Antique Tobacco Tin Value Guide
We handle all types of tobacco tins and tobacciana from single items to entire collections. The types of tins listed show what types of things make for a valuable tin and what things don’t. Our buyers are most interested in rare and high grade tins and we try to be selective to give them the best offerings on the market. If you believe you have tins or tobacciana that we might be interested in, then please contact us via email, phone, or use our contact form. dfenton@ManifestAuctions.com
Factors that Determine the Value of a Tobacco Tin:
- Rarity: The rarity of any collectible item will drastically affect its value. Tins with only a few known examples will naturally bring higher prices from collectors than tins that you can buy by the box or that always have 10 or 20 for sale on ebay at all times. How can you know if your tin is rare or common? Check the categories below and see if your tin meets the typical features of any given category, if you’re still not sure then get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to take a look at your tobacciana items and help you decide the best way to deal with them.
- Demand: The second main factor affecting the price of collectibles is demand. Even if you have an incredibly rare item in terms of the fact that you can’t find them often, if collectors aren’t competing to buy it, then the value will still be low. To achieve high prices, you need both rarity AND demand from collectors. Many people get hung up on the idea of whether something is rare, without considering if anyone out there actually wants to buy it. You’ll see this phenomenon all the time on ebay when someone has their “RARE” item up for hundreds or thousands of dollars and it sits there for weeks or months without selling. We only deal with items that collectors are hungry for and we spare you Ebay’s harsh fee structure so we know we can get you a good price for your tobacciana items.
- Design: The design of a tin also affects its value, collectors love to see tins with attractive designs and good colors. The most valuable tins you’ll see on the market almost always have beautiful designs such as the Taxi or Gold Dust tin. There are valuable tins out there with rather simple designs as well but those are the exception rather than the rule and we can help give you the information to make an informed decision about how desirable any given tin will be. Another issue with tin design is with subtle variants of tins that are much more valuable than the standard design, these include things like the Prince Albert “Now King” tin which are worth much much more than the standard tin that looks nearly identical to it, having someone who knows what they’re looking at is important because it means we advertise items properly and you don’t get ripped off.
- Condition: As with all types of collectibles, condition is king. In many cases a tin in near-mint condition can bring ten times or more the value of the same tin as a grade 6. Additionally, condition increases the value at an almost exponential rate where the difference between a grade 8 and grade 9 is much larger than the difference between a grade 7 and grade 8.
Factors that Don’t Determine the Value of a Tobacco Tin:
- Age: Many people I talk to get hung up on the age of the tin they have and how old it is exactly. While this might be nice to know, it really doesn’t affect the value in a significant way, if you have two of the exact same tin and one is 5 years or 10 years older than the other, they still have the same value to collectors. One of the reasons most collectors don’t care about this, is because with many tins it’s just impossible to date them properly so people stopped worrying about it. The other reason is that collectors aren’t buying the tins to fill a date gap in their collection, they’re after the “look” of the tin so that their display of tins looks good, it really doesn’t matter how old the tin is exactly if it has the right look.
- Tobacco Inside: Frequently, I deal with folks who have a tin with the tobacco still inside and they think that that will help increase the value. Sadly, the presence or absence of the tobacco inside doesn’t affect the value. Collectors are after the tins for the aesthetic appeal of the graphics, not the actual product sold inside. Tins that are still completely sealed and in near mint can see a small premium but that value is based on the like new condition, not the presence of the tobacco itself.
Entry Level Collectible Tobacco Tins:
Entry Level Tobacco Tins usually sell for less than $20 each and many can be found for as low as a few dollars. Almost all entry level tins are very common and easily available on ebay to anyone interested or may be less common but were made later in the 60′s or later ( if there is a bar code on the tin, it won’t be valuable). I also include in this category, lower condition tins of mid level rarity tins. Common brands seen as entry level tins are Prince Albert, Velvet, Tuxedo, Sir Walter Raliegh, Dill’s Best, Model, and Union Leader. There are rare variants for most of these brands as well, but 99% of these tins will be common and worth $5 or less. We do not take these types of tins on consignment because they are just too common.
Mid Level Collectible Tobacco Tins:
Mid Level Tobacco Tins usually sell for $20-80 and include tins that are somewhat scarce, have moderate demand, or for whatever reason collectors are willing to pay elevated prices for. If your tin isn’t one of the brands mentioned in the Entry Level section, but it’s not listed on the site, then it’s probably a mid level tin. However, we don’t have every tin out there listed on the site so if you think your tin might be valuable, feel free to send us a picture to look at and we’ll be happy to help. We occasionally will have mid-level tins for sale at auction if they are part of a larger collection.
High End Collectible Tobacco Tins:
High End Collectible Tobacco Tins are those that advanced and experienced collectors are actively looking for. This usually means that these tins are fairly rare and don’t come up for sale often. This combination of rarity and demand drives prices up into the hundreds and sometimes even the thousands of dollars. To bring top prices tins need to be in good condition without areas of the lithography scraped off, without fading, rust, dents or other defects and preferably with a nice shine to the finish of the tin. Our collectors are very interested in these tins and we love to be able to offer them, bringing strong prices for sellers.
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