, December 15, 2008

Akro Agate – From Marbles to Housewares

Howdy Folks,

Today’s Antiques and Collectible Review is on the Akro Agate Company and the wonderful glassware they produced.


The Akro Agate Company was founded in 1911 by Dr. George T. Rankin, Gilbert Marsh and Horace Hill. Originally, the company was created for the sole purpose of manufacturing marbles. Have you ever heard of “Aggies”? If you’ve played marbles you have. Aggies were first produced by the Akro Agate Company, who coined the name. As strange as these humble beginnings this might seem for such a popular glass company, the company actually did very well with their marbles manufacturing and were the leading marble manufacturers for quite some time. In 1914 the company expanded operations and moved to a vacant plant in Clarksburg, West Virginia. By 1915, the company was listed in the Clarksburg City Directory as “manufacturers of toy marbles, caster balls, and glass balls for lithographers use.” Also around this time, co-founder Horace Hill passed away, and John Rawley and George Pflueger joined the company.


The marble business was booming for Akro, but by the early 1930’s the company started to expand beyond marbles. Some of the first of their new products were ashtrays and small containers such as cold cream jars. In 1936, the Westite Glass Factory was destroyed by fire, and Akro managed to purchase the company’s molds, thus opening up new possibilities for a myriad of new products. From the mid 1930’s through the early 1940’s, the Akro Agate Company produced a wide variety of items, such as vases, candlesticks, flower pots, planters, jardinières, and even children’s dishes. They also produced powder jars (their "Colonial Lady" and "Scotty" jars were their most popular. see below for a phot of the Scotty jar), cups, saucers, bowls and many other items.


It is often believed that Akro made lamps as well. However, this is not necessarily true. Although Akro made glass lamp components, they sold these components to other companies which manufactured the lamps and then sold them through various retail outlets.


Although many folks think of Akro Agate glassware was marbleized slag (whether black & white, blue, green, orange or other colors), Akro also made glassware that was in clear colors (blue, green and amberina), solid colors (green, yellow, blue, pink, custard – or ivory – and more), and crystal as well. Akro’s Ivory (or custard) glass was created by incorporating uranium oxide into the glass during the manufacturing process. Just prior to World War Two, the government began using all available uranium oxide for use in its war research. When this happened, Akro’s ivory glass was changed to a white milk glass. The original ivory glass was never recreated.


Akro enjoyed great success until about 1946, when the availability of cheap plastic and tin products virtually put the company out of business. By 1949, Akro decided to close it doors and stop glass production. They sold off their remaining stock, and in 1951 the company held a final auction sale and sold everything.


Today, Akro Agate glassware is considered highly collectible, and there have been several books written on the subject. A few of the best of these are:

“The Complete Line of the Akro Agate Company” by Roger and Claudia Hardy

“The Akro Agate Price Guide” by Roger and Claudia Hardy

“The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Akro Agate Glassware” by Gene Florence


The world’s foremost authorities on Akro Agate are Roger and Claudia Hardy. They have formed the “Official Akro Agate Collector’s Club” (founded January 1, 1993), and they host an Akro Agate Convention every year during the second week in July. Anyone wishing to join the club (memberships dues are $25 per year), or would like more information on ordering their books, can contact Roger Hardy by writing to him at, Roger Hardy, 10 Bailey Street, Clarksburg, WV 26301; or by Email at rhardy0424@wirefire.com .


Some recently completed Akro Agate items on eBay include:

A box of Akro Agate Popeye Marbles, which had a total of 19 bids. The auction ended with a final auction price of $810.00

A 16 piece set of Akro Agate Children’s Dishes, which sold as a best offer of $155.00


A vintage Akro Agate Scotty Dog Milk Glass Powder Jar, which sold for $60.00.

The Akro Agate company made some very unique and beautiful pieces. Collecting this wonderful glassware can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, as well as a good investment

opportunity if you are collecting the more rare and unique pieces. Well, until next time, have a great day and an warm and wonderful Holiday Season.

Adios,
Whiskey Jack



Today’s Word of Wisdom: “Some folks talk 'cause they got somethin' to say. Others talk 'cause they just got to say somethin.”

