Dear Lee,

The strange year continues. Most flea markets, shows and shops are closed, auctions are held online with only pictures of the items. New people are selling and buying online. Thrift stores have increased in popularity. When shows are held, buyers are in a strong bargaining position, with sellers eager to make up for lost opportunities

I’ve asked dealers and noticed the trends of what’s hot and what’s not. Top trendsetter with healthy auction prices are almost new limited-edition sneakers, especially those from a special series, autographed by an important player or worn in a special game.

It’s a fad now to have a portrait wall. Painted portraits of unknown people by amateurs are selling, to be displayed on a portrait wall. Other top sellers are coin-operated machines: slot machines such as slot machines; vending machines for candy, cigarettes, gum, or medicine; fortune telling machines and strength testers. Rookwood pottery designed by women artists is also selling for higher prices.

Some things have been difficult to sell for years, items you inherited that grandma said were very expensive, like her set of dinnerware or Hummel collection. You can donate those. If you are buying online, remember to check for shipping charges, especially if the items are very large, such as dining room sets.


Furniture and Decorations

• 1950s furniture, especially by famous makers

• Anything by Tiffany, Georg Jensen and George Ohr pottery

• Colored glass vases and figures in modern shapes

• Life-sized marble busts

• George Nakashima furniture

• Vintage store stuff, large neon signs, metal signs, displays, cabinets (big is best)


Jewelry and fashion

• Couture purses by Judith Leiber, Hermès, Chanel, etc.

• Signed costume jewelry by well-known makers

• Vintage rhinestone jewelry



• Antique furnished doll houses

• Large Japanese festival dolls

• Early Steiff stuffed toys

• Kaws dolls

• Pedal cars

• Rare Barbies, GI Joes, Madame Alexander dolls

• Futuristic toys, robots and spaceships



• 1940s-’60s dinnerware with small flower decorations (Haviland style)

• Almost anything broken or visibly repaired that is less than 75 years old

• Dining room sets with more than table and chairs

• French Provincial anything

Hummel figurines

• Limited edition plates (a few earlier Danish Christmas plates sell)

• Most Mission (Arts and Crafts) furniture

• Partial sets of dishes (must have at least 6 or 8 five-piece place settings

• Royal Doulton character mugs or figurine collections (single pieces may sell)

• Unsigned costume jewelry

• Unidentified landscape oil paintings


Miscellaneous you might throw out, but don’t!

• Comforters

• Electric fans, especially brass

• Norman Rockwell items

• Original advertising art, magazine cover art, comic strip art, animation cels

• Sets of unmatched dining room chairs

japanese gang of 5 toy robot

“Gang of 5” Target robot, lithographed tin, with cardboard head piece and box. Includes original plastic gun and darts in the original plastic bag, Japan, 15 in., $9,225. Photo: Morphy Auctions


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