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View Full Version : $1000 dollars for a collection of commons , whats the most overpriced you've seen



RCO
03-05-2013, 11:25 AM
you might of seen my other post about the lake of bays bottle and collection of bottles for sale i went and saw last week .

anyways i noticed a classifed add online for a bottle collection for sale that was only 15 minutes away from my house so i called the guy and went over the same day to look at it . the add did not show pictures of the bottles so i had no idea what he had , he did however mention over the phone he wanted $1000.00 but the add said he had a collection of bottles from 1900's so i though maybe he has some really rare and valuable bottles to justify the price or at least it be interesting to look at what he has .

but when i get there he mentions most of the bottles are covered in snow and not able to look at . he did have alot of bottles in the basement but 95% would be considered common and not desirable for collectors or the type of bottle they'd pay very little money if any to acquire and only like 2 or 3 bottles were actually 100 years old . most were 40's-50's , lots of common locals , pepsi , coca cola , 7 up nothing you wouldn't see anywhere else or find in any normal dump. his collection even included javex bottles and plain milk jugs with no names on them .

and yet even after i spent 20 minutes looking at them and pointing out there was nothing really valuable there he still looked at me with a straight face wanting $1000.00 cash and wouldn't even consider negotiating a lower price . but he did say if he couldn't sell it he was just going to keep the bottles so maybe he didn't really want to sell or bottles had way more sentimental value than retail value . i have no idea just though experience was a bit weird .
wondering if anyone else has ran into bottles or collections people wanted way too much money for

digger dun
03-05-2013, 11:48 AM
I had a chance to "apraise" the collection of a late digger last year. before I had a chance to look at the collection the son of the digger mentioned $5000 in passing. It turned out that he did have a substantial collection of over a thousand bottle with 95% at pre 1900. but in the end there was really only one milk crate full of really good stuff. We offered $500, and were refused. I intend on following up this spring to see if his stance is negotiable.

jays emporium
03-05-2013, 02:58 PM
I was unfortunate enough to look at TWO huge collections in the Houston area last summer that were massive piles of junk. The first ran an ad in AB&GC for collection for sale for $8000. In this case the couple had dug most of their bottles in Vicksburg, Ms 30-40 years ago and kept everything they dug up. The garage was full of boxes of bottles but about 3000 bottles were commemorative Cokes, mostly with the contents, from 1980s-90s. A crate with 50 of those is tremendously heavy but I moved them around to get to the boxes of dug bottles. There were box after box of unembossed wines, beers, medicines, whatever. I found some boxes of Hutchinsons but all VICKSBURG STEAM BOTTLING WORKS, no Biedenharn bottles. I asked about that and the 85 year old lady told me, "Oh, I've got some of those in the house but the kids want to keep them." Then I found one box marked BITTERS - KEEP and thought that would be the jackpot. Among the Hostetters and Lashs there was one KELLY'S OLD CABIN BITTERS but it had a crack so big I don't know how it stayed in one piece. There were plastic crates stacked beside the house, all with the same unembossed crap and about 50 more crates in the backyard, tarped over that I didn't take time to look at. I would guess over 10.000 bottles in all. I didn't bother to make an offer. It would cost me more to move all those bottles than the whole collection was worth. If the kids call me after the lady passes away I might take it for free, depending on how busy I was at that time.
Then I got to "appriase" another collection with a similar story. This one was salveged in Mobile, Al after Hurricane Katrina and moved to Houston. Again, the mountain of boxes was stacked in the garage. I didn't spend a whole lot of time on this one since I knew I wasn't going to buy it anyway. I looked through about 10% of the boxes and again found tons of unembossed bottles. The SS Cokes I found were all damaged, the Hutchinsons were common and damaged, the Bitters were damaged. This one definitely had the look of being picked over many years ago. Again, over 10,000 bottles and maybe one percent were collectibe. I told the couple they had a monster that would be nearly impossible to get rid of.
Two bad experiences back to back but I keep looking. The good experiences, even though they may be few, make up for the bad ones.

