If you've kept an item in the family for decades,or have stumbled upon a few cans while remodeling your bathroom, here are a few guidelines that are helpful.
Simple laws of nature work against keeping stuff in mint condition.Temperature,humidity and light can make a valuable piece nearly worthless. But there are exceptions-old cases where XMas ornaments were stored,old cans used to store nails or walls insulated with cardboard signs are great examples of this.Its rare when someone had the foresight to put paper items in between the pages of a book,or a glass sign in a padded,humidity controlled box.If they did-great.Top condition usually commands a top price.Okay...condition is key.But even if your item is nearly perfect,we have to consider...
Beer collectors are numerous,but not nearly like stamp,coin or car collectors.Rare items have dropped in price as a result of collectors discovering caches or finds of items over the years.Coasters or labels can be found in stacks,and the porch or wall of a house may yield dozens of once rare cans.And since there are a limited group of people that want it,the price can drop proportionately.But if you have a near mint tin sign from an obscure,short lived brewery,you may be on your way to making a few bucks.But we also need to account for...
Here are some things to factor into people WANTING an item:
»Product-if there is a nice example of the can/bottle on it,chances are,its more desirable.
»Cross collectible-if there is a character,Native american,famous actress or something similar,you may have more than just beer collectors that want it.
»Popularity-if there is a big collector base or avid group within a region or brewery,it will increase the price. The more,the merrier!
If you sell to an antique store, they need to cover their overhead,utilities, advertising,etc,so don't expect top price.Figure about 30-50% off or so. They aren't in business to break even.But you'll get quick cash and save mailing it out.
Ebay has been a great tool for selling items,but many people forget about the labor that goes into selling an item. You'll need to find the proper title,description, category to list it in. Take good pictures and accurate measurements and then wonder of your description of "good" is the same as your buyers.You'll also need to pack,insure,and take the item to mail- then pay the fees on top of it. (But,for the work that goes into it,the internet is a great tool for finding beer stuff-hey,you're here,right?)
Anyone can claim they'll pay the "top" prices,but you'll need to figure out a price that YOU are comfortable with.Decades of experience,attending shows and networking with fellow collectors have given us a broad base of knowledge. But if we don't know about a certain item,the fun is in finding out. We don't just have beer signs on the shelves,they're also filled with brewery and price guides,monthly magazines and auction catalogs.We won't research your 1984 Spuds Mackenzie sign,but if you've reached a dead end in researching something,we are an email or phone call away. If its an upgrade,we haven't seen it,or its something we collect...you'll be offered a nice price.We're dependable,knowledgable and your item will reside in a loving home, next to a lot of other beer stuff to keep it happy.
After all, its beer advertising.And whether its OLD or COLD...beer is good.Items will continue to surface,and guys like us will continue to pursue,preserve,display and share the stuff (and stories) that make this a fun hobby.We can't take it with us, we are simply preserving it for the next generation.