OK, let me admit I am not completely compulsive about buying depression glass. I lured you to read this under false pretenses. Of course, what do you call it when you feel this urge, this need, this oh my gosh, I just HAVE to go check out Craig's list? Excuse me a minute, please, while I go see whether anyone listed more pink Sharon on eBay. See, I am more or less rational about it. But I do enjoy depression glass. And it's a lot of fun to buy it and it's a lot of fun to look at. So that you don't decide this post is never going to get to the tips part, let me give you a glimpse into the world of shopping for depression glass. 1. Condition matters. Condition matters a lot to you the buyer, and it probably matters more to you than to the person who sells it. So ask before you buy. If the person selling the glass cannot tell you about every little imperfection and blob in the seams they probably are not very observant. 2. How much you care about condition depends on how you plan to use your pieces. For instance this Sharon pink creamer has a tiny nick in the bottom of the foot. That's probably OK. A plate with wear is fine if you want to use the set for dessert service but it's not so fine if you like everything to be perfect. A cup with a gouge in the rim is probably not OK to use and maybe not so bad in your china cupboard. 3. If you are buying in person instead of online then check, recheck, then re-recheck. I have missed more little nicks and rough spots than I care to remember and I do this as a profession. 4. Buy what you like. If you like blue glass, then buy blue glass. 5. If you enjoy a few patterns then consider whether to collect all of them. It's fun to have something to shop for, vs. just wandering aimlessly down the aisle looking. If you have a couple patterns then you have more chance to find something when you go looking. 6. If you do have a couple of patterns, or you decide to collect certain pieces, then it's nice if they somehow go together. You could collect different patterns of amber glass or creamers and sugars. Of course, remember rule #4. Buy what you like. 7. You probably don't plan to resell your glass, but you might change your mind someday or you might accumulate enough to worry about a separate insurance rider. Keep track of what you bought, when and where and how much you paid for it. I have a small database in Access to track my inventory; that is probably overkill for most people. A spreadsheet or a nice notebook work great. 8. I highly recommend you get a book or two and read up on your glass. It's fun to know a little about what you like and it will give you a good idea what to look for and about how much to pay. Most of the depression glass guides by Barbara Mauzy or Gene Florence are fine. 9. Last tip is the most important. Have fun. This is a hobby, not a job. Enjoy your glass and enjoy shopping for it.
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