RCO
03-05-2013, 03:01 PM
if he hadn't mentioned the price in advance i never would of guessed he wanted so much , i would of been prepared to pay $200-$250 for what he had as he did have a couple i could of resold and some i wanted for personal collection . if after looking he had said he wanted a grand i would of been left speechless that he though it was worth so much .

what often happens with bottle collections or accumulations is people have quanity over quality or simply haven't had the oppurtunity to dig or buy any rare bottles so they only have common ones . but still think there bottles are worth as much is the rare ones on ebay or at antique stores . there not knowledgeable enough to realise the price difference in say a hard to find acl over the value of say a common one .

the problem with the guy i looked at was he hadn't bought his bottles at retail prices or tried to sell before so he had no idea what they were really worth or what bottles a collector would actually want . he had mostly dug them in his backyard and must of though they were worth alot more

digger dun
03-05-2013, 03:31 PM
yeah, people will find a castoria, or a burnett's extract and think they've got something really valuable. it's uncomfortable to burst that bubble sometimes.

jays emporium
03-05-2013, 03:59 PM
The other thing I've found is that if a person has collected the bottles themself they have a personal attachment to the collection and value the bottles more, sometimes much more than they are actually worth. If the collector is deceased, however, I can often buy the collection quite reasonably from the heirs who just want to get rid of that junk. I haven't thought of a polite way yet to tell the 85 year old collector, "Have your kids call me after you're dead."

jarhead67
03-05-2013, 04:38 PM
ORIGINAL: jays emporium

I was unfortunate enough to look at TWO huge collections in the Houston area last summer that were massive piles of junk. The first ran an ad in AB&GC for collection for sale for $8000. In this case the couple had dug most of their bottles in Vicksburg, Ms 30-40 years ago and kept everything they dug up. The garage was full of boxes of bottles but about 3000 bottles were commemorative Cokes, mostly with the contents, from 1980s-90s. A crate with 50 of those is tremendously heavy but I moved them around to get to the boxes of dug bottles. There were box after box of unembossed wines, beers, medicines, whatever. I found some boxes of Hutchinsons but all VICKSBURG STEAM BOTTLING WORKS, no Biedenharn bottles. I asked about that and the 85 year old lady told me, "Oh, I've got some of those in the house but the kids want to keep them." Then I found one box marked BITTERS - KEEP and thought that would be the jackpot. Among the Hostetters and Lashs there was one KELLY'S OLD CABIN BITTERS but it had a crack so big I don't know how it stayed in one piece. There were plastic crates stacked beside the house, all with the same unembossed crap and about 50 more crates in the backyard, tarped over that I didn't take time to look at. I would guess over 10.000 bottles in all. I didn't bother to make an offer. It would cost me more to move all those bottles than the whole collection was worth. If the kids call me after the lady passes away I might take it for free, depending on how busy I was at that time.
Then I got to "appriase" another collection with a similar story. This one was salveged in Mobile, Al after Hurricane Katrina and moved to Houston. Again, the mountain of boxes was stacked in the garage. I didn't spend a whole lot of time on this one since I knew I wasn't going to buy it anyway. I looked through about 10% of the boxes and again found tons of unembossed bottles. The SS Cokes I found were all damaged, the Hutchinsons were common and damaged, the Bitters were damaged. This one definitely had the look of being picked over many years ago. Again, over 10,000 bottles and maybe one percent were collectibe. I told the couple they had a monster that would be nearly impossible to get rid of.
Two bad experiences back to back but I keep looking. The good experiences, even though they may be few, make up for the bad ones.



At least you went and looked. Can't ever pass up an opportunity, otherwise you may never know what gets passed up. The old phrase "You win some, you lose some" comes to mind on those two experiences you wrote about. While I've never purchased a collection, large or small, I'd always be interested in an old timer asking me to stop on by, even if it turned out to be a couple window bottles, just to look. I know you buy larger collections as I've been fortunate to purchase some of your druggist finds from you on eBay and I've always been pleased! Keep lookin'!

Bottles r LEET
03-05-2013, 04:45 PM
.

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/14104/ABF8369C253A43A48B2844A289EBE461.jpg

RICKJJ59W
03-05-2013, 04:50 PM
ORIGINAL: digger dun

yeah, people will find a castoria, or a burnett's extract and think they've got something really valuable. it's uncomfortable to burst that bubble sometimes.


No kiddin they think they are going to get rich. We went to a barn one time that was supposedly filled with "good" bottles I knew before i got there what the outcome would be. A barn full of "federal law prohibits" Time to saddle up the horses and ride! [8D]

RICKJJ59W
03-05-2013, 04:55 PM
ORIGINAL: jays emporium

The other thing I've found is that if a person has collected the bottles themself they have a personal attachment to the collection and value the bottles more, sometimes much more than they are actually worth.* If the collector is deceased, however, I can often buy the collection quite reasonably from the heirs who just want to get rid of that junk.* I haven't thought of a polite way yet to tell the 85 year old collector, "Have your kids call me after you're dead."


