Antiques and Collectibles That Have Lost Value
Many antiques have lost value in recent years for a few reasons. There's a declining interest in history, making people less connected to the past. Baby boomers downsizing their homes means less demand for antique furniture. Homes have changed, too — in many residences, for example, formal dining rooms no longer exist.
The next generation of buyers, millennials, also has less money to spend. They prefer inexpensive, disposable "fast furniture" from stores like IKEA and prioritize experiences over owning things.
However, there are more flea markets and thrift stores than ever before, which means there's still plenty of interest. And collecting is cyclical — what's popular today will fall out of fashion in a few years, and the items on this list, which are now fairly affordable, may be sought after once again.
Royal Copenhagen, Royal Worcester, Lenox, and Wedgwood are just some names that used to fetch top dollar, but today, antique china is valued at less than half of what it used to be. Whole sets are available at estate sales for about $150, but tend not to sell. Floral-patterned china is also less in demand than other designs.
The market for fine china is oversaturated and on the decline, largely because millennials have limited space and little use for extensive china sets.
Many collectors still love figurines, but but their long-term value can be a mixed bag, mainly due to their ongoing production.
For example, while some of the earliest Hummel figurines still command top dollar, others are relatively modest in value and can be had for just a few bucks. This divergence in worth stems from the shift from limited runs to mass production, a pattern seen in figurine manufacturing. The more there are of the same piece, the less it's worth.
Pottery and Glassware
Depending upon the era of pottery and glassware, there are some pieces that are worth money, but not many. For example, depression glass, once a sought-after collectible, has experienced market oversaturation and today, most pieces are $10 or less, with the rarest fetching fetching in the low hundreds.
The same trend extends to various other types of glassware, for example, Roseville pottery, milk glass, and carnival glass. Shifting tastes and heightened concerns regarding lead content have also played a part in its decline.
The term "brown furniture" refers to heavy wooden furniture with a dark brown or wood-tone finish — roll top desks, grandfather clocks, china cabinets and sideboard buffets are just some of the types of furnishings to fall under this category.
This heavy wood furniture was once popular, but it's collectability has waned in past decades, as it doesn't fit the aesthetic of younger homeowners today, who lean toward light, open spaces with minimum, light-colored furnishings.
There is one silver lining though — older furniture was built to last and can be modernized in a myriad of ways. You can paint it or otherwise update it to fit your modern home.
Bedroom/Dining Room Sets
In the past, the common practice was for people to acquire their bedroom and dining room furniture as "sets." In the bedroom, these complete, coordinated sets encompassing a bed, dressers and nightstands. Today, this overly coordinated look is generally seen as outdated.
In the dining room, the table and chairs usually came with a china cabinet and sideboard buffet. If you don't collect china, you have no need for a china cabinet, and if you're not entertaining a sizable group, you also have no need for a sideboard buffet.
When Andy Warhol died in 1987, he left behind a massive collection of vintage goods. This included 175 cookie jars, which sold at auction to one buyer for nearly $250,000. Since then, the change to modern and minimalist home decor has caused these once-cherished items to lose their appeal.
Additionally, the market for cookie jars has become oversaturated, as many jars were mass-produced during their peak. This oversupply has driven down prices, making them less valuable. Today you can find vintage cookie jars for $10 to $20.
Of course, if you happen upon the long lost work of a known artist, you may be in possession of a real valuable — however, the chances of such a work landing in your local thrift store are pretty slim. Most of what you see there, despite its age, is really not worth much at all.
Some known artist's works have even lost value in recent decades, such as those of landscape artist Thomas Kinkade. He was so successful that he established a company dedicated to reproducing his paintings, with 350 franchise galleries across the U.S. However, by 2010, Thomas Kinkade Signature Galleries went bankrupt.
Oversaturation and the internet killed the gallery business, as online marketplaces made thousands of Kinkade works easily accessible.
There's someone, somewhere in your family that surely has a few collector plates. During the 1980s and 1990s, they would fetch $30 to $40 each. However, they began to decline in value in the 1990s and can now be had for just a few dollars.
Plates from the 1920s still have value, but anything from the 1980s onward was mass produced and, therefore, are mostly worthless today.
A stamp's condition determines its value, as does its age and rarity. Stamp collectors who casually save what appeals to them visually will likely find themselves with a collection thats holds little to no real value.
This is also true for children or beginner stamp albums and stamps mass produced in the past 70 years, which is what most collectors have. That doesn't mean you shouldn't take part in this now inexpensive hobby, as it offers a window into the history, culture and geography of various places.
Although there are a few antique dolls that can fetch hundreds of dollars, the majority of porcelain dolls have gone down in value. Today, they typically sell for about $10.
Porcelain dolls are known for their somewhat eerie appearance — they are very much of a time and don't really appeal to younger generations. Perhaps we've all seen too many horror movies and know owning these won't end well!