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Is it wrong??

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Last week I went to a flea market and found a wooden tiki mug for $8.00. I was so thrilled to FINALLY find something tiki not on Ebay that I bought it without giving it a second thought. When I got home I checked out Ebay to see if there was anything similar and there was...going for half the price I paid for it or less!

My question is, Is it more in keeping with the spirit of tiki to find things in the wild rather than bidding on Ebay...EVEN THOUGH it may mean spending more $$$??

I've been hitting the local Goodwill stores at least twice a week and the only thing I ever found cheap was an Al Harrington glass (which is now on Ebay...plug - plug - plug) so it's not very often that I find anything REALLY cheap. I went to a vintage store in Dallas recently and found a Daga tonga mug for $11.00 which I thought was high but I bought it anyway...mainly because I didn't have to bid on it. But would it be better to save money if it means buying on Ebay?? Im so confused...


I'm all about the hunt.. most of my collection is nothing special, but I like the thrill of wading through shelves of junk to get something neat.. I've scored a coconut trader vic's mug (I know they're nothing special) for 50 cents (which I think is special haaha) and a few wooden ones for under a dollar, various westwood mugs, toothpick holder and PMP mugs too, for under or around a dollar.. I think ebay is too easy.. that, and I can't deal with the exchange rate, duty and shipping that gets piled on top of the price anyway.. That's just me though.. I'm not as anal a colletor as some are I guess.. :wink:


Heh heh...I am pretty anal, certain things I just had to have once I'd seen pics of them. That having been said, I don't find a lot of gratification using eBay. In fact I have sworn off with no pain at all. I will miss the pre-arrival excitement of knowing the package is on its way, but it is WAY more satisfying to find the stuff yourself.

Or to get it as a gift!


I agree with everything emspace said, especially the part about him being anal. :)

I have to agree that the HUNT is the thing! And although I believe there is nothing wrong with expanding the hunt to cyber-space in addition to real life, there is nothing more satisfying than holding that Tiki Item in your hand and feeling like you're Indiana Jones holding that idol in the first movie.

Juno wrote:
...But would it be better to save money if it means buying on Ebay?? Im so confused...


I owned and operated an antique & collectibles store for a little over 6 years. Way before that I was, and still am, a collector. I have seen collectors of all types come and go.

What was the difference between the collectors that came and went, and the ones that came and stayed? Well, those that came and went bought anything and everything related to their collectible interest without much thought as to whether or not they REALLY liked the item they were purchasing, rather they purchased based on "what it's worth" or "what's hot" or "what can I get for it in the future" or just trying to "keep up with the Jones'". Those collectors eventually got bored or burned out and fell to the wayside since they really had no interest, other than monetary interest, in their collection.

Those that came and stayed, STAYED because they truly liked what they bought. They learned to appreciate items that came their way, whether at a thrift shop or on-line, but disciplined themselves to only obtain items that would bring them happiness.

I have seen in many collecting forums, even here on TC, where collectors ask "what should I get for my collection". To me, that is one wacky question, since there is really one real answer: Get only what YOU like! I have even seen concerns where some (new and old) TC members say "I bought (xyz item) and it's not really tiki but more Caribbean, or tropical, etc., what do you guys think...". I say it doesn't matter what we think. If it brings you joy to have it, then by all means, go for it!

That doesn't mean that if you buy something now and later decide to sell it that you originally made a bad buying decision. If at the time you bought it, you really wanted it, then that was the right decision for that time. Many collectors collections go through an evolution. In some cases that means they originally buy newer items and then later decide to buy more along the lines of vintage items and sell their newer items to fund the vintage buying. Some just keep everything! Both are fine, as long as you are enjoying yourself and your collection!

The rule of thumb I personally go by is: if I don't feel 100% good about buying something within the first few minutes of seeing something or if I'm having to "talk myself" into buying something, then it's better to leave it behind. It's worked for me and the times I have left something behind, I have felt I made the right decision. Oh, and the items I did buy and keep? Well, I still enjoy them to this day!

I do hope this long-winded response helps you in some way.

Just my 2 coconuts worth.

Enter The SoCal Hoity Toity Schedule

[ Edited by: SugarCaddyDaddy on 2003-11-23 00:39 ]


Nothing beats Goodwill and garage sale hunting for me. Think of it as urban beachcombing.

I've paid a few dollars for some items and saw them going for several hundred on the internet. I don't part with anything unless I get tired of it, and then I just give it back to Goodwill.

It's all about the hunt. My collection is nothing special but I have never bought anything on ebay and I have never paid more than five bucks for any mug. However the Bali Hai was bought for me from ebay, and it is my favorite. Heres a pic of some of my collection.


On 2003-11-23 00:35, SugarCaddyDaddy wrote:

I have seen in many collecting forums, even here on TC, where collectors ask "what should I get for my collection". To me, that is one wacky question, since there is really one real answer: Get only what YOU like! I have even seen concerns where some (new and old) TC members say "I bought (xyz item) and it's not really tiki but more Caribbean, or tropical, etc., what do you guys think...". I say it doesn't matter what we think. If it brings you joy to have it, then by all means, go for it!

