What’s The Value Of Your Old Polaroid Camera?
Despite nearly every person having a high-resolution camera at their fingertips thanks to the invention of the smartphone, nothing quite beats waiting to see how a picture will develop and holding a real photograph in your hands.
I remember as a child beetling off down to the town, to hand in my roll of film at the photo processing shop. Then forking out more than a week’s worth of pocket money to pay for the “express” next day processing service. Forgoing a bag of sweets on the way home was a small price to pay for reducing the waiting time to collect my pictures.
The anticipation coursed through my veins as I ripped open the top of the packet to get at the goods inside. After lifting them out, I carefully went through them one by one, holding them gingerly by the edges, so as not to smudge them, waiting to see if the images I’d caught had captured the beautiful scenes that I’d seen.
Owing to my own ineptitude, the whole episode was normally a cascade of disappointment, with errant thumbs creeping into over a quarter of the shots and blurry focus diminishing the rest. But still, I hark back to those days of excitement and suspense, something that’s lost with the rapid-fire, instant view, delete and repeat options of today’s digital cameras and smartphone apps.
Whilst film cameras do still exist, there’s an even more fun pastime making a renaissance. One that combines satisfying one’s suspense cravings, with the speed to keep up with today’s instant gratification oriented world. Yes, the unrivalled thrill of the Polaroid Camera is trending once again. It’s retro-chic and it’s seriously back in fashion.
As well as the brand new models being produced by Polaroid today, along with a whole host of other swish gadgets, old Polaroid cameras still command a good price. That’s why we’re here to give you some advice on ascertaining your vintage Polaroid camera‘s value.
The first thing to note is that it’s incredibly difficult to put an exact value on a vintage Polaroid camera without a full and frank physical assessment. Even so, this guide aims to outline some of the key factors taken into account when evaluating how much an original polaroid camera is worth, as well as giving you a guide price on old Polaroid cameras, based upon the going rates of public auction sites like eBay.
Of course, for a more comprehensive appraisal, you can always get in touch with our team of experts at Vintage Cash Cow, who will be more than happy to help with any queries that you may have.
How much is a vintage Polaroid camera worth?
This is a great question, and happily, the answer is that your old polaroid camera definitely has value. Sadly, we cannot give exact figures to specific questions such as “How much is a polaroid 600 camera worth?” or “What is a Polaroid 800 land camera‘s value?” because the precise amount depends on each individual camera’s own characteristics.
The factors contributing to a vintage Polaroid camera’s overall worth don’t differ that greatly from that of valuing other antiques. Important points taken into consideration are:
Polaroid Cameras have been around for more than 70 years. The very first Polaroid camera, the Model 95 Land camera, was sold in 1948 for the princely sum of $89.95 – that’s $957 in today’s money! By 1956, Polaroid had produced more than one million cameras, with their products being distributed in over 45 countries worldwide.
As with many vintage items, the older they are generally the greater price they command. Whilst some of the oldest specimens have an asking price into the hundreds, that is only reserved for incredibly rare items. More recent models can sell online for as little as £5.
There is often a direct correlation between age and rarity when it comes to antiques, but due to Polaroid’s unique history, this isn’t strictly true when it comes to their instant cameras. With the market for the company’s film cameras drastically shrinking in the 1990s due to the influx of digital technology, Polaroid made fewer and fewer cameras until finally, in 2008, they completely ceased production of their film-based products.
In 2010, however, an enterprise organised by some former Polaroid employees began producing new film for Polaroid’s 600 and SX-70 cameras. Thanks to this fantastic initiative, named Impossible Project, Polaroid’s classic analogue cameras enjoyed a huge revival among photo enthusiasts and camera collectors.
Vintage editions of Polaroid’s flagship 600 SE model regularly sell online for between over £25 depending on their condition.
Polaroid has produced a number of special edition items over the years for big brands, such as McDonald’s, Mickey Mouse and even a Grand Canyon themed one. These novelty themed cameras are often among the best value Polaroid cameras to sell as they are very popular with collectors. Some of the Mcdonald polaroid cameras sold online in the past year made close to £100. Conversely, some in less good condition have struggled to make more than a few pounds.
Thankfully, if you have a Polaroid Camera that you are thinking about selling, your piece doesn’t need to be in mint condition to be desirable. Shutterbugs and camera enthusiasts love collecting, restoring and reconditioning old and vintage cameras.
Depending on the other factors mentioned above, a broken camera can still be saleable, especially if it’s a sought-after model. Even if the camera doesn’t work, having all the original documents and packaging is likely to increase a Polaroid camera‘s value. With all that said, a working model is always more attractive to potential buyers!
It should be noted that none of these factors are exclusively responsible for determining the value of your old camera. The specific worth of each individual item is based on a unique combination of all of them, along with other considerations such as whether the camera comes with any accompanying accessories such as a case or camera bag, its country of origin, and importantly the market trends at the time of selling.
So what is my Polaroid camera worth?
With the wide range of different factors mentioned above contributing to a Polaroid’s value, it’s not possible to estimate with accuracy how much your particular model will be worth – whether through private sale or at auction.
Auctions are unpredictable marketplaces, and the amount that your item sells for can depend entirely on the interest of the bidders on the day. As such, if you place your old and unwanted items on sites like eBay, you may find that you’re disappointed with the final result, especially if you anticipated achieving a higher price.
Luckily for you, there is another way. It’s simple and safe and guarantees you a fast and fair payout. At Vintage Cash Cow, we love all types of old cameras, especially Polaroids. We buy any make or model from any era and in any condition. That saves you the trouble of having to try and sell your camera yourself! Call or request an info pack from our site now. The pack contains all the relevant details you need, as well as Freepost stickers so you don’t even have to pay for the postage.
Box up your old camera, plus any other old stuff that you want to sell (we buy a HUGE range of vintage things) and send it to us. Once we’ve received your parcel, one of our photography experts will value your items and send you an offer for the value of your goods. If you accept it, you’ll receive a bank transfer payment the same day! Or if you’re not happy with our valuation, we’ll happily send your things back to you for free, no questions asked. It’s the no-hassle, no-risk way to sell your old stuff.