FAQ #2: How much is my card worth?
We open the morning e-mails and from time to time we see versions of this: “I got this old card of (ABC) from my grandmother and would like to know what it’s worth.”
Wouldn’t we all like to know that? We bite our tongue and always answer as politely as we can, but, folks, here are the answers we would like to give you. They are in random order, and each one is as good or bad as any other:
1. How do I know? I haven’t seen it.
2. Whatever someone is willing to pay for it. (This falls into our ongoing “blue beach umbrella” example. A card of a blue beach umbrella probably has no value to someone who doesn’t like beaches, or umbrellas, but if that’s the focus of someone’s collection, they will buy it.)
3. Look it up in a search engine. Very few postcards are unique, and if you try hard enough you will find that card for sale somewhere. But don’t abandon your common sense: used? mint? stamp is there or not? postmark there? readable? You get the idea.
4. Get your card included in an auction. eBay is good for this. There are so many.
We are still waiting to run across a Borneo card with stamps and postmark from about 1880 showing someone wearing a pith helmet about to be boiled in a large pot, and the message saying “This was Uncle Albert but we got there too late.” If you have one of those, ask us how much it’s worth, and we’ll make you an offer.
Until next time …
This post has One Comment
An interesting entry. You may not find a postcard of a missionary in a pot (I am sure there must be one out there) but I remember seeing a photo of European gentlemen spending a pleasant afternoon watching the execution of pirates in HK (not a recent photo). There must have been nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon. It was before cable tv. Value is what you will pay for it. I knew an established artist who had a friend who was appalled by his asking price for a painting. He pointed out that the canvas and paint didn’t cost that much and it only took him a few hours to do the work. Obviously he was not that interested in art but he might have been willing to pay a couple thousand for a bottle of vintage wine. And there are old sports cards that sell for hundreds of thousands. Somewhere out there is a person desperate to find that photo of an umbrella–if it is the right colour. I hope you find each other.
~Goloh replies: Thanks for this. Nicely put. Now that this website has amassed a larger number of cards, we hope there’s something for almost everyone. We will be spending some time in 2015 to try to increase the site’s visibility. And if a cooking pot card turns up, we will definitely highlight it … but it’s going to be damned expensive.
Comments are closed.