Where Can I Sell My Vintage Toys?

Updated on January 2, 2017
You may be surprised at the value of some of the old toys hidden away in your attic. Taking the time to research a toy can prevent you from selling it at too low a price.
You may be surprised at the value of some of the old toys hidden away in your attic. Taking the time to research a toy can prevent you from selling it at too low a price. | Source

Hobby: Restoration

If you are looking for a challenging but rewarding hobby, try restoring some of your old favorite diecast toys. Or, go to local thrift stores and but some solid, but used-looking models to dismantle and revive.

You've decided to clean house and depart with some of your childhood toys -- but how do you know what they are worth and where can you sell them? Coming up with hard numbers as far as value can be difficult at times, but here are a few solid method to use.

What Are My Toys Worth?

Once you have decided to sell the next obvious step is to determine their value. Here are four ways to do it:

1. Online Research

Probably the most popular way to determine a vintage toy's value -- and for the most part a fairly credible way -- is seeing what the item sold for on an online auction site. You can go to a site like eBay and do a search for sold listings of the vintage toy and sort the results to get a range of values for the item. You can also compare prices from the online auction sites to online stores like Amazon or Etsy to get a more complete picture of the item's selling price.

There are certain variables, though, to consider with this approach. Prices can vary widely based on condition and even the time of year that the item sold. However, if you use this approach, expect your item to sell for at least the mid-range price (for a toy in the same condition).

Your toy's condition has a huge impact on its value. You will always get a higher price for mint in box or unused toys. If you are selling online, save yourself a lot of problems by being completely accurate with the item's condition (and supplying ample photos). Photos let the consumer decide if they agree with your accessment of the toy's condition.

2. Guides and Books

This is an excellent way to get a more accurate value, but since it takes time to get a book published the listed values can shift even as the book hits the shelf. However, most of the guides are written by experts or at the very least enthusiasts so the books and the values they state are generally well-researched, based on multiple markets, and to a degree take into account the lead time required in book publishing.

3. Antique Roadshow-Type Venues

If you have watched the Antique Roadshow, you quickly realize they utilize expert appraisers to place a value on any item. Because of this approach, the values tend to be more accurate since the appraisers are experts in a particular field. The only thing to be careful of is when attending any show -- is make sure it is legitimate. Some 'shows' are simply businesses attempting to exploit an unknowing public.

4. Appraiser

This is the best way to determine the value of a toy. But, if the toy is worth less than $100 (based on auction searches) -- then the appraisal fee may cut too deeply into your profit. However, if you have a large collection, it may be money well spent especially since you may have a hidden gem that only an expert appraiser could uncover.

Country's largest yard sales

For a list of 10 of the most significant and largest yard sales in the United States check out this list from About.com.

Where Can I Sell My Vintage Toys?

1. Online Auctions or Online Stores

Again the first choice for many is to list the toy on eBay or some other auction site and see what the item brings. If you want quick cash, it is the simplest way to go, but double check the fees associated with the auction site because they are not all created equally. For example, eBay charges you a percentage based on selling price and that percentage is even charged to actual shipping price, meaning, in essence, you are supplementing the postage cost. Online stores like Amazon and others tend to set a fixed fee -- and give your a shipping credit -- so you know immediately what you will be charged and what you will receive if the item sells for the listed price.

2. Local Retailers

A source that is too often overlooked is local 'mom and pop' retailers. Although you most likely will receive wholesale value for an item -- since the establishment will be reselling it -- you can get your money quicker this way. Most regions have at least one strong vintage toy store -- I know there are several within 50 miles of where I live. Selling locally also has the added benefit of helping the local economy.

3. Yard Sales

Two of the most popular annual garage sales are the World's Longest Yard Sale which originally started in Jamestown, TN. The sale winds along U.S. 127 and now extends from Alabama to Michigan. I live near U.S. 127 and have seen multiple vintage toys for sale over the years -- and usually selling for retail prices. (I've never found any 'picking' type of garage sales during the event). Another significantly large garage sale follows the National Road (U.S. 40). Generally speaking even if you don't live near either U.S. route, you can rent a spot -- which may be worth your time if you have a significant amount of toys.

