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What to Look for When Buying Collectibles

Aug 17, 2007
I will start right off by telling you that the most important factor in valuing your collectible is the condition of the item.

Items that are in mint or near mint condition will always yield a much higher profit. Chips, cracks and crazing, etc., will always bring down the value of the item and are worth just a fraction of what an item in mint condition would be.

If you are looking for collectibles, here are a few pointers to watch for:

On items such as glassware, porcelain and pottery a good way to detect for chips is to run a finger around the rim and handle areas.

For glass items, hold it up to the light to look for hairline cracks. If the item is glass or has a handle make especially sure to check the base as these types of items are more prone to crack at the base.

Look at the surface for scratches or films that can be caused from harsh dish detergents. If you see a film, test it by getting it wet. If the film comes back after being dried then it's permanent.

If you are interested in selling a collectible piece, it is always best to keep the box. Believe it or not, having the original box the item came in can sometimes increase the value. Why? We really don't know why.

Keeping the boxes started back in the 1970's. It was an advertising method where people would advertise "Mint in Box" (MIB) or "New in Box" (NIB). The intention was to convey the idea that the item has been unused and is still in the original factory condition regardless of age.

In my opinion, it really doesn't make a difference whether you have the box or not. After all, what's to keep a person from displaying the item for years and then when it's time to sell, just put it back in the original box? Never the less, it's a good idea to keep the boxes with your items.

People have been stuck on the theory that having the original box will bring more value and in reality, it does. But by all means, I would never turn down a good deal on a valuable collectible just because it didn't have the box.

Just to clarify, there is nothing wrong with purchasing an item that may have a small crack or a few scratches. Just don't pay a high price for something that is not in good condition.
About the Author
Evelyn Whitaker writes articles for Deutsches Haus http://www.deutscheshaus.cc which is located in St. Paul, Minnesota. Deutsches Haus offers German collectibles, souvenirs, gifts and foods.
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