eBay Collectibles: The New Vintage 1960s

By: Phil Dunn

The eBay trends, they are a changin’. This is part one of a three-part series on eBay Collectibles trends for items dating from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. These are very hot new decades for Colllectibles sales.

According to legendary eBay Collectibles expert Lynn Dralle (and some Terapeak analysis), the Collectibles items being sold on eBay are undergoing a major shift right now.

“People are trying to buy their childhoods,” said Dralle. “They don’t want antiques from the 1890s. People want the 1960s, 70s and 80s. They're buying toys and art from their childhood and the homes they grew up in.”

As the demographics of the eBay collector community change, and as people whose parents raised them in the 60s, 70s and 80s get to an age where their disposable income gravitates toward sentimental and nostalgic purchases, the hot selling items have changed. “Instead of 100+-year-old Victorian antiques, collectors are buying what they saw in their parents’ and grandparents’ houses,” said Dralle.

Take 1960s collectibles, for example. A quick perusal of sold items shows some things that you might expect. Anything Beatles sells for high dollar. This includes albums, mugs, thermoses, lunch boxes and other kitschy memorabilia. One of the most expensive 1960s sales recently: A rare Rolling Stones 7-inch single, which attracted 42 bids and fetched $17,100. Interestingly, the seller originally listed it for $15. If you look at the comments on the listing, you’ll see that he gradually discovered he had a super rare gem of a single on his hands.

The Beatles thermos seen in the photo here is pretty cool, too. It sold for $300.

Another huge 1960s category - and a big category generally - is Mid-Century Modern. This includes all kinds of listings for furniture, rugs, dishes, coasters, lamps, carved wood decorations and other art. There’s a noticeable trend for space age art and furniture, too. This includes Sputnik-looking sculptures, wall clocks and paintings. As we’ll see with the 1970s and 1980s, typewriters and designer wall clocks are also popular.

What’s interesting is the lack of toys in the listings. Compared to the 1970s and 1980s, toy collectibles are notably absent. There are a few Tonka toys sold, as well as some early Barbie and G.I. Joe dolls, but overall, the category is somewhat barren.

Vintage turntables, watches, glassware, lava lamps, TV trays, Margaret Keane art, and nude velvet paintings, on the other hand, sold quite well.

There are noteworthy high-dollar sales in these categories, as well. People are paying for some really cool, arty stuff. Interestingly, the shifts change as time goes on.

Next up, we’ll show you the evolution as we explore the 1970s and 1980s.