Lastly, you could set up a garage sale in your hometown, just try to time it to match any regional or city-wide sales that may be occurring. This way you are almost guaranteed to have motivated customers.

4. Hire an auctioneer.

Use this approach only if you have a large, unique and collectible variety of toys for sale. If you has this, a good auctioneer will get the message out about the sale beforehand and be able to generate top dollar for your items.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
1964 Tonka mini-grader. Tonka also released 'mini' toys in the early 2000s, but those are truly minis -- around 3-4 inches long. The 1964 version is almost a foot long.Monopoly is one of the most successful board games of all times. Parker Brothers tried unsuccessfully to build off the brand's popularity with this spin-off game.You will increase the value of your toys if you have the complete set.Box condition is always a huge consideration for used, vintage toys. Cracked corners are a common flaw.Don't overlooked any cool puzzle with stunning graphics -- especially those from a specific genre or time frame.
1964 Tonka mini-grader. Tonka also released 'mini' toys in the early 2000s, but those are truly minis -- around 3-4 inches long. The 1964 version is almost a foot long.
1964 Tonka mini-grader. Tonka also released 'mini' toys in the early 2000s, but those are truly minis -- around 3-4 inches long. The 1964 version is almost a foot long. | Source
Monopoly is one of the most successful board games of all times. Parker Brothers tried unsuccessfully to build off the brand's popularity with this spin-off game.
Monopoly is one of the most successful board games of all times. Parker Brothers tried unsuccessfully to build off the brand's popularity with this spin-off game. | Source
You will increase the value of your toys if you have the complete set.
You will increase the value of your toys if you have the complete set. | Source
Box condition is always a huge consideration for used, vintage toys. Cracked corners are a common flaw.
Box condition is always a huge consideration for used, vintage toys. Cracked corners are a common flaw. | Source
Don't overlooked any cool puzzle with stunning graphics -- especially those from a specific genre or time frame.
Don't overlooked any cool puzzle with stunning graphics -- especially those from a specific genre or time frame. | Source

Toys That Hold Value

As you start researching what toys you have and what they are worth, you will notice some patterns. First you will realize that anything mass produced as a 'collectible' probably has little to no value. And, since value is a somewhat subjective idea -- the toys that have value are subjective. But here are four broad categories that tend to retain value.

Diecast Farm Toys

There's just something about older quality diecast farm toys that seem to appeal to a large section of collectors. If fact, there are entire shows and magazines built around the genre. To get an idea of what farm toys hold the most value, view these sites:

  • National Farm Toy Museum: This site includes images of collector toys, but its most valuable asset may be information on annual vintage farm toy events and sales.
  • 3000Toys: This site is more about current diecast collectibles, but its prices provide a benchmark for what brands and types of vintage toys people collect.
  • RubyLane: This is an online store site that caters to vintage collectors. You can search by category and brand to narrow down types of toys.

Specific Board Games

This section is an interesting one because some relatively new games hold value almost as easily as older, vintage games. Common games that tend to hold value -- dependent on version are war and strategy games. To get a good understanding of which games have value view any on these 4 sites.

  • BoardGameGeek: This is an excellent site when you want to research a board game. It will list prices, give a description and tell you the various versions and years of a game.
  • RubyLane: This is also a good source for board game values.
  • PurplePawn: This site includes a list of the 20 most valuable vintage board games and includes a screen shot of their selling price. Interesting list.
  • Amazon: The site has quite a few price guides for board game, including Board Games (Schiffer Book for Collectors) by Desi Scarpone.

Toys That Represent an Era

Currently toys from the 80s are selling well. This is probably because as people age they want to recapture their childhood memories and a simple way to do that is buying the toys they owned. Most collectors though tend to want games that are in near perfect condition.

Iconic Toys

This is similar to era-based toys, but certain versions of Star Wars toys, Star Trek or even the 1972 Kenner Blythe dolls retain and even grow in value over time.

