Tuesday, December 16, 2014

some lovely & rare antique Jokers & Spade Aces worlwide

This will just be a short and sweet post, the pictures will do the talking :)  Some lovely images of mid-late 1800's to early 1900's Aces and Jokers from various playing card manufacturers.  These hardly see the light of day so I though it would be nice to share them with fellow Joker and Spade Aces collectors. click here to check my pinterest joker/aces album

Monday, December 8, 2014

blank greeting birthday zodiac cards for sale!

I have a range of greeting cards for sale created by me from some of my lovely original Art Nouveau ephemera. They are glossy finish, quality cardstock, blank inside and come with a warm white coloured envelope.   

If you want any other designs in greeting cards made I can get them produced for you, all of the swap card designs I have can be transferred to greeting card so there are more than 1,500 designs to choose from!  They measure 5" x 7" or approx. 18cm x 13cm.

click here for ebay listing of Art Nouveau greeting cards (link will open in a new window)  Pics of each design are below in groups of 4.  

Friday, November 28, 2014

great original swap card collection, Coles swap cards and albums 2,800+ cards! SOLD!


Great opportunity here, a fellow collector is selling her childhood collection.  There are some wonderful cards in this lot, Coles swap trading cards, c1970's blank backs and a great range of vintage artists.  There are Joy girls, Sarah Kay etc etc!  Also comes with all the albums as in the pics, and over 2,800 cards.  Ideal lot for a new collector, a seller or for a veteran to fill a few holes in the collection and have plenty of spares for swapping.

These are not my cards, they are being sold on behalf of another collector who has no selling account on ebay etc.  Click the link to view her advert on Gumtree (contact details are there) or send me a message via the contact on this page and I will put you in touch.

Karen's Gumtree advert

Serious collectors and serious offers only.  Original collections sealed away for so many years in their albums don't come along too often.   Item location is Tasmania, willing to post to any location.  Sorry for the low-res pics but it was the best she could do.  Any good collector knows what's here even though the resolution isn't the best - note the Coles cards mixed in with the regular albums too.

Pics here (click to enlarge):  pics no longer available

Sunday, November 16, 2014

How my swap cards are made

Due to many questions I will discuss how my cards are produced.  

Firstly I must state my images come from the ORIGINAL ephemera that I own, so this gives me much more flexibility when transferring them to cards.  I do not simply google images and lift them off the internet – so there are no cut images, lost edges or “dirty” images.   

Classic examples are when my competitors see my images selling well so want to copy them and make their own.  So they google search and find a similar image.  I have a couple at the moment that I can show you the differences of the quality of the finished product when you actually own the artwork therefore can be more fussy about how the image is placed when the cards are manufactured:

This is the competitors "copy", the edges near dog's nose, text cut, dirty image etc

my image taken from the original magazine, so no cut images, centered and clean

competitors copy - image dirty and edges cut

mine produced from the original, clean and centered image

I only choose the very best examples of ephemera to transfer to cards and my collection is extensive.   I am very fussy with the quality of my images and cards and it makes me a little annoyed when other sellers "steal" ideas and make inferior copies because it lowers the value of cards and people seeing those copies may think I have stolen their ideas.  Not a good situation but unfortunately when money is to be made others like to take short cuts. 

It is easier and cheaper for them to google the images and lift them from the net than it is to pay to acquire good quality original ephemera.  The proof, as they say is in the pudding.


I also have chosen to do produce my cards in the wider “poker” format so they will fit perfectly into the Ultrapro pages as standard sized playing cards always fall out of the pockets.  I don't refer to my cards as "wides" in my listings because it can be misleading to buyers.  A Wide usually refers to the antique playing cards so I don't want any confusion and want it crystal clear exactly what era these cards are from.  Misleading buyers by claiming they are Wides is not my intention.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Selling your swap cards? read this first!

I'll share an email I received today, just the gist of it and not the full email of course, I respect my buyers' privacy.  The question was will I consider giving her a discount as she wants to buy "several" cards.  Ok I am good with this, I am a buyer and a seller, who doesn't want discount?  The undertone of the email however was a little irking because she indicated that other sellers were selling cards 10 for $1.00 and that maybe I should be pricing mine similarly..... hmmm ok then maybe just buy from them was the thought that crossed my mind but I took it as an opportunity to educate everyone on just how much it costs the seller to offer those cards to you.

