How to Sell Old Model Cars

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Today, model cars are often made of plastic, but this wasn’t always the case, as early models were made of tin, aluminum or another type of metal. The cars were essentially toys, meant to be played with, which means that not a lot of the early models still exist. Some companies muddied the waters by releasing model kits that look almost identical to the originals, including the decals and scale size. Luckily, you have a lot of resources at your disposal if you’re interested in selling old model cars.

Things You'll Need

  • Digital camera
  • Internet access
  • Check the car for any signs of a date, manufacturer or even the name or model of the car. This is often found on the bottom of the car, though you’ll find that some of the earliest companies stamped only the name of the car on the bottom. Finding some identifying information makes researching the toy easier.

  • Research the car using a web site such as Daniel Beck’s Model Car Collection. This private collector may not own every model car ever manufactured, but it provides a nice start for the would-be seller. Look through the photos on the web site and the resources offered, to find the history and manufacturer of your car.

  • Identify the condition of the model car. Check for any rubs on the tires, dents in the car and any scratches. Look for signs that the car might have been repainted in the past or any new parts added to the car. For example, you might find an old model car with newer tires, if the previous owner had replaced the tires on a customized car.

  • Take clear digital pictures of the older model car, using several different angles. Include as much as possible in the pictures, such as the bottom of the model, the sides and any damage that might lower its value. Use at least 3-4 pictures to give prospective buyers a complete view of the car.

  • Price your car based on your research into model cars. "Stock Car Model Kit Encyclopedia and Price Guide: Encyclopedia and Price Guide" by Bill Coulter and "Classic Plastic Model Kits: Identification & Value Guide" by Rick Polizzi list the values of various model cars, though both primarily focus on plastic model cars.

  • List your model cars for sale at online auction sites and at classified sites specifically devoted to collecting model cars. The Collect web site has a large forum, in which people buy and sell older model cars, learn more about the cars they currently own, or simply converse with other collectors.

Tips & Warnings

  • Measure the size and scale of the car and include that in your online description. Some buyers are only interested in a specific type of model, a specific manufacturer or even a scale. Buyers who collect 1/24 scale cars, for instance, aren’t interested in larger or smaller sizes.

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