QSL card is dead?

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by K7MHI, Nov 15, 2009.

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  1. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Right off the top of my head, that sounds like a fairly reasonable offer. Even if you're not planning on selling them on e-bay, that is a good place to get a rough value of their worth. If you do so, however, you need to check the completed auctions to get the price that things actually sold for, rather than current auctions. Also, as with many things, there are probably a few cards that have more value, so sales of individual cards wouldn't be particularly informative. You would need to look for collections of about the same size and age.

    I suspect that they are a bit like old family photos. If I had a thousand old family pictures of various people I didn't know, there wouldn't be a lot of economic value. The value is to the people with some connection.

    Fortunately, with QSL cards, it's quite possible to find the history of the person(s) involved. I suspect that there are a lot of people who would be interested in obtaining an old QSL card of a family member, or perhaps of the former holder of their callsign. If someone had a large collection, it seems to me that the best way to sell it would be to post it somewhere on the internet so that the text is searchable. Then, when someone does a search for their grandfather's old callsign, they will be able to see his card for sale.
  2. N3XP

    N3XP Ham Member QRZ Page

    See the N3XP up there near my avatar? That is my call sign. It will be a combo of letter and numbers.
  3. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yep, that will be the biggest letters on the card. For the ones from the 1930's, the U.S. ones will be the letter W, followed by a number between 1 and 9, followed by two or three letters, for example, W1ABC, W2DE, W3FGH, etc.
  4. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    Actually, those calls from the contiguous 48 states should start with a "W" for cards prior to World War II. However, all of the possessions and territories (then including Alaska and Hawai'i) started with a "K" until shortly after World War II when "K" calls started to be issued in the contiguous 48. Even then, the territories and possession calls started with a "K" but had a second letter added (i.e. "L" for Alaska, "H" for Hawai'i, "P" for Puerto Rico, and so forth).

    Glen, K9STH
  5. KB0TT

    KB0TT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    How Far

    It amazes me how convoluted these threads can get.

    Anyone REMEMBER what the original question ( POST ) was ???

    Another WOW.

  6. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, I hadn't thought of that. At first, I started to type "K or W", but then I thought about it and concluded that there weren't any "K" calls back then. I figured that someone would correct me if I missed something. :D And sure enough, I didn't think about the territories!

    I was actually hoping that someone would tell me I forgot to include the number zero. I was all ready to tell them that there weren't any zero calls until after the war. :D
  7. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    There were calls that included a "zero". However, those were not in the amateur radio service.

    Also, prior to World War II there were a number of states that were divided between at least 2 call areas.

    Glen, K9STH
  8. K7MH

    K7MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    They may ask, but they may not get! You would have to look for them in the completed auctions to see what (if anything) they got for them.
    I have seen a lot of them on Ebay but also have seem few with bids. Maybe people that just collect old postcards. Maybe trying to get old stamps? Maybe they think (as many do) that anything old will make them rich! I see them a lot but haven't even bothered to notice just what really old ones will go for so i guess they didn't impress me much. Some of the oldest ones, with the calls like 8GF or 6DM for US calls, I have seen on occasion go for a good amount. Some people collect stuff related to just certain countries as well.
    You could spend a lot of time (and ebay fees) listing them individually before you hit a good one since you have no background in ham calls or ebay as well.
    I have no idea why someone would want someone else's QSL cards regardless of their age. But, people collect all kinds of weird stuff!!

    Just now poking around in the completed auctions, bids can be all over the place for them even more recent one's from the 60's and some with no bids at all. :confused:
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  9. K7MHI

    K7MHI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would say for good cash you will want to find a old man radio operator in the area, post up your location and see if anyone is near you.

    that experienced operator can go thru the box and identify if there is unique cards that might be worth value.

    otherwise as said before you have a box of paper and are expecting someone to put value to someones memory's and good times. well a lot of people have them and its hard to say your going to get 10 bucks 400 bucks or the price of shipping.

    I would give you the price of shipping and 20 bucks for your time just because I like looking at them, then pass them on to another ham.

    but to be uneducated about ebay means you have no account, so people wont trust to buy from you. having no information about the cards further lowers the value.

    I would put a add in craigslist over ebay and say QSL cards come get em.

    another Idea is take a close up picture of 2-3 of them and post up here we can help with the owner of them and the significance if any at all.

    otherwise my offer for shipping and 20 bucks stands and is a damn good value for otherwise useless paper to a 3rd party, just as fancy as collecting post cards (meaning the stamps are gonna be worth more then anything)

    @W0JBC no kidding :)
  10. K7MH

    K7MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    A lot of guys will try to talk you out of them for a song. Not many can be trusted (and they have no requirement) to give you an accurate assessment.

    It seems that he has already had an offer for $400 for the bunch of them.
    If you have what someone wants pretty badly on Ebay, being a new seller matters little. Especially if it is not a high priced item. Everyone who sells stuff on Ebay had to start out at zero.
    The problem with the cards is figuring out the best way to put them on there and how long it could take to be finished with them.
    It took me over three months to list 65 old Heathkit catalogs I got for $5.
    They were actually pushed at me for $5! It was time consuming but the net gain was $630. I learned a lot about how to list that kind of thing! One collector bought most of them and he was in constant e-mail contact with me.
    He never even once asked me to sell them out right to him. He was improving the quality of his collection with better issues as well as adding ones he didn't have. I would not care to collect paper products as they require too much care in the long term and are easily ruined. Especially the cheaper pulp paper stuff like catalogs and comic books. I am not much of a collector anyway.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
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