Know this in case you are attempting to promote previous toys: Classic toy shops might pay as much as $700 for Hasbro’s uncommon 1967 GI Joe feminine nurse. They might love to purchase a retired Star Wars Imperial Star Destroyer LEGO set for $600 or extra. The Fisher Value blue A-frame home may fetch $50.
However they aren’t enthusiastic about your bag of stuffed animals.
“Folks are available on a regular basis with plush toys. I don’t wish to danger getting mattress bugs. I at all times go on that except it’s a Care Bear from somebody I do know,” stated Jason Williams, who owns Huge Enjoyable Classic toy retailer in Columbus, Ohio.
The marketplace for previous toys has grown in the course of the pandemic due to pent-up demand from collectors and younger mother and father who’re nostalgic for an easier time. Many classic toy shops are open in particular person once more and keen to purchase and promote.
“I believe the pandemic has introduced out a whole lot of leisure collectors,” Williams stated. “A whole lot of these toy strains that won’t have offered as effectively earlier than like Polly Pockets or Mighty Max now promote fairly effectively.”
Right here’s what you must know to get high greenback to your classic toys, whether or not you’re promoting to specialty toy shops or in on-line auctions.
Find out how to Decide the Worth of Collectible Toys
Williams reels off values of classic toys as simply as Wall Avenue merchants quote inventory costs. However values differ extensively primarily based on provide, demand, the quantity manufactured initially and the situation of the toys.
In case you are considering of promoting classic toys, analysis the latest promoting costs on-line and pay shut consideration to what’s offered, not the asking costs of unsold classic gadgets.
“I have a look at offered listings on eBay and attempt to discover a median worth,” Williams stated. “If one thing sells for $100 as soon as, and a dozen occasions it offered for $50 and it additionally offered for $10, I’ll worth it at $40 or $50.”
Williams then pays a vendor 50 % to 70 % of the worth he’ll placed on the toy, relying on the rarity.
Skilled Value determinations and Grading
In case you have a toy, particularly an motion determine, that’s in its unique packaging and appears to be promoting for $200 or extra on eBay, it could be value having it graded professionally. If it has an out of doors appraisal, you may get extra for it and also you’ll know if somebody is attempting to make a lowball supply.
Many corporations grade collectibles, and costs vary primarily based on the dimensions and the way lengthy you’re keen to attend. The Motion Determine Authority, for instance, prices $32 to grade a regular sized determine inside 60 to 80 days, or $55 to grade it inside per week. Normally it’s important to mail the merchandise to the grader and so they return it.
If you’ll find a grader or appraiser at a toy conference or native public sale home, that’s a quicker and cheaper route.
Toys from the Nineteen Sixties and earlier may also be extremely valued even when they aren’t of their unique containers and may be value getting professionally graded.
The provision a vendor has at any given time, which is solely situational, additionally impacts a suggestion to a vendor.
“If I’ve 30 of 1 determine, I’m going to cost it decrease and I’m going to pay much less,” Williams stated.
High quality Counts
A toy within the unique field is value extra, after all. If that unique packaging remains to be wrapped in clear plastic, it’ll convey high greenback.
It’s often the skilled collectors who maintain toys in mint situation. However in case you are attempting to promote your classic toys that youngsters performed with for years, there are nonetheless loads of potential patrons.
Contemplate the classic Fisher Value Little Folks units that have been manufactured within the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies.
The blue A-frame is without doubt one of the harder-to-find units. Williams would promote it for round $100 and pay a vendor $50. If it’s lacking a number of items, he’d pay nearer to a 3rd of his asking worth. If it’s lacking greater than just some items he’d pay round $25.
Simply as vintage record stores may buy a scratched album as a result of the duvet is in good situation and so they know the identical album will come alongside unscratched, classic toy shops purchase incomplete and even damaged toys to finish beforehand bought units.
“We purchase issues on a regular basis to cannibalize the items to go together with different units,” Williams stated.
So How A lot Can You Get For Outdated Toys?
Right here’s a sampling of what some previous favorites promote for.
My Little Pony
Big Fun has a glass case full of My Little Ponies in every shade of plastic selling for $10 to $75. Expect to sell yours for about half. The male ponies are worth the most.
“They did males that came with shoes and hats. There was a construction worker pony,” Williams said. Male ponies didn’t sell as well as the female ponies so fewer were manufactured, thus making them more rare.
A first generation, used Mountain Boy pony just sold for $549 on eBay. First generation females Stardazzle recently sold for $27 on eBay while Bangles went for $20 and Flutterbye went bye-bye for $12.50.
GI Joe Figures
Williams recently paid $20 for a 1993 GI Joe. “He didn’t have any of the weapons,” Williams said. “If he’d had those (the owner) would have gotten an extra $10 or $15 out of me.”
On eBay, a used 2008 GI Joe recently sold for $15 and a 1964 GI Joe with uniform and boots went for $165.
Hasbro began manufacturing the Marvel Legends figures based on Marvel Comics in the early 2000s.
“The demand for those is healthy. People bring them in all the time,” Williams said. “A figure may sell for $8 if nobody cares about it anymore or they can go for a couple hundred dollars.”
