Is Cleaning Your Chips A Good Idea?

AceInLA

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I have been siting in my kitchen gazing out the window and clearing my chips. Nothing elaborate. Just some mild detergent and warm water. I was compelled to do this mainly because it makes them look a lot nicer. But there is also this: I just saw that some chips I sold to someone where cleaned up and put up for sale at nearly twice the price he paid me. Even so, I had heard that cleaning Paulson (TH&C) chips does little to enhance their value... BUT can diminish it value if the cleaning is done improperly. (The chips have a gold foil hot stamp.)

Just wondering if anyone had thoughts on that. Very much appreciated.
 

Josh Kifer

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Inlayed chips, a proper cleaning is a good thing and shouldn't do any damage. Hotstamps, you need to do it right or you can destroy the foil.
 

DrStrange

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One of my best investments ever - an ultra sonic cleaner. Follow these instructions and prosper.

https://www.pokerchipforum.com/threads/ultrasonic-chip-cleaning.1691/

The difference is often stark. However, only clean chips once. My home game isn't in the same universe of dirty as a casino. Hooker juice, tobacco, grease from burgers & fries, boogers, cooties - you name it, casinos spread it. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. So buying used casino chip, not cleaned before - say from a chip room sale - they all get a nice bath. And then the chips are clean for the rest of their lives. < I don't care about Covid19 on my chips. By the time the next game starts, the virus is essentially all gone. >

Special note: TEST ONE CHIP FIRST! Very important. Hot stamps and ultra sonic cleaning don't mix well. For that matter, hot stamps and any cleaning can lead to trouble.

It is like magic! follow the instructions and you get sparkling clean chips. Almost like new -=- DrStrange

PS Cleaning chips doesn't make them "mint" or even "near mint". Just saying. . . . .
 

Eloe2000

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I have an ultrasonic but I find regular water and a soft sponge in a bowl with some dish soap is more productive at cleaning chips from normal play. We used to play weekly so I would clean my chips at least once a year by this simple method. I actually find this better than the ultrasonic for that type of basic cleaning.
 

allforcharity

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Cleaned chips IMHO should not necessarily increase their sale value. I have always offered this service as part of the package, because I like to provide chips in the best condition that I can.

Oiling, however, is a different matter. I generally don't oil chips before listing them for sale, because some people don't want to purchase oiled chips, or maybe they want to see them before deciding to do it themselves. I'd offer to oil chips if a buyer wanted, but it would come with a small price to reflect the time and care taken to do it right.
 

Josh Kifer

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Don't use ultrasonic on Hot Stamped chips.... Or go very hard on them if you do. You'll lose all the foil...
 

MaxB

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Cleaning chips is a must ...do you want the chips on the left (with hooker juice) or on the right (nice and clean)?
I would pay extra for the clean ones :tup:

before_after.jpg
 

allforcharity

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Don't use ultrasonic on Hot Stamped chips.... Or go very hard on them if you do. You'll lose all the foil...

It's not the ultrasonic that's the problem, it's the detergent. I have cleaned tens of thousands of hot stamp chips in the ultrasonic without issue using metasilicates.
 

AceInLA

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Don't use ultrasonic on Hot Stamped chips.... Or go very hard on them if you do. You'll lose all the foil...

You know Josh, the guy I sold them to, posted a photo of them here after he had cleaned them with his ultrasonic device. The looked amazing, BUT I noticed a lot of the foil was gone. Also, I sold him 1000 for $1200 and he is now trying to sell them at $45 for 20 chips. OR from $1.20 a chip to $2.25 a chip. Sound reasonable?

The chips, from a shut down casino, have been in storage for over 20 years... after being in daily use for over 20 years. SO I am cleaning them by hand...at least for a while. There is quite a few. (See pic)

Many thanks for your help.
 

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uclaure

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I have been siting in my kitchen gazing out the window and clearing my chips. Nothing elaborate. Just some mild detergent and warm water. I was compelled to do this mainly because it makes them look a lot nicer. But there is also this: I just saw that some chips I sold to someone where cleaned up and put up for sale at nearly twice the price he paid me. Even so, I had heard that cleaning Paulson (TH&C) chips does little to enhance their value... BUT can diminish it value if the cleaning is done improperly. (The chips have a gold foil hot stamp.)

