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Why’d An Old “License Plate” On eBay, Sell For $6,776?


A rare 1933 District of Columbia Inaugural (license) plate recently ignited a bidding war on eBay. The auction opened with a $10 bid. Ten days, and 41 bids later the rare Plate sold to the highest bidder for $6,776. Turns out, it wasn’t the only plate bringing in top dollar.

According to James Massey, publisher of, a free website tracking the top 20 (sold) eBay items. “Even in the current economy, certain collectible (license) plates are in high demand. Nearly 20 (license plates) have fetched final (eBay sell) prices between $1,000 to $5,000 over the last 90 days.”

Besides rare plates marking special occasions (like the “Inaugural” plate) it appears the plates from the early days of the automobile appear to be favorites among collectors. Particularly those dated between 1910 and 1915. Several in this date range recently received final (eBay sell) prices in the $2,000 to $5,000 range.

Massey also stated; “Many times owners of rare collectibles are not professional collectors. Having no idea of their item’s value, they end up selling it for pennies on the dollar in a garage or yard sale. It’s too bad, because today it’s so easy to get a general sense of market value for most items. Usually it only takes a few minutes using free online sites.”

To see the License Plate in this article, other top license plate auctions or get more information about free resources to check the market value of your items: Visit or use the links below.


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