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I am preparing a home for an estate sale and I'm finding lots of items that are vintage and/or collectibles. I'm having trouble finding values for these items. They range from angels, to suitcases, to cameras, to keys. I can't find anything like them on typical internet sites. How can I find their value without spending a fortune for appraisals?
By Sharon Lamoreaux from Neosho, MO
Have you tried looking on ebay for similiar items? I get ideas on pricing from there.
You can also try http://www.kovels.com
Agree with the poster who mentioned Kovels as a good research source; the problem with Ruby Lane is that you're getting generally higher retail markup figures. In other words, you'll find a lot of items with bloated pricing. If you research through eBay, keep in mind that generally, things will sell on eBay for only about 33% of what they'd go for in a brick-and-mortar store.
Also resellers, eBayers and antique dealers usually flock to these estate sales looking for a deal; you don't want to overprice--but you certainly don't want to under price, either.
Google, Google, Google. It may be a pain if time is at a premium for you, but researching as much as you can in as many places online as you can will work in your favor.
Example: you have a doodad that your neighbor says looks very valuable; you search it and see it selling in various places for $50, $100, $45, $80. Average it out and price it just a couple of dollars over to take "haggling" into consideration.
The average price for the imaginary item above is $68.75. I'd price it for $80 and take $70 for it if someone wants to haggle. Hope this helps a little.
I have a grille ornament/emblem for a Apherson 8 automobile. Where can I find the value of this "item"? I need all of the help or suggestions I can get. Thanks.
By Joyce Lambert from Nokomis, AL
Well, you could go to hemmings.com. They deal with old autos and parts. I would either click on classifieds or customer service and click on contact them with your question.
There is likely an antique car club in your area. If you contact someone with such an organization, they will be able to put you in touch with the right people who can do a valuation of this item.
Thank you for the suggestions, will put them to good use.
Thanks so much for your help. We will give this a try.
Beau D is definitely correct about checking on the bottom but check with Kovels before eBay! I know first hand that most ebay buyers pay only penny's on the dollar :-( You can go to your local library to check through Kovels books for free or go to: http://www.kovels.com/quick_lists/
I have an old antique ironing board, it is very old, and a couple of washboards that are numbered. I also have some silver brushes, mirror, and old pictures, etc. What is the best way to get to know how much they are worth? I have no idea where to start or whom to trust.
With some of the personnel things I know its history I am keeping them. Many things I have left from "past" and they just sit in my garage. If you take them to places here, you can be quite sure you are getting ripped off. I could really use the money, however I am not wanting to give them away. I had forgotten about the brushes (with horse hair bristles) and mirror! If you have any information I would be grateful.
By Luana M.
Visit some antique stores and look at similar items to get an idea of value, but remember that is the dealer's price, not what they pay for them. If you have silver items, take them to several jewelers before you sell.
The pictures can be tricky. If you know the artist, check the name on the internet. If they are prints, they probably aren't worth much unless it is a big name and in good shape. Paintings can be easier.
You need to educate yourself and that means research. Don't trust web sites that sell things - look for collectors - most love what they collect and will give you good advice, but go to numerous sites. Good luck.
I don't trust the antique stores either. The people working there are not collectors and I don't think they know the value any more than I do. I took pictures of some old drinking pitchers, dishes, etc. my Mother left me and they told me they weren't worth anything. I'm sure if I'd asked them to purchase them from me they would have; at a minimum amount.
Anyone know the value of an antique typewriter ribbon tin, or where I can find information? Thank you.
By Pattie McIntyre from Bridgton
You can try going on to E-bay and doing a search. This way you are able to see if the item is an exact match, condition etc. You can also look under completed listings to see if and when as well as how much the item sold for if it sold. On the G.I. Joes I also have a good amount of them from when I was a kid along with transportation rigs, clothes, accesories etc. I was disapointed to see they were not worth as much as I had hoped so I will hold on to mine for another 30 years and possibly pass them down a generation. Good Luck!
Go to www.tias.com (the internet antique store) Then type in,antique typewriter ribbon tin, in the search line. They have four there that are for sale. Maybe one is like the one you have and will give you an idea of how much it is worth.
I have this piece that was made without any nails, glue, or any modern things to hold it together. It is a hand carved picture that looks Japanese. It originally was a wall carving. I guess someone got a hold of it and added legs to make it into a table. They rotted off, but the carving is in almost perfect condition. It was in three pieces, the carving itself had a frame, I guess you would call it, around it with gold inlay. Someone tried to fix a small area that was peeling. It has two pieces of wood that go across the back of the three boards that make the carving and when positioned correctly you can't even tell it's in 3 pieces. I didn't know it for a long time. I just thought it was broken, but it wasn't; it just needed repositioning. I really don't know what to do with it? Any ideas?
By Sheila H from Pensacola, FL
I would build a nice shadow box and put this inside. You can put a darker background in the box or even lights inside to make the piece stand out. You need to attach this to the back of the box so it holds in place.
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We have several old toys (G.I. Joe 1972), an early 40's typewriter and much more. The trouble is I have no clue about their value. The only "antique" shop around here is really a junk shop. Still cool, mind you, but not much help. Can anyone tell me how to find out the value of all this?
Variven from Goldsboro N.C.
Go to the library, they have some very good books that are price guides for antiques. (01/20/2006)
Kovels has a good site (01/20/2006)
Check on Ebay and see what they are bringing, and have brought, in the past few months. (01/20/2006)
Search on ebay for the same items that you have. You will get an idea the value of your items. Also check "Completed Listings" on ebay, for the items. (01/20/2006)
Be sure that the books and information you use for pricing is as current as possible. Collectibles can vary with the times and condition of the item. Remember, true value is only what someone is willing to pay and will pay for the item. Good luck! (01/20/2006)
Be leery of the price on e-bay auctions. People will overbid for a lot of items, thinking it is a good deal, while some people will sell them cheap, because no one wants it. Check your yellow pages for appraisers, sometimes they have a specialty or can point you to the right direction. (01/20/2006)
1. Go to a good book store where they will carry magazines on antiques.
2. Check out the library.
3. Check out antique sites on google such as instappraisel.com and others web pages.
4. Ebay has a web page for appraising antiques. (01/21/2006)
The best place I found was Barnes and Noble bookstore. They let you look at the books, and also they have a lounge area where you can look and enjoy a cup of coffee. I could spend hours in there. (01/21/2006)
By amy from ny
Things that are not really rare, just collectible, check completed auctions on ebay. This is what people are willing to spend for an item. Price guides are fine, but are only that, a guide. (05/02/2009)