What to Look for When Buying a Vintage Invoice

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Vintage invoices create a window to the past, which allows collectors to glimpse the transactions businesses and people conducted. You can find a variety of vintage invoices on eBay. When buying this type of vintage document, look for items with a theme, know what factors influence value, and learn what features are unique to specific eras.


Vintage Invoices with a Common Theme

Vintage invoices are not the most valuable vintage documents available; however, setting a common theme for a collection can add personal, local, or historic value. If you are interested in genealogy, consider collecting invoices that relate to your ancestors in some way by searching for invoices from old family businesses or documents that bear family names. If you opt for a local theme, look for invoices from a specific village, city, or neighbourhood. Some invoices come with colour pictures and logos that depict common scenes from different eras or local landmarks. Alternatively, look for vintage invoices from well-known businesses such as Coca-Cola, Woolworths, or Debenhams or industries such as farming, shipping, or automotive that show how marketing and prices have evolved over the years.


Factors that Affect the Value of Vintage Invoices

Age and condition affect the value of vintage invoices. Antique documents are 100 years old or older. Vintage documents are between 20 and 100 years old. The invoice should be in good condition, with clearly legible printing and writing. Look for signs of water damage and insect activity. You can expect some yellowing and discolouration in older documents. Additional factors that affect the value of old invoices are authenticity and rarity. You may need to research the items available, focusing on business activities on the invoice date, to confirm their providence. Rare invoices are more valuable than common documents because they are more difficult to source.


Unique Features of Vintage Invoices

Legal guidelines governing the issuing of invoices change over time. Section 101 of the Stamp Act of 1891 required every person who received £2 or more to provide a stamped receipt. People affixed postage stamps to vintage receipts to ensure that the government received its share of payments. However, many people ignored this practice as the 20th century progressed. Finding a settled invoice with a stamp attached often confirms the age of the invoice. In addition, the United Kingdom decimalised its currency on 15 February 1971, and invoices after this date show the currency in decimals. Old writing styles and ink add flair to these documents. Look for further unique features such as changes in printing styles, the move from fountain to ballpoint pens, and the introduction of advertisements. Advances in printing include the addition of finer detail and colour.

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