Is the market 'soft' right now for collectibles?

J. Chasens DesignOctober 28, 2009

I am asking this question because after now cleaning out and falling heir to yet another household full of items, I am feeling overloaded. Being someone that has always appreciated older pieces, even if they were not my style, I have hung on to items that probably have value to people that appreciate and collect them more then I do (McCoy, dishes, crystal, silver, art prints)

But I now am finding myself hanging on to too much and there is no room for the things I collect and love (LOVE old bottles - mostly the aqua colored glass must have over 150 - but I digress).

My question is, should I just store this stuff away or try to sell it now? None of it is anything that will be the worse for wear in another 5 or 10 years(except the art prints which I will store properly) and I do have attic space (sorry DH) and yes, I will ask my daughter before getting rid of anything, but geez, it is taking over. But if this is a buyers market right now, it may pay to wait.

Not being an avid collector right now, I defer to those of you with more experience.

Okay, and I am taking this as a sign, the postman just delivered some of the very things I am talking about - dishes from DMIL. HELP!

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Yes....definitly a buyers market except for things like silver and gold.
Keep it and sell when the market recovers.
You say "art prints"...are you talking original prints? or just prints which are repros of other paintings or drawings....because if the latter I would sell them to make room for other stuff....because as I said it IS a buyers market.
Linda C

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 2:16PM
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J. Chasens Design

Not really sure what level the prints are and we are too far away to check it out for now. Some are junk and some may be original prints - unfortunately she treated them the same - poorly. So none of them may be in any shape to be worth anything.

I just hated to go to all the trouble to research this stuff and try to find a market for it if we could wait and perhaps fair better later on. I will just store it away and make sure I mark the boxes warning my kids that they better not chuck the stuff or put it in a garage sale in case something happens.

There is quite a bit of silver which we may decide to part with - don't want to insure it and can't see ourselves using it. Thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 6:48PM
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That's exactly what I did too because the market 'is'soft. I have boxed up a lot of things I've no intention of giving away at low prices, because it was getting so crowded in the living areas, I was beginning to look like a hoarder.

I packed everything carefully, am in the process of photographing and itemising each box and they are all being packed with like kind, or by degree of value. My poor husband would be totally clueless on the values of some of the stuff. You would be surprised how value adds up for insurance purposes, and this is a handy tool to make sure you're covered in case of fire or theft. It also helps you to get to an item you may want to retrieve without having to take boxes off stacks or go through each box. I keep a print out of contents right under the lids.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 7:43PM
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The thing is about doesn't take up much space......and in my memory has never drastically decreased in price for long.
So if you are weeding out....I would advise selling the silver last, even though items are holding better than other stuff.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 8:43PM
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I think the market's always soft for "fake" collectibles. Danbury Mint, Precious Moments, Beanie Babies. Anything mass produced after, I dunno, 1960? 1970?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 5:57PM
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I disagree....I know someone who always seems to sell right....and buy too. Sold a first edition Hummel plate for $1000! And also a few Posgrund Christmas plates for a handsome profit. Now those things are worth much much less.
You have to be quick on your toes!!
One of the most amazing eye openers I ever had was a visit to the Danbury Mint store someplace near Philadelphia....chock full of very expensive junk.
Another time a friend called me and wanted me to evaluate some collector's plates she had collected and kept in original boxes etc yadda yadda....She had all editions, paid about $25 investment of about $300.....and I had to tell her that if she could sell all for $35 she was lucky. She didn't believe me and I showed her several online sites where these had been sold.
Don't ever collect something made to be collected....unless you are hoping your great great grand child will reap the benefits!
However I do have a stash of bicentennial collectables....:Q
Linda C

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 6:51PM
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J. Chasens Design

None of these items are things that were produced to be collectible, the china is Limoge, Royal Bavarian, crystal stemware from the 40's, McCoy from the 40's, sterling tea set, platters, flatware and serving pieces, old gold pocket watches. So I suppose that 'collectible' was not very accurate, but they are not really old enough to be antiques, just nice things with some age and pedigree that people like to collect.

I only collect what I love and if it turns out to be worth something one day - bonus! Like the old bottles - started picking those up when we lived outside Philadelphia for under $1.00 each in the 80's. Now when I do see them, which is rare around here, they are anywhere from $5 to $25 and up for special ones.

