As a consignment store in the Baltimore Washington area, we get it all from mundane to insane. One of the coolest things that has come in so far was this pair of "Military MK1 Missile Rocket Motor Ordinance". My consignor's father brought them back from the Korean War. He had planned to make them into lamps - now that's what I call a cool re-purpose project! I was relieved to learn that these were actually inert pieces that had been used for practice drills. Still, they were genuine air to ground bombs, complete with guidance fins and everything.
Original political and historical pieces like this "1897 William McKinley Inauguration Republican Convention Ribbon" will always do well on eBay. $218 sounds like a lot, but someone got a really fair deal on this. But did you know there are tons of fake reproductions of things like this? Fortunately, most of them are actually stamped as such.
People love toys and games, and eBay is a great place to find them. This "Vintage Chinese Bakelite Mah Jong Dominos Game" set sold for $223. Not only was it old, but it had the added advantage of being a cultural piece.
Here in America, we love racing and the fans are always buying up pieces like this "Matt Kenseth #17 NASCAR Action Diecast Lot". The problem is, the manufacturers crank out tons of these collectibles and even though they are limited editions, there are more people selling them on eBay than buying them. We did okay on this lot at $195, but the retail cost on all these pieces was probably at least twice that.
People love old toys, and this "Vintage Hadson Friction Tin Litho Motorcycle Toy" was in great condition - which is why it sold for $106. The winning buyer was actually in Japan - so we sent it right back to where it was made. What a happy ending.
My consignor paid about $2,000 for this "2006 Trek Madone 5.2 Road Bike" when he bought it new. He barely rode it, and since it was still in excellent condition, it sold for $1825 on eBay - almost what he paid for it! In this case, inflation worked in his favor, as the current version (favored by Lance Armstrong) sells for about $3500. I actually had to scrounge a bike box from the dumpster behind a bike shop down the street in order to ship this. The things we do to earn or save a dollar...
Baseball trading cards have existed since roughly 1869, almost as long as the sport began. While they have always been collectable, sometime around 1986 the manufacturers got greedy and greatly increased the production numbers and since then, their value has drastically declined. Sill, if you can find some old noteworthy cards or even some unsorted sets like these "Topps Baseball Card Vending Boxes" from 1982 - you've got at least an $82 sale.
Take historic brands that people love and put them together like this "Lionel Coca Cola O 0-27 Train Set" and you've got a winner; $102 in this case. This set was from 1992 - not very old - but it had never been opened, so we knew it would do great on eBay!
We've covered the value of old cameras and that eBay is a great place to buy and sell them, but check out this "Kern Paillard Switar 75mm Bolex Camera Lens" which sold for $615
Items like this "1939 Luscombe GB Lewis Airplane Propeller" which sold on eBay for $365 make great display pieces for any home or office with an avionics enthusiast.
In most cases, vintage electronics are only good for boat anchors. A problem with selling them on eBay is that they are in fact quite heavy and the cost of shipping such items really cuts into what someone is willing to pay. Yet there is some truth to the saying 'they don't make 'em like they used to' and the audio enthusiast market loves older high end components like this "Carver Amplifier M-1.5t" which sold for $482.
Equestrian and sportsman related items have great display value. Starting at a $10 bid, the eBay market drove this "Antique Leather Fox Hunting Thong Riding Crop" up to $147
Years ago, old record players like this "1919 Victor Talking Machine Victrola Phonograph VV-IX" were very collectable and hobbyists would even restore them. Sadly, there are more people selling them now than buying and pieces like this rarely go for more than $50 at auctions. By putting it on eBay, we got a respectable $275 - but we had to ship it to Canada. We actually sold a similar model awhile back which I had to send to China. In both cases, I can tell you that I earned my commission with all the packing I had to do.