Have him write a promissory note. This old lady wont let us dig her yard now, but when she dies she said we could do it. I didn't do it yet but I am going back to get a statement from her ,soon.shes 97.[;)]

beendiggin
03-05-2013, 08:29 PM
I guess people figure a bottle of any kind is worth a dollar, so 10,000 bottles must be worth $10,000 in their mind.

It's really just 10,000 worthless bottles.

botlguy
03-05-2013, 09:00 PM
Kind of an interesting thread. In all my years experience I have found that diggers who are mostly accumulators value their dug bottles way too high. They seem to think they ought to get paid a wage for the work. Also, it's usually a sentimental deal. If they are true collectors also they have learned what "Value" is.

I was an avid digger and have bought several collections and accumulations. I have to admit to both good and bad experience but it's the 5 or 6 FANTASTIC buys that makes the wild goose chases worth while. And for me, it's the "hunt" that is exciting more than the possession. At one time I would buy any collection, pay any price if it was woth it. I once paid $10,000 for a true collection and more than doubled my money. I have traveled hundreds of miles to look at far more junk but enjoyed every single trip including the one where I got thrown off the property for a "insulting" offer. Lucky he didn't have a gun.

RIBottleguy
03-05-2013, 09:16 PM
I remember a guy on Craigslist who was a real job. He had a very rare Dr. Flint's Stomach Bitters from Providence. He said it was the only one in existence, and wanted a couple thousand for it. I saw in the picture that nearly half of the lip was chipped off.
I sent him a very polite email stating that he could get maybe $50 on a good day, and that I knew someone off the top of my head who had the exact same bottle.
Well, his reply was massive rant on how little I know about bottles, and how he knew every detail of this bottle. The stuff he pulled out of his posterior was appalling. Even when I sent him a picture of my friend's example (which was a dead ringer besides the chip), he said THAT BOTTLE IS DIFFERENT, it's clear and his was aqua. But, my friend's was clearly a deep aqua.

I have no clue why he acted so irrational, but I decided even if there was a remote chance of getting this bottle there was no way I was going to meet the guy in person!

Plumbata
03-05-2013, 09:34 PM
A while back there was an eBay auction for a bottle collection in northeast Ohio, pick up only from the father's pole barn. Pic was of a bunch of boxes full of blown bottles, some rather nice ones by the look of things, and just the visible demijohns alone in the image were worth well more than what it sold for. I overslept by 10 minutes and it sold for around 260 bucks. The biggest steal for a collection I ever saw. I would have bid thrice that. Still kicking myself over it.

Wouldn't be surprised if someone here snapped it up.

NYCFlasks
03-05-2013, 09:36 PM
I have seen a number of these. Lets see. There was the young couple who contacted me, this must be about 20 years ago, perhaps 25 years. The mother had passed away, and she was an antique collector and dealer, and left them her collection of bottles, and the book she used to collect them with. They were talking about 15k, yes, 15,000 buck a roos. So I went to check it out, I never pass on nothing. They had the largest collection of repro/contemporary historical flasks I have ever seen, couple hundred of them. The book, was THE flask book by Helen McKearin and David Wilson. The late mother had carefully noted each flask, checking them off in the book, labels on them noting how rare they were, and so on. As a collection of repros, it was outstanding, in terms of value, not much.

Then there was the lady who had lost her husband recently, and wanted to sell his milk bottles. Ok, so I check it out. In the garage was a Divco truck, full of milk bottles. Truck was pretty sad looking, and the milk bottles were all ultra common/throw in the recycle bin common. I asked her how did this come to be? Seems her husband drove this milk truck, and in a big milk strike in this area, his employer pretty much closed up shop and left. So he brought the truck home, with the bottles, hoping to use this as leverage to get his back pay. Never happened. She wanted to sell the truck and bottles, as she was selling the home and needed to get it out of there. I passed, really did not need a shot truck and hundreds of recycle bottles. She wanted a fair pop, 3 grand for everything.

Many people believe that the words "old" and "valuable" are interchangeable..............not.

Had some good ones too. The gentleman who called me, had some drug store items he wanted to sell. Ok, so I go. He had hundreds of LUG in his home. The house was sold, and he was leaving in 2 days. I had to get it all out by then. I threw out a number, a buck a piece and he took it, and it took 3 trips with my pickup to get it all home. Took a number of years, but was able to find it all new homes.

There was the family who dug bottles for decades, and kept everything. They were moving and wanted to get rid of it. The price was 500 dollars. Looked good for the money, and the deal was done. Took me 9 trips with a rack body truck to get it all home. 8 loads went at the curb, and there was one that I am still selling and trading today, this was about 20 years ago. The garbageman did not like me that year..........but I was good at Christmas to them.

