A Guide to Selling, Trading, and Auctioning Collectibles

*CURRENTLY ACCEPTING TRADE-INS ONLY* Auction consignments and buying should resume soon! Please call 724-243-3546 for more information or if you have a large accumulation or are traveling a long distance!*

First of all: do any of these scenarios apply to you?

-You have an accumulation of collectibles and want to downsize?

-You want to sell some of your kid's old toys that clutter up the house?

-You inherited an estate and don't know where to begin?

-You have a hoard, a storage unit, or a business that is closing or needs to move surplus product?

-You have some stuff that's sitting around and you just want to convert it to cash or trade it in for something else?

Don't sell it too cheap, give it away, or (gulp!) throw it away - CALL US FIRST! (724-243-3546 if you have a phone nearby!)

As we continue to add to our warehouse of collectibles, we always are in need of more. On the fence about what we might be interested in? Our rule of thumb is that if the item has a celebrity, athlete, character, or corporate logo on it, then we're probably able to use it!

We are most interested in the following categories:

-Action Figures loose and sealed
-Action Figure playsets loose and sealed
-Advertising and signage (from retail stores, restaurants, etc)
-Autographs (sports and celebrity, all fields, all eras)
-Baseball Cards (sets, boxes, singles, graded)
-Basketball Cards (sets, boxes, singles, graded)
-Bar items with logos (steins, glasses, trays, signs, tap handles, Neon)
-Board Games (especially with TV/movie characters)
-Cassettes and 8-tracks
-Catalogs (Sears, etc)
-Cereal boxes (vintage, character, or athlete)
-Comic Books
-Diecast cars (loose and sealed)
-Dolls (Barbie, Monster High, etc)
-Fast Food toys/items loose or sealed
-Football Cards (sets, boxes, singles, graded)
-Funko Pops (loose and sealed)
-Glassware with logo/characters (McDonald's glasses, etc)
-Hallmark/character Christmas ornaments
-Hockey Cards (sets, boxes, singles, graded)
-Kids books (Golden books, Big Little, etc)
-Lego Sets (sealed/complete)
-Logo caps/hats
-Lunch Boxes (character)
-Magazines (Life, SI, Nintendo Power, Rolling Stone, etc)
-Mugs/cups with logos/characters
-Newspapers (WWII, JFK, 70s Steelers, etc)
-Non-sports trading cards (sets, boxes, graded)
-Plush stuffed animals/licensed characters
-Programs (sporting events)
-Sci-Fi Books
-Ticket stubs
-Tins/cannisters with logos
-VHS and Beta cassettes
-Video games, systems and accessories
-Yearbooks (sports, high school/college)

-Everything else with a celebrity, logo, or character on it - The catch-all category that usually yields the most interesting finds. An old Oscar the Grouch alarm clock, National Record Mart frisbee, or Rolling Stones poster is right up our alley!

If you have something that fits into those categories and you're ready to sell, here's a checklist to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Now, for some items we don't take or deal in:
-Anything with adult content
-Vintage clothing
-Train sets
-Gift cards

OK, you've made it this far. Great! So what do you have, and how much are you looking to get out of it?

The first step would be to contact us with a general inventory of what you are interested in selling, along with an expectation of what you are looking to sell the collection for. Do you have a box of baseball cards, or a garage full of comic books?

This is an extremely important step in the process before moving forward. Whether it's individual pieces or accumulations, it really is worth the time to inventory and value your items, because at the end of the day, you're eventually going to have to decide what dollar amount suits your needs anyway. It's been our experience that the smoothest deals for all involved are the ones where at least some pricing is discussed in advance. 

But what if I don't know what my stuff is worth?

Great question! Whatever you're selling, we really recommend to have at least some idea of current market conditions, which can usually be found by typing some of the items into sites like eBay. Maybe you think your items are priceless, but once you do some research, you find out they're fairly common. Or the better scenario, you find out that things you thought were worthless are actually worth real money!


What if I have a whole house/warehouse/storage unit/attic full of stuff?

Not a problem - Rome wasn't built in a day! For especially large groups of items, we can divide things up into multiple sections and multiple trips. We're really easy to work with, we promise!

I have something that might be valuable, but I don't really know...

