Virtual Matchbox Labels Collectors' Club
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Want to sell matchbox labels collection. How mach may it cost?
Matchbox labels (matchboxes, match booklets) is rather specific merchandise. By itself they do not have any real value, because they are neither commodities, no (due to the volume of print) pieces of art. They do cost something only because there are a small amount of people who collect them. And in this market their price is mainly depends on the collector attitude - how much would he like to pay to get something.
Of cause, the common market law - the law of supply and demand - also plays its part here, And at present they mainly work against the sellers - the number of collectors steadily decreases (alas, but nowadays there are more phillumenists dying than neophytes coming) and supply is constantly rising.
That is why all said below cannot be the basis for setting prices - it is only general guidelines for rough evaluation of collection or it's part. Real price may differ 2-5 times (usually to lower side). One must also have in mind that these notes are based on the analysis of auction prices (that usually include shipping).
Let us fist roughly divide the labels into categories:
- Issued before 1918 (group A)
- Issued between 1918 and 1941 (group B)
- Issued between 1941 and1948 (group C)
- Issued between 1948 and 1990 (group D)
- Issued after 1990 ã. (group E)
- Usual (consumer) sets (subgroup 1)
- Special (souvenir and promotional) sets (subgroup 2)
- On boxes or unglued (subgroup a)
- Not used ("mint") - (subgroup b)
- Trial prints (never out of factory) - (subgroup c)
Group A labels are very rare and their price is difficult to estimate. It may vary from $5 to $500 for a piece.
Groups B and C labels also rather rare, but their price is mach lover - some 5-10 times for group B and 3-5 times for group C.
To estimate the price for Russian/Soviet labels issued before 1945 one can refer to "Specialized price guide on consumer matches labels (1850-1945)"
Random labels of groupes D and E (in good condition) are very cheap ($0.5-1.5 for 100) practically independently of the subgroup.
Full sets (in good condition) of subgroupes D1a and E1a goes for about $0.5-1.0 per set, subgroupes D1b and E1b - up to 2-4 times less.
Full sets (in good condition) of subgroupe D2a may cost up to $3-5, subgroupe D2b - at about the price of D1a. To estimate relative pricing on the Russian souvenir sets labels of 1940-1974 one can use "Temporary maximal prices for the USSR souvenir sets of matchbox labels issued from 1940 to 1974."
Full sets (in good condition) of subgroupe E2a cost usually not more than current market price of matches. Prices on E2b subgroup are about 2-3 times lower.
Most collectors do not recognise labels af subgroup "c" as labels and so their price may be about $0.5-5 per set.
Quite often match producers uses the same label (brand) during several years or more. In this case the price for such labels is very low, exept for the full (nearly full) compilation of variations.