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Free Shipping Supplies - Saving Money on Shipping

Howdy Folks,

Today is Thursday, and I’ve decided to use Thursdays to talk about some little tips, tricks and secrets concerning selling online and shipping those items you’ve sold. Today I’m going to focus on saving money on shipping. As shipping rates continue to go up, they are becoming more and more of an issue with online sellers, especially with eBay now pushing hard to get their sellers to offer free shipping on as many of their items as possible.

So how can you save money on shipping? Well, one way is to really pay attention to how you ship. Make sure you know the different rates for the different services. Often you will find that a less expensive method of shipping will still get your package to its destination just as fast (or almost as fast) as a more expensive method. I have found that in many cases a package sent parcel post will arrive in many parts of the country as fast as priority mail. Also, books and some types of media, such as recorded CDs, Tapes, DVDs, and other items, can be sent media mail which is far less expensive. Be sure to check postal regulations for the exact regulations. Suffice to say, it can really save you money to learn the various methods of shipping and the costs involved with these methods. You may want to print up a poster containing the various methods and rates, and post it up on a wall near where you do your packing and shipping preparation.

Another way to save money on shipping is with your supplies. Remember, spending less on shipping supplies gives you the ability to offer lower shipping rates, which in turn increases your sale possibilities, which in turn increases your profit margins. And isn’t this what we all want? So let’s take a look at some different methods of saving money on shipping supplies.

Free Boxes

One of the best ways to get free, new boxes is from the United States Post Office. The USPS will give you free Priority Mail boxes. Yep. I said free. Although this is rapidly becoming common knowledge among online sellers, many people still do not know about this, and the post office doesn’t seem to go out of their way to let folks know. Now, naturally not everything will be shipped priority mail, but its nice to have a supply of various size priority mail boxes available to use when you need them.

Another way to find free boxes is to simply go get them. I try to go out once a month and check the cardboard dumpsters behind the local strip malls. Now, it’s important to stick with stores that do not sell perishable items. You don’t want boxes that have been stained or contain remnants of oil or rotted food. I stick with stores such as party supply stores (such as Party City), or hobby and craft supply stores (such as Hobby Lobby or Michaels). These boxes are usually in good shape, often come in a variety of sizes, and if you time it right, you can catch them either on the day of or the day after their inventory shipments come in. Many times if you just go in and ask the store manager, they will set aside these boxes for you. Another big plus in getting boxes this way, is that many of these boxes will be full of bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts, or other packing materials that are just as free as these boxes, and just as useful.

Another great place to find free boxes are the cardboard recycling centers. Check with your local yellow pages or simply do a Google search for cardboard recycling centers in your area, and find some that are within driving distance. Always call first, and ask for permission to come down and take some boxes. More often than not, these centers will be more than happy to let you take as many as you need. Plus, a quick friendly phone call can go a long way towards establishing a good contact that, once established, will provide you with an unlimited source of free boxes of varying sizes.

A brief note about utilizing these free “pre-owned” boxes. First, nobody likes to receive their items in a beat up, over-used box. So be sure to pick only boxes that are in good shape and sturdy for what you will be using them for. Also, you should be aware that the USPS will not accept boxes with pre-printed lettering on them. If this is an issue, simply purchase a large tipped black marker and black out any logos, slogans or other words that have been pre-printed on the box you are using.

Free Packing Material

As I’ve already mentioned, when searching the cardboard dumpsters for boxes, you can often find huge amounts of bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts, and other package cushioning material. Furniture stores are also a great place to find used bubble wrap as are produce stores. Boxes of bananas are often shipped with bubble wrap to protect the fruit. Simply make a few telephone calls to local stores or produce suppliers and ask them if you can have their left over bubble wrap. Office managers and Receiving Department Managers for local businesses are also great places to find free packing material. Make a telephone call to some of these folks and ask them if you can have their used packing material.

Many of us receive packages on a fairly regular basis, either from our online purchases (both personal and for inventory). Always save any bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts, boxes, mailing tubes, or CD and DVD mailers that these items come in, and re-use them.

Newspapers and Junk Mail can be shredded, either with a shredder or by hand with scissors, and used as fill material around the item being shipped. I do not recommend using this shredded paper as cushioning material, but it can be used to fill any dead air spaces around an item that has already been cushioned with bubble wrap. Always make sure to wrap your item before using any shredded newspaper, as the newspaper may stain the item if placed directly on the item. Also, never use shredded crumpled personal documents, for obvious reasons.

