If you are a collector of sheet music, I surely hope you do it because you enjoy it. The past 10 years has seen a decline in prices and those collecting sheet music.
But, that does not mean it can’t be fun. In many ways it makes it better. You will be able to find more items you are looking for and at cheaper prices than ever before.
Most collectors of sheet music do it based on age, type of music, cover design, characters or people featured on the covers.
Regardless of the direction you have chosen for collecting, there are some great items out there to find.
If you are just beginning, search for colorful sheets. These seem to be of the highest value. Look for big names of original vintage sheet music like “Casablanca”, “Gone with the Wind” or “The Wizard of Oz”. The older the better it is.
Next, focus on characters, especially from the 1920-30s. Characters like Dick Tracy, the Katzenjammer Kids, Alley Oop or even Popeye. Even Mickey Mouse and Woody Woodpecker are fun to find.
Next the 1940-50s characters like Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Bing Crosby and so on are sought after by many collectors.
The next way to look for sheet music is for songs you love. Again, older songs are better, but everything is worth something to someone. If in doubt, ask your parents and grandparents what songs were popular when they were kids.
Always remember the value of any item also depends on condition. The cleaner the item, the more it is worth. Each bend, rip, tear or stain brings the value of an item down.
When you get a piece of sheet music, be sure to put in plastic immediately to keep its value. Resist removing it as much as possible.
Good sheet music right now is valued between $10-$100. Some valued about $100 for the right collector include Gene Autry, Woody Woodpecker, Superman, Wizard of Oz, Casablanca and Milton Berle.
When purchasing any sheet music offer $2 or two items for $5 and most dealers will take it. At tag sales or auctions, you may be able to buy them in lots. About $20 for about 100-200 is not out of the question right now.
Go through them carefully and toss any that fall apart or are in bad shape. They really are worthless. Put the others in plastic and arrange them in an order of your choosing.
Even if they are not ones you like, they may be ideal for someone else.
And, who knows, when the recession ends they just may be valuable.