Lost my Marbles – Found on eBay!

Dollar Flipper Ebay Research, eBay Tips, Inventory Sourcing 7 Comments

Shout out to J. Money for planting the idea for this blog post into my head.

Marbles – or is there anything that doesn’t sell on eBay?

Yes, marbles sell on eBay – I have a feeling that very few things haven’t been sold on eBay! Marbles aren’t something that I’ve bought, and I probably wouldn’t take a shot on them unless it was from an estate sale at a deep discount. I do like to branch out, but I also like it when I’m not going to have to do a ton of research! There’s only so much time in the day… but at least it will be interesting to learn about them a little.

First, I’m going to say that if you want to become an expert, check out some resources like BuyMarbles.com or even better (or at least a blast from the past) Marble Mania. This guy will appraise marbles for you and give you $$ for them! If that’s not your thing, just peruse his website to see a lot of different brands/types that are popular/common. He has to be legit… he still uses an AOL e-mail and has a website straight from the 90’s.

Let’s take a look at some completed listings for marbles and figure out why they sold on eBay for so much money!

Lots of Marble Lots

Estate Sale Vintage Marble Lot eBay

I swear that I found these “estate lot” sold listings after writing the first few paragraphs. These sellers think like I do!

So there you go, if you find a huge lot, and you’re pretty sure they’re old, take a picture of them on a blanket and sell them for ~$400! Done and done. Probably not simple to ship, as you’ll want to make sure they’re individually wrapped, but still can be a big win if you can get them for cheap!

Brands

I’m going to steal a little from Wikipedia here, but I had no clue what I was looking at when I was reading these marble titles or descriptions.

Apparently, marbles were originally handmade in Germany during the 1800s. Then they were brought over to the US and started to be mass-produced (what wasn’t?) using glass. The main companies were Martin Frederick (M.F.) Christensen (1903-1917) and Akro Agate (1911-1951). Some others that can be out there are listed on the BuyMarbles website that I mentioned earlier.

And finally, the most important part: HOW DO I KNOW WHAT BRAND THIS IS?

I have absolutely no freaking clue, and it seems like a lot of other people aren’t sure either. Sorry for that, but I think it’s one of those situations where it’s easier to tell when the marbles are in your hand.

Basically, if you have ones that are post 1940’s, they’re not worth a lot. People want the older ones… go figure!

Condition

Like most antique toys/items, condition is very important, but if you’ve got a rare one, it can still sell for a lot

This marble looks like crap and still sold for $600!!!

Vintage Onionskin Marble eBay

I have nothing to add. Flabbergasted!

There’s a big crack in this sucker; the only saving grace is that it’s one of the bigger ones (a shooter). I’m guessing this is the reason it sold for so much.

Lesson learned?

Well, there seems to be a ton of information out there for anyone who’s interested, but in the end, I probably won’t buy any marbles. But then again, now that I say that, I’m going to buy a ton this weekend on the cheap and end up slipping on one and breaking my ankle. That’s how the marble rolls I guess…

Comments 7

  1. My brother used to be a huge marble collector and knew so much about them. He had beautiful antique marbles (with those important pontils) and some sulphides which are clear and have little figures in them. I sold a few for him on Ebay and did fairly well. This was a quite a while ago. Photographing them was quite the challenge as collectors want to see every side and know about every nick and chip. My brother also had huge amounts of machine made marbles in big jars. They were beautiful , but like you said, every design/color combo/etc has a different name and it’s mind boggling. I used to buy marbles, not knowing if they were good or bad. Most of the time they were worthless (newer), but it’s that one or two that could be a Lutz or onionskin or some other rare old marble that will make you big bucks. Very hard to find in most cases. Identifying them takes a lot of research. Asking an expert is your best bet.

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      That’s so neat that your brother was into marbles. It’s definitely a niche hobby, and they really are beautiful to look at.

  2. Marbles! Who knew? Not me! I had a huge bucket of old marbles that I played with as a kid… I’m wondering where they are now. I better call my parents and make sure they don’t give them away!

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      LOL I get that feeling all the time. “Wait a sec, I played with that toy as a kid! Maybe my parents still have it!”

      Most of the time, they junked it years ago, but there’s been a few lucky times where they still had it.

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  3. My 15yo used to collect marbles when he was younger and I’ve done some research on them before and knew that some sell really well. But I haven’t been able to spot any while out sourcing. I keep telling my son to hold on to them and we’ll sell them at a nice profit 50 years into the future! 🙂

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