Another possibility for finding free packing materials is to post an ad for “Wanted: Used Bubble Wrap and Styrofoam Peanuts” either at your local community center, community bulletin board, Laundromat, church, or workplace bulletin board; or online at sites such as Craigslist.com or Freecycle.org.

Purchasing Shipping and Packing Materials

If you absolutely have to purchase shipping and packing materials, then always be sure to shop around for the best deals you can find. Often is cheaper in the long run to purchase these supplies in bulk, or when they are on sale. Remember, every penny saved increases your profit margin.

A Final Note

A good way to save at least some time on shipping is to organize your shipping routine. Experiment with various methods and find one that fits your schedule to such a degree that you can create a streamlined shipping routine. I have found that when I take in new inventory, I photograph it, measure it, write a brief description, and then I package it to be ready for shipping. I then place a sticky note on the outside of the box identifying the contents of the box and I can then place it on a shelf and have it ready for immediate shipping. It stores better, and lessons the time I need to get it out the door when it has been purchased by one of my customers.

Well, I hope that you have found this article helpful and informative. If you have the opportunity, take a minute to visit my Bonanzle Booth and my eBay Store (there are links at the upper left of this page) and have a little look at the items for sale there. Until next time, thanks for checking out my blog articles, and have a great day.

Adios,

Whiskey Jack

Today’s Word of Wisdom: “Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.”

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

CollectOs.com - Website Review

Howdy Folks,
As I've mentioned, I'd like to begin using a standard format of blog articles that I hope are both enjoyable and informative. Today, I'd like to begin a series of weekly website review articles that take a look at websites related to antiques and collectibles. And, I think I've picked a good site to start with. CollectOs.com, (click on the link here to visit the site) the collector's portal to the internet. According to the site's "About" link, this site provides "Collector's worldwide with news, links and forums about their favourite collectibles," and believe me folks, this website not only meets this goal, but exceeds it!

The site has a very nice layout, and reminds me of an online Antiques & Collectibles Journal or Magazine. The main page (or home page) for CollectOs is very much like a table of contents page, with various articles briefly summerized, in order to give the reader a chance to make an informed decision as to which article to read first.

The site map was very helpful and takes the site visitor to a list of links to not only the featured articles, but also a list of links that are broken down by category. The categories include Antiques, Arts, Books and Paper, Coins and Stamps, Jewelry and Watches, Music, Toys, Vintage Advertising and more. Once you start getting into the links, they niche down to even more specific subjects. This is a great site to find tons of information regarding just about any type of antiques or collectibles that you may be interested in.

One of the best features of this site is a collector's forum, where members (and it's free and easy to register) can share information, ask questions, or just talk about their favorite collectible. There is also a forum for fairs and markets, a buy and sell forum, and even a "Help Us Improve CollectOs" forum.

All in all I found that this is a great site that you can, and probably will use quite often in not only your research, but also as a great networking venue. I hope you'll check out CollectOs.com, and I hope you find it as great a site as I did.

As always, thanks for stopping by and reading my little articles. If you've found it in any way helpful, please fell free to leave a comment. Also, please fell free to visit my Bonanzle Booth or my eBay store or auctions and take a look around. There are links on the left side of this page. Thanks again for dropping by, and I look forward to seeing y'all around here more often. Until next time,
Adios,
Whiskey Jack

Today's Word of Wisdom: "Always remember, never drink downstream of the herd!"

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Jadite Glassware

Howdy Folks,

Today starts what I hope will be a long running weekly post on Reviews of Antiques and Collectibles. To start this off, I thought I’d write a little review on Jadite. As you probably know by now, I love old glass. Just can’t seem to get enough of it, and one of my favorites is the old Jadite glassware. Thanks to Martha Stewart, Jadite has become one of the most collectible of all of the vintage glassware. Folks have seen it on her show, and it popularity has skyrocketed. Ever the “entrepreneur,” Martha now sells her own line of Jadeite glassware made by the Fenton Glass Company.