Just wondering if anyone had thoughts on that. Very much appreciated.

eBay is a whole other can of worms. If you want a true indictation of your chips market value, check out the thread where I auctioned a cleaned and oiled rack...135. I think the time spent cleaning them up was worth more than $15...but hey. ***plus...from the 1000 this I purchased from you, I pulled out 100 that were seriously warped or damaged...I think I’m losing money here.
 

uclaure

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And...when you say you noticed that the cleaned chips had the foil missing...they were already like that. I have US cleaned over 10k chips...so I think I know what I’m doing.
 

ReallyGoodUsername

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You know Josh, the guy I sold them to, posted a photo of them here after he had cleaned them with his ultrasonic device. The looked amazing, BUT I noticed a lot of the foil was gone. Also, I sold him 1000 for $1200 and he is now trying to sell them at $45 for 20 chips. OR from $1.20 a chip to $2.25 a chip. Sound reasonable?

The chips, from a shut down casino, have been in storage for over 20 years... after being in daily use for over 20 years. SO I am cleaning them by hand...at least for a while. There is quite a few. (See pic)

Many thanks for your help.
These?

https://www.pokerchipforum.com/thre...m-hi-desert-casino-adelanto-ca-1975-97.57923/
 

upNdown

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You know Josh, the guy I sold them to, posted a photo of them here after he had cleaned them with his ultrasonic device. The looked amazing, BUT I noticed a lot of the foil was gone. Also, I sold him 1000 for $1200 and he is now trying to sell them at $45 for 20 chips. OR from $1.20 a chip to $2.25 a chip. Sound reasonable?

The chips, from a shut down casino, have been in storage for over 20 years... after being in daily use for over 20 years. SO I am cleaning them by hand...at least for a while. There is quite a few. (See pic)

Many thanks for your help.
People are constantly trying to buy chips low and sell them for a profit. It's a topic that can get as heated, here, as any discussion of politics.
Honestly, cleaning chips doesn't add much value to people who know what the chips are worth - most people here are quite used to buying dirty chips and then cleaning them. And we're not very interested in paying somebody else to do it, especially if they might damage them.
And you have certainly wandered into the right place if you have boxes of 20 year old chips. We ARE the market.
 

ReallyGoodUsername

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People are constantly trying to buy chips low and sell them for a profit. It's a topic that can get as heated, here, as any discussion of politics.
Honestly, cleaning chips doesn't add much value to people who know what the chips are worth - most people here are quite used to buying dirty chips and then cleaning them. And we're not very interested in paying somebody else to do it, especially if they might damage them.
And you have certainly wandered into the right place if you have boxes of 20 year old chips. We ARE the market.
I AM the Chip Guide :D
 

jr8719

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In the same way that I don't have a problem with paying someone to clean my car or flat, I don't have a problem if people want to charge more for cleaning chipes.

It is a service, after all — one that many people find an inconvenience to carry out themselves.

Likewise, if it's done through an US that they've paid for themselves, I'm all for it; I wouldn't expect somebody that's invested in a milling machine to mill my chips for free, for comparison's sake.
 
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allforcharity

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Likewise, if it's done through an US that they've paid for themselves, I'm all for it; I wouldn't expect somebody that's invested in a milling machine to mill my chips for free, for comparison's sake.

Not exactly the fairest comparison. Some people will clean all the chips they acquire as a matter of course, whether they might sell them or not. Almost nobody pre-mills any of their chips unless they abandon a project mid-way. Milling, given the sheer time, care, and precision involved, should always be considered a value-added service.
 

AceInLA

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I AM the Chip Guide :D
SO...MY wise and thoughtful friend...Please advise: What should I change for these old chips? Should I trying selling them individually? Or in racks? (Also, how the hell did these chips get gum on them?) Any help is very appreciated.--Ace
eBay is a whole other can of worms. If you want a true indictation of your chips market value, check out the thread where I auctioned a cleaned and oiled rack...135. I think the time spent cleaning them up was worth more than $15...but hey. ***plus...from the 1000 this I purchased from you, I pulled out 100 that were seriously warped or damaged...I think I’m losing money here.

