Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Helping Mom And Dad Price Collectibles To Sell: What Not To Throw Out

Do You Know If Mom And Dad's "Junk" Are Really Collectibles?

If you are the adult child of  parents who are getting on in years, you may find yourself in the position of helping mom and dad sell collectibles. But do you know what is currently hot and what is not? This article is to help you think more carefully before you toss out some really great collectible items unintentionally.

Defining Collectibles

First I will start with a clarification of what is a collectible.
You will get a variety of answers to the question: what is a collectible?  The simpliest response for our purposes is that a collectible is an item of interest to others that has gained popularity. It can be 40, 60, 70, 80 years old or even five years old. While some experts in the field think of collectibles as items that are from the 50's and 60s up unitl the 80s, I am categorizing collectibles more broadly. To me a collectible is a item that has gained interest by others in the marketplace.

Beanie Babies: Collectibles That Are Collecting Dust

Remember when everyone was collecting Beanie Babies? At the time of the Beanie Baby madness these plush toys were hot in demand. Now they appear to be fur ball clutter in most closets. So "collectibles" have a time related significance. Collectibles can come into importance or become old news.

A collectible like an antique may have significant monetary value(or not), sentimental value or collecting interest to a specific group of loyal collectors. Many "collectibles" are buried in basements and attics and are ignored by owners who are not familiar with collecting trends.

Finding A Jar Of Swizzle Sticks    

For example, dad may have a jar filled with swizzle sticks in his basment that are of considerable interest to the many swizzle stick collectors out there. You may think of this collection as worthless junk but hold on...swizzle sticks are collectible.  Now let us suppose you discovered a cache of swizzle sticks, how would you know if you had common ones or a stash of goodies?

How To Evaluate Collectibles You Discover In The House

 You might visit online auction sites (ebay), selling venues (Etsy.com) , antique stores, markets and social networks such as my site I Antique Online.com to find out what particular collectibles are fetching and which ones seem popular.You can also search the internet for a particular collecting group such as "Emphemera society" for old paper items  or "swizzle stick collectors" for your barware.  Of course you can visit the library and read up so many different collectible topics.  Keep in mind that books get outdated very quickly, but you will still be able to learn quite a bit from expereinced collectors who have written about their collectibles.

What You May Find In The Basement, Attic, Garage, Closets, Drawers That Could Be Collectible  DONT THROW OUT

OLD   =  1960s and earlier  (for the list below)

1. old sewing buttons
2. old advertisng tins i.e. coffee, powder, talc
3. old wooden boxes
4. old wrapping paper (especially Christmas)
5. swizzle sticks

6. old children's books
7. old garden tools(even rusty ones)
8. decks of playing cards
9. corkscrews
10. post cards
11. old greeting cards especially Valentines
12. old letters and correspondance
13. old linens, tablecloths, curtains, aprons
14. old kitchen utensils
15. old razors, barber, beauty items
16. old 45 records with jackets
17. old games and toys

18. old books
19. old Christmas, Easter, Halloween and holiday decorations and ornaments
20. old school related items
21. old office supplies i.e. staplers, sharpeners...even pencils
22. typewriter ribbon tins
23. unused painting sets and coloring books and other art supplies
24. sequined fruit
25. war and military related  items
26. boy scout and girl scout memorabilia
27  souvenir glasses
28. political memorabilia
29. marbles
30. old recipe booklets
31. old catalogs
32. old birthday candles in orginal box

Readers please add to this list, it will be great to hear your experiences.

Photo Credits

Playing card image  http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/product_view/vintagejunque/3320985/golfing_scotty_scottie_dog_mini_deck_of_vintage_playing_cards/vintage/ephemera/cards

Birthday candles:http://pinterest.com/turtlelovebug/vintage-birthday/

For more information  

Read :
CARING FOR AGING PARENTS VINTAGE MOM AND DAD http://cdiannezweig.blogspot.com/search/label/older%20adults

If you need help regarding Senior Care Services and Eldercare contact my friend Sheri Morris MSW, ACSW, LCSW a very experienced Geriatric Social Worker. Her website is My Senior Care Connection. 

and http://iantiqueonline.ning.com/group/estatemavenshelpwithestateliquidation

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro caf√©. To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.com Visit my website, CDianneZweig.com Dianne is a member of: The American Society of Journalists and Authors The Society of Professional Journalists


  1. Good luck with the sorting....it can be challenging we just had to clean out my mom's treasures!

  2. Old toy cars like Tootsie Toy or Hubley are very collectible and can fetch high prices.

  3. Great list.....I've sold a few medical tins on etsy for more than I thought I would - like epsom salts. Spice tins don't seem to sell or I've priced them wrong. Always love the great advice and pics you have on your blog.

  4. Photographs from the 1940's and 1950's, even the 1960's would have a market now, as would the clothing from those eras. Never throw out blue jeans from those times. Another thing that people generally don't think of as being in demand are steel kitchen cabinets.

  5. Photographs from the 1940's and 1950's, even the 1960's would have a market now, as would the clothing from those eras. Never throw out blue jeans from those times. Another thing that people generally don't think of as being in demand are steel kitchen cabinets.

  6. Never throw out rolls of old wallpaper! Many folks kept remnant rolls in the attic or basement. I just love old wallpaper and it can be sold on Ebay or Etsy for a pretty penny if it's a nice pattern.

  7. Fantastic list -- I just happened across this wonderful blog while looking a vintage Christmas illustrations. I am currently struggling with what to keep; sell; or throw away while going through my grandmother's belongings.

  8. I'm so glad I came across this wonderful blog (I was googling an image of a Christmas illustration). I'm struggling with what to do with my grandmother's treasures and this will help me so much!