We are talking ebay here (of course!).  Now it costs $49.95 per month to have a store.  It costs .20c per listing after you have used up your limited "free" listings (which smart sellers use for auctions).  Then ebay takes a minium of .10c as final value fee, then PayPal takes another .30c for you to receive the payment.  If you don't have free shipping then you also pay Ebay another 10% of the TOTAL COST of the item, so say $1.00 for her example, then $1.00 for postage (as that is what most people charge on ebay).  They will take 10% of that whole $2.00, then Ebay again will charge you fees on the shipping too.... This is not even taking into account it cost you to produce or buy that item in the first place!

Feeling a little more sympathetic towards your seller now? (probably not, the cost is all that matters when you are a buyer).  How long do you think your seller will last with business practices like that?  

My suggestion to you is that if you want to sell your cards, keep an eye on what they are selling for on ebay (you can also do a search on what they sold for for the previous 3 months).  Think of the fees too.  If you are going to sell in large volumes (some people have hundreds of cards to sell) then it might be worth opening a store.  Ebay you pay through the nose for them, but you have good exposure.  Quicksales you only pay $5 per month but it's slow there and you really have to bring your own buyers.

If they are rare cards like Coles or Woolworths swap/trading cards then auctioning them would be smarter.  If they are relatively common then you are better off setting "buy-now" prices and taking your chances.  There are some 22,000 cards on ebay au at the moment.  It's easy to get lost in all those listings, especially if you don't have high feedback and the benefit of ebay's Top Rated Seller ranking (which puts your listings higher).

Your other option?  Hang onto them, sell around Christmas time (December-January are top months for sales).  Or you can join a "swap" group and swap them with others.  I am working on this with my facebook group/page.

How to do an Ebay search to check current prices:

1. open the ebay au home page then up the top look for this box (click the pics to enlarge them):

2. after you click "advanced" you will see this screen:

type in the type of card you are searching for, I used Coles swap cards in my example.  Then click the box for "completed listings" rather than 'sold' because you want to see the ones that didn't sell too, that is important because it allows you to see sold items and unsold items, so you can gauge demand.

3.  then the results will come up like this:

and it also shows unsold ones or sold ones in buy-now or auction format if you click here you can toggle between different types, just auction results, just buy-now results or all results:

hope that helps, ask me questions if you need help!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Facebook anyone?

Anyone reading on Facebook?  I created a page more than a year ago, but never activated it or did anything with it.  Finally I got around to creating the page (still in its infancy, but I will get there!).  I will be showcasing sneak peeks of my new swap card designs and also having links where people can buy or just get more information or even share their cards.  Have a look, give me some suggestions and maybe a like?

Happy collecting everyone :)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sizes of swap cards

Another area I thought it was time to address is sizes of swap cards. They can range from mini's to wides. Lets start with the biggest.... 

1. Wides or Poker size: 
Early Wides (so from 1800's and earlier) are large, designed for men to hold. There are square cornered Wides (blunt cut cards) from the 1800's and earlier, then they began rounding the corners of the cards in the early 1900's. In more modern times Poker became a popular game and the cards are in the same wide format as in earlier times.   Examples here of a square corner wide and slightly later rounded corner one:

2. Bridge size or "regular playing cards": 
Some people call bridge size "regular sized" playing cards, but really they are not. They came out originally in the 1920's as women began to play cards (was mostly a men's game before that, so the cards were wider to fit a man's hand). Bridge cards (or "narrows" were specially designed to fit in a woman's hand. Also in this category are Whist sized cards, they are a slight difference to bridge cards and were made for the game of Whist. So really saying bridge cards are "regular" sized is a bit of a misnomer because they were not the first cards and certainly not regular in size at all.   The following scan shows firstly a regular bridge card from c1940's, next to it a Whist sized card and the two after it are Wides in 2 different sizes (the one with white border is slightly bigger than the ship card).

3. Patience sized or mini cards: 
These were used to play the game of Patience and used mostly by women or children. They can range in size from really teeny tiny to just small. Here are some examples of the range of sizes (height and width differences) with minis (sorry yes some are upside down!):

my new swap card creations.....

I have been collecting for years and find it difficult to find new cards for my collection, so I decided to start making my own.  I have a huge collection of ephemera, some of the images are so wonderful they deserve to be shared and loved by a new audience.  I have created a large collection with a wide variety of themes, lots of Art Deco style (it is one of my favourite eras) but also Art Nouveau and vintage retro.  The link should take you to my new pinterest album which shows all the styles of cards I currently have.  Click and enjoy :)  hope you love them as much as I do..... (link will open in a new tab so you won't lose your place)

my swap cards on pinterest