Screen Capture from the homepage of Worthpoint - Discover Your Hidden Wealth
How many times have you been on an auction site looking at a vintage button, sewing good, or vintage textiles and found yourself wondering are you about to put in some foolish outrages bid that though will make the seller's day you are going to be taken to the cleaners on.
In the old days I was a full believer in the price guidebooks. I would set for days memorizing the prices of some of my favorite categories of antiques & collectibles. I wanted to know if I saw an amazing deal on a button, memorial jewelry or a hat that if I ever wanted to sell it I could make a profit. I have been known to buy those large lots of buttons on ebay for just one button that I glimpse in the stash of 1000's.
As time has passed though I am really not sure how practical and useful the price guides are anymore. By the time they are actually published (& more likely if) most of the data is out of date. I was really happy to discover that Worthpoint has basically designed an online community that will now allow you to search for descriptions, photos, and prices (for members) of your favorite collectible. There are some great details and photos of objects that have sold in the last couple of years to help guide your decisions on what bid to actually place when your heart is running on a rampage.
One of the strangest experiences was the day I did a search for one of the search fields (Chinese Juvenile Sports) I collect for gifts for my mom and I found several items I had purchased.
Though I have never actually used it they even have a feature that would allow you to ask a Worthologist a question to help you identify your collectible and even would gives you an estimate on value. Though I have to wonder on some of the weird obscure sewing tools if they would have any better idea than the textile museums or Pieceworks magazine.
So today I revel one of my big secretes on how I actually decide what to pay for items at auction houses and ebay.
Though with any antique and collectible site I would love to see more articles that deal with textile and clothing there are a few blog post on Worthpoint that I thought were pretty valuable:
Caring For Your Vintage and Antique Linens and Textiles—Part One
I really enjoy these articles since it went over subjects, that though our mothers and grandmothers thought of as common sense we are not really taught today. And bottom line, you really can get a lot of stains out through just common sense and old fashion laundry techniques.
How to Clean Antique Table Linen
Some tricks that I have always used is to remember that table linens really can be soaked for several days in the tub (Sorry M, I really know you hate when I do this.) and most importantly never ever put them into a washing machine.
Another valuable trick if you have small rust spots a little lemon juice and salt may take it out. There is a product called Wink on the market for removing rust stains, but I really wouldn't use it. The chemicals are just too strong in my opinion for fragile textiles.