That four letter word is ‘topo’, short for ‘topographical’, and it represents the most popular of all postcard collecting types.
Topographical postcards (sometimes simply called ‘view cards’) depict geographical locations like towns, cities, villages.
There’s a very easy living to be made selling vintage topographical postcards on eBay, especially if focus on buying low cost topographical postcards at flea markets and boot sales, and resell those postcards on eBay.
This does not mean you should ignore other postcard types that crop up inexpensively at auction and flea markets. But I suggest you put those to one side while you learn the simple process of selling their more profitable topographical counterparts.
Look at these wonderful prices for proof of sometimes staggering profits fetched on eBay for view postcards that are not unique and not all that rare:
* 1903 EALING Singapore to Hong Kong & Hainan Postcard – £170.35.
* MONTANA Marsh School, Evelyn Cameron c.1910 RP Postcard – £165.34.
* RPPC New Salem Kansas Santa Fe Railroad Depot Postcard – $424.95 (at the time of selling approximately £216.18).
RP and RPPC in two of those listings stand for ‘Real Photographic’ and ‘Real Photographic Postcard / Post Card’. Real photographic postcards are among the most collectable and expensive of all, in fact some collectors seek purely RPPC cards. Real photographic postcards are much rarer than their printed counterparts and were created individually and required constant attention during the development process, unlike most printed postcards that emerged from machines and required little physical attention.
I always spell out ‘Real Photographic’ in my listing for people unused to the many abbreviations used for the phrase, including R/P, RP, RPP, R.P. and, of course RPPC.