Plenty of others............

mctaggart67
03-05-2013, 11:26 PM
I've had the mixed results, too, in going to see collections for sale by the uninitiated. I had one older lady become so incensed at my offer, which was about 50% more than standard value to send the message that I was a serious collector, that she screamed at me for trying to rip her off. She wanted $200, I thought $15 was generous, and $10 was about what the typical bottles of its style, etc. would sell for in the collecting world. Whoops, what a backfire!

On kijiji, I found myself giving out a lot of free appraisals, in that sellers were courting offers. I give them, but then would be met with a query about how I arrived at my offer, which seems like a reasonable request from an unknowledgeable party. However, the sellers were just testing to see how valid my offer was to get a free and accurate appraisal, so they could delist online (yes, the ads were dropped) and then, presumably, sell directly to another party. I don't make any offers at all, now.

However, sometimes you win as a collector and even more as a person. The best score I made was when I was still in my teens. A retiree responded to one of my newspaper want ads (remember those?!). His late wife had been a hoarder, who just happened to have liked milk bottles. She didn't collect them in the fashion we do. Instead, she would keep one different example she could get her hands on from each local dairy that she did business with (her hoarding started in the 1940s). I collected local milks at the time, and was blown away, since the retiree pulled out from long-stored boxes and crates embossed and silk-screened variants from small farm-based dairies that no collector had seen before. I kid you not -- really rare stuff! By the time, he had finished showing me everything, there were around two dozen distinct "new" local milk bottles before my eyes, along with a sizeable number of duplicates and more common stuff from larger incorporated dairies.

I was jumping for joy, almost literally, until my euphoria immediately evaporated, when the retiree asked that question, "So, how much are they worth?" I crashed back down to reality, and, since I was only 14 or 15 at the time, meekly yet honestly replied, "I can't afford to pay you what they're worth." He responded, somewhat matter-of-factly, "I didn't ask whether you could afford them. I asked what they're worth." I thought the gig was up, the deal was over, but still felt compelled to tell the truth and said, "Around $25 to $30 bucks each." And that was pretty good for such rare milks back in the early 1980s. His next question was, "I can tell that these bottles mean a lot to you as a young collector, is that so?" I acknowledged that. This guy was class all the way, and with gleam in his eye, he finally said, "Well, young man, I want to reward your honesty and I'm impressed that someone your age is interested in the past and has a hobby to keep him from getting into trouble. I think a dollar a bottle is fine." I damn near fell over and actually had enough cash in my wallet to cover the total. The retiree even drove me and the bottles back home.

I felt lucky that day, but only because I added some truly great bottles to my local collection and had a few left over as traders or sellers. As an adult and a high school teacher, I now have a much greater appreciation of what he really gave me that day, and it certainly wasn't a bunch of glass antiques. Money meant nothing to him -- he was eighty-something and happy with life -- but he understood the greater value and wisdom in feeding the curiosity of a young person. That is a very powerful gift to give a teenager. Thanks, Alan Smith, may you always rest in peace.

RCO
03-06-2013, 09:34 AM
lately i've been having really bad luck with people on "kiijji " which is a canadian version of craigslist if your from the US and never heard of the site before .
i actually put an add up on my local kijjii site saying i was looking for bottles a month ago and got 5 replies from people who had bottles but each reply fell apart , either they were too far away or wanted way too much money .
one lady wrote in who had 9 bottles , 4 were NDNR coca colas and i figured they were worth nothing but she had 5 other bottles from 40's-50's and a couple were interesting so i offered her $20 which i though was a very generious offer , she wrote back saying she was expecting more $ , so i offered $10 just for the 1 bottle i really wanted , she still rejected that offer . i finally wrote back saying i wasn't interested anymore so she angryly wrote back saying i was a jerk and had no life , what a crazy lady .

but last summer i did have some luck on kiijji , one lady had an assortment of bottles for sale and i offered her $25 . turned out there was a local milk jug and rare local flavouring extract bottle in the mix so it was a good buy . another guy had maybe 5 40's - 50's pop bottles and i paid $15 for them which was another good buy but this year its been a challenge to say the least

riverdiver
03-07-2013, 11:36 PM
Sheesh, great experiences all around. I just lived this very nightmare in the past two weeks. The sole occupant of a house built in 1850 passed away and the adult children asked if anyone local knew bottles, my name got dropped and a week later I am walking through a very damaged house looking at a large mint collection of 1970's Avon and Wheaton repro bottles and a smattering of local beer, soda, milk and druggist bottles. I was fair and tried to educate the family about real vs repro flasks and the reality of selling a collection in this economy with all of the silly digger shows making folks think they are sitting on a gold mine...long story short, I contacted several members of this forum for their respective collecting areas and received excellent offers only to have the seller decide to go with a local antique mall and flat out refuse all offers due to this "we believe the ( NH ) bottles are valuable and we are going to research on our own and get the "right" price. Funny, they came to me, I refused payment for the appraisal and was given an antique oak dresser and a couple of bottles (their choice) for my time.

