ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Collecting Antique Postcards - A Beginner's Guide

Updated on March 4, 2013

Collecting antique postcards can be an entertaining hobby as well as a learning experience. I collect only the greeting cards from the early 1900's. But there are numerous other types and varieties of postcards to collect. Many people will pick a theme, such as a certain city or country, or perhaps a particular animal, etc. There's no end to what you can collect.


Where To Find Cards

You might be asking "But where can I find cards?" The best way is if you can attend a local post card show. I have one in a nearby city that is twice a year. You should be able to do a search for paper or postcard shows to find any that are near you. At the show, there will be tables with people selling postcards. They are usually in boxes and will be categorized by subject or type. I always look for the special sale ones that might be as low as 25 cents each to $1.00 each. You might have to hunt through hundreds of cards to find the type you're looking for, however, so be prepared to spend the better part of a day there. The hunt is part of the fun of collecting, though. For most cards, expect to pay two to five dollars each for the common ones. Rare cards can go anywhere up from there, even into the hundreds of dollars for a single card.

Another good place to find cards is Ebay. I've bought many from Ebay, either individually when I find one that is part of a set I have (or I just like it) or I will buy them in a lot of many cards. When buying in lots, you might get a few you really like along with many you don't like or some you already have, but many sellers show all postcards in the lot so you know pretty well what you will be getting. Some, however, only show a representative few of the cards in the lot, so it's a grab bag. But that can be fun and exciting, too. Prices can vary from a dollar or two to five or six dollars for common ones, going up from there for the rarer ones. Of course, shipping is added on top of that. Some people charge crazy high prices for common cards, too, and I have no idea what's up with that.


Storing and Organizing your Cards

You've purchased some cards and now what? The first thing you want to do is put them in protective sleeves (see photo at right). These sleeves will protect your cards when you handle them to sort and look at them. Many of these cards are around a hundred years old, so you want to protect them from the oils from your hands. You can buy these sleeves on Amazon, Ebay or many places where trading cards are sold.

I have two types of storage I use for my postcards. One is photo storage books that have slots for two cards on a page (I bought these at a discount store). The other type are pages that you can get with 4 slots to a page and they have 3 holes for using in 3-ring binders. These can be purchased on Amazon or Ebay and you can find them by searching for "4 pocket pages".

As you accumulate more and more cards, you will need to organize them so you can find ones you're looking for. I sort mine by topic and also keep the vertical and horizontal ones separate so I don't have to keep turning the book to look at them. I have separate books for the sets. In addition, after sorting by topic, I'll put similar styles together. In doing that, I often find new sets, but it's also easier to find duplicates. I frequently end up with duplicate cards and will choose the one in the best condition and put the other one in my box for selling on Ebay.

This is the type of pages I use with the 3-ring binders.  They are clear and made from archival quality material.  You can put a total of 8 cards on each page, having 4 of them back to back.
This is the type of pages I use with the 3-ring binders. They are clear and made from archival quality material. You can put a total of 8 cards on each page, having 4 of them back to back.
This is a picture of 4 cards in the photo book.
This is a picture of 4 cards in the photo book.
This photo shows the binder open with two pages of cards showing, using the above card holders.
This photo shows the binder open with two pages of cards showing, using the above card holders.
This is how I store my binders and photo books.  The smaller books are the photo books.
This is how I store my binders and photo books. The smaller books are the photo books.

You probably wonder what I do with all my cards now that I have them. Mostly they sit on the shelf happily in their binders. Sometimes I take them out and look at them. Sometimes I rearrange them. Sometimes I take them out and draw them or use them as inspiration for drawings. Sometimes I scan them into my computer and use bits and pieces of them for graphics. Now I hope to share many of them with all of you via Hub Pages. They are just too beautiful to hide away.

Happy collecting!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)