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  index hints'n'tips camera value
c a m e r a   v a l u e
How much is my Kodak worth?

Most basic cameras, especially Kodaks, which includes Brownies and Hawk-Eyes, were often made literally by the million and as such there are usually still a lot around. The chances are that the dusty black Brownie you've found in the attic/basement/cupboard or wherever is only worth a few pounds/dollars. Coloured cameras have an aesthetic attraction in their own right and are usually worth somewhat more than their sober black counterpart, in good condition.

Like many, I feel the original handle/strap of a box camera, which is usually leather, is an integral part. As these often break and get lost, a camera with its original handle is rather more attractive than one without, especially when, as in some cases, the only model designation of the camera is on the strap itself.

Cameras that are really clean, especially if in the original box with the instruction book and original accessories, can have some collector value and need to be evaluated on an individual basis. Whatever one feels about "on-line" auction sites such as eBay, they do have some value, in as much as they give a good idea of the availablity of different models and of how much people are actually paying for them, which is usually a better guide than the often arbitary price tag on a camera in the local "antique" shop. In recent times the sheer quantities of the commoner Kodak cameras has become obvious, due to websites such as eBay. Many of the more basic common models are now not even reaching an initial asking price of a dollar or two and some more sophisiticated cameras, that a year or two ago may have sold for $50-100 or more, are now often fetching less than half that, as the market has flooded.

The oft-quoted price guides that are published by various sources may define their values as referring to the retail price of "mint condition" items. This literally means the item is "as-new", which, by definition, means there are no marks or wear at all, that it is in good working order, will probably have a guarantee of some kind and may well be boxed with instructions. Any deviation from this description immediately reduces the value, similarly purchases from an unknown private individual or itinerant trader who is in no position to provide a guarantee should be at a significantly lower price than that from a reputable dealer.

However, some apparently basic cameras are uncommon, indeed, even rare, and may have fairly significant value to a specialist collector, but, as always, there is the need to find an interested party with the cash available before one can benefit from one's good fortune. Here again, "on-line" auction sites such as eBay will probably give best exposure to the widest audience and consequently the highest selling price, especially if the item is offered internationally. It must be borne in mind that the available numbers of any of the commoner Kodaks far outweighs the numbers of people actually collecting them, so it is usually a buyers' market, though cameras that are common in the USA, for example, may not have been marketed elswhere, so may be more desirable overseas, though there will obviously be the added cost of shipping to be considered.

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