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Starting a Collection the Right Way

Expert appraiser Elyse Luray points out some things to consider when assessing the potential value of a yard-sale purchase.

  • Condition is one of the most important things to consider when collecting. What condition is the item in? Are any pieces missing?


  • Look for rarity. Rarer pieces are more valuable.


  • Is there a club or a book devoted to this item? If so, it may already be collectible, or chances are it soon will be. Beware of price guides as the values are always changing.


  • How long ago were these items made? Something that is not yet that old may still be very affordable, with great potential to increase in value.


  • Beware of limited editions. They often do not increase in value. It's better to collect one-of-a-kind pieces.


  • Look for comparables: Are there others on the market? If so, how are they priced?

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