An interesting question which I am often asked, and of course the answer always depends on a number of factors, 5 of which I have listed below.
But first I want to tell you a story, which will give you some insight into my approach.
When I was a kid I had an impressive stamp collection. I’d been collecting for years and had lots of quality items from Australia and overseas. My Grandmother and Stepfather had also chipped in with some of their spares, some of it mint, unhinged, early 1900s issues. In a nutshell it wasn’t going to make me a millionaire, but it had good value.
When I hit my teenage years though, I had lost interest in my great chest of all things, and taken up a quest for more important pursuits – music and girls. So when I traipsed down to a local stamp dealer I knew had a shop front in Glenferrie Road in Hawthorn, my stamp collection in hand, I had one thing on my mind – transforming paper into vinyl!
“You’ve got twenty dollars there”
He barely looked up from what he was doing.
“This is worth heaps more than that – look at some of these, they are mint!”
I didn’t have the confidence yet of a mature adult, but twenty bucks? Come on, you must be joking.
“Here you go, twenty dollars, that’s it.”
He passed me the lousy twenty dollars, and off I went, disappointed, but still buoyed enough to buy myself a pile of new and second hand LPs.
The moral of the story? I think back to that encounter 40 years ago from time to time. What’s wrong with this world when the people who have the power have to use it to rip other people off?
So I resolved myself that if that was ever me – the expert talking to someone without the same level of knowledge – I’d treat them fairly, with respect, and if we traded, I’d offer them the most that I could, but most importantly, I’d make sure there was something in it for everyone involved.
That’s how a society should work.
So, that done, here’s what to take into account:
- What series and issues of cards/memorabilia do you have? Some are rarer than others. See our new Card Identification guide.
- How sought-after are the series/issues you have? Rare doesn’t always mean valuable
- The quantity – do you have a handful, or thousands?
- The condition – collectors are picky, all but the most sought-after series will be devalued greatly if they are creased, significantly worn or damaged – for common series more so, even for minor wear. Be realistic, a slight crease or soft corners may not look too bad, but to a collector who knows, it makes all the difference. Check our Grading Guide which might help.
- And finally, are you selling it? An item-by-item valuation of a collection will always equate to far more value than a buyer will pay you for a bulk, all-in-one, cash sale. Remember you get the cash right now up-front, but the buyer may have many months of effort and grind before they even get their money back.