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Real World Worthopedia Applications: Calls from WorthPoint Customers

by Gregory Watkins (01/24/12).

Bruce from Virginia called us recently, telling of his experience at a local garage sale. He paid $25 for an old walnut-cased shelf clock a gilt Statue of Liberty and the word “Liberty” on the glass front. Checking the Worthopedia, he found the exact same clock that sold at Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati for $747.50 in 2005.

The fact that WorthPoint is an Internet company will not come as a surprise to you; it is my guess that you are reading this on a computer or tablet or, maybe—if your eyes are strong—a smart phone. As such, most of our communication with our members is through the computer. But we do sometimes receive phone calls from WorthPoint users, often because they wanted to tell us, first-hand, how we were able to help them identify and value their items.

John, from Ohio, called to tell us the story of his great find. He and his brother- in-law were cleaning out an old warehouse office and about to throw out a bunch of old junk. But there was an old, hand-operated printing press that caught his eye, so instead of heaping it into the Dumpster with the rest of the garbage, John decided there might be some value to it, so they loaded it up and took it home. He said the thing wasn’t granted a permanent reprieve; if he couldn’t figure out what it was, it would make its way to the Dumpster to join the rest of the office flotsam and jetsam.

Later, after looking up in the Worthopedia, John was able to identify the piece as a Chandler Price Pilot Off-Set Printing Press, and even better than just recognizing the piece, an example just like the one he and his brother-in-law saved had sold earlier last year for $3,000 on eBay.

John said he just wanted to call thank us for helping him figure out what he had.

A Statue of Liberty Garage Sale Steal

Bruce from Virginia also called us recently, telling us of his experience at a local garage sale. He spotted an old walnut-cased shelf clock a gilt Statue of Liberty and the word “Liberty” on the glass front. He liked the look of the clock, so he dropped $25 for it.

Later, after logging into his account and checking the Worthopedia, he found the exact same clock that sold at Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati for $747.50 in 2005.

The Lost Secret of the Osmond Brothers’ Mother’s Meat Loaf

Finally, Beth from Florida told us about how she had an “Osmond Brothers’ Mother’s Cookbook” Her mother had passed the book down to her and she loved the recipes in the book. But the cook book went missing after she moved into a new house and was distraught at the loss. Later, she couldn’t believe her luck when she actually found another one at a thrift store.

The recipes were collected by Olive Osmond, the matriarch of the Osmond family, and each recipe was “hand-written” inspirational sayings written on the other side. Having secured a replacement cook book, Beth looked it up in the Worthopedia to see what, if anything it might be worth. To her amazement, a third copy of the cookbook brought $105 when it sold on eBay in 2008.

Beth from Florida told us about how she had an “Osmond Brothers Mothers Cookbook” but lost it in a move.

After she found a replacement in a thrift store, Beth found that a third example of the cookbook sold for more than $100.

Even better than knowing the cookbook has a certain monetary value, what she really called to tell us was that in her original cookbook, the page with the recipe for the Osmond meatloaf was partially missing, so she always had to free-style that one a bit. Now she had the complete recipe.

While she was excited that she only paid a few dollars for the replacement cookbook, and knowing she might be able to secure up to $100 if she tried to sell it, Beth said she would never part with it again.

When you make a purchase or find something hidden in your attic, you are successfully able to identify it and it turns out that it’s a really good find, it’s only natural to want to crow about it. So if you need to give us a call to brag on yourself, well, we understand.

Happy hunting.

Gregory Watkins is the editor of WorthPoint.

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