Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Appraiser Polish - Wedgwood Pottery

Lately, I have been doing a special trick to learn my antiques...I have been choosing polish that reminds me of a kind of antique that I want to learn more about. 

I choose this polish by Nails, Inc this week because it looks like Wedgwood porcelain.

Josiah Wedgwood and Sons, commonly known as Wedgwood, is a pottery firm. Wedgwood was founded on 1 May 1759 by Josiah Wedgwood and in 1987 merged with Waterford Crystal to create Waterford Wedgwood, an Ireland-based luxury brands group. 

Wedgwood is most famous for their blue and white design – which I LOVE.

The color blocking effect and timeless blue and white is SIMPLE but so vivid and exciting at the same time. I really like the matte finish. It's also somewhat affordable right now - it's also very durable and if you get the earlier pieces, it's really high quality. (Hint - blue is the most common but also my favorite - green is rarer!)

You can find cameos, pendants, and other accessories in this pattern. The neoclassical patterns are really fun and if you look closely, you can see how the Romans lived and get a little peek into history on your vase!

Next time you are out and about, keep your eye out for some of this porcelain. If you need a pop of color in your decor, I highly recommend it.

Friday, March 6, 2015

8 Things People Who Work in the Antique Industry Can't Stand Hearing When You Are In Their Shop

Y'all know I work in the antique industry in sales and as a professional personal property appraiser. I absolutely love my career and so many things about it. It's exciting, interesting, every day is different, and I have met so many amazing people and seen some incredible things over the years...and I am just starting out. I love the history, research, and stories...but there are also some times when I just want to scream - mostly in my shop. 

I am guessing almost anyone in retail customer service can identify with these things that we just can't stand hearing - especially those in the antique industry. If you say any of the following things, you can expect this reaction: 

8) "I am just wasting time." 

I know people don't mean anything by this but you wouldn't believe how many people say it. "Wasting time" just carries a bad oura with it unless you are Dave Matthews saying it and then SWOON. Unless you are Dave, don't say it when sales people are working and come up to help you. Basically anything else is better.

7) "Do you BUY antiques?" 

EVERY TIME I fight the urge to say, "No. We steal them. Or better yet, all these things have been donated to us - do you want to donate something to us, too?!" 

6) "I saw the same one that I have on Pawn Stars, Antiques Roadshow, etc." 

That's awesome for you. Keep in mind - those shows DO accurately represent what the item IS but the values are generally inflated retail prices - like when two people duke it out with the heavens aligned and they just won the lottery kind of prices. They do not give a fair market value - an FMV. That is the price that would happen in a normal day between several sets of people under no compulsion to buy or sell. Kind of like saying, "Oh, that's a good deal, I will take two, thanks!." That is a fair market value.

5) "I am downsizing." 

UGH. It always reminds me of someone on Biggest Loser or something. Generally, nobody ever downsizes something awesome. They are usually downsizing something that is dragging them down, right? Right. People always expect us to do jumping jacks because they are now "downsizing". What happened to UP-SIZING? Come in and tell us you are up-sizing and you might see those jumping jacks. Hell, I would even drop disco balls and bring in the dancing girls for the right "up-size".

4) "I have some junk I want to get rid of." 

When I get one where they actually say "JUNK", I tell them we do have a dumpster out back they can use. Sometimes, people even tell me that they have "had it listed on Craigslist for three months and not one person has called or emailed."  

3) "We already sold all the good stuff at the garage sale." 

People ACTUALLY tell us this on a regular basis. I literally just can't anymore. Not even. CAN'T EVEN. 

2) "Grandma owned it and she was 90 when she died so it has to be old." 

Newsflash! Grandma might have gone shopping when she was 85 or could have been given a gift when she was like 89. Or went to target two weeks before her death. Just because Grandma owned it, doesn't mean it is "antique". Here are some easy tips - if it's microwave safe, or has a UPC code, or a certificate of authenticity from the home shopping network, it's not antique.

1) "Can I see the price on this, I have one JUST LIKE IT, will you give me $85 for MINE?!" 

Awesome. Let me stop what I am doing to actually generate income for myself and pretend to be interested while you make me pull something out of the case to tell you what the price is just so you can then try and sell me the item for the SAME PRICE as I  have it for sale in my shop.