Purists, however, are more interested in the vintage Jadite, so that’s what I’ll talk about here. The term Jadite (also known as “Jade-ite”, the Anchor Hocking line of Jadite) was first used by the Jeannette Glass Company, and actually refers to the color of the glass, and not the material, or the pattern. Jadite is an opaque milky sea foam green glass, sometimes slightly opalescent, that was used primarily in restaurants, and later, as its popularity grew, in homes as dinnerware. It was (and is) a heavy, durable dinnerware, and was often used as giveaway gifts packaged with various products. From the 1930’s until today, Jadite has been produced by a number of companies, each under their various pattern names, and each varying in shades of sea foam green. Perhaps the most popular of the vintage Jadite produced, had been made by Anchor Hocking (under their Fire King line), Jeannette Glass, and McKee (which they called “Skokie Green.” These are often marked “mcK” although some came with decals.), with Anchor Hocking’s Fire King Jadite being perhaps the most well known, and most collected.


The Hocking Glass Company merged with the Anchor Cap Company in the mid 1930’s, and the newly formed company began producing and marketing glass ovenware that would stand up to the high temperatures of cooking and baking. This new line by Anchor Hocking was called “Fire King.” It was offered in a variety of styles, patterns, and colors. Their version of Jadite, known as “Jade-ite” quickly became their most popular color.

Among the Fire King Jadite patterns are:


Alice: Alice featured a nice floral embossing with a short ribbed design, and is one of Fire King’s oldest patterns. According to my research, only cups, saucers, and plates were produced in this pattern.


Philbe: The Philbe pattern is very difficult to find, as it was made for only two years. It features leaf flourishes and fluer de lis around a circular pattern of buttons and leaves. It is a very ornate pattern which adorns several different pieces and comes in several different colors including Jadite.


Charm: Perhaps the most difficult pattern to find in Jadite, this square pattern was manufactured by Fire King from 1950 – 1954.


Restaurant Ware. Produced by Fire King from 1950 to 1956, this is the most well-known Jadite pattern. It is highly collectible and often sells at premium prices. It is a very simplistic utilitarian pattern, without any fancy floral or geometric designs. Usually quite heavy, and found in a wide variety of pieces, including plates, platters, coffee mugs, and bowls, just to name a very few.


Both McKee and Jeannette also produced some opalescent Jadite pieces in the 1930’s and 40’s. This type of Jadite was made by adding uranium or dioxide to the glass and then heating the glass while adding other chemicals. Although the manufacture of opalescent Jadite ended during World War II, there have been some newer opalescent pieces made as well. When the newer pieces, are compared with the old ones, the inconsistencies found in the newer pieces are readily seen.


Jadite glassware can be found in a variety of styles and items, everything from plates and platters, bowls and pitchers, cups and mugs, refrigerator dishes, pie plates, reamers, door knobs, canisters, just to name a few.


Other patterns available in Jadite include Jane-Ray, Shell, Colonial, and Swirl.


With the exception of the very rare items, Jadite is fairly easy to find. I have found it in yard sales, flea markets, estate auctions, and once even in a pile of trash left over from an estate sale! It is always best to do your research, however, especially with the large number of reproductions and newer items now available due to the high demand for Jadite pieces. There are several good reference books available, and it always pays to check eBay’s completed listings to learn what Jadite pieces are currently going for online. Also, it is a good idea to learn how to date Jadite pieces at a glance. This can helps you to avoid purchasing a reproduction or newer piece from an unscrupulous seller. Here’s a quick guide that you can cut and paste and print up to take with you on the road when searching for old Fire King Jadite pieces.


Dating Fire King Jadite by the Maker Mark:

1942 - 45 = FIRE-KING in block letters

1942 – 45 = OVEN FIRE-KING GLASS

Mid 1940's = OVEN FIRE-KING WARE

Mid to late 1940's = OVEN Fire-King WARE MADE IN U.S.A. ("Fire-King" is written in script lettering)

1951-1960 = ANCHOR HOCKING OVEN Fire-King WARE MADE IN U.S.A. ("Fire-King" is written in script lettering)

1960 - late 1960's = ANCHOR HOCKING OVEN Fire-King DINNERWARE MADE IN U.S.A. ("Fire-King" is written in script lettering)

late 1960's- early 1970's = ANCHOR HOCKING OVEN Fire-King OVEN-PROOF MADE IN U.S.A. ("Fire-King" is written in script lettering)

