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Or Bargain Hunting Tips from a Beginning Collector

1. Use a handy field guide like Warman's Depression Glass. It will aid in pattern identification, recent values, and watching for reproductions.

2. Begin collecting patterns from companies that went under decades ago. For example, Jeannette Glass patterns are easier to date because they were in production for fewer decades than Fenton Glass.

3. Set a reasonable dollar limit. That way you won't feel bad if you happen to buy a reproduction or a pattern with low resale value either because of demand or overabundant supply.

4. Realize that Depression Glass as an early mass-produced product can have flaws. Determine which are relatively common and unimportant to a given pattern and which can wreck the value of the piece.

5. Be aware that etchings often add to the value of a piece. Learn the difference between needle etching and other kinds of etching. Learn which colors in a given pattern are most desired. Also beware of anachronistic colors--colors never used by the original maker.

6. If you find a really elaborate pattern with no flaws, doubt whether it is depression glass, it might be "elegant" glass some of which is of much more recent make. Usally fine leaded crystal and blown glass aren't mistaken for depression glass which is molded or pressed so I won't insult your powers of observation :)

7. Gauge the knowledge of the seller. Is the item properly indentified? If not, you may be undercharged which is great (like value investing) or overcharged (wishful thinking on the seller's part). If the item is properly identified, you're more likely to be charged its current value or higher unless the owner wishes to move inventory.
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