Following is the original "About" page I wrote for things-and-other-stuff.com back in 2002, which is then updated with some of my more recent activities.
My name is Cliff Aliperti (Google+) and things-and-other-stuff has been my eBay ID since 2000 as well as the name of this website since it launched in 2002. This page is a brief history of how I came to deal in Movie Cards and Collectibles and administer this site.
I was six years old when the New York Yankees won the World Series in 1978. This began my love affair with baseball. Baseball cards were next, as were baseball publications and memorabilia. Other sports followed but baseball will always remain my first love.
My uncle started doing baseball card shows early on, around 1979-1980. By the mid-eighties I was going along to help him out. He paid me a flat fee for the day and soon enough gave over a couple of feet of table space to me. I loved the wheeling and dealing aspect of the card shows, especially during the mid-eighties. I soon realized that the more I sold, the more I could buy, and working with Uncle Rick I could buy at dealer's prices! Click on his name for Uncle Rick's auctions -- he usually has something running!
In 1991 I left my job and started doing card shows myself around Long Island. Unfortunately this was the beginning of a dead period and before long I was losing money. I kept it up until 1993, doing shows every Saturday and Sunday, oftentimes Friday night previews as well at the big shows, and sometimes I'd do a Wednesday night show as well. Met some interesting people but soon realized that I was selling the same items to the same faces every week. I put an end to my travels, got a day job, and went back to my own collecting.
But I've never really had the patience to collect. The problem is I want it all when I start going after something, and economically that isn't always possible. But I do like knowing that I had one of those, once at least! Every item that things-and-other-stuff presents to you is only purchased if it qualifies under two criteria: 1. It has to be purchasable at the right price; 2. I wouldn't mind being stuck with it if nobody else wants it!
After graduating college I was forced to get a real job. I taught myself how to use the computer and find my way around the net while I was on the job and spent downtime browsing eBay. This lead to purchasing my own first PC and dusting off my stock to sell on eBay. That started around April 2000. In September 2001 I opened my first shop on Ruby Lane (closed 2006) and in the Spring of 2002 I decided that it was time to get my own Web space to promote my sales.
Along the way I continued to follow the two rules mentioned above and ended up buying some old movie collectibles here and there. It amazed me that I could pick up pieces featuring movie giants of the early days, such as Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and John Barrymore, for such cheap prices. Why these were the Babe Ruths, Lou Gehrigs and Joe DiMaggios of the movie world at a tenth or even a twentieth of the price! There seemed to be a lot of potential.
And you guys agreed with me. Many of my movie items are not catalogued anywhere, so I'll create the prices based upon my estimates of demand. It turns out that a lot of collectors feel that these oddball items are undervalued as well. The profits taken on the movie collectibles that I'd place for sale would outpace my beloved baseball items by ten or twenty times! I was forced to rethink my entire business.
Throughout 2003 I spent a lot of time phasing out sports items and using those funds to purchase more and more movie collectibles. I stay away from autographs, movie posters and lobby cards--these seem to be the most commonly collected items and there are many specialist dealers that offer them (some offer some quite amazing items!). I wanted to find something different, and I feel that paper premiums from the 1950's and earlier is just that niche I had searched for. The items are un-catalogued, and I'm learning about many of them at the same time as my buyers.
This quest for knowledge next led to The Movie Profiles & Premiums Newsletter. The first issue came out on November 15, 2002 and I've just recently published the 80th issue in Summer 2008. Each issue features paid writers who profile the early movie stars and I then litter their articles with images of rare and oddball collectibles. In addition I personally profile new collectibles each issue with a photo essay. Over the years this has led to a pretty comprehensive online catalog of oddball movie collectibles.
Wow, a lot has happened since then! The newsletter I just mentioned in the previous paragraph was discontinued in 2009 but I've since replaced it with a Daily and Weekly subscription to all new articles here on Immortal Ephemera as well as my other film related websites (including Warren-William.com). That's another major change, in 2010 I've begun moving the site over to WordPress and begun eliminating the old html pages--had to get with the times! I now have several websites dedicated to vintage collecting and collectibles, most of what I do online can be found in my Google Profile, which I do try to keep up to date.
I guess the biggest change which deserves discussion in this space is the amount of writing I've been doing about Classic Movies and Classic Film Stars over the past couple of years. It took some time for me to work up the nerve to start posting my own classic film related writing here but I've both written and enjoyed Classic Movies for a long time now so it was mostly a matter of combining those passions. I consider my now defunct VintageMeld site and several months spent contributing to the Examiner as the New York Classic Movies Examiner to have been my dry runs and putting together the types of articles I wanted to write about Classic Movies and the voice I wanted to use in writing them. I'm pretty proud of the Film Star biographies and Classic Film Reviews I post semi-regularly here now, though never fear collectors, I still post a good many Photo ID Guides, both new and updated, showing off the vintage collectibles that we love.
I encourage you to leave general comments about the site, or to just say hi, below and to connect with me on social networks such as Twitter or Facebook where I have an active presence. I hope you like the direction the site's been going, I only hope for it to become bigger and better as the years pass on. We've been online in this same space for over 8 years as I write this and if you've stuck it out with me that long I really thank you! In fact if you just found me and have read this far I thank you too! I plan on keeping this going for as long as my fingers can move, and that ought to be awhile.