Hope you all enjoyed your Sunday. I know I did. Remember to take time for yourself to recharge, relax and relate..to friends and family. Here is Elvis, in his Christmas gear on our walk today along the beach in Campbell River.
If you're of a certain age, let's say over 40, you've probably sent or received a postcard in your past. As a kid, if I ever was forced to write a letter (thank you mom), I could fulfill my promise with 1 or 2 sentences. Done.
You could pick them up for a nickel or so, or if you were on holidays, you could get them for free from almost every Motel 6 and HoJo's in the country. They cover every subject, every location, every hobby in the world. It was a form of damn near free self-promotion that even the most cash strapped mom and pop shop could afford. There must be billions of them out there. Like matchbooks and paper coasters, they were meant to be used and then thrown away. The very definition of ephemera.
Those old throwaways can be amazingly valuable. If you are of Chinese heritage or had a family member who sent postcards from Mainland China at the turn of the last century, some of these vintage cards can sell in the thousands of dollars. Postcards are still collected by a huge number of people. These "deltiologists" are avid, rabid specialists. From Greyhound Racing to National Parks to specialty buildings, to slave depictions, there are thousands and thousands of sub categories. Why collect?
From the Toronto Postcard Club
"Because they are fascinating pieces of history. Initially, people are drawn to vintage postcard views that have a connection to their lives. Home towns, occupations, a genealogy connection, places visited, and so on. Then, from their interactions with other members and collectors and from their search for that next treasure, their postcard knowledge is expanded. They learn about the impact of postal regulations, the different eras of the postcard craze, the different types of postcards, early Canadian photographers and publishers, and more. It’s a hobby that inspires more research and understanding of the view and the times represented in a 3-1/2″ x 5″ picture from a century ago."
Yes, postcards may seem oldschool with the advent of the computer, and the crash and burn of the physical penmanship skills that we no longer learn, but for those diehards who love to collect history, this field is wide open. Easy to find, cheap to buy, millions of images. What's not to love.
I think I understand the rush of a drug addict. To me, auctions are the same way. Example, the above sign. I put this rare sign on ebay and have my settings set so that I get a notification every-time I get a bid. I have it on for ten days. For the first 9 days, typical auction action. Starts strong and then no action for about 8 days. My phone sounds like a church bell the last hour. Ding, ding, ding as I get bids. I race to my listing to see what it's up to. Less than 1 hour to go! If you haven't tried it, do yourself a favour. It's a blast.
..Items that were not meant to have lasting value. Or as I prefer to look at it, little snippets of history. Have a look at the original FBI wanted posters for Bonnie and Clyde above. They were stuck on every telephone pole, mailbox and general store in most towns in the mid-West. There must have been hundreds of thousands of these. And yet, someone is willing to pay $1500 for 2 old posters. Why? Because it brings back memories, it's a small pea on a plate of yearly what's happenings. No one knew that Bonnie and Clyde would become the infamous gangsters of the first half century. What possessed someone to put these old posters off to one side, forgotten in a drawer or cupboard for 80 years.
As shown above, ephemera certainly does have value. Everyone knows someone who collects sports cards, but did you know there are collectors of sports card wrappers? Yup, there are many collectors of throw-aways. Old menu inserts, bubble gum wrappers etc. There is a massive number of kitchen food container collectors such as empty cereal boxes, spice containers etc. Though most people associate ephemera with paper, by definition, it can be anything that was meant to be thrown away. The major advantage of collecting this type of item is cost. Instead of paying $300-$3000 for a mint 1979/80 Wayne Gretzky Topp's rookie card, you can buy a full roll of 1979/80 Topps unused wrappers (91 in total) of about $280. Believe me, these are far rarer that the Gretzky card.
So, if you want to start collecting but are unsure of what, think outside the box. Unless of course you want to collect the box.
I don't normally try and sell on my blog, but thought I would try some loyalty pricing. For my regular readers only, 8 Disney lobby cards, 3 from 1963's The Incredible Journey and 5 from 2006's Happy Feet. All are original, these are from the movie theatres that were showing these the following week. I normally sell these for $10 each, but for this test, all 8 for $50 including shipping. Enjoy.
Like many collectors, I have trouble focusing. There's just too much damn cool stuff out there. I have been doing this for almost 3 decades and I think I've finally narrowed down my niche.
I have sold everything from fishing reels to toothpick holders, scrimshaw to silverware. The problem is, I love it all. But...I need to focus on a specialty area to take it to the next level. With my background in film, my love of paper and books I am going to start to narrow my field. I will try and concentrate on memorabilia, sports, film, tv, and history ephemera. If it's made from paper, I will sell it. Vintage movie posters, lobby cards, pressbooks, crew photos, autographs, photos etc. I also love books, so I will continue to buy and sell Wizard of Oz, Dr. Seuss, signed and first edition books.
The poster above is indicative of the posters I will sell. This particular one was promoting the re-release of Gone with the Wind in 1981, possibly the most popular film of all time. It is what is called a folded one-sheet. So if you have any particular wants or needs, let me know. I will have a user-friendly e-commerce website in the early part of 2016 up and running. You will be able to purchase direct, without any of the ebay fees.
Circumstances change. Such is the case for me and Mrs. Collectordude. We have decided to move from small town BC to larger town BC. We find ourselves on Vancouver Island where I intend to resurrect thecollectordude in one form or the other. Not sure if we go full bricks and mortar or if I do an online version for a while. In the meantime, I am again on the hunt for unique and one of a kind items, supplemented by old books. The collecting bug is still biting, I need to scratch that itch. Don't you just love change? It's awesome!
A collector of everything. I know a little about a lot, and a lot about a little. But!! I know where to find it!.