How can I tell value of slides?

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


New Member
I am inheriting about 60,000 original train slides tomorrow. I look on e-bay, and I see some sell for $2 or not at all, and I see others sell for $60, $100, $200 each? I can see some are bad, it is obvious, but others are pretty average looking to me, and they command I really high price. I am not sure why the huge difference.
What are people looking for who buy these slides? How can I tell which are high dollar and which are unwanted? I have not started to look through them yet LOL, it will take a while. Oh, and by the way, I am not interested in selling the whole lot of them. I am just looking for some advice, trying to gain knowledge. Thanks in advance!!

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
I suspect that much of the value of slides is determined by the subject of the photos. Slides of steam locomotives, fallen flag railroads, and rare/unusual diesels are probably worth more than slides of more everyday subjects.


I agree with Bill. The pictures of railroad subjects that don't exist any more will be worth more, but only to somebody interested in the subject. My particular interest would Chicago Great Western in Iowa and Nebraska and EJ&E around Chicago. But many books have been published and many pictures have been printed, so for me they would have to be pretty specific locations or equipment. Out of my 4000 slides many are not printable quality but are fun to look at any way. Good memories of my railfan days. Steam locomotive slides from the working days of steam are historical and may be of the kind to be placed in a database for people to view. Also buildings and pictures of general areas such as yards or cityscapes can be useful also. Good luck, that is a lot of images. If you do get a bunch you want to digitize you can get an inexpensive scanner, at least to catalog some or for thumbnail pics to show to interested parties and then if there is a spectacular image, have it professionally scanned. Having 60,000 slides scanned would be costly, unless you just won the lottery. We will be interested to hear what is in the collection. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.