Adventures of an Antique Dealer: McCoy Pottery Teaches the Value of Showing Up

Daryle Lambert’s 31 Club Blog

April 28th, 2008

Vintage McCoy Pottery Vase with Leaves recently sold on eBay for $43.99. There were 7 bids.

It does my heart good when I see something I have taught come true with my own eyes. In this case, finding treasure where other people dare not to trod makes a great subject for today’s blog.

Two days ago, Marsha, a 31 Club Member, called and asked if I would go with her to see some pottery that someone had placed a classified ad about. The vision of Teco, Grueby and Newcomb began dancing through my head. I could see that one special piece just waiting for us. Instead, Marsha told me the ad in the paper said 100 pieces of McCoy pottery, a lower end pottery, and the asking price was $500. Needless to say, my balloon was deflated rather quickly, but I agreed to go with her if she would pick me up.

She arrived within the hour, and we began our journey together. When we arrived at the location, I perked up when I saw it was familiar to me. I had attended many calls from this particular neighborhood, and most of them had been very profitable.

We were greeted warmly and invited in. McCoy Pottery was everywhere and the better pieces McCoy produced dominated every room of this gentleman’s home. In the basement there were over a hundred pieces of McCoy, perhaps ten pieces of Shawnee Pottery, and one oyster plate. These were the items he was interested in selling.

He told us what some of the better pieces would bring on eBay, and he was correct. This man knew his pottery. When I calculated the total, I could see the overall value could easily bring about $2,000. He knew this, too, but said he simply didn’t want to bother with them. He was so right on the money that I felt strange in asking if he would take less than the $500 he was asking — but you know my rule. Thankfully, he supplied the courage for me when he mentioned that he hadn’t had any other visitors. I offered him $400. What a fantastic gentleman. He said if we agreed to take them all, he’d let them go for $400. Marsha had herself a deal.

Marsha and I headed back to the car to get some packing materials, and I asked her what she thought the profit on the pieces would be after she had sold them all.
“Maybe a thousand dollars,” she said. I asked her how she arrived at that figure. “I think I should get a least $10 a piece for them, don’t you think?” I didn’t want her to get too excited, so I told her that with the Shawnee pieces, it will probably be closer to $20 a piece. She was thrilled. Then I asked her, “What about the oyster plate?” She asked me what I meant. “The oyster plate will bring you more than you paid for all the other pieces,” I told her. She looked like a deer in the head lights. I can’t wait to see her final total after selling them all.

The ad for this pottery was in a public paper, but no one answered it. Why? I’ll take an educated guess and say that people saw the word “McCoy” and figured it wasn’t worth much. That was my initial response. Boy, were they wrong. This is an example of what I meant when I’ve told you never miss an opportunity to visit someone’s house. Many times when I’ve gone on a call, I didn’t end up purchasing the items I went to see, but walked out with some of the greatest treasures I have ever purchased. When you go on a call where there is no competition, you can take your time looking, and this is where your skills and knowledge come into play. You see, I immediately spotted the oyster plate and knew that we were going to make the deal.

It took Marsha a couple of trips to pack up all the items, but she got them all. I wish her well in selling them and advancing up the 31 Steps.

Join with like-minded 31 Club Members and put a turbo charge on your treasure hunting skills. Get FREE Mentoring. Learn Inside the Industry Secrets. Learn to make high profits and continue to grow your money buying and selling antiques, fine art, and collectibles. My 220 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is FREE with your membership. The book is also available on If you buy the book on Amazon, then the membership is FREE.

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3 Responses

  1. […] here to read the rest: Adventures of an Antique Dealer: McCoy Pottery Teaches the Value … antiques blog, art, art glass, collectibles, invest in antiques, learn, life, teaches the valueLink […]

  2. Hello Daryle,

    Nice site, and very informative.

    Last year while in Southern California I purchased the unwanted inventory of a very well know, and connected antique dealer.

    If I gave you his name and you were to do a google search, you would find him all over the place…

    When I got everything back to the S.F. Bay Area, I found that within the inventory I had purchased were 6 Minton oyster plates. My My…that’s nice.

    I have done very nicely with these on eBay, in fact those 6 plate will almost cover half of the investment I have in the whole buy out!

    When doing buy outs, here is one of my fundamental philosophies: Buy as much as you can from the seller – for me this spreads the risk. If I overpaid on one thing, then I have likely underpaid for something else…and this usually more than makes up for any shortfalls.

    Also, I look in antique stores (not malls), it’s incredible the deals you can find when you know what to look for…

    Martin Codina

  3. Thank You

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