Vintage Lighter Diaries Vol. 7: Proper Planning And Something I Haven’t Seen Before

As spring settles in I learn a lesson or two this week that will hopefully be useful in the future.

Valuing Old Lighters

Joining another Facebook lighter group over the weekend, the number of questions I was subjected to seemed ridiculous. I can only assume this particular group has been inundated with the same questions constantly which I understand all too well can be exhausting.

It’s sort of how I feel answering questions about butane lighters. I want to help. I have also made myself clear about what I do and don’t and I absolutely DO NOT work on butane lighters. I still get questions about butane lighters every day though!

This business of determining a monetary worth for old gadgets and mechanisms that in many cases didn’t even require a ten dollar bill to originally acquire can be rather tricky though and there are some principles one can follow that will allow the construction of a framework and reference that can be drawn from and built upon as experience is gained and knowledge is acquired.

It’s a subject I had just covered earlier in the week, so I took special notice but that is really just a starting point. I have not problem looking up and using Ebay to value a lighter I need to sell but many times it’s unnecessary as I’ve already seen that lighter sell so many times I know it’s value by heart.

Getting Ahead Of Myself

Every now and then, I run into a situation where the results tell me plainly I should have been better prepared. When it came time to record the YouTube video memorializing Giovanni’s comment to ZF77 about using a pipe cleaner to replace the wick in his Zippo, I only had one of the two different kinds of pipe cleaners that I thought I had. I should have thought a little more about it but went ahead with the video as time was short.

The arts & crafts pipe cleaner that I used in the video was an abject failure. The funny thing was I didn’t even consider the construction of the two different types of pipe cleaners and still don’t know exactly how I came into possession of both but needless to say, a more substantial material was needed.

Look for an update on the pipe cleaner project soon! After realizing there are different kinds made for different purposes, I recalled having the proper pipe cleaners in the past. I just couldn’t locate them when I needed them.

Advertising On An Insert?

I had a great experience last week purchasing a lighter from a listing on a Shopify website. This was the first time I have encountered such a listing that actually enticed me to make a purchase and I was very pleased with the ease that characterized the transaction.

Upon completing the purchase I was presented with the option to download the Shopify application for the IPad I was using and thought, “Why not?” The installation was seamless and prominently highlighted the transaction so I didn’t have to go searching for it. I was also updated with delivery information multiple times over the short couple days the lighter was in transit.

I was really excited to find this lighter simply because I have never seen such advertising on a Park petrol lighter insert. I have never personally owned a Zippo with advertising on the insert but have seen examples on Ebay and other websites. I think it’s fascinating to look at and compare these two American companies whose histories reach so far back in time, Zippo to 1932 and Park 1914.

Smoking Implements

Our theme here at has always been vintage petrol lighters, ashtrays, tobacciana and other useful mechanisms. That is a phrase I came up with sometime in the second half of 2017 and has fueled our pursuits ever since.

I am constantly searching and while I wish I could buy everything, that simply is not the case. There are also some items that while I love them and think they are cool as all get out, they are simply too large for me to ever consider purchasing(I sell small, inexpensive to ship items only).

Look for some of those type items to start showing up over on the Notable Listings By Other Ebay Sellers page. I haven’t decided exactly what I’m going to do with it yet but the cogs in the machine are moving.

A Park Slim For Any Taste

As I was sorting through some options of lighters I had available to do videos for this week I had an interesting group materialize before me. Four very similar Park slims that represent sort of a cross-section of designs and finishes that were available when a potential advertiser was ordering lighters from Park Industries back in the day.

This has me currently in the middle of a series of videos highlighting Park slim advertisers and comparing and contrasting the various components present on each. These lighters can very easily have the same markings and otherwise seem the same but have multiple contrary parts.

I really think Park lighters, especially the slims, are a segment of the hobby that many collectors will be sorry they didn’t pay more attention to at some time in the future. These lighters are every bit as collectible and cool as a Zippo with a longer history but can be found for even a fraction of what folks normally pay for slim Zippos.

Happy Cooperation

When attempting to communicate with folks around the world sometimes language can be a barrier to meaningful dialog. I have had many such conversations over the last few yrs in the direct messages of my Ebay account. I get requests for information of all kinds and sometimes just a note from a person that wants to chat.

I also get many inquiries into whether I have lighters available to sell beyond what are listed in the DependableFlame Ebay Store. During one of these interactions after a buyer had purchased a couple of my listings leading to the same or similar feedback being left on both transactions, “Happy Cooperation!”

That awkward sounding little phrase has very much come to be the way I think about many of the friends I am currently meeting on the internet. We may not come from the same place or speak the same language but with the tools available to us today we can communicate well enough to share our love for little fire making machines and the accoutrements thereof.

Please leave any comments, questions or suggestions in the section below this article. Leaving a comment lets me personally know you are reading and appreciate the work going on at DependableFlame.

If you need to post a picture to illustrate your question or suggestion, our Facebook page may be the most appropriate place to make your contribution to the discussion. The Facebook page, group or direct message are all available and user-friendly options.

You can also message me directly on Ebay at any time. There are many facets to the operation under construction here at DependableFlame but none are more important than Ebay and I monitor those messages and listings at all times.

We currently publish vintage petrol lighter show & tell, repair and topic videos each weekday morning @8am central. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel, subscribe and tell all your friends!

Until next time…

Author: Joseph

Be cautious when anyone tells you what you need or have to do...

6 thoughts on “Vintage Lighter Diaries Vol. 7: Proper Planning And Something I Haven’t Seen Before”

  1. Hello. I love those antique refill lghters you are offering.  I would like to get one for my brother. How much do they cost? My brother smokes and he would love it. Also I like the way you present it in the youtube channel. Awsome!!!! When we run out of gas do you sell the replacement too fill it up again?

    1. Thank you for the comments Claudia! Most of the lighters I sell are in the $30-$60 range. You can point your brother toward this page where I have links to all the lighters I have listed on Ebay. When they run out of fluid, you just pour a little more in, pretty simple.

  2. Thanks so much, Joseph! I’m really enjoying your articles! I didn’t realize I would be so interested in this subject, but you’re very articulative in your execution, and your knowledge on the subject is like a deep well. Your passion on the subject is magnetic, and  I got sucked in and can say with confidence that this is a pleasant rabbit hole to go down. I don’t smoke, and have never collected petrol lighters, but am here absorbing this information readily. What you said about shipment, inventory, and item sizing, is pertinent and much appreciated, Thank you again!

    1. Thank you Randi, I appreciate the encouragement! There are plenty of non-smokers who find these little fire machines appealing. The size of the product in relation to the shipping costs it would take to deliver each was a very important part of my business model as I felt it was paramount to offer free shipping.

  3. Oh I love the story of how you used a pipe cleaner to replace the wick in your Zippo lighter. What an ingenious idea, but only if you have the “right” pipe cleaner. You mention your attempt was a dismal failure, but did you eventually manage to do it with the “right” pipe cleaner?

    You seem to be extremely knowledgeable about vintage, and although I gave up smoking many years ago, I still have an old lighter, but unfortunately not a Zippo. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and stories. 

    1. Thank you for the question, I really appreciate that! The pipe cleaner experiment was just my attempt to have a little fun while drawing inspiration from a comment I had received from a very faithful subscriber and viewer of the YouTube channel. I did recreate the project here with a more suitable, substantial pipe cleaner but the results were not much better. Thank you again for all your questions!✌️

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