What Sells: Glass
Online marketplaces are popular sources of collectible glass and crystal items, from antique bottles and insulators to contemporary vases and wine glasses.
These types of glass are also popular:
- Antique bottles (for beer, soda, milk, perfume, etc.)
- Carnival (iridescent coating on a clear or colored base)
- Cut glass (clear or colored glass with elaborate designs carved into the surface)
- Glass insulators (used on utility lines)
- Milk (opaque white)
- Vaseline (glows yellow-green under UV light)
The following websites contain photo galleries, pattern and color lists and other information that can help you identify and describe glass:
Dictionary of glass marks: http://www.heartland-discoveries.com/dictionary.htm
Glass encyclopedia: http://www.glassencyclopedia.com/
Antique bottles: http://www.antiquebottles.com/
Cambridge glass: http://www.cambridgeglass.org/
Carnival glass: http://www.ddoty.com/
Cut glass: http://www.cutglass.org/
Depression glass: http://www.ndga.net/
Fostoria glass: http://www.fostoriacollectors.org/
Milk glass: http://www.nmgcs.org/
Tiffin glass: http://www.tiffinglass.org/
Westmoreland glass: http://www.westmorelandglassclubs.org/
Vaseline glass: http://www.vaselineglass.org/
- Scratches and scuffs
- Cracks and chips (run your finger around the rim, base and handles to detect tiny chips called “flea bites”)
- Torn or missing stickers and labels
Holding the glass up to a light will make it easier to see cracks, bubbles and other imperfections. Dirt can hide damage; so if the item is very dirty wash it with lukewarm water and dish soap. Pat dry with a soft cloth or let it air dry in a dish drainer. Don’t use harsh cleansers or paper towels, since these can leave scratches.
Maker’s marks change over time and are critical to assessing the item’s value so include photographs of any markings or stickers in your listing; a jeweler’s loupe or magnifying glass will help you read them, as well as spot imperfections and damage.
Include these details in your listing:
- Model or pattern name (if known)
- Type of item (vase, bowl, decanter, champagne flute, etc.)
- Age (if known)
- Packaging (e.g., New in Box)
Glass needs to be well protected during storage and shipping. Keep glass away from any heavy traffic areas to avoid breakage of or damage during storage. Always carry glass (and other fragile items) with both hands. To ship a glass item, use the original packaging whenever possible; many high-end crystal manufacturers ship their items in dense foam that offers excellent protection. If an item includes a case, place the item in the case, pack the case in bubble wrap or foam and place it into a bed of packing peanuts for shipment.
If the item does not include a case, make sure to use a new box and one that has as little extra space as possible to pack an item. But, the box should be large enough to allow for a cushion of protection for the item or items. Consider double-boxing particularly fragile or valuable pieces of glass.
Wrap each item with bubble wrap with the bubbles facing toward the item and secure it with invisible tape. If you’re shipping multiple items, place the heavier items on the bottom or consider packing them in separate boxes. By packing items individually, you can provide a better cushion and prevent your box from losing strength due to excessive weight. Be sure to fill any extra space below and around the item with foam or if necessary clean paper and/or packing peanuts. This will prevent the item from shifting during transport and will provide extra protection.
Seal the box with several strips of packaging tape, and to further strengthen your box, apply clear packaging tape to all the seams.
Keep in mind, the size and delicacy of a glass item can require special crating or shipping services. It’s best to determine the packing and shipping methods in advance and to include an estimate of the total shipping cost in your listing.