View Full Version : bottle export?

06-19-2009, 06:12 PM
Hi all,

Glad to find this forum (Newbie here!). I hope you can help us.

My partner and i are currently living on a little island off the coast of Panama. I have a friend who is from here and has an interest in finding bottles. This is a poor and deprived place and the man has now, and has had, a very difficult life. Bottle collecting is something he likes and seems good at but whenever he has tried in recent years to turn the bottles into food and shelter through selling them to visitors he has been abused and had the product of his collecting stolen.

We have been looking after his recent finds as he has lives rough and has nowhere to keep them. The bottles are not immensely valuable, as far as we can tell, consisting of earthenware beer (ginger?) bottles, lotion and potion bottles from the US mostly and Jamaican "grease" jars. There is a variety of other bottles and jars. The picture is what we had about a month ago so there are a few more since.


We want to help Ceballo make a few bucks from this, (we give him a couple of dollars each time he brings some to us so he has enough to eat) and he is trusting us to try and help him make something more so he can get a stove, some shelter and some clothes together.

We don't know if we might encounter any problems selling, via the internet, and sending bottles overseas. Or what might be the best way to proceed generally.

We don't really know the value of these bottles, being new to this, but we have done a good bit of research and know about Pontil bases and stuck on lips!

If anyone can help it would be great. We don't want anything for ourselves and we don't want to rip anyone off. Neither do we want this unfortunate man to be ripped off or abused any more. He has a chance to change his life from one of drug abuse and vagrancy to something much better. The community treats him badly because of his past, "it's only what he deserves" they say, but that is the past and this is now....and he is trying, with a little help, to pull himself out pain of despair; and by legitimate means. Only last year he was beaten with a bottle (harsh irony!) and lost an eye. Hit, for no reason at all, by a young buck showing off. The authorities, even in the face of plenty of witnesses to the assault haven't even logged the matter as the victim is a "vagrant"!

He seems just as good at finding bottles with just the one eye, though!

Thanks again for reading this rant! It would be lovely to think that old bottles, alongside their beauty and interest, can be a source of real help too.
Yesterday he said he thought he could maybe buy a couple from other locals and sell them on.....start a business maybe!!

Bye for now and thanks again, ppinny
(Paul and Sarah)