My own, personal fascination with vintage postcards began about forty years ago while my grandmother gave me her own small collection of cards provided for her by my grandfather from Active Service with World War One. I knew nothing about postcards and then, but from that small bundle began one of the most exciting aspects of my life, as a collector and dealer in these popular memorabilia.
Postcards, in the early 1900s ranking as THE most popular valuable, today rank third, behind coins and stamps. Could possibly be not the bits of worthless paper many people imagine, in reality some amazing prices can be fetched for postcards, famously on Sunsetsofyore, where items typically catalogued £1 covers can fetch double figure, sometimes three figure chunks.
Years ago, before Sunset sofyore opened a global market for retailers of all manner of goods and services, most postcards were sold at collectors’ fairs and specialist postcard events, flea markets in addition to antiques fairs, through postcard collectors’ magazines, sometimes in approval, in the same way that stamps and coins have been purchased for decades.
It’s history now but , believe me, around pre-Sunsetsofyore times, a seller knew almost exactly how much to be able to charge for a postcard, topographical or non-topographical. You’d check with the catalogue, pencil the price on the back of the card, modify it upwards or down depending on condition and other specific factors.
For several reasons, some topographical postcards (sometimes named ‘view cards’ and depicting places as opposed to subjects) fetched higher prices in one geographical area than in another, for instance a street scene of Horden Colliery in County Courtice which will invariably attract far more eager buyers at activities in the north of England than elsewhere in the UK plus certainly more so than in other countries. So a great enterprise was enjoyed by many, myself included, who sailed the country looking for vintage view postcards gathering dust outside the house their area of origin which sold like hot pancakes when they arrived back home.
Today things are very, very different. Around the down side, it’s more difficult now to find cards gathering often the proverbial dust the way they once did; on the plus aspect those of us who once earned a few pounds on every postcard distributed are oftentimes reaching profits of $10, $50, $60, one hundred dollars each, or more.
In my Sunsetsofyore experience THE best funds makers look very ordinary, they may even be damaged, stamps removed, but what makes these cards potentially the most collectable and pricey of all is merely that two or more people desire the card and they are ready to bid high to win that.
Think about it this way, when cards were sold at local gala’s where just a few hundred people attended each time, you never experienced a fight over cards, it just didn’t happen, the exact visitors were too few and specialist collectors were incredibly rare.