In this episode of Flip it or Skip it, Hosts Danna Crawford and Wayne Jordan talk about the collectible item Zippo lighters. Listen as they answer questions about authenticity, finding the worth of the product, the history of Zippo lighters, and where to find and sell these items.
The episode begins with Danna sharing why they chose to talk about Zippo lighters. These were very common products in the 1900s and were owned by most people. Danna and Wayne share memories of their fathers having and using Zippo lighters every day. Today, Zippo lighters have a very high resale rate due to being a popular collectible. Both Danna and Wayne express how these are good antique items to buy and sell.
Next, the hosts talk about the best ways to sell Zippo lighters. They both recommend doing this through auctions, and they share some of the profits they have made by using an auction strategy.
No Reserve Auctions
Auctions are a good choice due to their surety in selling the item along with the likelihood of the price rising, especially if it is a hot commodity. They also recommend not using reserves in an auction. Reserves can, in some cases, prohibit interest in a product for buyers and can lower the number of people willing to bid.
The conversation then moves to the history of Zippo lighters as Wayne shares his knowledge about the creation of this product. It all began in 1932 with a man who saw the need for a more efficient lighter. Lighters were used for many different things, however, they were difficult to handle.
Taking this observation and modifying the design of lighters, he created the first Zippo lighter. During the war, Zippo was one of the few companies that was able to continue making products. They used different kinds of materials for the lighters and even shipped them to soldiers in the war. After the war, Zippo lighters became very common among Americans and the company began to grow.
Another part of the history of Zippo lighters includes the mystery of the first Zippo car, which Wayne shares next. The Zippo company decided to create a car looking like a Zippo lighter to use as a promotional advertisement. However, the car was very heavy and always caused mechanical problems resulting in large amounts of money being invested into it.
After realizing the large maintenance costs, they finally decided to get rid of the car and put it in storage at a dealership for many years. In the 1970s, they went back to retrieve the car, but the car was nowhere to be found. To this day, no one knows where it went or what happened to it. Later, a new Zippo car was made and, according to Wayne, it is still driving around today.
Treasure Hunting for Zippo Lighters
After looking at the history of Zippo lighters, Danna begins sharing about different places to look for this product. She explains how these can usually be found in display cases at antique stores or jewelers. They can also commonly be found at garage or yard sales. Another Zippo product which she recommends looking for is tabletop lighters, which are also easy to buy and sell.
Finally, the episode concludes with the hosts giving tips on how to identify the authenticity of the product along with different parameters for buying and selling these lighters. First, Wayne recommends looking at the date codes stamped on the bottom of the lighters.
The codes help verify its authenticity and mark its value. They then speak about open price bids versus fixed-price listings. There are pros and cons to each kind, and the hosts explain how the system is not a one size fits all.
The importance lies in identifying the style of the lighter, researching its value, and determining different factors that would affect its price.
- 0:25- The hosts introduce the episode.
- 1:00- Danna shares why they chose the item Zippo lighters.
- 4:14- Danna gives advice on how to use auctioning to sell Zippo lighters.
- 6:57- Wayne tells the history of Zippo lighters.
- 10:46- Wayne tells about the mystery of the Zippo car
- 15:35- Wayne asks Danna about how and where she finds Zippo lighters.
- 17:37- Wayne asks if Zippo lighters are something that is commonly faked.
- 20:27- The hosts talk about open price bids versus fixed-price listing.
- 22:07- What are some parameters for buying and selling Zippo lighters?
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