7 - Selling or disposing of a large collection.

 

I have a lot of old radio, TV, hi-fi, electrical Instruments, electronic test equipment, tubes, or other vintage electronics or components from a collection or estate to dispose of.

Perhaps you had a relative or friend who was a fellow collector or who was a radio or television repairman "back in the day". Maybe that describes yourself and you are looking to down-size your holdings. MAARC is honored to assist in such efforts. We recognize that as collectors we are merely stewards of items of historic value and want to help pass them along to those who will continue to preserve them.

If you have just a few items, we will sell them at one of our regular auctions as described under the question on Can I Sell It? above. If you have a large number of items we may set up a special auction or try to feature the estate items as a special emphasis at one of our big event auctions. These three events, RadioActivity, RadioFallFest, and RadioWinterFest, are normally in June, October, and January respectively. By arrangement with you, we can handle pick-up, hauling, and advertising for such events. For this effort we typically ask a 15% sellers commission on the auction sales, which we feel is very reasonable for our time and trouble which can be considerable. MAARC welcomes donations, which gets the items off your hands easily and puts them in the hands of interested collectors. Below are MAARC's auction policies (in .pdf format, requires Adobe® reader software). Please contact one of the volunteers listed in the second question above for more information.

Another option is to donate such items. MAARC will take donations, which gets them off your hands easily. While donations to MAARC are always welcomed, greatly appreciated, and help the club succeed, donors should recognize that MAARC is not an IRS 501(c)(3) organization. Therefore donations to MAARC cannot be claimed as a tax deduction for those who itemize deductions. Please let us know if you wish to have a tax write off as there are local radio museum charities we can refer you to. The National Capital Radio & Television Museum - NCRTV (formerly the Radio and Television Museum, which was started by MAARC), is a 501(c)(3) organization. They will generally accept your items, but please contact them first in that they have limited storage. You can contact the NCRTV Museum through their website at http://www.ncrtv.org/

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6 - I just want to get rid of it!

I have a vintage electronic component such as an old radio, TV, hi-fi component, electronic test set, electric instrument, vacuum tubes or other repair parts, or other related stuff that I just want to get rid of.

And we appreciate you contacting us rather than just trashing it. It is true that many old radios, other vintage electronics, and their parts and pieces are not worth much, especially if they are in poor condition. If it looks like junk, it probably is, but you never know when you might have "another man's treasure", and we do want the chance to check out what you have. Assuming you are in the Mid-Atlantic region (greater Washington, DC/Baltimore area) we have Radio Rescue volunteers who can visit you to take a look and let you know if it is worth us taking it off your hands. Frankly, we usually do so as a service, particularly if it isn't worth much. And we will let you know if it is valuable enough that it would be worth your while to sell it instead. Contact one of the volunteers listed below. If you live outside the Mid-Atlantic region we will try to hook you up with a local antique radio club. You might find one yourself on our links page under Other Clubs.

MAARC welcomes donations, which gets the items off your hands easily and puts them in the hands of interested collectors. But be aware that MAARC is not an IRS 501(c)(3) charity organization. Therefore donations to MAARC cannot be claimed as a tax deduction for those who are able to itemize deductions. Please let us know if you wish to have a tax write off as there are local radio museum charities we can refer you to.

Annapolis, MD Area

Dave Rossetti :  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Steve Hansman :  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

DC Area

John Begg :  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Eric Stenberg :  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Northern Maryland (Interstate 270 corridor)

Brian Belanger :  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Northern Virginia (near Dulles airport)

Geoff Shearer :  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Western Maryland

Ed Lyon :  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

4 - Can it be fixed?

I have an old radio, hi-fi component, TV, electric instrument, or electronic test set, and I want to know if it can be fixed?

Yes, most likely it can be made to play again. Perhaps you have a family hierloom or a neat flea market find that would make a dandy conversation piece in your home. It is fun to have them working again. Warning, if it has not yet been restored, do not plug it inFollow the link to the left as to why that is not safe nor advisable.

Understand that restoring old electronics is custom work and may cost more than the set itself is worth, especially if the cabinet requires work as well as the electronics. We collector hobbyists do this for fun and rarely worry about that fact. But it may be an issue for you if you are paying for it.

There are professionals who hire out for such work. Check out the Services Offered section of our links page for some we know of. Some do both electronics and cabinet refinishing. If they are not local you will likely need to ship your set to them.

If you feel you have the skills to do part or all of the restoration yourself, check our Useful Links page for help with sources of parts and getting started. If you find out you really enjoy it, you should consider joining MAARC! You can also contact the MAARC members listed in the second question above for advice.

I should give a nod here to the historic purists. A growing subset of collectors feels that if you encounter an old radio or electronic device that is fully original, in other words, never had repair work done or parts replaced, it should be left as is to preserve the historic record. Such sets may not play again but can still make a fine display piece, which is usually what old radios and other sets are most of the time anyway. Pre-WWII era sets like this are not so common anymore, but if your set is one of these you might want to take it into consideration. The National Capital Radio & Television Museum has a radio restoration shop and repairs radios for Museum members.

5 - Can I sell it?

I have a vintage electronic device, such an old radio, TV, vacuum tubes and parts, hi-fi component, electric instrument, or electronic test set, and I want to sell it.

The club does not buy vintage electronics directly, but we do offer several venues to help you sell it to our members or other collectors. Each of our monthly meetings offers a free flea market and a small auction. There is a small commission for auction sales. Of course, there is no guarantee that items will sell in the flea market. Three times a year we offer larger meets with bigger flea markets and auctions. The larger auctions are more likely to garner better prices. These three events, RadioActivity, RadioFallFest, and Radio WinterFest, are normally in June, October, and January respectively. Check the Calendar Page for dates and details. (If you have a lot of stuff to sell see the answer for radio estates below).

You can also put a classified ad in our monthly newsletter, Radio Age. Contact the editors,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for details.

Or check the Services section of our Useful Links page for web sites that let you list old radios for sale.

Antique Radio Classified is another publication where you can buy a listing for a reasonable fee.

While we do not endorse them, and do not always even like them, we have to admit (and sometimes even shop) online auctions such as eBay®. They can be very effective places to sell old radios and vintage electronics. By the way, if you are thinking of selling it and it has not been restored, do not plug it in!

3 - What is it worth?

I have an old radio, TV, electronic vacuum tubes and parts, hi-fi component, electric instrument, or electronic test set, and I want to know what is it worth?

This is sort of a subset of the second question above but we get asked it a lot. In fact, I'm going to send you back to the second question answer to use the email contacts there. But first, keep in mind that most old radios and related equipment are not worth a lot. You will not be retiring to the South Pacific after selling Grandma's old Philco. Radios in antique stores are frequently over-priced, probably due to ignorance or wishful thinking on the part of the dealer. There are some radios worth in the hundreds of dollars to collectors, and many fewer in the thousands of dollars range, and a rare few in the tens of thousands of dollars. Chances are your radio or other electronic device is none of these, but, hey, it doesn't hurt to check. Also know that condition plays a big part in the value of a radio or vintage electronic device along with rarity and age. That is why the prices you may see in price guides or on ebay® may not apply to your set. By the way, if you are thinking of selling it and it has not been restored, do not plug it in!

If you are looking for a professional appraisal for insurance purposes or the like, please let us know when you contact us and we will try and find a good referral.