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? - Vintage Ruby Jeweled Button Sewing CardIf 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.

Love the cute illustrated girl on this vintage box of coloured pencil crayons. #vintage #stationery #office #school #supplies #pencil #crayons #1940s #1950s #retroYou 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.

Vintage Swizzle Sticks Cocktail Stirrers

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

1950 vintage Fairy Birthday Candles box You might visit online auction sites (ebay), selling venues ( , antique stores, markets and social networks such as my site I Antique 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 Basment, 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

Vintage Typewriter Ribbon Tins6. 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 recordswith jackets

17. old games and toys

20) I would love this vintage Christmas coloring book...

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 realted 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

Coloring book:

Typewriter tin image :

Pencil image:

Swizzle stick image

Sewing button image

Playing card image

Birthday candles:

For more inforamtion   visit:


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 café. To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link:C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at Visit my website, Dianne is a member of: The American Society of Journalists and Authors The Society of Professional Journalists

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