Welcome to That's My Era. Vintage collectibles for nostalgia enthusiasts of almost every time period. Everyone has their own "era," right? Pretty sure you'll find yours here!

Be sure to check out our shop at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/thatsmyera

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Make mine a Zenith!

Sorry for the lengthy absence. I've been off being mundane and mired in the drudgery of my 9 - 5 life and all the little tasks that fall inbetween. I've also had nothing new to share with you. No new picks. Except one. Only I picked it for myself!

This weekend I will have to do another sold digest because not too long ago now I sold my Fleetwood pink clock radio. The thing is, just before it sold, I found myself rather enjoying its precense on my nightstand. The radio played like a champ. The clock was handy. I also found myself regretting the sale somewhat in that the buyer wrote me after he got the radio and said he loved it and that it was perfect for the photo shoot in the house... His note made me nervous. What were they doing with the radio exactly? It didn't sound like they were using it as a radio. They were photographing it, certainly. But for what? And what would they do with it once they'd used it in their photoshoot? Would they toss it on the curb?

So, I found myself on a hunt. Nightly, I would scour eBay listings, Etsy listings. Even Craigslist and Kijiji were not immune to my intense hunt. I was hunting for the perfect clock radio. One that would make my eyes and heart swoon. But there wasn't much out there. There was always some little issue standing in my way. A missing little knob here, a hairline crack there. The clock would work but the radio wouldn't and vice versa.

I then decided to e-mail this guy who sells really cool and reasonably priced radios on my favourite radio real estate site, The Radio Attic. I actually featured this guy once, here on my site. Read all about him here if you like.

And without further ramblings, I bring you my coveted catch, my prize. The thing I'd doggedly and determinedly searched for - everywhere. My Zenith, AM/FM (yes, FM!) model 733, gray clock radio. Restored internally and in perfect working condition. To grace my nightstand, (once it arrives from Little Rock, Arkansas) with its mid-century, Atomic, Eames-y awesomeness!

Apparently this radio was quite expensive back in the day. As you can see in this ad, it was priced back in '53 at a whopping $75!

I also love how it says it's "the only one of its kind in the world." I believe that. These 733 AM/FM sets came in a few different colour combinations. Here are the others:

So, black, brown and gray. I thought I wanted the one in black and probably would've gone for it if had been available (my "dealer" had a black one but it had just sold). I think they all look pretty amazing. A bold design for sure. Not to everyone's taste perhaps but to me, very swoon-worthy.

On that note, I leave you with this:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday Sneak Peek

Welcome to a very long overdue of Saturday Sneak Peek. Good news and bad news: the good news is, there will be fresh picks coming soon to our shop. The bad news is, I can't say when exactly. Could be as early as tomorrow, could be as late as next week.

Over the holidays, we decided to eBay a lot of our merchandise so right now our shop looks pretty much like this:

I know. Sad. Almost as sad as an abandoned blog! Also, our fearless leader and CEO (me) has returned to work this week and it's been a bumpy landing to say the least. This Twilight Episode has been coming to mind a lot this week, if you must know:

I would much rather be antique shopping in Willoughby but there just aren't enough hours in the week as of late.

Do stay tuned though. I'll update this blog again in the next few days. In the meanwhile, keep on swinging on!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ramblings of a vintage collectible seller (and, Happy New Year!)

Just a post to wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2013 and a little knowledge transfer for anyone interested in the ins and outs of selling "vintage collectibles."

First of all, I decided it was time for things in my Etsy to MOVE so I listed a lot of them on eBay yesterday. I'm surprised by the amount of attention that the RS Prussia chocolate pot is getting and equally surprised by the lack of attention the Wallendorf 1764 porcelain ballerina figurine isn't getting. And this just proves a point doesn't it? There is really no rhyme or reason to online sales of vintage collectibles! Really. Because a mere few months ago the very same Wallendorf ballerina figurine sold on eBay for $255, with a whopping 35 bids. And as of right now, my ballerina figurine sits on eBay with a measly two watchers and a not-so-grand total of 16 views. It's also good information for me, I think, as a seller. When you're really bothered by a lack of views and or potential sales, it's probably best to pull the plug on it and hang onto it. Which is what I think I'm going to do in the case of the Wallendorf figurine. I'm keeping her! Hey, didn't I say in the first place that I thought she'd be hard to part with? Note to Wallendorf porcelain sellers: perhaps now is not the time to sell. Probably the case in general for "chotchkas." Now is not the time for chotchkas. (Is it ever, really?).

Speaking of chotchkas, here are some things that I couldn't sell even if I offered them for free! Ha.

1) "Crown" canning jar. I'm sorry but where the heck are all the canning jar collectors that allegedly abound out there? This jar expired after 3 months in my Etsy shop and is now on eBay for $5.00 with zero watchers and a piddly 11 views.

Want a Crown Canning jar that is crack, chip and fleabite free? Yours for .50 cents. Which is what I paid for it. Found this jar at the Value Village on Bloor Street, at Lansdowne.

2) JAJ English Pyrex, casserole dish with geese motif. Not often seen. No takers. Bought this at a Value Village in Scarborough and paid $7.99 for it. I'll be keeping this one. Fail.

And folks, condition is everything. If something has a chip or crack on it or some kind of defect, don't buy it. Even if it is unusual or rare. (Though apparently not in the case of RS Prussia... there are always exceptions I suppose). The lid on this piece has a chip. I think that's why I couldn't give it away.

3) This AK Kaiser leaf pattern, op-art white bisque/porcelain vase, made in Germany. Couldn't give this piece away and I have no idea what the issue was, really. Couple of "rust" spots at the very bottom of the vase but otherwise in perfect condition. I'll be keeping this piece. Paid $4 for it at the Sally Ann on Parliament Street.

Limoges side plate. In perfect condition. But really, who would buy this? Anyone who wants it, it's yours for .99 cents, which is what I paid for it at the Sally Ann on Parliament Street.

Milk glass diamond point salt, pepper and sugar set. Yours for the low low price of $6. And again, where are all the milk glass collectors? Must be hiding along with the canning jar collectors...

It has been a learning experience, this peddling vintage collectibles business... To recap, here are the lessons learned:

1) Chotchkas. Fuggedaboutem! Save your hard-earned coin. Leave them for grandma and don't waste your time.

2) Condition really is everything. Even a mediocre piece can sell if it's in mint condition. True. Whereas even something unusual and rare will stagnate if it's damaged in some way. Also true. Unless it's RS Prussia, leave it alone. Don't waste your time.

3) Porcelain is under-appreciated right now. If I could wager a guess, that would be it. Unless it's RS Prussia, leave it alone. Perhaps now is the time to buy it but not the time to sell it. Keep your porcelain. Maybe it'll reach Bakelite proportions down the road, though I hear even that's on the wane right now.

What's hot?

1) Vintage advertising. People are crazy for this stuff. Hot cakes sellers!

2) Vintage radios. People like functional things (go figure) and there are no shortage of vintage radio lovers out there, myself included. Radios move fairly quickly, especially if they're minty, functioning and relatively uncommon.

3) Vintage toys. People are as crazy for these as they are for vintage advertising. Especially the metal/tin cars or trucks. "Mantiques" are hot cakes sellers in general. If you see a "mantique," buy it. Chances are, you'll be able to re-sell it.

And that concludes today's vintage collectibles 101 impromptu crash course. I leave you with some classic Glenn Miller with the appropriately titled "I Know Why." Have a swingin' 2013!