One of the first questions that a beginning collector of Vintage Pyrex might have is: What is my Pyrex piece worth? This is actually one of the most common questions concerning ANY collectible. Just witness the popularity of the Antique Roadshow…
Any collectible is only worth only what someone else is willing to pay for it. This is a lesson that any serious or hobby collector should keep in mind when trying to put a value on a piece. Oh sure, there is usually a general ballpark value that can be put on an item. But if you’re buying a collectible, you shouldn’t assume that you’ll be able to get it for less than the going rate. And for sellers, don’t assume that if you sell a collectible for under its “book value” that you’ll get buyers. This is one of the main reasons there are no prices on this site - to encourage the philosophy of collecting for fun AND profit versus collecting solely for profit.
For the most part, people who collect because they actually ENJOY owning the collectible win out in the end. That’s because that while it DOES matter to most of them that their collections are valuable, if they do happen to overpay for an item they won’t feel that bad because they truly like and treasure it.
That said, one of the great things about Pyrex and other similar glassware like Corelle is that it is (currently, as of 2005) extremely affordable. It is also readily available and common in flea markets and garage sales around the world. Heck, many older households still use the items daily! This makes it the perfect starting point for beginning vintage glass collectors. If you make a mistake in the beginning, then you’re probably only out several dollars instead of hundreds or thousands of dollars. A huge majority of Pyrex pieces can be found for under 20 dollars.
Ok, so you say you’re a true collector but you’ve also caught the “investing for the future bug.” Are there any tips for what type of Pyrex to collect?
Well, for starters you should know that as with most other collectibles, Pyrex collectors prize complete sets of items as well as original boxes along with instructions and any little extras that might have been given out with them. So, if you have the packaging, by all means keep it. Condition also plays an important role in how much a person might pay for an item. You want items that are free of cracks, chips and have all of their color patterns unblemished.
As far as color and patterns go, it’s often said that the items in pink and the primary color items are worth more, but this isn’t always true. For patterns, it is just as difficult; one pattern might appeal to a collector much more than another. There aren’t any hard and fast rules about which ones are the most valuable.
One note is to keep an eye out for promotional Pyrex items. These are pieces that are generally much rarer because they often were made for special one-time promotions or in some cases not even made for the general public at all.
If you absolutely need to find out how much a piece of Pyrex is currently worth, the first thing to do is to search eBay. By searching for your item, you’ll be able to get a general feel about just how much people are paying for the item. Be sure to check the “Completed Auctions” as well as the current ones.
In the end, the value of a piece of Pyrex is the joy you get of actually owning it. Pyrex is a relatively inexpensive collecting hobby/obsession, so don’t let prices and values get in the way of your enjoyment of it!