Where to Begin

Evaluate your desired outcome before you sell. Are you going to regret parting with a specific item? If so, hang onto it a little while longer. Is your goal to clean house and get a few bucks in the process? If so, find a reputable reseller. If you want to get a little more money, go with an online auction -- just make sure you understand the fees and obligations of the site.

However, if you want to interact with another collector looking for the toy you have to sell, then consider a garage sale or an auction.

A Few Highly Valuable Toys

Name of Toy
Year Created
Value
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Scratch the Cat Figure
1993
Mint in Package: $1,000
First-Generation Charizard Pokemon Card
1996
Mint: Around $700
Kenner Starting Lineup Utah Jazz Figures
1988
Mint: $200-$300 each
Sources: 10 childhood toys you should have kept (http://www.mandatory.com/2013/04/30/10-childhood-toys-you-shouldve-kept/), 33 Of Your Childhood Toys That Are Worth A Fortune Now (http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/childhood-toys-that-are-worth-a-fortune

Comments

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    • profile image

      marcel 

      8 days ago

      do you buy old lego sets

    • profile image

      Johnny 

      3 months ago

      i have the first teenage mutan ninja turtle set worth 500 dollars each

    • profile image

      Casey Strange 

      5 months ago

      I am trying to sell my pokemon battle link toys series 10 and 6 in mint condition never opened boxes. Also selling Tech Deck Dude Street Crew from 2008 in mint condition never opened boxes and a matchbox '63 Cadillac Hearse in mint condition never opened box. Call 504-235-2515.

    • profile image

      Tino Drummond 

      5 months ago

      I have the original muscle machines 1:18 scale for sale

    • profile image

      Angela Minson 

      5 months ago

      3 cars ,1 boat they are goo condition , they have no scratches dents in them I also have the keys to the ones that come with keys they also comes in the original box

    • profile image

      Charley 

      6 months ago

      Adam bomb...how much for your Star Wars figures?

    • profile image

      adam bomb 187 

      6 months ago

      hi i have been doing star wars toy from the start in 1977 to now i am selling off everything i have. i hate the new movies so i am done with star wars so if anyone is looking for star wars let me know. thanks

    • profile image

      Stacie80 

      6 months ago

      I have I believe a very old maybe hand carved spinner top toy.Its handle and top is all wood.How can I find our the value and age?

    • profile image

      Trudy 

      6 months ago

      I have an original 1964 g I Joe in original box never opened what is this worth

    • profile image

      Jeannette 

      7 months ago

      Hi I have a 1949 mercury coup James Dean toy Car still in the box never opened this is the same car he died in

    • profile image

      Keyana Simmons 

      8 months ago

      I have a green toy HESS truck the original version without the box but it’s in mint condition

    • profile image

      Lynn V 

      8 months ago

      I have an antique 1952 John Deere toy tractor.Mint condition.$1200 o.b.o.

      Patrifryed70@gmail.com

      If interested contact me and I will show pics

    • profile image

      Eniad 

      8 months ago

      I have a MASH 4077 boxed play set with all pieces including a pristine mat. Would like to sell it but don't know how - saw an article on the Toy Box Vintage about it but can't figure out a way to contact anyone there and don't want to start a 'blog'. Help?

    • profile image

      BobbyTorres 

      8 months ago

      I have beanie babies rare ones still in the cards and bags, also Barbie's still in the package from the 2000 series, and then I have the very rare maple Bear in the cards, and then I have 53 car's 2 diecast car's still in the packages and then car's open and loose... I would really appreciate it very much if someone who cares and loves to get them please contact me as soon as possible,we just found out that my mother has cancer and we can really use some help.. sincerely Bobby T.

    • profile image

      lorene Gerrity 

      9 months ago

      I have a full set..still in original packaging world war 1/2 steel/diecast planes a of the time.

      Prob 70..+ years old.

      17 in set.

      American..and Japanese planes..

      No jets of this time period.

      Looked up.each worth 10 $ +?

      If interested ..lorenegerrity@gmail.com

      I will send pictures.

      Much like in size of matchbox cars.

      Metal.