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jr8719

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Not exactly the fairest comparison. Some people will clean all the chips they acquire as a matter of course, whether they might sell them or not. Almost nobody pre-mills any of their chips unless they abandon a project mid-way. Milling, given the sheer time, care, and precision involved, should always be considered a value-added service.
No, you're right, it's probably not the strongest comparison. But then I guess it comes down to what an individual considers a value-added service.

If, for example, a seller had a couple of racks of seriously-casino-used-caked-in-muck-chips that I wanted to buy , I'd happily pay that seller a little extra to put them through a US or hand clean them. I know I'm looking at at least half a day to hand clean one rack myself... which is time I'd probably rather spend playing golf, hence why I'd be happy to pay for cleaning as a value-added service.

Hope you are safe and well, brother!
 
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eBay is a whole other can of worms. If you want a true indictation of your chips market value, check out the thread where I auctioned a cleaned and oiled rack...135. I think the time spent cleaning them up was worth more than $15...but hey. ***plus...from the 1000 this I purchased from you, I pulled out 100 that were seriously warped or damaged...I think I’m losing money here.
You should make money off selling them and I hope you do. There is nothing wrong with finding a deal on EBay and selling them for a gain. You’re putting work into finding them, repairing them, and you assume all the risk involved. You cleaned them up nicely, congrats on the find.
 

Shaggy

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SO...MY wise and thoughtful friend...Please advise: What should I change for these old chips? Should I trying selling them individually? Or in racks? (Also, how the hell did these chips get gum on them?) Any help is very appreciated.--Ace

I assume you mean "charge" for these chips...

That all depends on what your goal is? If you want to just get rid of them (immediately)... you could likely find a buyer here for the whole lot for 50c a chip. If you want the most possible $$ and are willing to wait the longest and deal with many, many transactions... then sell them individually... you may be able to get $2-$3 per chip that way. This site is not likely the best place for that sort of plan.

If you want a happy medium, you could sell by the sub-lot or rack... That is kinda what you did. It looks like you got $1200 for 1000 chips... that seems pretty good to me. Higher than my pricepoint for chips in this condition. Your buyer essentially bought a larger lot (1000) chips, cleaned them and is now trying to sell by the rack... to this market specifically.

In general, chips are most expensive individually and are least expensive when part of a lot... especially a lot with a crappy breakdown for the poker games people play. i.e. a set with $1, $10, and $50 will not have much of a demand... people would only buy the $10 and $50 to relabel... or maybe use as dimes or 50c chips... but they limit the market.

imho your best bet to sell relatively quickly but for a good price is to sell by the rack... don't worry about cleaning them, your buyers can do that.

Depending on your quantities, the per rack prices will vary. My guess is the 50c chips you have will sell for $150 to $200 per rack (of 100 chips). The dollars should only fetch about $80 a rack... but you already found a buyer for those at $120 (kudos). The $20s and $2s may also fetch $150 to $200 per rack. The $2s are much more niche, so you may have a hard time finding a buyer for those.

I feel the prices I have stated above are a bit on the high side. If you list them at that level... they shouldn't fly off the shelves. They may sit... that is actually a good thing... then you can ease the price down until you find what the market will support.
 

upNdown

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I think @Shaggy prices are more than a bit on the high side. I think those 50 cent chips and dollar chips, will sell for half what he suggested. In this community, where people are buying chips by the rack and playing with them in actual games, condition is a huge factor. The condition of those dollar chips, from what I've seen, is abut as low as you can go. People often measure the condition of chips by whether they'll stand on edge. That's sort of an over/under line of demarcation. Brand new ships have sharp edges. Your chips are on the far opposite end of the spectrum (again, from what I've seen - maybe some are better; I dunno.) They are what we often refer to as bicycle tires - the edges are so worn from years and years of use that they resemble bike tires. Personally, I think they're worth about 30 cents apiece. I think you'd be lucky to find buyers by the rack at 50-60 cents apiece. If you found somebody who paid $1.20 apiece for bike tires with hot stamps that are practically worn off - well, PT Barnum had a name for that guy.
 

