So as I am currently writing an additional post for Upwards of Twenty an alternative idea presents itself. I have been looking into different group forums and online garage sale sites to see if these are a viable alternative to actually driving around town looking for garage sales or visiting the local flea market. My overall assumptions have been correct; there is nothing that is as exciting as walking around your local garage sales simply based on the fact that you never know what you will find, you get to get some exercise, and it allows you to meet some interesting people. A blog I frequent found a gold-plated Susan B Anthony coin for $3.00, read more at Cointhrill.com.
So I recently joined a few online garage sale groups through different forums and Facebook groups. In general these groups are made up of people trying to make a quick buck selling old furniture or people looking for help. The problem with posting items to an open forum is the comments people are able to leave regarding your item. Some of the comments are downright hateful, but if you can get past this you may be able to find some unique items, or at least get a laugh out of the posts (see picture).
As I was recently browsing the Pinellas County Online Garage Sale group on Facebook, I came across a guy selling a few antique items. The picture that caught my interest was a picture of two older table lighters. The price tag for the lighters was $10 for all three. I quickly sent the owner a private message saying that I would take them. I hadn’t even done any research but felt that even if I didn’t choose to resell I wouldn’t mind having them in my home for the $10 price tag.
I setup a meeting win a public place and the transaction went very smoothly. I brought the lighters home and was very pleased. They are not in the best shape but that is what gives them their character. Here is a pic of my purchase.
I know very little regarding antique lighters but have had recent fascination with them probably due to my recent interest in Mad Men on AMC. So here is what I found about my recent purchases:
- Ronson: The Queen Anne was a very popular wick lighter, especially in the United States in the 40’s and 50’s. It was named after Queen Anne of Great Britain, who reigned from 1702 to 1714. This model was first manufactured in 1936 in Newark, New Jersey, USA, than also in the United Kingdom. The production ceased in 1961 when the new Queen Anne with the Varaflame insert was introduced into the world market.The lighter has a very robust construction which made it very durable and widespread. It is silver plated. The lighter has three different patterns: a tulip scroll around the top, pearl like bead around the middle and fan like pattern going down the edge.The Queen Anne was advertised as: “A gift that will last a lifetime”. Estimated value around $10.00 in online auction.
- Art Deco Wood Base Lighter: I actually am having trouble finding the exact maker for this item. I was able to find another just like it on Ebay. They are asking $35.00 buy it now price. Based on similar items for sale online I feel that this is a fair price, maybe a bit high. Estimated value around $30.00 in online auction. This is my favorite of the three since it appears to be the rarest.
- Zippo: The zippo is your standard everyday brushed chrome standard Zippo that retails for $16.95. There is nothing special about this but most people do prefer the Zippo brand. Estimated value $5.00 on a good day.
Based on my research I could turn a $35.00 profit on my purchase and help push Upwards of Twenty forward. Once again I am stuck with the recurring dilemma, do I sell these items and help add a profit to my total earnings or keep these for my personal collection. My sister-in-law said she was interested in buying one of the lighters. I will show them to her and see what she is willing to pay and maybe I can make a profit on one and keep the other. The Zippo will be placed on eBay for a flat price auction and that will go towards the total profits for Upwards of Twenty. This brings my online adventure to a whopping $33.44. Seeing this total has greatly pushed me to continue to move this site forward and make some significant progress. I refuse to end the 1st year of Upwards of Twenty under $100 for the total. Stay tuned to see how the lighter sales go and my two other posts that are in the works. Please post some comments and give me ideas that you would like me to try out. JB