Truer words could not be spoken. I have Pre-Colombian Meso American artifacts, Asian and African art and carvings, and pre-Castro Cuban stuff especially relating to Mambo/Rumba music (I even have a 8x10 of a young Desi Arnaz with a Conga drum! :lol:). Why? Because I like it!

Personally I either buy things on my long trips over seas or on eBay as I work grave yard shifts 6 days a week and live on a small remote island that is filled with aging baby-boomer yard sale fanatics. These guys strip the Salvation Army clean on a daily bases! So eBay is my only real venue here. Bottom line if you like it, it works for you and it makes you happy, do it. Screw the rules that other would try and impose upon you. Better yet make up some of your own stuff like some of the carvers and other artist here do.

The only word of warning I can give is don't get caught up in the pissing match some let themselves be drawn into. Bid a reasonable amount and remember there is a 99.9% chance that you will see that item again, and for less money. I recently bought a beautiful Rat Pack era Las Vegas 'Stardust' ashtray for the starting bid price of $9.99 when buyers had been bid them up over $40 5-6 months ago!

BTW the wooden mug you bought is made in Banuae, The Philippines and are less than a dollar each there. :wink:


[ Edited by: Rattiki on 2003-11-23 07:08 ]


And oh yeah, FLOUNDERart my hat is cooler than yours! hehehe :P

Oh yeah, well my hat was once owned by no other than the revolutionary prime minister Fidel Castro.

Thats a lie, I'm sorry.


What is all this talk about the "thrill of the hunt"? The hunt?? It's the thrill of the FIND!! As one who goes garage sale-ing every Saturday, makes the rounds of the local Goodwill/Salvation Army/assorted thrift stores on a weekly basis, and hits the local swap meets every month, I can tell you, I do a LOT of hunting. When I come home after a full day of hunting at garage sales (Me n' Sabu will hit about 30 - 35 on an average Saturday) with NOTHING to show for it, that is far from thrilling... If that was to happen, week after week, all hunting and no finding, I'd give up on it! But stop in at the right thrift store at the right time, or hit the right sale in a new neighborhood? AHHhhhh... nothing like finding stuff "in the wild"! But even here in So. Cal., it still takes a bit of hunting before one comes up with stuff (no, the tikis do not "grow on trees" here...).

oh, and nothing wrong with hunting on eBay either, IMHO...

Hunting = good...

Finding = better!! :)

yes the thrill of the find but how many seconds after you make a tiki find do you think "i wonder if there are anymore?"

Your absolutely right Doctor Z, I'll hunt for a week without finding much, THEN the find. What a great feeling, thats what it's all about.
I don't know how many times I said "thats it I'm not looking for tiki anymore".

Original Art by Flounder


[ Edited by: FLOUNDERart on 2003-11-23 17:21 ]

Well Juno,
The way I see it is this:
If I pay, say, $8 for a mug then see it for $4 on ebay, I might as well feel good about my purchase. In this instance, if you where to have bought the mug on ebay, you still have to pay insurance and shipping whichi could be equal or greater than the price of the mug you found at a store.
True you may come across a certain low priced mug on ebay, but you are left open to snipers and early auction retrations. You have to be willing to pay the big bucks if you want it (if it's rare or the last piece of a set). I've bid on ebay, i've won, i've lost. Say-la-vee.


[ Edited by: Unkle John on 2003-11-23 20:10 ]

An $8 mug in the store is probably equal to or less than the $4 ebay mug once you add in the shipping cost levied by the ebay seller. You may have to pay $5 or so for shipping and insurance, making your mug a $9 one.

I'd gladly pay more at a local thrift/antique store for Tiki over ebay but it is so scarce and what there is gets snapped up quick for high prices. A couple local store owners tells me there are quite a few people who check back regularly for Tiki, but there is little. It's funny too because what I never find is Mai Kai stuff which is 5 miles away, usually get a Moai from CA or something. (Miami area).

I own a Buttload of New and Not Improved Tiki Mugs 'cause I have a friend in the Restaurant Supply Biz. Do I fret over the fact that they are not Otagiri or Orchids mugs? Nope. Do I worry about the chances of my being able to sell them for more than they're worth on eBay one of these days? Nope. I own them, as I own the Tiki Farm Mugs in my collection as well as the few "Vintage" pieces, because I like to have Cocktails in them and I like for my Friends to have Cocktails in them! Buying a Tiki Mug for any other reason is not only a bad business decision but a flashing, blinking, lit up sign of stupidity as well.

Buy it 'cause you want it. Pay what you want (and not a cent more) for it. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks.

I'm new to tiki mugs and enjoy the randomness of my finds finds so far; I've passed up a few so I guess I'm not going to be a completist. I've bid on ebay for them twice...lost once and won once (two OoH R-5s and I love them). I've found two other OoH and one Al Harrinton mug cheaply in flea markets. Overall I like the in-person hunt better for the adrenal rush of seeing something live.

I think the most fun I've had with tiki mugs so far was the discovery that they look really cool in a semi-circle around a votive candle...kind of like the gods in conference around a ceremonial fire.

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