Buying & Selling Frankoma PotteryBuying Tips:
- Educate yourself
Know what you're buying. If you really want that brown satin deviled egg dish in Sapulpa clay, by all means, get it. Its one of the nicest dishes of its type I have ever seen. But be aware of its relatively low market value and lack of potential for appreciating in value.
It is possible to learn a lot merely by observing the auctions. You will quickly see which pieces excite the bidders. But unless you do a little reading on the subject, you will not know why certain pieces or certain qualities command greater prices. There are several good, informative books about Frankoma. See our page on collector books about Frankoma pottery.
All are available, either new or used, on www.amazon.com. And they are frequently auctioned on eBay.
Acquaint yourself with the differences between Ada clay, Sapulpa clay, and post-1980 Sapulpa clay. Learn to recognize specific glaze colors. Unravel the mysteries of mold numbers and trade marks. It all matters, and if you are unenlightened, you may well pay more than you should. Read up!
Caveat Emptor -- Let the Buyer Beware
Frankoma sellers on eBay run the gamut from individuals who know little about what they are selling (other than the fact that they have a nice piece they would like to sell), to knowledgeable professional antique and art pottery dealers. You will be a happy customer if you observe a few precautions:
- Keep in mind that the word "vintage" means nothing. It is used very loosely by many eBay sellers. "Rare" is another frequently misused term.
- Likewise, just because a piece is described as being Ada clay, don't take it at face value especially if the seller does not provide a photograph of the bottom of the piece. Many misrepresentations are not intentional. Some sellers are merely relying on poor advice given to them by a friend or relative. Some are just wrong.
- Ebay auctions provide bidders with an opportunity to ask questions of the seller. Dont be shy about asking for clarification of a description or a better photograph of an item. Be very leery of any seller, whether individual or professional, who is unresponsive to questions and requests. Similarly, for obvious reasons, be very careful when dealing with sellers who state that "All sales are final".
Tips on Selling Frankoma:
- For heavens sake, take decent photos. That means in focus, properly lit, and close enough to reveal
detail. Many of the best Frankoma images on eBay are photographed outdoors in natural light without a flash.
Experiment and submit your best photos.
If you want happy Frankoma customers, please include a shot of the bottom of the piece, especially if you are auctioning an Ada clay item.
- Bidder Questions
- Do not put your auctions on auto-pilot. Respond promptly if you are asked to clarify your description or provide information.
- Packing & Shipping
- Do not stint on quality packing materials. Frankoma, like most pottery, is fragile. Large pieces are especially vulnerable. Don't put a long, flat piece (think 17-inch Leaf Dish) in a long, flat box. Regardless of how much packing material you put around the dish, it will never arrive in one piece. I speak from personal experience.