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Carousel Figures
Frequently Asked Questions
A little about carousel history and terms...
Willitts - Lenox - Lefton - Fraley - Dezendorf
PJ's Carousel Collection - The Franklin Mint
Impulse Giftware - Hamilton Collection - Westland - Precious Art - San Francisco Music Box - Other
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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few of the more common questions I've gotten since I put up this site:

What is this carousel worth?

Well - ultimately, whatever it's worth to you is what its value is.  With the exception of a few pieces by major high-end porcelain companies (Lenox, Cybis, Lladro, etc), there just aren't any established values for carousel collectibles.   No collectibles guide (that I've found, anyway) lists them, no secondary-market dealers report on them. 
Even most of the manufacturers don't seem to care about tracking them or giving you any sort of value for them.  Franklin Mint will tell you right on their site that they don't track them and won't even give you a guess on value.  Willitts (who probably made more of them than anyone, in fact even admit that their business was built "on the back of a miniature carousel") also doesn't seem to care - they have bigger fish to fry these days with the huge popularity of their Thomas Blackshear and "Just The Right Shoe" lines.    PJ's gives values for a few of their retired figures on their site, but in my experience I've never seen any of their figures go for even a quarter of the value that PJ's lists for them.   So it's all very subjective - there is no set value.
Then there is eBay, of course - I've been buying and selling carousels there for over four years, and I've seen some pretty crazy swings over that amount of time.  I've seen the same figure vary over $100 in final ending price.  There are just too many factors that can influence a final bid price on a given figure, that have nothing to do with the figure itself - such as seller's feedback, opening price, quality of pictures, terms of sale, number of bidders in the bidding pool at any given time, and what they're willing to spend.  So eBay also isn't necessarily a good gauge of 'value', at least not as a snapshot.
So the final answer still is - the item is worth whatever it's worth to you, yourself.  If you're wanting to sell it I can give you an idea of what it might sell for, but beyond that I really can't put a value on your figure.

What can you tell me about this carousel?

Well...what do you want to know?  When it was made?  Who made it?  How many were made?
I get this question a lot, and without knowing exactly what you want to know, it's kind of hard to answer.   Most of what I know goes into the page where the figure is, or on the manufacturer's overall page.  But occasionally I do know more than what I put down, so sometimes I can tell you something about it that isn't on the site (like more about the carver whose work it represents, etc). 

Is there any charge for listing an item for sale in the classified section?

No, not at this time - probably not ever.  As long as I have room for everything and don't have to buy extra storage space from my host, there won't be any charge. 
Actually, I plan to migrate the site next year sometime to another hosting service - where space shouldn't ever be a problem.  The site will undergo some changes when that happens, but the classified area will still be there and will still be free.  Things generally don't sell as quickly there as they would on eBay, but the upside is that you can leave them up there as long as you want to - there is no time limit.  The only time I'll take down a listing is if you tell me to (because you sold it or don't want to have it listed anymore), or if your email quits working (if people can't contact you, there's no point in having the ad up). 

How many carousels do you have in your collection?

That's a good question - even I don't know.  Probably between 300-350 or so, I guess.  And I can't seem to stop buying them, *grin*.  I ran out of room to display them all a long time ago, but maybe one day I'll build a special room for them and be able to have them all in one place.  I still don't even have all of them shown on the site, it seems to be a never-ending job.