I just love the way they look and the fact that they have some history and character and don't want to part with any of them, much to my DH's dismay.

Actually, I did forget there are several Hummels in a box in the attic - but she had them because she liked them and never really thought about future worth. Geez, I have got a lot of stuff to unload one of these days. Happy to put this project off for awhile.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 11:03PM
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Research it now, and keep track of what you found out - including a digital photo of the item and links to where you found the info..

It's not "the market", it's a bunch of markets, and the sales of one kind of collectible may soar because someone famous hits the magazines with her collection of antique leprechaun china.

When that happens, you can quickly dig out the appropriate pieces and throw them onto eBay.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 11:57PM
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All markets are soft right now....beef and pork are selling low.
If you have space to store them....and don't need the $$ they might bring....hang on to the stuff.
As my dear friend once told me....keep everything....and the box it came in because someday it'll be worth something....and more with the box!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 12:14AM
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If you provide a list of the silver ( & a photo preferably ) with a brief description of the markings, etc, I can at least tell you if something is super-valuable. I don't keep up with the day-to-day prices but I do recognize the pieces that keep their antique value regardless of the economy & might be worthy of special treatment in storing or whatever.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 9:30AM
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There is imo, no such thing as a fake collectible. Precious Moments and Hummel are far from being cheap. Most PMs average $50 and many limited editions go to $250-$300.

Now, the issue is why you collect anything. IF you are deluded that these things are investments, they certainly are not although Hummel has a better track record than Precious Moments just by virtue of the age of some Hummels and the lower production rates.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 8:24AM
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Hummels were not originally made to be "collectables"...nor were Lladro figures nor Occupied Japan cups and saucers.
But Precious Moments were as were the Hummel Christmas plates and Avon bottles and all things made in a series or "editions".
Fake collectables are those things which were made to be collected, not just to have because they are pretty or cute. A visit to the Franklin Mint factory store tells it all!
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 9:54AM
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Linda, you need to get a little education in Precious Moments. They are NOT made in serious or editions. They are not in the same catagory as Avon bottles or plates of anything. Sam Butcher, the creator of PMs, is a Christian man and many of his figurienes have religious themes. We have a small collection of 700 pieces. However, many people have only one or two pieces they received as gifts to commerate a particular event. We have a few pieces of Hummel we received as wedding gifts 48 years ago and we have never bought a single piece since.

Conversly, stamps and coins were not minted,printed to be collectibles but guess what? And both are made in series. The US Mint has decided to get in on the program by minting state quarters, and not to mention commerative stamps from the post office. And people who have never collected coins are now obcessed with state quarters.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 3:08PM
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I think the market has been flooded with Precious Moments figurines....and now that the Dollar Stores (read China) have knock-offs, I think they are much less desirable than ever. Also, the younger generation often chuck these out with the garbage when they "inherit" these from folks who left a collection of them. These may have been a 1-generation kind of collectible, but that's just my 2¢. Myself, I collect sewing buttons ~ cheap, easy to store, everybody has some and so very "un-collectible" that it is relatively easy to come across something totally different and unique.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 6:23PM
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But will state quarters hold any value 100 years hence? Old stamps and old coins are valued because of their scarcity.

As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I'm guessing that people who collect Precious Moments figures find them to be wonderful, but I don't think they're in the same price or desirability strata as Old Master drawings or Tiffany lamps.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2009 at 6:46PM
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When they started coming out with the state quarters, I started saving those that weren't state quarters.
What makes something desirable to amass is it's scarcity.
I am amazed by people who manage to have a collection of things like old transferware child feeders! I have only ever seen maybe4 in museums and one for sale...
I know that things thata re made to collect have a place, but I really don't understand waiting until the "newest issue" comes out to add to your collection. That's what Franklin mint does is promote that feeling.
My father collected first day covers in blocks of 4 on some high quality engraved envelope. It was about as complete as it gets for 30 years.
But today even 30 years after his death, the stamps are not worth cover value. But he had to have every one issued, and eagerly awaited the arrival.
I have a small collection of flint cup plates and EAPG childs and punch mugs....and I will guarantee they are worth more now than when I bought them.
Linda c

Here is a link that might be useful: infant feeders

    Bookmark   November 3, 2009 at 8:47PM
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I wish we could edit our posts!!
Anyhow...the value after 30 years is what tells the difference between antiques and collectables.
We can collect certain antique items or we can collect things that are made to be collected and have no other use.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2009 at 8:51PM
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I hate to highjack but Linda C. I bought these pieces today (Ironstone Vase and Chelsea ware teapot) do you think they will be worth anything down the road? I only paid $25.00 for each piece and it was from a friend who is getting rid of all her old paris and ironstone. Your thoughts?


