Saturday, October 3, 2009

Best places to find buttons

Vintage and collectible buttons can be found in all kinds of places.  Of course the easiest (and cheapest) place is to simply ask family and friends if they have any old buttons.  Many people are more than willing to give up that old button box that's been sitting around gathering dust. 

Of course half the fun of button collecting is the hunt itself.  In a way it's like hunting for buried treasure.  You never know what little gem will turn up in that ordinary pile of buttons.  There are so many places to seek out buttons that the list is almost endless!  

Estate sales often yield good results.  Even if you don't see any buttons out, asking if they have some will often net a good group of buttons.  People often don't think of grandma's button box as being something that will sell.
Next on the list would be your local antique or resale shops.  If you don't want to spend a lazy afternoon going from shop to shop, calling and asking if they have buttons is easy enough.  Again, if you are at the shop and don't see any, ask.  One of our local shops never has any buttons out, but if I ask she usually pulls some out of drawer somewhere.  Seems she throws them in there when she finds them mixed in with other things.  Luckily for me she sells them cheap!

Another great place for buttons is auctions.  If you enjoy local auctions or have always wanted to try one but aren't sure where to find them, you will benefit from checking out Auction Zip    This website allows you to search for auctions within a set distance from your zip code.  It then brings up the choices by date and auctioneer.  Once you click on an auction, you'll usually find the auction house has posted both a general description of items as well as photos of some of the items.  Auctions can be a lot of fun and net some great buttons.  Of course internet auctions are also popular.  Everyone has heard of Ebay and it can be an excellent place both for large lots of buttons and individual buttons.  Since it is so popular, competition can be stiff.  An excellent but lesser known site is Proxibid.  Proxibid merges real auctions with online ones.  You can search for specific items and it will bring up auctions happening within the next few weeks.  Click on a link and you can see the item and leave a bid if desired.  On the actual day and time of the auction you can follow the live link in real time.  There you can either watch each lot as it comes up or bid against others - both online and at the auction.  Since most auction houses charge a premium for internet bidding, it always pays to read the house rules before you bid. 

Besides these ways to find buttons there are many button sites as well.  Doing a google search will bring up 100s of choices.  Join a forum and you'll be amazed at how many people are selling buttons or willing to share good websites to buy buttons.  Joining the National Button Society and your state or local club are also excellent sources.  Not only will you get tons of really useful information, you'll also learn great sources for buttons. 

Speaking of the National Button Society (NBS) the yearly convention is a button collector's dream.  Buttons in every conceivable shape, size and material or on display.  Some are entered in competition, others for sale plus there are LOTS of button vendors!  If you go, bring cash as you won't be able to resist!  The convention is held in a different state each year so it's possible to plan your vacation around the convention.  The NBS always has details posted well in advance. 


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  2. What about estate sales. Do you sometimes find an old collection in an estate sale?