Best way to appraise and sell a vintage lunchbox?
April 5, 2011 9:33 AM   Subscribe

Where/how to sell a vintage lunchbox (besides eBay)?

I have one of these lunchboxes, a little worse for the wear than this specimen, with the thermos (with an vintage stock replacement glass tube). I'd like to sell it, but I'm not an eBay seller, nor am I sure how to fairly value the thing. How do I go about selling this?
posted by liketitanic to Shopping (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's not hard to become an eBay seller. If you already have an eBay account, it's a piece of cake. Have you ever bought anything on eBay?

I just did a completed items search and several of those 1968 Yellow Submarine lunchboxes have sold in the last few weeks. It looks as if they're worth about $130-$140 by themselves, or $200-$225 with the thermos. The one you linked to is just somebody's Hail Mary pass; they won't ever actually sell it for that price.
posted by jon1270 at 9:52 AM on April 5, 2011

You could sell it on Etsy, as well, as it's well over 20 years old.
posted by noxetlux at 10:03 AM on April 5, 2011

Where would you go to buy one? Go there and see if they will buy it from you.

In my city, there are a few antique stores that specialize in 60's and 70's "groovy" stuff. There are also some areas that people walk in (as opposed to drive) which have eclectic shops and museums containing kitschy oddball stuff. Or stores that cater to babyboomers trying to recapture their youth - there are a lot of stores which have a rack of vintage candy.

I would expect to find something like your lunchbox in these types of stores.
posted by CathyG at 10:08 AM on April 5, 2011

Or if there is a store that still sells vinyl records in your area, they might be interested.

For appraisal, just googling around you can find various sites selling that same lunchbox. Prices look like they are in the neighborhood from 150 (this is an early auction price so is likely going to be higher) up to 550ish.
posted by CathyG at 10:11 AM on April 5, 2011

Hakes is an auction site for Americana stuff like this. They have a page on lunch boxes. It looks like they accept consignments so check it out.
posted by Kangaroo at 10:38 AM on April 5, 2011

Unless it was in mint mint mint condition, your best bet is eBay. (And even if it was in mint condition, eBay is still the place for this stuff.)

Some store in Bum-funk, Anywhere will buy it for half of what is worth and then sell it for 2-3x the price (or just flip it on eBay themselves).

On eBay, you have the attention of everyone. People who collect this stuff, probably have searches going that automatically notify them every day of new items.

eBay words of advice:

1. Make the auction end at 7:10pm PST (this way the west coast and east coast can both bid on it when they are out of work).

2. List it for a penny. No, you aren't selling it for a penny, but you want to interest people. If it is worth 200 and you ask 200 you will not sell it. If you list it for a penny, you will get a boat load of people watching it and it may end up exceeding 200. (If you are worried about selling it too low, put a reserve price on there, but I don't recommend this since you may scare buyers away, just like the high starting price).

3. Take great photos, around 4-6 and write a description that talks about the imperfections.

4. Wait and collect your money (which you will be doing through Paypal, so you better sign up for an account there too).

If this seems hard for you, just realize that you will get about 10-30% of the real value you if you don't take the time to do this. Places willing to buy this from you will pay you bottom dollar and then (most likely) list it on ebay themselves. Plus, knowing how to use ebay is a skill worth knowing.
posted by darkgroove at 10:55 AM on April 5, 2011

Are you against selling it on eBay, or against selling it yourself on eBay? If you don't want to list it yourself, there are eBay consignment folks around who will do it for you.
posted by Marky at 10:57 AM on April 5, 2011

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