    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 8:42PM
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Jill I hope you don't think me rude I probably should of started my own thread, but thanks so much.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 8:46PM
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lindac did OK!
Unless that teapot is a repro it's worth a lot more than $25 !!! But I don't think that was originally made in that bright gold luster.
Even if it's a repro....$25 is a great price.
I can't see well enough to know if it's grape or sprig.
What's the backstamp?
I believe the vase is porcelain not ironstone...
Looks great on your mantle with that ironstone transferware platter and the cups!
You did fine for $50....they will never be worth less than you paid....which is a lot more than can be said for lots of schlock you may have bought to decorate with!
And, depending on whims and the market....they may be worth a lot more.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 9:25PM
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Oh thank you Linda so much for your thoughts. It is grapes on the teapot. And the back stamp says Ironstone China Edward Wallet. And it has a english stamp/crown with a unicorn and a lion on it.

Thanks again....Jane

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 11:14PM
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As far as collections, anything *over 24* is getting TOO much~just my 2 cents. I took a space in an antique mall almost a year ago, and from what we're(Austin)seeing, business is starting to re-bound. Everything i'm selling ARE my collections~IMO, if you can't put things out and enjoy them, there's no sense in keeping them in hope of 'appreciation'~what sells depends on the market for it, or a particular collector. I mainly collect things made in Europe, be it china, copper, lamps, clocks, art, etc. There are too many reproductions, here.

I'm holding my own, making rent, but not making what i'm spending on new merchandise. Still, i'm not giving up cause I love what I do.

As for silver~most of mine has been plate, but it's selling. I was ready to bring it home, but put several pieces in a basket, and they all sold. What I noticed was several small trays sold when I did a vignette using a tray on a dresser to hold a perfume bottle, compact, and a small vase. I *only* do vignettes in my space, not just things stacked in a pile that you have to sift thru. Everything is out in plain sight to make it easy for the shopper as well as the lookers, and it also looks prettier.I use some of my silver in my own kitchen:a few pieces of my cooking utensils I keep in a silver pitcher, I have a silver tray leaning againg the backsplash, i've used a small oval silver tray to hold a crystal sugar bowl/creamer, silver salt/pepper shakers, and a crystal tooth-pic holder~this if for everyday use, and I keep it in a corner near my cooktop. On the other side of the cooktop is the tray, pitcher, and also a small silver-handled dish that holds paper napkins.

I *love* using these lovelies everyday, and have given 'sets' of different things to my 3 daughters who seem to enjoy these old things for everyday use also.

I'm holding my own, making rent, but not making what i'm spending on new merchandise. Still, i'm not giving up cause I love what I do.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 1:37AM
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To justlinda, suggest you go to a better Hallmark store just to see what real Precious Moments look like so you won't be so dumb as to think the Dollar Store has PM "knock offs". Now, I don't care whether you like PMs or not but don't let your dumb hang out!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 2:27PM
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Of course there are cheap copies of Precious Moments--that's what the term "knock off" means. No one thinks that PM is selling their genuine merch at the 99 cent store, so Linda's not being dumb. She knows the difference between real and fake. Rude much?

I've got handleless cups that match that coffeepot, but they're very stained.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 4:59PM
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Ummm....I looked to see where that comment came from, and the answer said it all.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 8:19PM
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J. Chasens Design

Wow, did I open a can of worms here! I genuinely thought this would just be a discussion about the current market - and I tried to be pretty specific about the items in question. But it somehow turned into a personal slamfest about what is 'collectible'.

Sorry I asked - this has gotten way out of hand and reminds me why I try to just be a 'lurker'.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2009 at 11:59PM
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If you can wait to sell it would be wise. The only things still doing well are the ultra rare items.

Take care,

Here is a link that might be useful: antiques website

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 1:30AM
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