Sunday, July 12, 2009

Eye of the beholderIs it a treasure?: Rarity, condition, market determine value of collectibles

DEBBIE CAFAZZO; The News Tribune

Valuable collectibles are made, not born.

“Anything that says ‘limited edition’ or ‘collectible’ on it probably isn’t,” says Mary Sudar of Mary Sudar Appraisals and Estate Sales in Tacoma. “History and popular culture make a collectible. A manufacturer doesn’t.”

During her 25 years of appraising and selling other people’s possessions, Sudar has seen plenty of items that clients assumed were worth big money, but turned out to have very little value.

When Sudar enters a client’s home and is asked to assess the value of items, she rarely looks in the china cabinet.

“We always head to the attic or the basement, or the cabinet under the sink,” she says. That’s usually where the forgotten treasure is buried.

There’s no formula to determine the value of an old piece of costume jewelry, a poster, a statuette or a toy from a bygone era. It’s a combination of factors, including an object’s condition, how rare it is and what other people are willing to pay.

“Knockoffs have hurt the value of genuine old stuff,” says Peggy Colclasure, owner of Antiques Olympia. While reproductions can be enjoyed for what they are, they don’t often hold their value into the future.

And there’s a difference between fads and true collectibles.

Read the rest here: Collectibles

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