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What should you look for in collectible oil cans?

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Quick Answer

Things to look for in collectible oil cans include pricing, manufacturer, condition, specialty functions and unusual shapes. Collectible oil cans are good for decorating garages and auto-related businesses.

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Full Answer

Vintage oil can collectors should stay updated on the current prices of the cans to be able to negotiate a good deal. Prices change regularly especially as new discoveries get into the market. This also helps to purchase a collectible can that may have a good resale value later on.

Collectible oil can manufacturers include St. Louis Tin and Sheet Metal Works, National and American Can Companies and Columbia. Early models such as those from the 1920s generate considerable collector interest. Collectors should have a basic idea of characteristics that identify an era in which the can was made. This makes it easier to find vintage oil cans in tag sales and flea markets among other places.

The condition of a collectible oil can greatly affect its value and price. Good options include cans with limited dents and bends, have quality graphics and limited rust. Full or empty vintage oil cans with no leaks are also highly valued.

Lastly, specialty function oil cans include those used for railroad or military oil products. The different designs include cans made from unusual metals, domed-tops, flat-tops and cans made from cardboard.

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