What Makes Our Hobby So Darn Interesting?
I think we are all getting numb, and rightfully so, seeing record prices at not just one particular venue, but at many numbers of venues and events everywhere. As exciting as this seems, it’s not particularly important I feel, as this has been happening for decades. We all know too much in price increases in a very short time cannot and should not last forever. A nice steady increase in prices over the years is better, for any hobby I would think. The gas and oil collectibles hobby has done both, meaning it has weathered extreme and fast prices increase and good steady growth in other areas over the decades. What is exciting though, is the continued growth of our hobby and seeing it spread across continent.
But I still haven’t answered the question above. What makes this hobby so darn interesting?
Americia has always been about industries, the automobile, oil and the like. This is the foundation that supports these pillars of strength. Collecting items that relate to these pillars makes it very acceptable and fun for the hobbyist. The car collectors can and do relate to our hobby and this becomes more apparent every year. People in the oil industry, which must number in the thousands, also are attracted to our hobby now more than ever. Crossover collectors are coming into our hobby in droves. Every day I speak to collectors of art, barber shop items firemen, racing enthusiasts, and the list is endless, who see an interest in our hobby and want a small or sometimes large piece of it. Then they are investors, who have an interest in our items and want to enjoy an item, see it go up in value, then be able to sell it down the road and hopefully make a profit. I talk to these people everyday. They ask me, “What do you have I can buy that I can enjoy for a few years and sell it and either break even or enjoy a decent profit?” In most cases I can say, “Anything on my website!”
So, in a broad sense, what makes our hobby so interesting is the fact that it appeals to so many people these days. You have gas pumps, who appeal to just about everyone, especially the car guys. You have gas globes, which are just cool to look at. Signs are the most popular that can be hung anywhere. Cans, maps, smalls, etc., find homes with the collectors who may have limited space or just like to collect those items.
I mentioned the explosion of social media a couple months back and that continues to amaze myself and the people that have been around the block a few times. Wow, is all I can say. This medium has opened up a door of direct communication between collectors like we have never seen. We have all become one big family. We stick up for each other, we help each other, we support each other and we all have found many new friends in such a short amount of time. We also learn from each other and most people seem more than willing to educate the newcomers to the hobby. Its not just our hobby either, it’s any hobby. I picked up at Hershey last year an old Gamewell Fire Alarm Box, had it restored and had some questions. I quickly found a Face Book page on Gamewell Fire Alarm boxes and immediately had my questions answered. One fireman even told me the exact street corner location my fire box originally proudly stood over when I gave him the brass number on the box. We do the same in our hobby when we can.
That, folks, makes collecting so darn interesting and so much fun. When will it ever end? Hopefully never. So ride the wave until it hits the shore!
Packing Gas Pump Globes
I apologize for having to rewrite this article over and over but until the problem goes away, which unfortunately it never will, I will continue to re-write this article again and again.
Every time I do write this, I don’t just copy and paste an old article. I actually try to get these points across in better and better ways. The problem is most people in the hobby understand these concerns, but when you buy from non collector’s, like eBay for instance, most of them just want the deal done and rarely pack well or simply won’t follow your instructions.
Let me try and make this as quick and simple as possible. Unless you just have a pair of inserts or such you need large double boxes, CUBE SHAPED, with several inches of space between the edge of the globe and any sides of the box-which includes top and bottom. I highlighted CUBED SHAPED, because I can’t seem to get this point across to the sellers on eBay that when you ship a gas globe long boxes, boxes 12” high double boxed, don’t mean a darn thing!!!! I rarely buy on eBay anymore because most sellers that happen to find a gas globe will not listen to my parameters of how to pack a globe. This is not directed at collectors that sell gas globes and know how to pack…The last globe I bought, I stressed that the globe must be double boxed in 20” cubes, etc. I said I would pay the extra shipping. Normally I recommend 24” cubes but this was a small globe. The globe arrived in a very long, too long of a box actually. It was double boxed. The top box measured 12” high!!! Yes, 12” high. This almost set a record with me but it did not! Anyway, the globe was wrapped in a PIECE of CARDBOARD and with a very thin piece of foam about 1/8 inch thick, yes that is correct, sitting on the floor of the box. In laymen terms, the globe was dancing on hard cardboard, with no cushion when it hit any floor, from Canada to here. Miraculously, it made it in one piece. Not sure how but it did.
Let me stress this point. If, when you finish packing your priceless gas globe, you cannot stand on top of the box, jump up and down on it, then watch the box hit the concrete floor from 4′ height, then you have not packed the globe well enough. I am serious! Gas globes should be packed only in cube shapes, double boxed, bubble wrapped globe and very very tight. If you kick the box as hard as you can your foot should bounce right off the outer box with no damage.
The problem is when people that don’t deal in this stuff don’t carry the right boxes for shipping so they go to the grocery store or whatever and pick up the wrong boxes because they are free.
I can count on one hand the last 25 globes I’ve purchased where the seller packed them well. It rarely happens. Then they get broke, then people like me do the appraisal, which I don’t enjoy.
So, a quick synopsis on how to pack the globe itself. One piece globes, globes that are caulked in, even plastic frame or “capco” gas globes can just be tightly bubble wrapped and then double boxed. Inside box dimensions does not matter. Just make them cubes and large. Glass frame globes, including Gills, Ripples, Hull frame or regular glass with inserts and any metal frame globes should have the inserts removed, bubble wrapped, glass frame wrapped, then double boxed. Metal frames can just be placed on top of the inner box for protection of that inner box, then the whole assembly placed inside the large box.
Warning and suggestion!!! If, the seller refuses to remove the inserts from the metal frame or glass frame, there is only one way to safely ship these. Take electrical tape or masking/painters tape, tightly wrap the globes several times each way around the whole globe. You are trying to make the inserts impossible to move or vibrate. If they more or vibrate, THEY WILL BREAK. So tape the heck out of this globe and then it must be wrapped VERY tightly with bubble wrap, then double boxed per above. We recently shipped a record 300 globes in five months with no damage to any globe. Why? Because we simply followed the above rules.
Keep in mind the outer edge of any gas globe should have a minimum of 3-5 inches of protection between it and the outside of the box. So a 15” insert from side to side would need a 22” cube just to give it 3” protection each side which is barely enough. Use extra cardboard sheets for the sidewalls if you have some laying around. Use this common sense when packing any gas globe!!!
I cannot tell you how many times a buyer has called me and said, “I’m glad you packed it well in big boxes the side of the outer box was smashed in about 4 to 6 inches.”
Now, all you have to do is get the rest of the hobby, and mainly these non hobbyist sellers, to follow these rules. Insist they follow these rules. Offer extra shipping fees it’s worth it. Feel free to copy this article and spread the word. Use this anywhere you want. A broken globe can never be replaced! Good luck you’ll need it!
What Makes Our Hobby So Darn Interesting?