Researching Antique Values
What's it worth? Where can I find the value of my antique?
These are all too familiar questions. Unfortunately these questions are not easy to answer. Most people think anything old is valuable. This is wrong.
Many things effect antiques and collectibles values. Here's a short list of some items that influence prices.
Determinants of Value
- In order for antiques and collectibles to have value, there must be a demand. People have to want the item in order for it to have value.
- A secondary consideration with demand is liquidity. Some antiques are extremely difficult to sell. They are hard to place values on, or it is difficult to find buyers. The harder it is to sell an item, the lower the value will be.
- In addition to demand, scarcity plays a role. The more people chasing a small number of items, the higher the value.
- A big part of the value of any antique or collectible is condition. For example a common but perfect "10" baseball card will bring three to five times (or more) the value of the same card with wear or poor print registration. On the other hand, some collectibles like coins, stamps, and toys will bring higher prices for factory mistakes. Factory errors can increase the value of collectibles.
- Location also effects antique values. Prices on the east coast are generally higher than prices in the mid west. Some of this price difference is due to there being fewer prospects, and some is due to attitude differences.
All the items above effect the value of any antique or collectible. If you are looking to sell something, search on eBay for similar items. Here's a page on Using eBay Search.
Price guides and items for sale are other options. Not great options because unless you actually see an item sell, you cannot be sure it is worth the asking price. Here's a page about Antique Price Guides.
You see, antique values are subjective. The only way to get really good at determining values is to immerse yourself in antiques and collectibles.
One of the best ways to learn about antiques and collectibles is eBay Consignment selling. When you sell antiques for others, you don't have to risk your money buying items you aren't familiar with.
PS. Here's an article about Learning Antiques and Collectibles Values.
PPS Here's some Antiques Appraisal Advice
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