Repops on a window sill...

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/11127/3ECA7DE06EDC426EBB126E77C1E93AC3.jpg

riverdiver
03-07-2013, 11:38 PM
more fakes

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/11127/B252117C94DD4E42A1F066D2530D1945.jpg

riverdiver
03-07-2013, 11:38 PM
still more...

https://www.antique-bottles.net/upfiles/11127/9D2C7DA5DB27401585A9A47764A0FEFC.jpg

botlguy
03-08-2013, 02:20 PM
Sadly, that is a typical story Matt. The root of it is, in my opinion, a combination of greed and mistrust, the mistrust brought on by todays society's inclination towards dishonesty. Hardly anybody trusts anybody anymore.

RCO
03-09-2013, 11:27 AM
at least you left with a bottle and some furniture , i didn't leave with anything but a picture of the one unusal local bottle he had .
what i'm noticing alot at garage sales or online ads is people are starting to assume anything old is valuable but alot of the times that isn't necessary true and they are often way overpricing items on the basis that there old but haven't done any research to determine if there actually collectable items or not

myself for the future i'm not going to try and purchase bottles online unless there is a sensible and reasonable price listed in the ad or they are listed on a credible site like ebay . no more of these overpriced " make us an offer " online classfied ads

ironmountain
03-18-2013, 04:44 PM
guy had an ad in CL that said huge Coke collection 3,000 dollars and a ton of "old" stuff. I'm pretty ignorant about Coke products. (other than the massive amount of info you guys/gals provide & research). I just wanted to see a sweet collection. He had quite a bit of Coke stuff.. a few 6packs from the 80's "still full!" and the rest was stuff like the repro christmas tins, the M&M guys etc...from the late 80's/90's.... everything was very common...

David Fertig
03-24-2013, 02:45 PM
Before I go and look at anything, I always ask what they want for it. If they tell me to come and take a look and let them know what I will give, I usually let my number and tell them to give me a call when they decide what they want.

Spent too many miles and hours to "appraise" items in the past.

LC
03-24-2013, 04:14 PM
Years ago I read an ad in the local paper once of old bottles for sale . The place was only seven miles or so from me so I decided to go and take a look . When I got there I saw that the house and building on the lot were quite run down . Got out of the truck and went and knocked on the door . A tall thin elderly lady answered the door . I told her why I was there and she pointed to a fence row and said that the bottles were laying along the fence . I walked out to the fence to find screw top pint whiskey bottles stacked one after the other along the fence . Most were paper labeled and most all the labels were gone . I went back to the door and told the lady that they were not old enough for me to have any interest in them .

I also noticed when I drove back her lane that there was an old Model A or T in a building that looked like it might fall over at any minute . I made reference to the car and asked if she would want to sell it . She said there was no way that she could ever sell the car as it was her Mother's car . She said that she bought it new in 1927 and only her and her Mother were the only ones to ever turned a wrench on it if something would go wrong with it . I told her that when I was a kid I used to see two women come to town in a car something like that, and I always got tickled when I saw them Being the woman driving was quite tall and the other woman was very short . In the winter when they came you could see that they were bundle up quite heavily to try and stay warm in it , guess it did not have a heater in it . After I told the lady my story she laughed and said Yep , that was us and that they always did their shopping in town where I lived . I was blown away being that had bee such a long time ago .

I was getting ready to leave and the lady asked me if I would like to come in and have a cup of coffee to warm myself up , it was late fall at that time . Then she said it got so lonely there for her and I was more compelled to take her up on her offer more than ever .

Upon going into the house I noticed that there was no electric in the house . She used lantern to light the room of the house when it was dark . We went on into the kitchen and there was the coffee pot sitting on a wood burning flat top cast iron stove . We sat down to the strongest cup of coffee I ever drank in my life and I listened to her tell stories for what must have been at least two hours . Regretfully I came away with no bottles but left enriched with so many colorful stories by someone thirsting for a little company to be able to chat with . I still think of that lady every now and then .

ironmountain
04-01-2013, 09:04 PM
outside of the guy with new shotglasses and mugs and Jim Beam decanters who wants 500...

I get ppl like this:

http://up.craigslist.org/hsh/3634567923.html