People love older cars as they bring back memories of first learning to drive and happier days. The current economy is tough though and everyone knows that old cars are nothing but money pits. We do take cars on consignment for just 10% of the first $5,000 and then 5% thereafter. All you do is sign the title and leave it with us in our garage. This "1983 Datsun Turbo 280ZX 2x2 Coupe" was in great shape. It ran and drove well, had newer paint, and only 71k original miles.
This "Antique Geo Flanagan Book Stand" was such a cool piece that I knew it was worth offering to the eBay market. It was a bit bulky, but I saw that it would come apart for shipping and felt that someone would really appreciate it enough to pay my asking price of $200 plus the freight. With slightly unusual items like this - we sometimes set the price firm as opposed to letting the bidders decide.
Fur coats are no longer worth the thousands of dollars they cost when new as the current generation does not generally want to flaunt dead animal on their shoulders. In the colonial days, everyone wore furs as they were readily available and met a persons need for warmth. Somewhere along the line, fine furs became a luxury, but even pieces like this "Full Length Platinum Silver Fox Fur Coat " are worth very little because of a shift in the economy coupled with evolving perceptions of value. At $345, I felt this did about the best it could.
My consignor originally paid about $5,000 for this 36" tall "Victor Issa Bronze Nude Statue" . We were able to get back a respectable $2000 for it and the sale only took a couple months. While this sounds like a pretty significant loss, pieces like this sell at public auctions for $100 or less. Buying art from the artist is like buying a new car - the minute you take it off the lot, it is worth much less than what you paid.
Original pieces by a 'listed artist' can have impressive value. Sadly, most artists are unknown until after their death. We were asking $1200 for this "Leon Zanella Original Signed Oil Painting Venice" but after several months with no interest, we took the first best offer of $335. We find that the most desirable types of art will be depictions of famous places, people, and objects or at least have a genre such as 'abstract' or 'nude'. Those types of works give us something to help market them. A generic landscape scene is worth almost nothing.
Even with a little bit of damage, this "Antique Johann Maresch Humidor Ceramic Cigar Box" was worth $185. Any old tobacciana items always do well, but condition is everything.
Precious metals are at an all time high in value and scrappers are always looking for bargains. This "Antique 90 Pc Stieff Rose Sterling Silver Flatware Set" had a gross weight of about 10 pounds, which had a melt value of around $2100. But we knew that the collectors would value this set for it's beauty and craftsmanship, which is why it sold for $3551 - almost a $1,500 more than scrap value! Since our commission is 33% of the first thousand and only 20% thereafter - our consignor still netted more than she would have going directly to a metal dealer and was very pleased.
Old film cameras are not only collected, but still actively used by professionals and students alike all over the world. And thanks to eBay, this "Vintage Kodak Medalist Camera Lot" sold for $480 to a buyer in China. The guy actually tried to give me a hard time about some damage that we accidentally overlooked to one of them, so I simply told him he could pay the return shipping (about $100) and send them back if he had a problem and he quickly went away. Some eBayers can be a pain, but we try to handle every situation with patience and genuine consideration.
Everyone knows that Disneyana has been collectible almost since it's inception. While this "Vintage Disney Mickey Mouse Seiko Watch" was a nice piece, we weren't expecting $380! My consignor bought it on vacation nearly thirty years ago and never wore it. As you can see by the $175 tag, he basically doubled his money!
Most people are familiar with the collectible nature of Goebel Hummel figurines. This Land in Sight piece was actually from 1992, so being a fairly newer trademark, I was actually surprised to see it go for $605! Personally, I think these things are creepy - right up there with clowns and baby dolls.
Again, artwork can be the best and the worst items to sell. We actually sold this 36" tall Sandra Koop Marlin Statue in our store to a local buyer as some things are just too much of a pain to sell on eBay. In this instance, my consignor wasn't too happy with the sale price as this thing cost her about $5,000 from the artist. We really do the best we can with the items we're given - some hit and some miss.
High end sporting goods usually do well, like this gently used "Excalibur Phoenix Compound Crossbow Rifle" which sold for $432 - a little more than half of it's original retail price.