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Author Topic: Vintage: What's Hot? What's Not?  (Read 6337 times)

Offline Bousquet

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Vintage: What's Hot? What's Not?
« on: January 16, 2001, 10:22:00 am »
Now that the peak season for hunting down vintage Christmas lights is approaching an end, what do you think are the "HOT" (i.e., high demand or over-valued) and "NOT" (i.e., low demand or undervalued)vintage Christmas items in 2000-01?

My list is below.  Maybe we could have a good discussion.

Although I've been saving old Christmas lights for more than 20 years and collecting avidly for a dozen years, this is the first time I carefully followed eBay auctions for Christmas lights b/w Thanksgiving and New Year's.  There seemed to be some reasonable bargains in the first two weeks after Thanksgiving, but then, suddenly, it appeared that bids on some "hot" items like lighted ice lights and aluminum trees really took off.  Overall, though, I was pleased by how many good sets of boxed lights--my particular interest--showed up on eBay, esp. in view of their increasing scarcity at antique shops, shows, and malls.  Anyway, here are my lists:

HOT for 2000-01:
 *Miniature-base ("C6") bubble light sets
 *Candleabra-base ("C7") bubble light sets (even the NOMA repros and 1980s sets)
 *Rotating lights for illuminating those retro-60s aluminum trees
 *Lighted ice bulbs and sets
 *NOMA Santa boxed set from the 1930s
 *Matchless stars (always solid)
 *1920s Propp sets (esp. Santa w/megaphone)
 *packaged replacement sets of C-6 bulbs
 *pre-1920 boxed sets

NOT (or undervalued)
 *1920s boxed sets (uncommon, but, except for the Propp sets, they don't seem to attract the # of bidders that match their relative scarcity)
 *post-1965 sub-miniature-base ("mini") sets
 *C-9 bulbs and sets
 *Kristal Stars and Paramount Stars
 *packaged replacement sets of C-7 and C-9 bulbs

OK, what's your take on the current market for vintage Christmas lights?

-Woody Bousquet

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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Vintage: What's Hot? What's Not?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2001, 11:06:00 am »
I`d like to add Flourescent lights to the Hot list, I`m looking for a complete boxed set of them sometime in the forthcoming year, but they`re so highly fought over that the price always goes out of my reach, and I`ve been searching ebay reguarly since June last year. I don`t think the prices will come down too much either, though a slight drop is inevitable in the months ahead since at christmas time it`s not just collectors who fight over those auctions pushing the prices up.

By the way did you see how much those boxes of C6 Shooting Star bubble lights on ebay went for recently? Wow!


------------------
-chris

http://members.ebay.co.uk/aboutme/chrismillinship

Offline Tim

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Vintage: What's Hot? What's Not?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2001, 03:47:00 pm »
Because of this site I get tons and tons of email from people looking for vintage Christmas lights around the holidays. By far the most requsted this time around was for the GE Lighted Ice lamps......Not exactly at the top of my wish list but apparently still very popular. The second "most wanted" I keep hearing requests for are replacement lamps for bubble lights.

------------------
-Tim
BulbCollector.com
DewCollector.com

Offline Bousquet

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Vintage: What's Hot? What's Not?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2001, 09:28:00 am »
Thanks, Chris and Tim, for the replies ... and for setting up your great websites for us light bulb collectors.  I really like the idea of this forum and hope it will see a lot of activity.

Have to agree with Chris about adding fluorescent lights to the HOT list.  For the past 5 years, I've been finding boxed sets of these at $75 with the box in very good condition.  This year, though, sets of bulbs are often reaching the $75 mark w/o the box.  The combination of bulky bulbs and fragile boxes makes a box in good-plus condition an uncommon find.  (PS  My favorite box for these is the Miller squarish-shaped one with a pic of Santa holding the bulbs.)