If you're not entirely sure of what you have, snap a few pictures and send them over!

Set up an appointment!

Once we determine what we're working with, we can set up an appointment for you to bring in your collection or we can come to you for large accumulations. Call us at 724-243-3546 or email us at buying@steelcitygalleries.com.

Keep these things in mind when liquidating your collection:

Timing is important!

Our needs for different items are constantly fluctuating based on what we already have and what we need to replenish. For instance, if we just bought an entire run of Sports Illustrated magazines and you called us the next day with Sports Illustrated magazines, our demand would be lower than what it was. The prices we are able to offer are based on what the items are worth to us at the time.

Beyond our needs, the market in general is constantly changing. What was worth a fortune in 2020 may not be nearly as valuable today. Prices move up and down almost daily.

Authenticity + Condition = value!

In the world of collectibles, it's all about authenticity and condition! If you're selling items that have been professionally graded, authenticated or come from private signings, you will realize a much higher price in the end. It is important to know where the autograph came from or who sold it to you.

As far as autographs go, if you'd like to have your signatures professionally authenticated, we recommend JSA (James Spence Authentication) for our third-party authenticator, as Mr. Spence is regarded as the hobby's foremost authority on autographs. He even paid us a visit for two days authenticating in person in July, 2018!

Additionally, Beckett Authentication now has a signature review service that can do a pre-screening of your items just by sending them a photo for only $10.

For card grading, the companies that add the most value to your cards via the grading process are PSA, BGS, SGC, and CGC. And no, we don't know why they all have three letters! 

Finding the right sales channel:

We want to help you maximize your return, have a good experience, and tell your friends. Part of that good experience is determining what method will yield you the most money in the window of time you are looking at. Once we assess what you have, we can determine if the items will be a good fit as a consignment for our Remixxd Auctions, or if you would be better suited to sell or trade-in to our retail location or online channels.

This item is going for (insert price here) on eBay!

This is something that comes up a lot in discussions. Someone looks up an item, goes to the highest asking price, figures that's what it's worth, and even if they're willing to budge from that number, they'll only be willing to consider that highest number in their negotiations.

If you want the "eBay price", the only way to get it is to set up an eBay account, establish a track record, properly photograph and describe the item, list the item, wait an undeterminable amount of time until it sells, package it, send it off, and hope it goes well. And even then, you're still paying eBay a cut. 

You have to remember that anybody can set any price for any item. We could put $1,000,000 on a Roberto Clemente card and it could show up like that on eBay, but unless someone actually pays $1,000,000, it's nothing but an asking price. What's most valuable to do in research is to look at SOLD prices on eBay. That is the best indicator of where the market is at on a given item. And if that is the real retail value, we will be able to pay a portion of that value as a "wholesale" price.

Is there an added benefit for trading?
ABSOLUTELY! Trade-ins usually yield the highest rate of return if you're looking for value. 
The fine print:
All transactions will need a photo ID on file, and we must have a document signed that all items are authentic and are yours to sell with a clear title. Anyone selling or trading in must be 18 years of age or have a parent or guardian present. We don't want anyone coming in the next day saying their brother sold their stuff!

Why work with us?

We've sold on eBay since 1997, have an A+ rating from the BBB, and we are a JSA (James Spence Authentication) authorized dealer since 2008. We have literally tens of thousands of positive reviews from satisfied customers all over the globe.

Our company has been featured in Sports Illustrated magazine (Feb 4, 2002 issue), KDKA Radio Pittsburgh, ESPN Radio Pittsburgh, "Pittsburgh Today Live" on CBS/KDKA Pittsburgh, the Uniontown Herald-Standard, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Mon Valley Independent, Washington Observer-Reporter, Next Pittsburgh and a lengthy profile in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

We were honored to be recognized in the Pittsburgh Magazine 2018 Best of the Burgh Issue as an Editor's Picks Selection for "Best Autograph Repository" and we were featured on "Hunting Nostalgia", Season 4, Episode 10: "Nostalgic Retailtainment"! You can learn more about us here

Our upcoming YINZERCON event has been featured on KDKA/CBS Pittsburgh, Yahoo!, and MSN.

Ready to make a deal? Let's do it! Call us at 724-243-3546 or email us at buying@steelcitygalleries.com!