I can hear you asking the question now – how do you find all this rare and unusual stuff to sell (or keep!)? Let me tell you there are neat finds out there if you look hard enough. I will take you through the steps to become an expert hunter in the secondhand marketplace. The basics are easy enough: research, search and utilize your resources. Mastery of the material will take time, but even a bit of effort can pay off quickly. This post will skim the surface, and hopefully lead to some deeper discussions.
First, do your research. There are books, websites and message boards dedicated to discussing model horses. The best to quickly get up to speed are the book Breyer Animal Collectors Guide by Felicia Browell, the website Identify your Breyer and the discussion forum Model Horse Blab. Let your fingers do the walking, ask questions and pay attention. The previous picture was my fabulous find after reading about the Silver treasure hunt on Blab. If you don’t know what is out there, a great piece could be under your nose and you wont know. For advanced learners there are blogs like Muddy Hoofprints, specialty message boards like Breakables on Yahoo Groups, and fabulous books by Nancy Kelly on Hagen Renaker and Freeman McFarlin.
Next – get out there and hunt! Flea markets, yard sales, antique stores, pawn shops – heck even bars, preschools and your neighbors front window all have potential. Yep, I have found and bought models from all these venues. On the world wide marketplace of the internet there is stuff for sale everywhere. Craigslist, eBay, Etsy, and Ruby Lane are some big ones, but you can search out more obscure sites like Apron Thrift Girl with Thrift Share Monday. The previous picture is a recent Craigslist find. A future post will specifically cover how to find buried treasure on Craigslist since it is a gold mine if you know where to look.
Finally utilize your resources. At least teach your friends and family to call you when they see a horse shaped object. Cell phones are your friend. If someone sees something have them take a picture and send it to you immediately. This can help end the conversations that start “well, I saw a horse at a yard sale this morning – you don’t want the weird blue-colored ones, right?” Teach the dealers in your area that you know your stuff and want to help them. If you treat them right they can be a resource for years to come. Pay fair prices, don’t tell them that woodgrain mustang is common and buy it for a song, they will find out and then wont bring you their next collection of decorators. The previous picture is a Hagen Renaker plate a friend found after I gave her a quick run down on the difference between HR and Metlox pottery.
I hope this helps start your enthusiasm for the hunt. There are models surrounding you, I want to help you find them. I have boxes and tables full of horses I found just since last July that will be coming to Breyerfest for sale. They came from eBay, Craigslist, local auction houses and yard sales. I found some, mom and friends found some, and I even had one person call me and offer their collection. Don’t believe the old line that there isn’t anything good out there anymore. I can show you fabulous finds; you can either buy them from me (or another friendly reseller) or enjoy the thrill of finding them yourself. Either way, lets keep enjoying our horses, of course!