What’s the best way to get the most accurate value for your collectibles?

One of the biggest challenges of the hobby is getting top dollar for your collectibles.

If you rediscover a sports card collection in your house (or perhaps your parents’ house), the first question you are likely to ask is, “what are these cards worth?” Maybe you’ve already spent hours cross-checking prices from large marketplaces to niche forums, and then recording what you find by hand. Either way, you’re not alone—millions of people have potentially valuable items, but only limited resources and tools to help them access their full value. 

Below are a few best practices and shortcuts to simplify this process. 

1. Research in online marketplaces

Visit online secondhand marketplaces such as eBay, StockX, or Craigslist, specialty collectors’ forums devoted to your item’s category, and pricing databases. Compare the estimates and note any common price ranges for items with similar specs across platforms. If your item doesn’t appear to be worth much, your search may end here. Fortunately, MAGPIE aggregates these prices for you so you can skip this research. 

2. Check out online valuations or price guides

Looking for a second opinion? Some websites, such as WorthPoint, Pearl Antiques, and Value My Stuff offer professional appraisals based on your uploaded photos and descriptions. These are much more affordable at around $10-$30, but are NOT official authentications. If you prefer print, many collectibles have detailed guidebooks or almanacs. 

3. Complete a professional appraisal 

Professional appraisers are nationally certified experts who provide official insurance estimates, market-price valuations, or informal verbal approximations of a collection’s value online or in-person for a fee. Post-appraisal written reports will always include a complete item description, its current value, and how the appraiser arrived at his or her estimate. If you’re unsure of where to go, auction houses and some antiques stores have appraisers on staff, and estate attorneys or bank managers may point you to trusted individuals in their networks. 

To save yourself time, money and most of the above steps, use MAGPIE instead! Pricing aggregation is in beta now, and specialty appraisal resources are currently in development. 

Source: Consumer Reports with additional thanks to Howard Epstein, Shawn Chalk and many other MAGPIE collectors

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