What is my Antique Radio worth and where can I find information on it?

I receive lots of mail asking this question.  First I will tackle the question of Antique Radio values.  Pricing Antique Radios is VERY subjective.  As with any collectible, some are intrinsicly more valuable than others.  Condition, however, plays a major part in determining worth.  For instance, a radio valued at $150 in a price guide might sell anywhere in the $15 to $500 price range.  A radio in poor condition or a poorly restored radio possesses a much lower value than an average radio in good presentable condition.  On the other hand, a nearly perfect radio that has been correctly restored/repaired may sell well above the "book value".  Book values are a best guess by one or several individuals based on their collection of data and thier opinion.  Good price guides clearly state the criteria they base the prices on.  For instance, Marty Bunis bases his prices on the following conditions:


  1. Electronicly complete.  All the components are present, the radio does not necessarily work, but could with minimal repair.
  2. Cabinet in good condition.  All knobs, escutcheons and other parts are in place and in good condition.  There are no cracks, chips or other major damage to the cabinet.

Location and Market are the next biggest players in price after condition.  Prices tend to be higher on the West Coast than the East Coast (USA).  The market you sell or buy in greatly affects the price.  Radio collectors may pay more for some radios and less for others than the general public would.  Some buy a radio for the historic or technical significance of the particular model. Others appreciate the sound and beauty of console radios.   Many people want a radio just like the one their parents or grandparents owned.

OK, I still have not told you how to find out what your radio is worth.  To get a rough guess, I suggest looking in a price such as "The Collector's Guide to Antique Radios" by Marty & Sue Bunis, or "The radio Collectors Directory and Price Guide" by Robert E. Grinder.  There are a number of other good price guides in addition to these.  These books are available from a number of different sources including Antique Electronic Supply and Antique Radio Classified.   I suggest careful reading of the part that explains condition. 


Where do I find information on my radio?

A number of different people sell schematics for antique radios. You will find quite a few if you search. Before you buy a schematic, though, look in the free schematics at Nostalga Air.


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