Beer Label Values
Top 10 Rules to determining vintage beer label values :
- There can be NO accurate beer label price guides - beer label prices are very subjective & are changing all the time. There are too many beer labels & minor variations for a book to have accurate beer label prices. Values change when the economy changes. Values change when large label finds are made. Values change when certain breweries/areas become more or less popular. Values change as there are more & less collectors. Very simply............
VALUES ARE ALWAYS CHANGING & ARE ALWAYS OPEN TO INTERPRETATION.
It is impossible to put an accurate fixed value on a beer label.
Only general value ranges can be established.
- Demand is most important - a beer label increases in value when the demand is greater than the supply. There are very scarce beer labels that have little demand, so their value remains low. There are very abundant beer labels that have extremely high demand, so their value remains high. Changes in label availabillty and/or collector demand greatly affects the value of any beer label.
- Scarcity is also important - most of the time a scarce label will have greater value than a common label. There are some old beer labels that are available by the 1000s. Those will always have little value.
- Condition increases value - collecting beer labels is like any other hobby. Every collector wants the most pristine label example available. Minor upgrades in condition reflect much higher values. Used & offgrade labels have much lower values. Occasionally lower grade labels command high prices. That is not common & does not reflect the true value of a label.
- Large quantities decrease value - a label can decrease in value if too many are available. Many times large finds of scarce labels forever lower their value. Some labels have very little value because too many are available. Individual labels can also decrease in value for short times when too many are offered for sale at one time.
- Neck labels increase values - all label collectors want to have a complete set for each label. Most times, that means there is both a large base label and a smaller matching neck label. The complete set is worth more than either alone. Sometimes neck labels can bring very high premiums by themselves.
- Unused labels are preferred - there are a lot of unused labels out there. Collectors prefer unused labels & they will always have much higher values than labels that were removed from bottles.
- Loose labels are preferred - there are a lot of loose labels out there. Labels affixed to bottles or on album pages have much lower values then the same loose labels. Mounted labels should always be (professionally) removed to increase their value.
- Timing is everything - labels fluctuate in value. During low economic times, labels are a luxury collectible & their value will decrease. Labels can increase in value due to many factors that include : resurgence of a brewery/area, more collectors coming into the market, a shortage of labels for sale & prosperous economic times.
- Beauty is in the eye of the buyer - I have seen the same label sell for $5 and $50 !!! It happens over & over again. There is no rhyme or reason to it. Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay. If someone is willing to pay $50 for a $5 beer label, there will always be someone to sell it to them.