Do old postcards have value?
by Tom Snyder
n a single word, yes. In most cases vintage postcards are relatively inexpensive, making them ideal for beginning collectors. But in some cases, postcards, especially some produced between 1893 and 1950, can be worth a great deal of money. The question is, how does one know? The best way to determine the value of old postcards is to have them evaluated by an expert. On Sept. 2 & 3, at Collinsville, IL, 20 professional postcard dealers from seven states will gather for the annual postcard show and sale hosted by the St Louis Gateway Postcard Club. This is a great opportunity to bring in those old postcards that have been lying around the closet and have the cards appraised by professionals. While most old postcards have minimal value, there are some that can run into the hundreds of dollars each. It’s not just something that you want to toss into your next garage sale or recycling as you could easily be throwing money away.
This year the St Louis Gateway Postcard Club, with members in Missouri and the Illinois Metro East, will hold its 46th postcard show and sale. The show is usually held on the Friday and Saturday of Labor Day weekend. Due to a scheduling issue, this year the show will be Saturday, Sept. 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Club members get in at 9 a.m. on Friday. The show will be held at the convenient, spacious, and well-lighted American Legion Hall at 1022 Vandalia St. (Hwy 159) in Collinsville, IL. The show is easily accessible from Interstates 270, 70, 55, and 64 and is only 15 minutes from the St. Louis Gateway Arch.
This show is one of the largest shows of its type in the Midwest. It is also one of the few that offers free admission, free parking, free appraisals, and daily attendance prizes.
There will be an excellent mix of friendly dealers from Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Iowa, and Alabama, bringing thousands of cards, enough to cover nearly 100 tables, to fill empty places in collections whether you are a veteran collector, a beginner, or just someone who wants to know about our great postcard hobby. With all the postcards that will be available, you are sure to find something to your liking in all price ranges, whether it be a topic, holiday greetings, state view, real photo, or foreign card, with prices ranging from a quarter to many dollars.
Vintage Linen era postcard
Vintage Linen era postcard. (Image courtesy of Michael Smith,
St. Louis Gateway Postcard Club Facebook page)
As show chairperson Tom Snyder explained, “people collect postcards for many reasons. Some collect postcards relating to family history, such as the college where dad met mom, while others collect themes such as trains, ships, motorcycles, sports, famous people, expos, holidays, and postcards drawn by specific artists. Postcards are an excellent way to document social history, and are of interest to both collectors and local historians. Some people collect postcards because they are pretty and everyone collects them because they are fun.” You can find out more about the St Louis Gateway Postcard Club and the upcoming show by calling Tom Snyder at 618-531-4189 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Many dealers cannot bring all of their cards to each show so if you are planning to attend and want to make sure that the dealers bring your collecting interest, please contact Tom so he can alert the dealers before the show.