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This will greatly affect the cards collectible value. Postcard grading will probably never be as precise as coin or baseball card collecting, with manufacturers production numbers and standardized price guides.
As for vintage postcards, some "one of a kind" cards can be worth big $$$!
Postcard Types/Dating: Dating postcards can be somewhat easy when postmarked on the back when sent.
But using this method can be deceiving, as cards were often printed and stored for years before being sold and mailed. Clues on the actual cards can help date them, when they are not postmarked by a post office.
Postcards are often mishandled, and that little crease or rounded corner may not seem like much.
But to a true collector, it can make a big difference.
A new size format was also introduced during this age, measuring approx. Modern/Rack Postcards: Cards made today are commonly called "moderns".
A new type of collectible postcard is the promotional advertising postcards called "rack cards" or "free cards", as they are often found as give aways in restaurant and retail racks.
Early Century: Early Century postcards are those from the dates of 1898 until around 1918 or so.Chrome Era: Chrome postcards were produced from the 1950's until present.These late century postcards used a new "chromolithic" process, with lifelike vibrant colors, resembling more of a true photograph, then a printed postcard image.Many collectors today look for the earlier postcards, from around 1898 until the 1940's.But as these cards become harder to find, a new market for cards produced from the 1940's until the present have been created.
I'll try to list here some common things that affect a postcards price.