FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Isn't eBay the same thing?
No, eBay is an auction site with less than two weeks of historical data of items that have sold (images typically only appear for 90 days and can be removed after an item is sold). More
In fact, eBay charges an additional fee for those 'members' that want historical data ($2.99 for a single item search of 60 days of historical data; $9.99/month for unlimited item searches of 60 days of historical data; $24.99 for unlimited items searches of 90 days of historical data). Price It! Antiques & Collectibles is an aggregating tool that provides over 10,000 eBay category historical records going back to October of 2006, in addition to pricing records from several antique dealer sites (WorthPoint Corporation & TIAS.com.com) and more than 50 antique auction houses (added in August 2006). More than 2 million new records are added every month to keep the data current. Patrons attempting to accomplish the same thing with eBay and these other sites would have to compile their own records on an item by item basis.
We offer our patrons plenty of books on collectibles. Why isn't this good enough?
There are certainly plenty of books available, but in today's fast moving world, items that were seemingly worthless yesterday could be worth a significant amount of money today. More
Not to mention that with more than 41 million prices, Price It! Antiques & Collectibles is far more extensive than a book. The problem with books is, by the time the author does all the research and gets it published (which usually takes a year) the information is out of date. The collectibles market is very volatile, especially new collectibles. Any kid's toys can be hot one minute and not worth a dime the next. Examples are Cabbage Patch dolls, Beanie Babies and Tickle Me Elmo.
With older collectibles, someone like Martha Stewart could decide to use some type of cookie jar on her show and mention something about it and then all her followers would start seeking them out, thereby causing the old supply and demand rule to go into place. That is why it is so important to have an online resource of information where you can see the sales date and look to see if the price is increasing or decreasing over time.
If 25% of the records have no images, aren't 25% of the records unusable?
Not at all. There are several categories that rarely show pictures of items. More
Silver flatware is a good example. People who collect flatware patterns will always know the maker and pattern and will rarely even look at photos. The same is true for different glass patterns such as depression glass, milk glass and/or carnival glass.
If you've ever seen an auction catalog of items coming up for auction, less than 60% of the items are photographed for the catalog. That's why it's so important to have a large number of items in the online resource. This allows representative pieces to let people identify their item and then they can use even the records without photos to see the history of the price pattern. Is it something that is continually going up in value or has the price fluctuated over the years?
Some of the records are 'mixed lots', meaning a record may have multiple items in them. How can this be of value?
There are some records that have several different items in them, for example, a collection of different beanie babies in one lot. More
It is not uncommon for people to sell collectible items in lots, especially if they were very popular at one time and are no longer as desirable now.
How can I tell if the pricing comparisons I am looking at are for items that are in the same condition as the item I am looking to appraise?
Certain categories such as collectibles have different ways of describing conditions such as MIB (Mint in Box) or coins have different grades, for example. More
Our items say the item is great condition or good condition and describes any flaws in the piece, if there are any. Many of the dealers whose items are shown also provide additional pictures of the flaws to show the buyer where there is a problem.
I do not trust eBay as a data source for pricing.
This is a personal preference, so if you do not want to include items sold at eBay in your price appraisals, simply exclude them from the search filter in your basic search. More
However, do not overlook eBay as an alternative source of information. There are a number of antique dealers that sell regularly through eBay's site as well as the professional antique sites. You may also find a wider array of collectibles on eBay versus other sites, as our online resource includes more than 10,000 eBay categories.
Your online resource includes unsold items in it. If they didn't sell the item why should I consider this in valuing my own items worth?
You can easily exclude unsold items by clicking on a filter box on the basic search page. More
But most will find value in using this information to set the price so its competitive with what else is on the market. In the antiques & collectibles market it is well known that most sellers set their prices higher in order to provide room for negotiation of the final price. This is valuable information that a seller would want to know, in order to accurately price their item.
Why doesn't the online resource list the dealer or person who sold the item?
The online resource does provide the data source — eBay, WorthPoint Corporation, TIAS.com, or the auction house.
Why do I get so many irrelevant matches when doing a keyword search?
A keyword search searches all the words in the record across all the categories. More
You will get a list on the left hand side of the search results page that breaks the results down by category along with the number of matches in each category. You can then click on the category to narrow the results to that specific category. You can also add additional keywords to narrow your search even more. The search engine also works well with Boolean commands to broaden or narrow searches.