Condition – Packaging – Collecting 101

Boxes, Blister Cards, Tags, Packaging and Instructions all add to the value of a piece. Completeness is often a factor when buying a collectible. Original packaging can make all the difference to the price a collector is willing to pay!

PACKAGING

Different packaging adds different values to a piece. Bold graphic packaging with the Peanuts characters on it will add value, but a basic, brown box or clear, plastic bag for transportation will not. The packaging is an essential part to the value of the piece with some collectibles such as board games and puzzles. Any item that was meant to be kept in the original box or is a generic product that came in a Peanuts graphic box loses all or most of its value when the box is missing.

Collectibles with essential boxes. Snoopy’s harp, Hallmark Cards, View-master Reels, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Snoopy Soaper Refill, and Applause Woodstock Doll.

INSTRUCTIONS & CARDS

Many collectibles originally came with instructions, warranty cards, catalogs, or certificates of authenticity. Determining the value of these relates to how essential to the piece they are. Instructions add more value the more the piece needs them. If you don’t know to work the toy or play the game, some of the novelty of the item is lost. Instructions, warranty cards and catalogs that have Peanuts graphics will also add value. Certificates of authenticity can help add to the exclusivity of an item, especially if it’s a limited edition piece.

Collectibles with packaging condition issues. Snoopy Fire Alarm with missing cellophane and damaged box, View-master Theater with broken cover, Snoopy Phone with damaged box, Snoopy gum soother in packaging so bad that I’ve thrown it away, Snoopy weight-lifter with ear discolored by packaging, and Snoopy walker in slightly damaged blister pack.

CONDITION

Once you determine if the packaging adds value to the piece, it’s time to factor in the condition of the packaging.

Most packaging items tend to be made of paper, cardboard and glue, so they are vulnerable to the test of time. Discoloration, tearing, marking, taping, bending, mildew and moisture damage are generally unfixable problems. Unglued blister packs and some smells can sometimes be restored on packaging. Though it hasn’t affected the Peanuts market yet, there is a rise in reproduction packaging with the aid of high quality scanning and printing. Always thoroughly inspect your items when possible.

Cellophane, plastic film, and blister packs are also popular packaging materials. Over the years, it can dry out and become brittle to the touch. It can also easily get holes and tears. Watch out for items that have been repackaged with new plastic. Sometimes the repacking is just to make sure pieces stay together, but don’t mistake it for a brand new item.

Filler materials such as styrofoam, tissue paper, bubble wrap and foam are used to make sure delicate pieces get to their new home in one piece. They usually don’t add any value, but can keep your items safe during moving and storage.

Finally, make sure your packaging isn’t harming the value of your piece. 99% of the time, this won’t be a problem. Watch out for discoloration because of acid or dyes in cardboard and plastics. If you see problems, keep the items separate.

AVON PRODUCTS

It’s a rule with Avon collectors to only buy when the item has its original box. Avon collectibles lose a lot of their value without the box since their mass production and collectable factor over the years has made them plentiful. Don’t shy away from buying something mint condition without its box! Sometimes buying pieces separately is the key to having a great collectible. View Avon Collectibles…

HALLMARK ORNAMENTS

Another collectible that should generally be bought in its original box are Hallmark Ornaments. To Hallmark Ornament collectors, completeness is key. All original pieces, ornament, filler, instructions and cards, should be included. The box should also still have its original price tag. The price tag is a tear-off tab on the side of the box for easy gifting. Sometimes the smallest thing can mean a lot! View Hallmark Ornaments…

Can you find the two Hallmark ornaments without their price tags? The first one should be in the lower right of the window on the Snoopy & Woodstock tree ornament. The other is the bottom middle gold box on the right.

NEGOTIATION

The real value of this information is getting a fair price. If you don’t need an item with all the packaging, use that to your financial gain! If someone is asking mint-in-the-box prices for an item without a box, it’s a good talking point. Point out the instructions are missing, ask why there’s new wrapping, anything to get the price down! Dealers are generally not experts, so sharing your knowledge can help. Getting a good bargain is all about knowing what you’re buying.

TO SAVE OR NOT TO SAVE?

There are two schools of collectors: those who save the boxes, and those that don’t. Not everyone has the space to save everything and not all collectibles are displayable in their original packaging, but that’s why it adds value. You can also flatten the boxes and store them that way. If you’re not a box saver, you’re not a box saver. But for my sanity, please don’t throw away those vintage boxes! Just send them to me!

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One Response to “Condition – Packaging – Collecting 101”

  1. Houten Kisten | Houten Kratten |

    These are true lines, another collectible that should generally be bought in its original box are Hallmark Ornaments.

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