Research is the key to discovering how much money your toy tractor is really worth. Toys, toy tractors included, are worth more if they are antiques or rare collector’s items and are in mint condition. Mint condition means the toy is in the box and has never been played with. The more damage to a toy tractor, the less it is probably worth. Once you know as much as you can about your tractor, compare the prices of sellers online, in stores, and in publications selling the identical or similar tractors, to help you determine the value of your tractor.
Research your toy tractor. Often there is a logo, company name, or patent number on the toy. Look up the patent number at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website. Date your item by the patent issued. If your toy tractor is an antique, consult old advertisements in vintage and antique magazines or the toy tractor’s manufacturer’s records. According to Raving Toy Maniac, toys that are antique, vintage, rare, or collectible are usually worth more.
Grade the tractor’s condition correctly. If it’s mint in the box and has never even been removed or played with, it will be worth more money. Many price guides have lists of descriptions of classifications, so you can rank your tractor appropriately to determine the tractor’s value.
Consult the price guides. Price guides list prices for mint toys. If your tractor isn’t in mint condition, the value of your toy tractor will be lower than the price listed in the price guide. According to Raving Toy Maniac, price guides are available in magazine, book, and online list form. The prices listed in the guides can be significantly different than actual selling rates. The Enoch Pratt Free Library lists the following price guides: "Warman’s Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide," "Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price List," "Miller’s International Antiques Price Guide," and "Maloney’s Antiques and Collectibles Resource Directory." There are others available also. Find price guides at bookstores.
Research online to find the value of your toy tractor by visiting antique and collectible, or toy collecting websites. According to the Enoch Pratt Free Library, visit auction houses and flea markets to see what the item is selling for. Rare items are worth more. Damage lessens the value of the tractor.
Price your tractor by seeing what buyers are paying for similar or identical toy tractors on auction websites or through toy-buying advertisements. List prices for toy tractors being sold through auctions don’t determine the value of the tractor. Search the closed auctions to see what the same tractor sold for. According to the Enoch Pratt Free Library, the prices in the price guides and the amount of money a person might pay for an object are significantly different. Value is determined by the money the buyer is willing to pay.
Subscribe to a collectible toy magazine, newsletter, or vintage/antique/collectible toy list. Raving Toy Maniac lists the following as a few publications useful in determining the value of collectible toys: "Action Figure News & Toy Review," "Beckett’s Hot Toys," and "Toyfare: The Guide to Collectible Toys." Look in bookstores for magazines and publications.
Antique appraisal services are available for a fee. Consult an antique store or search online for services.