Mid To Late 1970's = ANCHOR HOCKING OVEN Fire-King Suburbia OVEN-PROOF MADE IN U.S.A. ("Fire-King" is written in script lettering)

Please also note that markings on the bottom with dashes, bumps, and numbers are mold marks and batch numbers. They neither add nor detract from the value. Items marked “Oven Glass” are not necessarily rare, although they are less common than pieces marked “Oven Ware.” Logos that are printed backwards although unusual, are also not necessarily rare. These are often found on pie plates. Also remember, that just because a sellers tells you the logo is rare, it probably isn’t. With Fire King Jadite pieces, as with all vintage glassware, the rarity is more dependant upon the quantity or number of the pieces made by the manufacturer and their current availability. So be careful not to overspend when a seller tells you the logo is rare.


Reproductions:

There are many reproduction and “fantasy” pieces of Jadite currently being sold on eBay and through other venues, and they are being sold as “vintage” and “rare.” Please note, however, that many of the sellers of these items have been duped themselves, and they don’t really know that they are selling repro’s and fantasy items. So don’t come down too hard on them. Just remember to do your research to you aren’t taken as well. I think a quick note on terminology is needed here. A “Reproduction” is a piece that has been manufactured (usually recently and in mass) that is designed to be a copy of an original vintage piece. A “Fantasy” piece, is an item that has been put together using two or more vintage original pieces, to create an new piece that was never made by the original manufacturer. An example would be an original canister bottom coupled with an original sugar bowl lid (not necessarily of the same pattern), to create a covered grease jar or candy jar or cookie jar. You get the picture.

Newer reproductions are being made in China and Brazil, and new pieces are being made by the Mosser Glass Company, the Fenton Glass Company (who produce the Martha Stewart line of Jadite), and others. Again, your best bet is to buy yourself (or check out from your local library) some good collector’s books, do your research, and learn to properly identify true vintage pieces. Also, knowing which pieces were made by which companies will also help in identifying vintage pieces.



Storing Your Vintage Jadite:

It is always important to take good care of your vintage glass and pottery, including your vintage Jadite. Here are a few simple rules to follow that will help ensure your vintage Jadite collection stays “healthy.”

  1. Don’t Stack Your Glass! This just invites chips, cracks, flea bites, and scratches. However, if you absolutely must stack, always place an inexpensive paper towel or napkin between the pieces to acts as a buffer.

  1. Never Wash in the Dishwasher! Always hand wash your vintage glass and pottery. Dishwashers utilize high heat in both the washing and drying cycles, and when combined with today’s strong detergents, will almost always produce etching and scratching and even cracks! Also, glass has a tendency to get “sick” when washed in the dishwasher. “Sick” glass is recognized by a cloudy and or iridescent appearance on the glass, and is caused by the dishwashing detergent and high heat drying cycle. Although etched and “sick” glass can be repaired, it is not only difficult and costly, but it is not always effective.


Remember to protect your investment by using common sense when handling, cleaning and caring for your vintage glass and pottery!


Prices are going sky high for authentic vintage Fire King Jadite, and although not as quickly, they are also rising for the vintage McKee and Jeannette Jadite as well. I am including some recently completed eBay listings here for vintage Jadite:


1. Original Fire King Jadeite Ball Jug Tilt Pitcher. 2 Bids, Sold for $405.00

2. VINTAGE JADE-ITE FIRE KING TILT BALL PITCHER /BALL JUG. 14 Bids, Sold for $355.00

3. RARE Jadite TARGET Line Ball Pitcher 80 Oz.(Reserve not met). 16 Bids, Highest Bid was $2,550.00, and this piece had 285 views!

4. Lot of 11 VINTAGE FIRE KING Restaurant ware JADEITE OVAL PLATTERS. 15 Bids, Sold for $305.00. This lot had 210 views!

5. RARE BEADED AND BAR JADE-ITE FIRE KING MILK PITCHER. 14 Bids, Sold for $200.00, and had 70 views.

6. RARE FIRE KING JADITE JADEITE 5" SWIRL MIXING BOWL. 15 Bids, Sold for $190.49.

7. LOT OF 6 FIRE KING C HANDLE JADEITE HEAVY MUGS CUPS. 17 Bids, Sold for $170.50.

8. JEANNETTE JADITE GREEN DEPRESSION 48 OZ TEA CANISTER with POINSETTIA LID. Sold As Best Offer for $170.00!

Well, that's it for my first Antiques and Collectibles Review post. I hope you found it both enjoyable and informative. I'll catch up with y'all tomorrow, and if you get a chance, don't forget to check out my eBay auctions & store, and also my Bonanzle Booth. Take care all, and I hope you have a great day.