I wasn't surprised, Tim, to hear about all the inquiries you've received about lighted ice bulbs.  What is it with those things?  GE is still making them but they're commanding hefty prices on eBay ... although I can still find invididual bulbs, sometimes with sleeves, in antique shops and malls for $2 - $3.  (My favorite boxes for these are the NOMA Kristal Lites varieties "as advertised in Life," another that's hard to find without some rips.)

I hope others will join in the discussion.

- Woody

Offline Tim

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Vintage: What's Hot? What's Not?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2001, 12:28:00 pm »
quote:
Originally posted by Bousquet:
For the past 5 years, I've been finding boxed sets of these at $75 with the box in very good condition.  This year, though, sets of bulbs are often reaching the $75 mark w/o the box.  The combination of bulky bulbs and fragile boxes makes a box in good-plus condition an uncommon find.


Woody, where have you been finding the boxed sets - on ebay or other places? A couple of years ago I probably had about 5 boxed sets in good and not so good condition (bulbs were fine). I traded a couple of sets and I think I remember selling a set on ebay for around $100. I bought all my sets locally - all within a year of each other for under $25 per set. At that time I was finding them at estate sales but now I don't have the time to hit them anymore but they are a great place to turn up vintage Christmas lights. Now if only I could locate some fluorescent candles!

 
Quote
I wasn't surprised, Tim, to hear about all the inquiries you've received about lighted ice bulbs. What is it with those things? GE is still making them but they're commanding hefty prices on eBay

Are they getting high prices on ebay? I thought they were only fetching around $1 per bulb, well maybe the holiday season drives the prices up. I see them all the time in the antique shops - maybe now's the time to buy them up.

I have to agree on the Kristal Lites too - neat box graphics. I sold a set last year that I probably should have kept  

Anyone other Christmas light collectors out here who want to jump in???

------------------
-Tim
BulbCollector.com
DewCollector.com

[This message has been edited by tim (edited January 17, 2001).]

Offline Bousquet

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Vintage: What's Hot? What's Not?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2001, 12:28:00 pm »
quote:

Woody, where have you been finding the boxed sets - on ebay or other places? A couple of years ago I probably had about 5 boxed sets in good and not so good condition (bulbs were fine). I traded a couple of sets and I think I remember selling a set on ebay for around $100. I bought all my sets locally - all within a year of each other for under $25 per set. At that time I was finding them at estate sales but now I don't have the time to hit them anymore but they are a great place to turn up vintage Christmas lights.


Wish I had your luck locally, Tim.  The $75 prices I found for boxed sets of fluorescent lights were on eBay ($75 being in the low range, $100 more common) and antique shops.  Wish I'd had your luck in finding $25 sets locally.

Quote
Now if only I could locate some fluorescent candles!

I saw only one set (no box) go out on eBay in the past few months.  I don't think the price way out of sight; the seller called them *neon* bulbs, which may have kept some bidders from finding them.  (Heck, I didn't, then, even know what they were!)

Quote
Are they (lighted ice bulbs) getting high prices on ebay? I thought they were only fetching around $1 per bulb, well maybe the holiday season drives the prices up. I see them all the time in the antique shops - maybe now's the time to buy them up.

Strings of 8 with no box have been passing the $25, esp. since early December.

[This message has been edited by tim (edited January 18, 2001).]

Offline Bousquet

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Vintage: What's Hot? What's Not?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2001, 11:49:00 am »
Six months since the initial post ...

From what I've seen, vintage bubble lights and lighted-ice light bulbs still seem to be flooding eBay, with plenty of buyers and sellers keeping things busy.  Those art deco Paramount bubble lights continue to rise in price, and an empty box of replacements (in great shape) just sold for over $50!

As I said in another post, there are some high rollers chasing after the pre-1930 boxed sets, esp. those with exhaust-tip lamps and screw plugs.

Matchless stars and fluorescents also appear to be holding their own on eBay.

In antique shops, there seem to be more boxed sets showing up, although it's still hard for me to find uncommon sets in good-plus shape.

Does anyone else have other (or contrary) observations?

-- Woody Bousquet