Research Beer Can Values
Posted: 6/6/2008 • Last Updated: 12/10/2015
Researching Beer Can Values
Perhaps you have found an old beer can or many beer cans in an attic, a basement, a crawl-space or a wall. Or, you may have an entire collection of beer cans. Frequently asked questions include "What is my beer can (Waldorf Golden Bock, for example) worth?" Or, "Are my beer cans valuable or worth saving?" Beginners, advanced collectors and dealers turn to Breweriana.com to find out fair market value of their antique and collectible cans.
If you've researched beer can values or sought an appraisal of old beer cans on the internet, by now you've seen all sorts of claims on web sites by folks who: will "pay 10% more than any other offer," or who are "collectors" and not "dealers," or who are "pros" or have years of experience, etc, etc.. These "collectors" have created a maze of sites which sometimes are helpful but often can be inaccurate.
The most objective and effective method to ascertain the value of anything is to get "comps" (ie, to find out for what price the same or very similar item has recently sold). Below we explain your beer can research alternatives. Most important is to research actual retail prices...Breweriana.com provides THE ONLY extensive, objective, unbiased database for finding actual, current prices. Here is how to research actual beer can (and breweriana) values on Breweriana.com:
1. Enter the name of your beer can or other item in the Keyword box to the top left (optionally select from a category or State in the boxes below).
2. Click the "Include All (In-Stock & Sold)" box.
3. Click the "Search" bar.
You have just searched the web's most comprehensive database of actual cans available for sale or sold and their list prices! If you do not find your specific can or beer advertising piece, you also may want to try browsing items previously sold on Breweriana.com to find out for how much items similar to yours have sold. You can do this by selecting "Browse Archived/Sold Products" from the "Shop" menu above.
Whether you are a beer can collector, or you found a can in a wall, or you inherited some old beer cans from a relative, we can help guide you through the maze of price guides, web sites and other information about old beer can values. These sources are incomplete and inaccurate.
If you do a little research on this web site or elsewhere on the internet, you will discover several books with beer can values. Many of these books are very valuable reference guides and are well worth acquiring but they are inaccurate when it comes to pricing. As a rule of thumb, the price guides are very conservative about beer can values and most of the values found in these guides are below current fair market value.
A saavy researcher of beer can values should seek substantive information and be wary of tall claims. Researching beer can values is much like researching home values or car values. The best information is "comps," ie, the price for which a comparable home, a comparable car, or a comparable beer can actually sold.
The two most extensive places beer can value researchers can find beer can comps are ebay and Breweriana.com.
Ebay is a useful, but limited, site for researching beer can values. Beer can values can best be researched on ebay by going to the "Advanced Search" feature, typing in the name of the can to be researched, and checking the box to include completed auctions. If the can you are researching currently is up for auction or has been sold in the last 30 days, you will be able to get some information. Make sure to compare the variation and the condition closely as these factors affect value greatly. The two basic problems with researching values on ebay are:
1. You are searching only inventory that currently is availabe for sale or that has been sold in the last 30 days---you likely will not be able to find a relevanat comp (same can in similar condition), and
2. Getting an accurate value can be difficult for many reasons. The prices realized on ebay may be too low because of the opportunity for buyers to cooperate with each other to keep prices down and because ebay sellers are at the mercy of the limited audience that shows up during the short duration of their auction. Also, the prices shown often may be a "buy it now" price that wasn't actually realized. Sometimes the prices realized may be artificially high as some sellers have been known to have friends bid their items up without actually buying the item or two over-passionate/under-informed bidders sometimes get into irrational bidding wars. We've seen the actual, same beer can get listed on ebay twice and realize vastly different final bids (an example is a Krueger Cream Ale instructional that sold just a few years ago on ebay for over $4,400...when the exact same can was re-listed on ebay in 2008, it sold for just $860). This is one of many examples like this we've seen. It seems that the majority of quality cans that sell on ebay today sell well below market value.
Having summarized the problems related to researching can values on ebay, it is worth re-stating that it nonetheless is a worthwile exercise.
Breweriana.com, simply put, is the best place to research can values. Breweriana.com is the leader in the collectible beer can industry, having bought and/or sold the very best beer cans and beer can collections in the hobby. The basic philosophy at Breweriana.com for buying, selling, and offering information related to values is transparency. We share actual can prices with you. We have an extensive, ever-growing, free database of cans currently for sale, as well as cans sold in the past twelve years at Breweriana.com (not all cans are listed yet...it's an ongoing process). We show you actual list price for cans whenever possible (some consignors or buyers request that the sales price remain confidential and a 0.00 price will show). Please note that the list price and the actual price realized sometimes are different. Price realized sometimes is lower than list price as a result of sales, discounts, shipping being included in the price, etc. Breweriana.com is the only place for researching actual retail list prices for beer cans sold.
Researching can values at Breweriana.com is very simple...see the instructions above. If you don't find your can using this search, it is likely we have experience with your can but haven't yet entered it into our database. Just send us an email or give us a call toll free at 1-888-423-3722.
Another source for researching beer cans is ebeercans.com. This site does not provide values but does provide relative scarcity and other useful information.