About The Labelman - Fruit Crate Label Collecting Expert
Dwayne Rogers, otherwise known as The Label Man, has a background not only in fruit crate labels but also in agriculture. Dwayne was raised on his family's pear orchard where his family owned the land from 1917 until 1978. The orchard, located in Placer County between Auburn and Newcastle, was purchased by Dwayne's grandfather and stayed in the family until Dwayne's father sold it upon retirement.
In 1977, Dwayne began working seasonally for the California Department of Agriculture as a shipping point inspector. He would be stationed at different packing facilities throughout the state, grading products as they were packaged. Licensed by the Department of Agriculture, he used USDA standards along with various marketing agreement standards to grade the products. Dwayne was stationed everywhere from large grape plants in the Coachella Valley, which would ship over 500,000 packages a season, to riding around in the middle of nowhere on cantaloupe harvesting machines in 110-degree heat. The conditions could be tough, but Dwayne always had some tasty produce to snack on.
In 1978, Dwayne discovered label collecting. At that time, there were a couple of shops on the Pacific Coast that sold labels and few people selling through mail order. The collector base was very small and many of the collectors were in the agriculture industry. As he traveled across the state, Dwayne would meet grape label collectors in Coachella or pear label collectors in Marysville and Lake County. In those days, collectors had a lot of fun making basic trades with their labels.
Dwayne decided to give selling labels and vintage seed packets a try in 1994. He started setting up at antique and craft shows, harvest festivals and more. Dwayne’s wife, Denise helped out at the shows, and, for a few years, different events took up most weekends. It was a lot of fun, but not very profitable. By 1997, eBay changed everything for the label hobby and for The Label Man. Over the last 20 years, The Label Man has mailed well over 50,000 packages through eBay and The Label Man website. Dwayne's eBay feedback has over 30,000 positive comments and an eBay rating of 100%. Over the years, The Label Man has been featured in a few articles. Other than helping the hobby, Dwayne gains exposure and has a lot of fun working with the writers.