How to Tell If Old Postcards Are Valuable

How to tell if your old postcards are valuable is the key question and it’s important to know what you have in your possession. If you have an album handed down to you as inheritance then you have to decide if you are going to keep them in the family or choose to sell them. The answer to this key question may lay in their valuation. No two postcards albums are the same. Each one unique in it’s own right so there is no ballpark figure to their value.

One method of giving a rough idea of value is to look for similar examples being sold on the online auction websites. This is only a guide however, nothing set in stone here. Postcards of the ‘Buy it Now’ category could have been listed for many years and yet to find a buyer at that price. If that same postcard was at a 50% discount there are still no guarantees of a sale.

The only way you can get an idea of value is if you have the exact same postcard, in the same condition and there are bids on that postcard. The hammer price you may think is the value of your postcard…but it’s not. The hammer price could be inflated as two bidders battle it out. If you listed your postcard on the same auction site the next day at the hammer price the chances are it will not sell because you only have one collector willing to buy it. Sell it at a more attractive lower price and it probably will sell.

Online auction websites are not a true scale of value. What sells today may not sell tomorrow for the same price. Postcards are only worth what a collector is willing to pay for it. Prices fluctuate like any other antique and everything works on trends. Right now you can buy brown furniture at a fraction of the price it was a few years ago. Think of any antique and it’s the same. Old postcards are no different.

Trying to value your collection yourself postcard by postcard on the online auction websites is a thankless task and will not give the real value. We can offer free valuations on postcards along with other postcard dealers and land based auction houses who have specialist postcard sales. Auctions are a good place to sell if you want to make sure they sell. You may not get the top price of valuation because you cannot control the bidding crowd.

Collectors will always pay more for postcards because they are not looking to resell them for profit. They just want to add them to their collection. Dealers on the other hand want to secure postcards at the cheapest possible price to give them a bigger profit margin. You will find both dealers and collectors at most postcard auctions. Once you commit your postcards to auction there is nothing you can do once the auction starts. You will naturally have a reserve so they don’t sell for a modest price.

The auction house may insist on a low estimate to attract bidders. The more bidders there are on the lot the more chance of a higher price. Dealers are always looking for bargains. The late lots of the day are prime targets for the postcard bargain hunters as the competition has already left the auction house. Less competition, less bidders and that’s how the postcard auction business works.

You need a little bit of luck when selling postcards at auction. It’s all about who is there on the day and matching up your postcards with the right buyer. Don’t forget the seller commission and of course VAT will be added to the final amount. Hopefully after all that you will find yourself happy with the hammer price and your final amount payable to you. If you don’t want to take all these risks then just Contact Us for a Free Postcard Valuation.

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