Antique radios are a popular nostalgic collectible, and passionate collectors always want the very finest samples of antique radios from various eras. Some varieties from the 1950s and '60s are easily found, while other, more unique and early examples are more difficult to acquire. When buying or selling antique radios, the more you know will translate directly into dollars, as you don't want to overspend on junk or give away a treasure.
Determine the make, model and year of production. The value of an antique radio will differ widely depending on these variables. The size will also come into play as will the functioning of the antique. A good-quality, functioning radio will obviously be worth more than a poorly maintained radio without the hardware to make it work.
Check them out on eBay. The largest online auction house around, eBay has a large number of antique radios for sale and hundreds of pictures and descriptions that can not only help you identify your treasure but can also help you set a price for sale or insurance purposes. Getting an idea of the range of prices can also help you determine if a local sale is a good deal or not.
Look at local antique malls. Antique malls can contain overpriced items and flea-market bargain finds, but again, by searching through each booth or stall a person can get an idea of what antique radios are common, most collectible and their price ranges.
Register with an antique radio collectors forum. There are numerous antique radio collection clubs and forums that you can join online for free that will help you get an idea of the value of an unusual or hard-to-identify antique radio. Simply submit a photo of your radio to the forum and ask for help, and you will have many qualified responses.
Get a book. Most antique professionals refer to books on each collectible antique to price items in their own shops, and you can do the same. Whether you purchase the book or check out a library edition, antique radio collectors books can help identify and price your own collection. A good reference to keep in the car while you hit the garage sales, a price guide can help you make some smart purchases as well.
Take it to an appraiser. If you have a very old and rare antique radio, take a photo of it or bring it in for an appraisal by an educated antique radio dealer. Do some research on your own so that you have some knowledge before your consultation, but a really rare radio will be worth the cost of an official appraisal.
Always look at the condition of the radio's case, as this is the most important aspect to novice collectors who want to display the item.
Do some research before you begin to buy your radios to make sure you are getting authentic vintage finds instead of modern reproductions.