View Full Version : found out antique store has 2 boxes of bottles in basement but they won't show them to me

06-04-2014, 07:25 PM
so I went into an antique store I hadn't been in before today on my way home from work , odd I have never been in it before as its so close but I asked owner if they had any bottles and they mentioned they had 2 boxes mostly pop bottles from a local farm in the basement but they weren't out for sale yet cause they want to research them/price them I guess ? I asked if I could look at them but she said no . and said they'd be going out in next couple of weeks . so should I just wait and see if they put any of them out or should I ask to see them again and maybe come across as more serious . I don't really look like the type of person who would collect antiques so maybe she didn't take me seriously

06-04-2014, 07:29 PM
I would wait for them to put them out...they sound like the type where if you show too much interest the price will just ratchet up.

06-04-2014, 07:31 PM
It wouldn't hurt to ask again. If I were you, I'd try that and see what happens.

06-04-2014, 07:36 PM
I would wait for them to put them out...they sound like the type where if you show too much interest the price will just ratchet up.

yeah that's sort of a concern in that type of store , without seeing what they have I don't even know if there is anything good there , it might be best to wait and see what they put out for sale but they might not put out everything

06-04-2014, 08:52 PM
Tell them you will offer your knowledge on the bottles and save them the time to research in trade for a couple of your choice, then, it is a win for both.

06-04-2014, 09:05 PM
Ryan: Could be a tricky situation, given all the variables at work. However, I'll pass on my 30+ years of experience with antique shops by starting with one very simple statement: Most antique dealers have no idea about old bottles. They fall into two broad categories when it comes to pricing: 1) every bottle they have, regardless of rarity, condition, etc., is unrealistically, yet methodically, overpriced, for fear that a good one may get away for too cheap or 2) most bottles they have are reasonably priced, though, since they tend to under-appreciate bottles, commons are a bit overpriced and rare items are underpriced Naturally, we bottle collectors like the latter category, and we make those occasional scores because those dealers get the idea that a rare bottle is worth more, not because those dealers are in the know, but because some feature(s) of a rare bottle distinguish it from the rest. To their good sensibilities, the rare bottle is different somehow, but they don't really understand the experienced bottle collector market, so those dealers don't put that "true value" price on the rare bottle. This is why you'll see, for example, a rare Canadian cobalt poison that's worth, say, $250 to collectors, get a $100 price sticker slapped onto it by dealers in category #2. They'll say to themselves, "It must be a good bottle because it's nothing like what I've seen in several years, so I better put a much higher price on it, but nobody in their right mind would pay more than $100, so that's my price." I've seen this often enough. What you have to remember is, in these dealers you've got a combination of reasonable thinking and ignorance (in the truest sense of that word). These are the dealers open to being educated. Then there are the dealers in category #1. Man, oh man, they drive us bottle collectors nuts, with their store or antique mall shelves of crap for $20 each and their "treasures" (not so commons) at $50 each and their "rare old finds" (which sometimes really are rare) at several hundred bucks or "make me an offer" (to which your tendered amount is never enough). These are the same pests who fill Ebay bottle categories with this kind of nonsense: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Vintage-Tropicana-Glass-Grapefruit-Juice-Bottle-909ML-/191202679793?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_2&hash=item2c84915bf1&_uhb=1 (see all the seller's listings). Unlike the category #2s, these jokers are missing the reasonable thinking half of the equation. Being guided solely by ignorance, they have no ability to discriminate: all old bottles are valuable in their minds and their crazy pricing is proportional to their ignorance. You won't get these dealers to accept your wise counsel because they wallow so much in their own self-delusion that they invariably conclude only their wisdom counts. Now, my guess is that your "researcher" dealers fall into category #1, as I've also found such dealers' sheer ignorance and utter lack of ability to reason make them rather suspicious, so they're always busy "researching" rarity, market trends and, for all I know, their horoscopes to determine prices. If you push these fools too hard, it's virtually a certainty that they'll think the box of commons they have are truly the rarest of the rare and thus the priciest of the pricey. Play it softly, play it patiently, my friend, and good luck.

06-04-2014, 09:29 PM
Glen is right, and there are sadly a lot category #1 around here. Once I walked into an antique store only to see Listerine bottles for $20 bucks a pop and many common bottles way overpriced. I pick up a local TOC flask with no price tag and ask the seller how much. He says make an offer, so I said $5. I was pretty sure he would say no, but me being a younger teenager I guess he couldn't say no. I was lucky to get that steal, wouldn't have got it if the price tag was there.

06-05-2014, 08:12 PM
I agree with the category # 1 possibility , store was filled with over priced glass wear and jewellery , didn't look like they were into bottles at all . its also the tourist season here and they tend to spend money wilding and overpay for things so why would she want to sell these bottles for cheap if someone from the city might give her more .but anyways might offer her use of my copy of Ontario pop bottlers book to look up any bottles they were unsure of age or such or just go back in there in a couple weeks and hope there is some of them out for sale and maybe a couple nice ones I want . my guess is a lot of them are common or I'd have them already but could be a bottle or two I'd still want as some locals or nearby towns I'm still looking for

Robby Raccoon
06-16-2014, 10:44 AM
The yard-sale people tend to under-price more desirable pieces, I've found, and over-price everything else. On Saturday I talked to a lady at a garage sale. I bought three bottles for 50 cents each and gave her a general price range on the rest of hers. But in antique stores, a lovely '20s art-deco soda-pop bottle I wanted was, of course, 20 bucks. But a late 1800s beer-bottle was priced at I'm guessing almost half its worth. The shelf won't hold up much longer, and I had no cash, so I doubt that the bottle will live much longer. That shelf's coming down soon. A lovely find, though. The cash register attendant seemed somewhat knowledgeable in bottles, but in talking to her I figured out she tended to drive-up the price. I gave her general prices for some, but she didn't listen. They'll still be sitting there another half century. But the oldest ones will be gone soon, hopefully, if she'd remove them from the dark and tight back room which only holds one shopper at a time. In the end, I stick with hunting my own bottles, and not buying. I find little of interest in antique stores, and then it's priced oddly. Find your treasures, you never know what you'll find.

Robby Raccoon
06-16-2014, 03:40 PM
Just visited my favorite antique store. Going back tomorrow for a bottle in there I had her put on hold. It's priced at five bucks, but worth at least twenty I think. It's near-mint condition and I believe it to be before 1915. It is nearly identical to my straight-side Coca-Cola from the same era. It'll look beautiful. Of course, that's baring an accident in transporting it home. Have to pedal on over. XD. Like McTaggart67's category-two antique dealer. Good prices, but under-priced good bottles.

06-16-2014, 07:59 PM
Gotta love the "category twos"!