Why Cookie Jar Prices are Down

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Despite an increase in the number of people that collect cookie jars the prices on most of them have been declining for several years now. Those speculating on cookie jars hate it but the true collector loves it. Many vintage jars that sold for hundreds of dollars during the 1990s can now be had for a fraction of their former price. This is due largely for three reasons - the large number of new jar designs on the market - a multitude of fakes and counterfeits flooding the market - and finally eBay.

We'll take a look at how these three "problems" might hurt the cookie jar market with respect to prices, but actually help the avid collector to acquire highly collectible pieces they may never have been able to attain before.

New Jars
The housewares sections of discount and department stores are filled with cookie jars. These new jars run the gambit of styles, colors and designs. From "Betty Boop" to "Garfield" they are all there, with more designs appearing every day. Many of these jars are quite attractive and cleverly designed. And they are generally inexpensive too, ranging in price from $20 to $30. This glut of attractive jars and low prices has lured many people to opt for collecting newer jars over the higher priced and harder to acquire vintage jars of the 1940s-1970s.

At the higher end of new cookie jars is the hand crafted jars produced by studio artists. It has become popular for a growing number of collectors to seek out studio artists that design and sell their own limited handmade jars.

Reproductions, Fakes and Counterfeits
Fake and counterfeit cookie jars are everywhere and one of the first things that a new collector of vintage jars learns is how easy it is to be disappointed by one of these cleverly designed scams. They abound, not only at flea markets and yard sales, but also in the shops of legitimate dealers and antique malls. Wary buyers quickly realize that it is hard to know who to purchase from when normally trustworthy dealers are unknowingly selling counterfeits. They instead opt to trust no one, and many authentic vintage cookie jars remain on the shelf.

Clearly marked legitimate reproductions have also contributed to keeping cookie jar prices down. Many seasoned collectors are opting for some of these quality jars instead of spending thousands of dollars on the expensive original.

Love it or hate it, eBay has taken over as the number one way for collectors in all venues to buy and sell their merchandise, and cookie jars are no exception. They appear on eBay by the thousands everyday. Even when you weed out the newer ones and select only pre-1970 vintage jars you still find them by the hundreds. Cookie jars that were thought to be somewhat rare in the 1980s and early 90s, now show up routinely on eBay, often in multiples. As with anything else the law of supply and demand takes over, and the prices for authentic vintage cookie jars decline.

Add to this, the fact that eBay is also the number one location to find fakes, counterfeits, reproductions and jars not living up to their described condition. Collectors, are still actively buying on eBay, they are just not willing to pay as much as they did a decade ago.


All of these factors combine to benefit of savvy and knowledgeable collectors. Jars that were unattainable in the 1990s, due to price and/or availability can now readily be had at bargain prices. However this greater availability and lower pricing has to be tempered by a higher degree caution. Today cookie jar enthusiasts have to acquire
a lot more knowledge, go a little slower, and ask a few more questions, before they can assemble a quality collection. But..., they can do it for a lot less money.

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