Pricing Your Collectible – Collecting 101

When it comes to finding new homes for your collectibles, the trickiest hurdle is always how much to sell your item for. Pricing a Peanuts collectible is an art, not a science. The value of collectibles is in a constant flux depending on lots of factors. What’s hot today may be in the bargain bin tomorrow. While most Peanuts items hold their value, it can be tricky to know where the market is at for certain items. Let’s go over some of the key areas to consider & research when pricing your collectible.

THE REALITY

You’re here because you need to make some money and/or clear out space. If this is your first time, it’s not going to be easy. First, evaluate how quickly you need to make your sale. Time is money. The more of it you have, the longer you can wait for the perfect buyer to maximize your profit. However, if you need a quick turn-around then you may have to sacrifice profit.

HIRE AN APPRAISER

If you have one-of-a-kind pieces, such as original, signed artwork by Schulz, then hire a certified appraiser. Information on hiring a certified appraiser can be found on appraisers.org, isa-appraisers.org or appraisersassoc.org. For mass-produced pieces, you would be better off just doing the research on your own or you can hire me.

THE VALUE OF YOUR PIECE

Your job as a seller is to give your item a critical look from your buyer’s perspective. What are they going to see that will turn them off? What will draw them to a piece? Pricing your item will be a balancing act between the pluses and minuses. Condition, subject matter and desirability are all key factors in how much a buyer is willing to spend. Read more on this topic: Collecting 101 – What makes an item valuable?

THE AGE OF YOUR PIECE

Factor in the age of your piece when pricing an item. Most collectors try to buy pieces they want when the piece is initially offered for sale. In this way, the collector can be selective and choose the best of the batch. If they didn’t buy it, then they probably didn’t think it was worth the original retail price. Items produced in the last 10 years or so may not be worth their original retail value, even in complete, like-new condition. Between re-sellers, overstock, re-issuing and regular second-hand market traffic, collectors are looking for bargains on newer items. This may not affect items that were scarce or limited quantity when they were first produced.

Just a few of the Peanuts-specific guidebooks available.

GUIDE BOOKS

Guide books are a good baseline and reference point for pricing your pre-1995 collectibles. Photos, descriptions and prices are sampled for thousands of common to rare Peanuts items by expert collectors. Though most of the Peanuts specialist guide books are over 10 years old, some of their pricing guidelines still hold true. Since they were written before the internet went mainstream, some of the influences of the online marketplace are not accounted for in the evaluations.

THE MARKET

Buyers and their wallets make up the Market. The more buyers, the better your chances are of getting a good price. Depending on the market, you may need to tailor your price and pitch to suit your potential customers. There are many types of buyers: the hard-core collector, the enthusiast collector, the cross-collector, the specific interest and the people pleaser.

Hard-Core Collector – they know the market well and have seen a lot. If the price is right, they may buy to resell or replace a piece in their collection.
What they want – Showpiece quality, complete pieces, rare items
What they’re paying – top dollar for rare items, reasonable prices for common pieces
Why they’re not buying – Prices too high, condition not collectible

Enthusiast Collector – they enjoy collecting their favorite characters, but don’t make a habit of it. Buying pieces is about things they really like and not completing sets.
What they want – Good quality or higher, complete pieces
What they’re paying – Reasonable prices
Why they’re not buying – Prices too high, not highly desirable

Cross-Collector – they don’t collect Peanuts items, but the collectible may fall into more than one collecting group. For instance, a Hallmark collector might be willing to pay more (or less) for an ornament than a Peanuts collector. Researching other markets might help in finding the right buyer.
What they want – Showpiece quality, complete pieces
What they’re paying – Reasonable prices
Why they’re not buying – Prices too high, condition not collectible

Specific Interest – they have a specific piece in mind because it reminds them of their childhood or corresponds to their current hobbies. They don’t know the market, but they know what they want.
What they want – their old toy they lost
What they’re paying – Top dollar dependent on desirability
Why they’re not buying – Condition, Price (Not everybody has lots of money to buy back their childhood)

People Pleaser – they’re just looking for the right gift or decoration, not for collecting value.
What they want – New looking items
What they’re paying – Reasonably priced, not too much more than buying a new item
Why they’re not buying – Condition not worth the Price

Currently, the market is flat. There are a lot of new Peanuts items available and collectors are dwindling. Luckily, enthusiasm for Peanuts is still high and buyers are still looking for great Peanuts items at reasonable prices. Since the economy is in a decline, collectors may be saving their pennies for that big find or favorite piece. Also, more collectibles are available for sale from sellers looking to relieve their financial burden.

Building a nest egg takes time. Be patient!

CURRENT MARKET VALUE

The market value is what collectors are actually spending on collectibles. This is completely different from asking prices. Asking prices can sometimes skew our view of how much collectibles are worth. Many items on sites such as eBay are listed far above their current market rate. These sellers are going for that big sale and don’t mind waiting for it.

However, if you need the sale to be quick, then take a look at what similar items are selling for. Online resources such as Worthpoint.com can help you quickly see how much items sold for at auction. If you have the time, keep an eye on similar auction listings to get a feel for the market.

SCHULZ’S PASSING

A lot of people think that because Charles Schulz is no longer with us, Peanuts collectibles in general have increased in value. In fact, this may have brought new collectibles to the marketplace because of perceived value. This only affects the price of genuine original drawings or signed pieces. If you have an original, I would recommend consulting a certified appraiser.

Keep your customers happy and they’ll keep coming back for more.

THE FINAL PRICE

You’ve done your research and now it’s time to decide on a price. By considering these factors in the beginning, you can be prepared to make a sale if a buyer offers you less.

1. How quickly do I need to sell the item? The lower the price, the quicker the item will sell.
2. How much do I need to make from the item? If you need to recoup your original investment, this can take time.
3. What are my top and bottom prices? When selling, sometimes it’s best to be optimistic about the value of an item then drop the price if the item isn’t drawing any interest.
4. What other factors contribute to the final price of the item? Shipping, handling, insurance and payment fees should be factored into how much you can get for an item. To a buyer, a $5 item might be a bargain, but add in $10 shipping and suddenly the item is overpriced. Make sure you and your customer are aware of any additional fees up front.
5. Who do I want to own this next? If you have an emotional attachment to something, consider who you’re selling it to. If it’s not about the money, then find your collectible a good home.

THE SALE

Be flexible. Be realistic. We collect because we enjoy it. Make sure the new owner enjoys it too!

Did you find this article helpful? Show your appreciation by making a purchase through our Peanuts Shop, through our Peanuts on the Internet Shop or by making a donation. Thank you for your appreciation and support!

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2 Responses to “Pricing Your Collectible – Collecting 101”

  1. chantelle hogan |

    i came across totes and totes of snoopy and peanut gang memorabilla. was going to sell them in my yard sale and a friend told me to check into selling them to a collector. any suggestions?

  2. Caren Pilgrim |

    Hi Chantelle!

    If you send photos to info@collectpeanuts.com we can help advise you. Thanks!

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Comments are closed.

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