If you follow that trend, you will also know which collectibles are sought after the most. In the 80's and 90's it was the early items of the 50's, and 60's, today it's the toys (or other items) of the children of the 80's and 90's. As with any collectible, at whatever time period it's being sold, an item is only worth what a person is willing to pay. In my 24 years of dealing with antiques and collectibles, I have found it is the collector that tends to pay the most. Depending on if buying or selling, the higher you go in the chart above, you will see where you will receive the most when you sell. The lower you go in the chart you will see where the best prices are to buy.
As I have bought many general items from live local auctions, and sold them at yard sales (and made money), I placed live auctions in the same category. I placed flea markets even with the online market, because eBay (and other online auction sites), craigslist, and facebook prices for antiques and collectibles tend to be about the same, less the hassle and shipping. However when it came antiques and collectibles, I have found bargains in yard sales, live auctions, storage lockers, as a picker, and at flea markets. I have sold and made a profit on the same items, selling to antique shops, specialty shops, specialty auctions, and have always made the most selling directly to the collectors. A specialty shop generally specializes in one or two categories of older collectibles. Such as a retro toy or sport shop. Because of their specialty, they buy from all over, and resell in a store or trade show (sometimes in a museum) . The specialty auction may have only 2 or 3 auctions a year, pertaining to a certain collectible. They often have thousands of interested world wide collectors, sometimes charging to be on the list or to receive a catalog. But in the end it's the serious collector that makes the final purchase, paying the most for that which they collect. I like dealing directly with the collector, the transaction goes smoother, quicker and if they collect it today, they will be collecting three, five and ten years from now.
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