Buying and Selling Antiques| Antique Dealer with 25 years experience reveals insider secrets of buying and selling antiques and collectibles

Top 5 Antiques Price Guides


I am going to rank the top 5 antiques price guides and tell you why I have ranked them in this order. If you are an antique dealer or serious antique collector, it is imperative to invest in antique price guides. I say “invest” because it is an investment in your education about antiques. I can’t tell you how much money I have made because of what I have learned from one of these price guides.Miller's Antiques Price Guide

My Top 5 Antiques Price Guides

1) My very favorite antiques price guide is “Miller’s Antiques Handbook & Price Guide.” This book is the bible of antiques as far as I am concerned. It will not give as many prices as some of the other price guides, but it gives so much information. The color photographs and descriptions are outstanding. Several years a go Miller’s went to all photographs being in color, which is much more educational. I consider the Miller’s Guide a reference book as well as a price guide. One of the many questions that I get is “How do you know this oak chest of drawers was made around 1820?” Most of the time I learned it from one of my Miller’s Antiques Price Guides. I could often show a customer, while they were in the store, a description of a similar chest of drawers with the same dove tails on the drawers and the same feet, etc. of the chest they were considering. That was also very useful when I was writing descriptions and photographing items to show on my internet listings when trying to sell antiques online.

Miller’s comes out with a new edition every year. I strongly recommend that you get two consecutive years. I might add that this is good advice for most price guides. Most guides will concentrate on one area one year and a different area the next. For example they might highlight majolica one year, and then transferware the next. They will cover both each year, but will have much more information one year. You can usually get a reduced price on last year’s guide here on Amazon. I am speaking from a dealer’s point of view when ranking this guide #1.

Here is a comparisone chart on four of the antiques price guides that might be helpful. The Schroeder’s Antiques Price Guide was not included only because of a glitch in the software that generates the chart.

Image
TitleKovels' Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide 2013: America's Bestselling Antiques AnnualAntique Trader Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2013 (Antique Trader Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide)Warman's Antiques & Collectibles 2013 Price Guide (Warman's Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide)Miller's Antiques Handbook and Price Guide 2012-2013 (Miller's Antiques Handbook & Price Guide)
AuthorTerry KovelEric BradleyZac BissonnetteJudith Miller
BindingPaperbackPaperbackPaperbackHardcover
EditionNew2946
ISBN1579129153144023206714402294301845336380
ListPrice$27.95$22.99$29.99$45.00
NumberOfPages752816800648
PublicationDate2012-09-112012-10-042012-04-022011-10-17
TitleKovels' Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide 2013: America's Bestselling Antiques AnnualAntique Trader Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2013 (Antique Trader Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide)Warman's Antiques & Collectibles 2013 Price Guide (Warman's Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide)Miller's Antiques Handbook and Price Guide 2012-2013 (Miller's Antiques Handbook & Price Guide)
Price$15.64$14.25$19.29$29.67
Rating5.0 out of 5 stars5.0 out of 5 stars out of 5 stars out of 5 stars
ReviewsRead ReviewsRead ReviewsRead ReviewsRead Reviews
LinkMore InfoMore InfoMore InfoMore Info

The Miller’s Guide comes out only as a hardback, so it is more expensive than some others, but is well worth the investment. This guide is more geared to fine antiques and collectibles, but also has some inexpensive items. But if you are a yard sale addict, this would not be the guide I would recommend for you. See my #2 antiques price guide for you. Coming from Dallas, which is very European when it comes to antiques, and doing most of my buying in England, Miller’s does have more English and European antiques and collectibles than other guides. So if you are a completely American antiques and collectibles person, look at my #3 pick.Antiques Price Guides

2) The #2 antiques price guide is “Schroeder’s Antiques Price Guide.”
I found it helpful to have this guide as well as the Miller’s guide because it contains a much wider assortment of items in more price ranges.  If you are more of a flea market person than an antique show person (I love both), then this is the ideal antiques guide for you. It also has a lot more information and prices on less expensive collectibles. The Schroeder’s Guide will list many prices without a detailed description and photo. So you need to know about the item that you are trying to price. Schroeder’s also has more American collectibles. The Miller’s guides have many more photographs and full descriptions, but Schroeder’s list many more prices. I again recommend getting two consecutive years to get a more complete “picture.” A great example is the listing for a certain collectible, say Coke collectibles. One year there may be only 20-25 listings where the very next year there will be listings for trays, signs, bottles, etc. If you have not bought these price guides before, I think you will find that you want to be continually buying more to add to your antiques library.

3) Kovels’ Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide is my pick for number 3. The Kovels were one of the pioneers of teaching us about antiques. They had the TV program where they would travel the country attending antique shows and finding things to show us. My Kovels Price Guide 2013wife had the honor of being interviewed by Mr. Kovel about a beautiful rosewood and beaded Victorian arm chair we were showing at the Marburger Farm Antique Show. We now have the chair in our home. The 2012 guide is the 44th edition of this popular guide.

The Kovels’ Guide has over 700 different categories and includes over 2500 color photographs. It gives a better balance of high and lower priced items than the other two. It also gives a good balance of American and international items. If I had not been so in love with shopping in England, my store name was London Market Antiques, I might have chosen this guide as my favorite.

4) “Warman’s Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide” is my #4 ranked antiques price guide. These price guides have been around since 1948. So they have to be doing something right to have been printing price guides for over sixty years. In fact four of the five people who gave a review on the 2013 guide, gave it 5 stars.

Warman’s also offers a feature not found in other price guides, a “future of the market” report where experts give their opinions of where that phase of the antique market is going and what will be increasing in value or the next hot collectible. The 2013 edition contains over 800 pages and you can purchase it here on Amazon with free shipping.Warmans Antiques Price Guide 2013

5) Coming in at #5 is the “Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide.” The 2011 guide was their 27th edition. This one also has over 800 pages of helpful information and has over 4500 color photographs. It is the least expensive of the price guides on Amazon. This guide also gives market reports on 15 different categories.

Before the internet the Antique Trader was my main source for finding out information about different antiques and collectibles. It is where I found the first person I used for buying antiques in England. So they have both a magazine and a price guide.Antiques Price Guides

Other Antiques Price Guides

There are other antiques price guides on the market and I have only listed general guides. There are many other reference books and price guides on specific categories of antiques. The list would take pages just to try to list them all.

If you enjoyed this article on antiques price guides and found it helpful, I would really appreciate your clicking on the “Like” button and sharing with your friendsI encourage you to comment on your favorite antiques price guides whether you agree with me or not.

Leave a Reply