A new She Hulk action figure from the Fin Fang Foom series recently sold for $170 on eBay. A used 6-inch Epic Heroes Iron Man went for $18.
Retired LEGO sets are worth the most, and anything related to Star Wars or Harry Potter is in demand, Williams said.
A Diagon Alley set that was opened with a worn box just sold for $70 on eBay, but the same set in a sealed box went for $510.
As for Star Wars LEGOS, a used Rogue Shadow retired Force Unleashed set sold for $149 while a used Resistance Bomber went for $110.
“Polly Pocket has gone up in popularity quite a bit over the last year and a half,” Williams said, again nodding to parents becoming more nostalgic during the pandemic.
A used 1993 Polly Pocket Fairy Light Wonderland just went for $58 on eBay while a 1992 Sky Princess Ring Doll sold for $24 and a Glitter Wedding Locket with all the pieces went for $85.
Hasbro’s and Takara’s Transformers made between 1984 and 1990 are known as Generation One. Those are the ones that interest toy buyers are the most. Black Zarak, Fortress Maximus, and some Diaclones pieces are the most popular, Williams said.
A used Cybertron Dark Scorponok from the Black Zarak series recently sold for $60 on eBay while a used Fortress Maximus Headmaster from 1987 went for $288.
Rumors have circulated for years that the rarest Beanie Babies sell for tens of thousands of dollars. But seller beware: More than 1,000 of the purple Princess Diana bears are listed on eBay for $3.95 to more than $10,000. Some are knockoffs for sure, while other prices are based more on wishful thinking than comparable sales.
The Internet is full of lists of the most valued Beanie Babies, and they vary greatly as well. Some consistent comments say the bears with emblems embroidered on them or a wording error on their white tag will get the best price. They are supposedly worth half as much without the heart-shaped Ty tag.
If you want to find a value and perhaps a potential buyer, it’s a good idea to join one of the many Beanie Baby groups on Facebook.
Fisher Price Little People Sets
There’s a Fisher Price schoolhouse from 1971 in Big Fun’s store window is a hook for bringing potential buyers into the shop.
“Fisher Price is one of those iconic things that grabs people’s attention,” Williams said. It’s not in as much demand as action figures or retired LEGO sets, but so many people connect with those sets that were fixtures in playrooms for generations.
They are also gender neutral, so they appeal to a wider audience.
A Fisher Price A-frame play set with all the pieces recently sold for $114 on eBay. Twelve little wooden people and five plastic chairs from the early 1970s went for $16.50 while the pink dragon from the castle sold for $50.
The Sesame Street sets appeal to a specific but wide audience: Those who are nostalgic for Fisher Price and are fans of Kermit, Oscar and Big Bird. The Fisher Price Sesame Street town with characters and furniture recently sold for $250 on eBay while a single lamppost with the Sesame Street sign went for $12.50.
Selling Vintage Toys to a Toy Store
Vintage toy stores are a great go-to for both professional and recreational collectors.
Toy store owners pay on the spot, which is an advantage over waiting for items to sell in an online auction. Also, if you can drive to the store, there are no shipping costs involved when you sell.
Williams’ calendar is filled with “clean outs,” which means he’s going to a house with a lot of old toys hidden in the attic or basement. Some homeowners bring in an estate sale manager or auction house, but Williams goes in to appraise and buy the old toys first.
There are vintage toy stores in every state. In case you look on their web sites, most say they’re at all times prepared to purchase and promote. Name forward, after all, to verify they’re shopping for what it’s important to promote. Some classic toy shops primarily purchase comics, whereas some comedian shops additionally purchase toys.
Promoting By means of an Public sale Home
In case you have only one or two gadgets, eBay or a toy retailer are a very good wager, advises Blake Kennedy, auctioneer, appraiser and co-owner of Kennedy Brothers Auctions in St. Petersburg, Florida. However you probably have a set, an internet or in-person public sale run by an public sale firm might herald more cash, he stated.
Nationwide, public sale corporations typically take a ten% to 35% fee, although they could cost a flat price or negotiate a smaller fee on a really costly merchandise.
6 Ideas for Promoting Classic Toys On-line
Many individuals will mechanically head to eBay to unload their childhood toys. Right here’s methods to create an efficient itemizing.
1. Be Clear.
Describe any defects or lacking items. This protects a whole lot of time and bother if the acquisition is disputed later.
2. Publish Good Images.
Have at least five well-lit photos of the merchandise from each angle and embrace any tags or producer markings to get the most effective worth.
3. Be Detailed.
Embody as many particulars, that are additionally key phrases, in your product description such because the producer and 12 months it got here out.
4. Be Clear.
Have a look at the product descriptions for different offered merchandise in comparable classes on-line to get their key phrases.
5. Be Responsive.
Take note of direct emails or messages on the net platform so you’ll be able to shortly reply any questions from potential patrons.
6. Be Immediate.
When the merchandise sells, mail it promptly and punctiliously so you’re going to get a very good on-line assessment.
Katherine Snow Smith is a senior author for The Penny Hoarder.