There was a time when dairy products were delivered to your doorstep and left in a milk box. While that delivery system has long since gone, there is a certain nostalgia for it, which is why today many of the items used in this process, including the milk bottles and milk boxes, are particularly prized by collectors. The value of a milk box can vary based on a number of intangible items.
What Do You Have?
It is one thing to say that you have a milk box that was in the family for years, it's another to prove it. To do this, look over the box carefully for any stamps or markings that might help identify it. Often, what you will find is the name of the dairy from where the milk was delivered. The value of your milk box will depend on a number of things, including age, condition, scarcity, markings (i.e., a dairy name) and desirability. Use a camera to get pictures of the box, along with any markings or stamps you uncover. You will need these to help research and eventually sell your milk box.
With your new-found information, you'll want to play detective and learn what you can about the age, origination and history of your milk box. While you can do a general Internet search, your best source of information may be your local historical society or reference librarian, particularly if you have the name of the dairy. Because many of the boxes are plain, without identifying markers, the historian or librarian may not be able to give you an exact date for your box, but they should be able to help you discern the years that the dairy was delivering milk.
Find Your Box a New Home
Now it's time to find your milk box a new home. The additional detail you've uncovered will go a long way toward helping to sell your item. If you have found a dairy name on the box, and it's a local dairy, you might want to start your sales reach within your area, as you'll be reaching collectors of antiques and local history. Otherwise, you can look to a broader group of collectors. For a slightly less labor-intensive approach, you can use an online auction site to sell your milk box.
Noell Wolfgram Evans started writing professionally in 1998. Since that time his work has appeared in "Written By," "ByLine," "Cleveland's Best," "fps" and "614" among other outlets. A two-time winner of the Thurber Treat Award, Evans is a 1997 graduate of the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Arts in communications.