    • profile image

      Karyn 

      10 months ago

      I have alot of vintage toys. Weebles, weebles haunted house ,weeble people n playsets. Also have very rare beanie babies. Ku ku with tag errors, seaweed , stretch. A fisher price woodsey house with all accessories n the and the woodsey tree store with accessories. A jack and jill sand pail , n a lil red riding hood sand pail. All in great condition. Also have other stuff to.

    • profile image

      Joy 

      10 months ago

      I have the original barbie doll,kissy doll,old baby dolls,some beanie babies,

    • profile image

      Debbie 

      10 months ago

      I would like to sell a Playmobile 5300 Victorian Dollhouse, comes with all furniture, for kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedrooms, the family figures,.

    • profile image

      sue 

      10 months ago

      i need to find out how much my 1960s geebees fort laramie is worth

    • profile image

      Margaret Oliver 

      11 months ago

      I have a VINTAGE-1990-ECHO-TOYS-MELODY-CIRCUS-TRAIN-SET-MINT-IN-UNOPENED. Looking for value

    • profile image

      Robert D.Hellen 

      11 months ago

      I have a small plastic tricycle 1948 1950 in excellent condition, and also a tricycle type ice cream wagon same years and condition. Looking for value,

    • profile image

      Fatso 

      12 months ago

      I have a 59" Steiff giraffe that I was told is over 50 years old in mint condition. Any Idea on the "value"?

    • profile image

      Juan fermin 

      12 months ago

      I have a Godzilla I bought it 25 years ago. Im selling it.

    • profile image

      Brenda 

      12 months ago

      I have a wooden Playskool Baby Tryke/Riding toy that was bought in December 1966 and is in good condition. Would this be an item of interest?

    • profile image

      Jackie Mabry 

      13 months ago

      I have a few toys still in boxes fro the late 80's -90's. How can i get them priced and sold. aLSO A LOT OF OLD PICTURES..

    • profile image

      bonnie 

      13 months ago

      Amana refrigeration vintage semi truck. all metal. from the 80s. how can I find out what its worth? any help would be appreciated, I cant find anything about it online. in box, all new

    • profile image

      Tammy 

      14 months ago

      I have a 1947 Lincoln logs set in original container

    • profile image

      Angel 

      15 months ago

      I have a 2008 millennium falcon and other star war toys for sale

    • profile image

      mark 

      15 months ago

      I have a 1930s fisher price #365 back up puppy in excellent condition. has the rare red button tail in original condition. I would like to sell.

    • profile image

      Susan 

      15 months ago

      I have one of the original cabbage patch dolls from the eighties. The only problem is that I don't have the box. I was wondering what it might be worth and where I could sell it.

    • profile image

      Tina 

      17 months ago

      I have a huge lot of vintage diecast toy collection 106 Tootsie Toy cars 42 Tonka trucks and cars and a crap load of matchbox Mattel and hot wheels also 1951 plane set I want to sell my number is 2813094912 if u are interested in the entire lot

    • profile image

      Amber Gordy 

      18 months ago

      I have a vintage miniature dollhouse set that is brass and copper made in England and the pieces are numbered and 3 metal girls from vaitnam. # 4787772496

    • profile image

      Sandi Parks 

      19 months ago

      Looking to sell a large toy tractor collectibles

      Would appreciate any help and assistance in selling several toy tractors. Brands include John Deere, Case & Allis Chalmers

      Contact #307-321-8102

    • profile image

      nancy a 

      20 months ago

      i like to sell my beanie babies ok thanks nancy

    • profile image

      Mary Lech 

      22 months ago

      Hi!

      I have done exactly what you said about cleaning out my attic. I do want to get rid of a lot of toys from my sister's childhood(1957-1965) and my daughters chilhood (1970-1977).

      My hoe was to just sell them all to one person for a flat price. Is there somewhere I can do that?

      Thank you so much for any help you can give me!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This was an interesting and helpful read. I have slowly gotten rid of most of my childhood toys unfortunately, but still have some of those used by my children from the 80s..especially board games etc. Thanks for sharing.

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