Getting the Highest Prices for your collectible Yo-Yo$

On the Internet the highest prices obtained are at auction. Currently the number one auction site is eBay. This web site can be found at . Other auctions sites exist but not enough collectible yo-yos appear on these sites to maintain collector interest. Drawback: Sometimes auction prices realized have no rhyme or reason. Prices of collectible yo-yos can swing between three and four hundred percent for the same item in a few days without a rational explanation. Selling directly to a collector. The Internet has vastly decreased the number of non-auction direct sales.

Reasons why direct sales still occur:
  • No computer or internet access by seller
  • Auction sale price can be far less than expected if sold without a reserve.
  • A fixed price can be arranged before dealer buys the items so he is guaranteed a profit.
  • Faster turnaround time
  • You can decide who you are selling to.
  • A large collection or several of the same item can be cost-effective time wise to sell in one lot.
  • No expense of posting or setting reserves if the item is not sold. Approximately 20% of yo-yos on eBay do not meet reserve or get bids.
Selling on an internet auction

Photos are a necessity. The size of the yo-yo should be 3 to 3.5 inches when printed from the screen. This is slightly larger than the actual size of the yo-yo.

  • Be sure that the seal can be easily read.
  • Show the whole yo-yo.
  • Straight shots are better than angled shots of the yo-yo.
  • Limit distracting background colors.
  • Light backgrounds for dark yo-yos and dark backgrounds for light yo-yos
  • Crop the photo so it fills the picture
  • Don’t photograph the yo-yo with other toys or items for sale.
Big No’s for Photographs.
  • Slightly blurred images
  • photos taken from a distance
  • close-up of a seal without a view of the entire yo-yo.
  • Retouched photographs
Give the Size

The size of the yo-yo can be deceiving from the photograph. Make sure to list the size as either midget, miniature, standard, or Jumbo.  Otherwise give the exact diameter measurement.

Condition Condition Condition

Buyers bid higher if they are certain of the yo-yo’s condition. So far there is only one grading scale published specifically for yo-yos.  This is listed in “Lucky’s Collectors Guide for 20th Century Yo-Yos”. Photo examples of various grades are shown on page 21 and 166.  Most yo-yo collectors use this scale for grading their yo-yos. State the grade of the yo-yo and follow this by (Lucky’s scale).  For example “Near Mint (Lucky’s scale)”. Using other scales such as C-7, extra fine, and like new with age wear, are not as specific.


List as much history as you know about the yo-yo in your description. Collectors are not buying a yo-yo they are buying a piece of history. The dealer that does the research will be rewarded with the best prices received. “Lucky’s Collectors Guide to 20th Century Yo-Yos is an excellent source of history. Use it and cite it as your source of information as it gives more credibility to the description.

Book Information .

Using Value Guides:

Most value guides are based on what could be expected at a typical antique shop. They give little guidance at auction where prices can vary by three to four hundred percent in just a few weeks time.

Lucky’s auction rule of three:The price of a rare yo-yo will drop by fifty percent on its third appearance at auction if the yo-yos appear within eight weeks of each other.

Other items yo-yo collectors may pay serious bucks for:
  • String packages
  • Award patches
  • Trophies
  • Old contest fliers
  • Old photos of kids with yo-yos
  • Manufacturer sales catalogs
  • Old trick books
  • Display boxes
  • Original ads
Other Selling

Cross Collectors:

Sometimes high bids are not from yo-yo collectors, but from cross collectors. Yo-yos that are highly cross-collectible include character, Coke, advertising, souvenir, and worlds fair. Make sure to identify the yo-yo as a cross-collectible in your description.

Rare Yo-Yos:

If you are going to sell a rare yo-yo get it on before anyone else does. The highest price realized often goes to the one who gets it on first. Time your auction. Higher prices result if the yo-yo has not appeared in the last four months.

Multiple Yo-Yos:

It is best to sell yo-yos one at a time. Low value yo-yos: Never photograph or sell a rare or valuable yo-yo with yo-yos of lesser value. Low value yo-yos bring down the sale price when sold with high end yo-yos not the other way around.


Describe in detail any accessories that come with the yo-yo i.e. Trick books, mailers, ad sheets. These sometimes can be more valuable than the yo-yo.

Old Versus New:

Don’t over look recently produced yo-yos . Collector editions, award yo-yos and limited releases command good prices regardless of age.


If you cannot sell on the internet but do go to major competitions, Nationals, Internationals, Worlds, you will find many collectors there willing to buy or trade for your yo-yos.


A sample of a good auction write up is as follows:


Duncan Chief Yo-Yo. Standard Size. Condition excellent (Lucky’s Scale). This tournament shaped wood yo-yo was produced in 1959 by the Duncan Yo-Yo company. “This model and the Rainbow, are the only Duncan models known to have multi-colored foil seals. This is one of the most desirable of Duncan’s beginner style yo-yos.” information from “Lucky’s Collectors Guide of 20th Century Yo-Yos”.