The phenomenon of the increase of collectible costume jewelry
availability on the Internet has its explanations. Before the
miracle of online sales web sites and personal Net communication by
email, collectible costume jewelry could be found in just a few
secondary marketplaces. Collectors were limited to the choices
there, as well as subject to the whims of dealers as far as
arbitrary and capricious pricing.
Here is where everyone used to buy vintage jewelry before the
Internet, and, of course, it is still done to a very large extent:
Antiques shops and antiques malls
Those areas were pretty much it. Dealers would also travel and buy
from other dealers for fresh merchandise. Collectors would have
swap meets where they could buy, sell and trade for more desirable
Periodic shows, fairs, and exhibits
Private sales, yard sales, thrift shops, and flea markets.
Then the Internet arrives. Suddenly there is another marketplace,
with websites and electronic auctions, where costume jewelry
changes hands with the speed of email.
A collector in Japan reads on an email list that a desirable name
piece is on eBay online auction. She clicks and bids, and the piece
is hers. A week or so later, the jewelry is in her hands thanks to
credit card convenience and The U.S. Postal Service Global Priority mail.
If the item is offered on a catalog website, there is not even a
need to wait for the end of the electronic auction. With a credit
card charge, the piece can be shipped immediately. Could she have
obtained this very piece some other way? Perhaps. But rarely with
such ease and speed.