Blog by Dr. Lori

Top 3 Back to School Collectibles

by Dr. Lori Verderame
Top 3 Back to School Collectibles

My favorite valuable Back to School collectibles relate to those rare and unusual items associated with the autumn ritual of returning to the classroom. Back to School collectibles are most popular on the market from late July to mid September, every year. If you are looking for tuition cash, consider my top three Back to School collectibles:

1. Advertising Posters

Vintage advertising posters from department stores such as Macy's, Gimbels, and Buster Brown featuring children's clothing sales, dating from the 1930s to the 1960s. Posters must be in good condition and feature back to school marketing slogans, colorful graphic designs, and store logos. Find out how to tell a print from a poster.

2. Celebrity Yearbooks

Yearbook photos of famous celebrities, titans of industry, athletes attract collectors such as: Donald Trump, NY Military Academy, class of 1964; Opray Winfrey, East Nashville High School, class of 1971; Madonna Ciccone (Madonna), Rochester Hills High Schoo, class of 1976; Tiger (Eldrick) Woods, Western High School, class of 1993; Stefani Germanotta (Lady Gaga), Collaborative Arts Project 21 School, 2004.

Look for intact yearbooks, not just single pages, with recognizable celeb pics. Yearbooks bring a few hundred dollars and those that include famous autographs are worth several hundreds of dollars. Learn how to authenticate an autograph.

3. Children's Books

Peter Rabbit book

Children's literary classics are widely collected. Collectors spend big bucks for first editions of Mark Twain's 1876 Tom Sawyer (value 95,000 dollars), Curious George takes a Job from 1947 (value 9,000 dollars) or J. K. Rowlings' set of Harry Potter books from 1999-2005 (value 29,000 dollars).

Other popular school books like Fun with Dick and Jane, The Velveteen Rabbit, and Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes are widely traded in the 300 to 3,000 dollar range. Remember that old books should have strong spines, intact covers, decorative endpapers, and be free of odors, mold spots or page staining. Find out other tips on how to spot valuable books.

Do you have a how do I value a back to school collectible question?

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