Adios,

Whiskey Jack


Today's Word of Wisdom: "The best sermons are lived, not preached."

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Week Online

Howdy Folks,
Well, it's been awhile since I posted here, purt near a week I suppose. It appears my Ol' Widget Box (computer) has decided to take up bug collecting and has managed to infect itself quite nicely. I think I've got them all removed, but I reckon time will really tell. I
mentioned in one of my last posts that I was working on coming up with a format for these daily musings of mine, and I think I have figured one out that will work. We'll see, huh? I would like to start using Mondays posts to talk about my week online. My sales and such, and so, since today is Monday, here goes.

Sales this past week weren't bad, especially considering I only spend about 2-4 hours per week doing this stuff. I didn't have any sales in my Bonanzle booth this past week, but I am still optimistic that they will eventually take off. I know that in order to boost sales, the one thing I really need is time. Time to invest in promoting my booth, time to invest in adding more items, and so on. And unfortunately, time is the one thing that is really at a premium. I work a full time job (and by full time I mean 10 - 12 hours each day including commute time) and I just don't have the time I need and would like to spend promoting my sales presence online.

Ebay wasn't bad though, and made up some for not having any sales on Bonanzle. I sold a small lot of 1800's railroad related ephemera, about 6 or 7 pieces. I've had this particular lot up for a couple of weeks, starting at $9.95, and that's eventually what it sold for. Considering I didn't pay anything for the lot, the sale price was all profit. The lot didn't contain any earth shattering information or events mentioned, and contained generic memos and notices and such, so I didn't expect it to go for a whole lot. All in all I was pleased with the sale. Here's a photo of the lot.

I also sold a vintage 1970's Arnel's Mushroom sugar bowl. I purchased it for 25 cents at a yard sale, and it sold for $4.20. Not a lot, but still a good profit margin. It was a cute little sugar bowl, and I think the buyer will be pleased with it. Here is a photo of it.

My biggest seller this past week was a paintball gun with a large pack of access
ories. It garnered quite a bit of interest, and a good number of bidders. As with the old railroad ephemera, I picked it up for free, so the profit margin was great. It sold for $76.00. I am quite sure that it was actually worth a bit more, but what the hey, isn't that what eBay is for? Making deals? Here is a photo of the paintball gun and accessories.

All in all it wasn't a bad week online, and as always, I'm always looking forward to next weeks sales. Well until tomorrow, take care and I hpoe you all have a great day.
Adios,
Whiskey Jack

Todays Word of Wisdom:
"Words that soak into your ears are whispered, not yelled."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Real Quick Howdy

Howdy Folks,
Not much going on tonight, just getting ready to ship a couple of items out, but I wanted to at least stop in and say howdy. I've been working on the format for this blog, and I think you not only like it a bit, but hop0efully find it useful and informative as well. Just stay tuned and check back often, as I hope to have things organized and looking good by next week. Well, that's it for tonight, so take care and don't forget to leave your comments, as they're always appreciated.
Adios,
Whiskey Jack

Today's Word of Wisdom: "If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around."

Monday, December 1, 2008

A New Week, A New Month

Howdy Folks,
Well, it's a new week and a new month, and Christmas is almost upon us. We still haven't got our decorations up, but hope to this next weekend. I have been busy putting together swome new items for both eBay and my Bonanzle Booth, including some old Lionel Train Sets with a bunch of accessories, an old box of marbles I came across, some vintage China dishes, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Just a brief note today, as I try to get something blogged each day except Sunday when I try to give my opinions a rest. So, take care all, and I hope to see you here from time to time. I'll be working on some more informative articles throughout the week as I try to develope a more regular format for these daily blogs. Until next time,
Adios,
Whiskey Jack

Today's Word of Wisdom: "Always remember, you can't unsay a cruel thing."