When I was going to several estate sales every week, I sort of specialized in finding the offbeat items that people collect. The reason for this is becomes obvious if you have ever attended an estate sale. The early rush of people trying to buy the “common” collectibles can be pretty obnoxious and they tear through the place like a swarm of locusts. I never liked competing with them.
Here we have a great example of the kind of vintage collectible I always loved to find. Vintage sign letters. These old beauties are the kind of thing that people do not want to store if they don’t collect them or have a use for them. They are also the kind of thing that you don’t just run out an buy locally if you want them. That makes them a great find if you are a seller. For people who want to buy these old letters, eBay is the perfect place to find them all centrally located.
I’ve got to be honest, this is one of those things that I never thought about until I started hunting down “uncommon” collectibles. Who knows how many signs I drove by before I ever thought of them actually costing money. Sign lettering isn’t cheap I guess. There are all different kinds of lettering out there too! There are changeable letter signs and signs that are more permanent. There are metal sign letters, vinyl, neon, plastic. Wow. Sign lettering can get pretty darn involved.
So anyway, as I was checking out these letters, I saw that there were people selling off the old letters that came off of buildings. They were listing them one at a time and they were selling like hotcakes! I still haven’t seen these being sold at any estate sales. I guess you would have to attend an auction where a business was selling off pretty much everything as it closed up shop or moved to a new location. Another option would be finding a commercial sign company and waiting for it to go under, but that might take quite a while.
The old sign letters I saw were from the 1960s and they were metal and neon. There are all kinds of lettering that sell really well though. Even old hand lettered signs get the attention of some people. I guess if you are looking for a really cool way to show off your initials, some 70 inch tall letters hanging on your wall might do it and if you have a business that needs some signage, you might catch a bargain picking it up used.
If you are looking for vintage signs, well, that opens up an entirely new area. There are tons of these being sold on eBay and I don’t know where they all come from because that is one thing that I always had a tough time finding. I’m mentioning them here because they are extremely collectible and if you see some vintage or antique signs for sale cheap, you might want to grab them. Bidding on them can get going pretty good if it is the right old sign.