ReallyGoodUsername

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I think @Shaggy prices are more than a bit on the high side. I think for those 50 cent chips and dollar chips, will sell for half what he suggested. In this community, where people are buying chips by the rack and playing with them in actual games, condition is a huge factor. The condition of those dollar chips, from what I've seen, is abut as low as you can go. People often measure the condition of chips by whether they'll stand on edge. That's sort of an over/under line of demarcation. Brand new ships have sharp edges. Your chips are on the far opposite end of the spectrum (again, from what I've seen - maybe some are better; I dunno.) They are what we often refer to as bicycle tires - the edges are so worn from years and years of use that they resemble bike tires. Personally, I think they're worth about 30 cents apiece. I think you'd be lucky to find buyers by the rack at 50-60 cents apiece. If you found somebody who paid $1.20 apiece for bike tires with hot stamps that are practically worn off - well, PT Barnum had a name for that guy.
Yeah I’m surprised to see this auction where it is tbh, maybe good marketing? :LOL: :laugh:

B2AB8FF5-3874-45DD-B520-C68FB3F11F92.png
 

Shaggy

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I think @Shaggy prices are more than a bit on the high side. I think for those 50 cent chips and dollar chips, will sell for half what he suggested. In this community, where people are buying chips by the rack and playing with them in actual games, condition is a huge factor. The condition of those dollar chips, from what I've seen, is abut as low as you can go. People often measure the condition of chips by whether they'll stand on edge. That's sort of an over/under line of demarcation. Brand new ships have sharp edges. Your chips are on the far opposite end of the spectrum (again, from what I've seen - maybe some are better; I dunno.) They are what we often refer to as bicycle tires - the edges are so worn from years and years of use that they resemble bike tires. Personally, I think they're worth about 30 cents apiece. I think you'd be lucky to find buyers by the rack at 50-60 cents apiece. If you found somebody who paid $1.20 apiece for bike tires with hot stamps that are practically worn off - well, PT Barnum had a name for that guy.

I totally agree... I personally would never pay the prices I quoted... I'm mostly basing them off of the $1.20 per chip that was paid for the lot of $1000. I think a reasonable comparison are California Bell Club chips... the condition is similar. I think however the Cali Bells have more of a "brand" recognition around here... I draw the line at about $75 a rack for those ones.
 

upNdown

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I totally agree... I personally would never pay the prices I quoted... I'm mostly basing them off of the $1.20 per chip that was paid for the lot of $1000. I think a reasonable comparison are California Bell Club chips... the condition is similar. I think however the Cali Bells have more of a "brand" recognition around here... I draw the line at about $75 a rack for those ones.
Yup, I was thinking of those too. I believe I've bought and sold Cali Bell $1 chips for 55 or 60 cents apiece? But the big difference there is that those chips have inlays. These have hot stamps. Well, at least they did. @AceInLA I'm just trying to be honest here and cracking a few jokes along the way. You've got a very cool cache of chips there, regardless of my opinions of their values.
 

ReallyGoodUsername

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I totally agree... I personally would never pay the prices I quoted... I'm mostly basing them off of the $1.20 per chip that was paid for the lot of $1000. I think a reasonable comparison are California Bell Club chips... the condition is similar. I think however the Cali Bells have more of a "brand" recognition around here... I draw the line at about $75 a rack for those ones.
I think they all have inlays too right? Hotstamps are great but if they're worn significantly its definitely a detractor to me, kind of like if all the inlays were sun damaged.

Agreed with @upNdown we're poking some fun but they are cool chips in the end and I do think there's people out there willing to pay more than we are. We're spoiled with having easy access and knowledge about so many more chips than people who are still only aware of eBay.
 

SuckoutKing

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You know Josh, the guy I sold them to, posted a photo of them here after he had cleaned them with his ultrasonic device. The looked amazing, BUT I noticed a lot of the foil was gone. Also, I sold him 1000 for $1200 and he is now trying to sell them at $45 for 20 chips. OR from $1.20 a chip to $2.25 a chip. Sound reasonable?

The chips, from a shut down casino, have been in storage for over 20 years... after being in daily use for over 20 years. SO I am cleaning them by hand...at least for a while. There is quite a few. (See pic)

Many thanks for your help.
Those need their own condition classification. Aggressively warn waffers not many miles left!
 
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