I would like to add a few comments to my post above.
I had just remarried for the third time to Cindy, I knew I was broke, (just two years before my business was under 11' of water), but Cindy was also broke. I wasn't even working, and thank God she did have a decent occupation.
At age 53 I could not find any work, nobody wanted guys my age, even thought I had a college education.
I had messed with a few gas pump at the time, and I found out Cindy had a great deal of knowledge of dolls, antique jewlry, furniture, ceramics, glassware. My knowledge was mostly in antique cars. Even back in the 1960s I was selling at many of the swap meets here in the mid-west.
I told Cindy I was going to get very into the petro hobby, but I told her one thing, DON'T FALL IN LOVE WITH ANYTHING WE BUY.
We still do this even today. That doesn't mean that I didn't still collect things. At one time I had a collection of over 600 different handy oilers. I still have a collection of over 3000, pre 1980 VW menorbilia.
As I mentioned above we were broke, but I found a way to make money, have some great collections, but if someone would pay us the money we asked for something, we would sell it. I didn't mind selling some rare items, as I felt I was good enough to find another one if I really wanted to have one, but mostly I found something else that interested me more than the one I sold.
I want to make a comment on values. As I mentioned above, I have never asked, even once, what is this worth, on this website. I addmit I have asked some collectors what something was worth just to increase my knowledge. I remember about three years ago at Iowa Gas walking out in the moonlight with DB looking at all the stuff on the ground. What I noticed was this was the year of the Stationlighter as they were all over the place, so I started asking DB what they were worth. I didn't have any of them, I just wanted to pick his brain.
One more things about values, as I have mentioned above I get requests all the time, and I refuse to answer them. Also I have mentioned I just tell them to buy my books, if that is what the question is about. The reason for this is, if I cannot see the item (and pictures won't help) I cannot give an accurate value on anything. In order to value anything I feel I need to have it in my hands to see its condition.
A quick story: When asked a value I usually tell tell the asker, just put it on eBay
for ($9.99) and the world will tell you what it is worth. Example of this: As you all know I deal in old paper, I have 41 file drawers full. I also purchase magazines on eBay
, carefully take them apart and sell the ads. One day two mags came in the mail, I was packing for a family reunin in Gulf Shores, but I took the time to look through the mags. I spotted an ad, shouted to Cindy, come and look at this. She didn't understand why I was so excited, I told her this was a Maxfield Parrish Mazda bulb ad. Now, years before buying paper I learned who Maxfield Parrish was, he was one of the most famous illustrators from around 1910 to 1940. If you have ever heard of the "Winken, Blinken and Nod", well he was the illustrator.
I didn't go asking for values, I just put it on eBay
for $9.99. Two days later I called Cindy and asked how the ad was going, she said it was up to $65.00, the day before I got home the ad closed at $225.00. $225.00 for a stinken one page piece of paper, cut out of a $20.00 magazine.
Why did I make this kind of money, KNOWLEDGE, KNOWLEDGE, KNOWLEDGE. The knowledge came from value books that we had purchased. While I had no knowledge of what each illustration Parrish had drawn was, I just knew that his work was worth money.
Cindy knows old furniture. We were at a farm auction last June when a 155 year old moghogany rope bed were up for sale. Nobody wanted it and we were able to purchase it for $200.00, again because of our knowledge. Didn't sell it, Cindy said we were keeping this one.
Some of you call yourselves pickers, but if you have to go to the web or someone to ask "what is this worth" before you buy it, you are not a picker, you are just an opportunist. A picker needs to be able to make a decision fast, and without the knowledge being in your head, you are going to miss out on more things that you could have maybe made a fortune on.