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Chapter 10 - Item Condition, Value Appreciation, Material Composition

New and like-new items with as few indications of wear or previous ownership generally require little or no compromise on price compared to items in used condition. Used item condition can complicate valuation as many pricing examples are based on retail or new condition items.

While most marketplaces offer selection for all types of product condition, used condition items are more common on eBay than on Amazon.

Many condition issues can be forgiven by shoppers so long as the asking price is appropriate and the condition is well documented in photos, item specifics and or the description.

Damaged goods represent a valid market. Shoppers in need of a spare part for a product that is no longer available may turn to purchasing a damaged whole article in order to take it apart. Some parties specifically seek out bulk broken, for-parts-only items to use in refurbishing consumer products for resale.

3rd Party Assessment of Condition

Products which have been graded by a third party can even achieve a higher sale price than a non-authenticated item in similar condition.

Original Condition vs Restoration

In many cases, original condition is more important and valuable to shoppers than items which have been restored or altered, even if the aesthetic of the restoration is more pleasing. Refurbishing of certain vintage and antique items significantly compromise value.

Value Appreciation 

Not all items appreciate in value over time. Trends in lifestyle, popular media, fascination with historical periods all affect the appeal of items as they transition from common or new items to vintage (20 years old), then antique items (50 years old).

Some items lose relevancy and never establish the sort of collector audience which propels pricing higher over time.

Since most products show signs of wear and use as they age, condition is an important factor in determining value for vintage and antique items.

Material Composition

Preference for composition materials changes over time. Wood, plastic, metal or glass may be more or less desirable depending on the product category and era of the item in question.

Purity and quantity of precious metals and materials generally raises the value of an item. Gold and silver items may carry a secondary meltdown value based on the worth of the precious metal alone.

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