Are Your Old Bowling Trophies Worth Anything?


What happens when the glow of victory disappears? Maybe you want to discard those trophies or get something out of them. But how?

The value trophies have will depend on the event or person they commemorate. Usually, old trophies don’t get a high amount on resale. Over time, styles change, and an average used trophy doesn’t have much market. Some will sell in places such as eBay and will sell between 5 and 45 dollars. 

The value of your old bowling trophies should be considered whether you are decluttering your home or office, trying to earn some extra money, or considering donating them to a charity.

What Can You Do With Old Bowling Trophies?

Besides sitting in your library or closet, there are a few options available for your old bowling trophies. You can:

  • Sell them
  • Donate them
  • Recycle them

What Types Of Old Bowling Trophies Are Most Valuable?

Trophies made of plain metals are not considered valuable. On the other hand, trophies made of gold or silver, which are considered antiques or collectibles, are considerably more valuable.

Antique Bowling Trophies

When it comes to antique silver bowling trophies from the turn of the century, these can be worth anything from 100 dollars to over 500. If the silver trophy is pure silver, as opposed to silver plated, it is more valuable. Similarly, an inscription that is old and interesting is more valuable.

In general, people tend to think that trophies from the ’40s, ’50s, and early ’60s have much more substance and character than most from the ’70s and on.

Collective Bowling Trophies

The appraised value of bowling trophies increases if they are the property of a famous athlete or if they came from a prestigious sporting event. An average value of more than $20,000 was estimated for each trophy stolen by burglars in 2012 when they stole horse racing Hall of Fame trophies. Even signed replicas of championship trophies can fetch over $1,000.

When people look for trophies for their collection, they always keep an eye out for old bowling team trophies that tie in nicely to their display.

Does Anyone Buy Old Bowling Trophies?

You are probably able to sell old bowling trophies at pawn shops, but don’t expect to get a huge amount of money for them. Another possible option is to give them to clubs or schools that can reuse them by changing the name tags.

Where To Sell Your Old Bowling Trophies?

Many people sell their old bowling trophies on places like eBay and Etsy. There are websites like yoyo.collectionhero.com and thea.com where people sell different items for collectors, and bowling trophies have a great public out there.

Surprisingly for many, there is a market for this type of items, and people love to collect trophies – especially bowling trophies -.

Do Charities Use Old Bowling Trophies?

Your bowling trophies can be donated or given away to organizations that will recycle them, and the proceeds will go to charitable causes.

As opposed to throwing away trophies, you can donate them to charities that will refurbish and reuse them, or recycle them as part of your decluttering efforts.

Donating Your Bowling Trophies

Your old bowling trophies can be donated to nonprofits organizations such as The Salvation Army, Goodwill, or other thrift shops. In addition, you can reach a local nonprofit organization that may accept the old bowling trophies as a donation, and they will repurpose them and then sell them.

There are a few places that handle those impossible-to-recycle trophies, and they accept your donations.

Awardex.com

This award and trophy company accepts donations of old trophies and awards. They will reuse your bowling trophy or award to make new trophies and awards. This way, the circle of trophy life continues. 

Art Inc.

The company Art Inc. has a recycling program. They recycle acrylics. The majority of novelty trophies are made out of acrylics. If you send your acrylic bowling trophy to Art Inc, they will recycle your trophies and maybe make some art out of them.

You can also donate bowling trophies to consignment shops, which will resell them to someone else. Just make sure to remove any identifying information from them, like your name, before doing this.

Recycling Your Bowling Trophies

A lot of people don’t want just to dump bowling trophies and medals into the trash, and it makes sense because what that would do is just to contribute to filling up a landfill.

There’s a little cottage industry that has popped up around this type of decluttering. Now, recycling your old bowling trophies is easier than it seems.

Old bowling trophies are often made from recyclable materials, but in their current form, they also hold value, and many can be reused. There is a large number of companies that have programs dedicated specifically to the art of refurbishing trophies. 

Here are some of the best-known companies for this purpose:

Total Awards & Promotions in Madison, WI

They encourage the community to recycle their old trophies – including but not limited to your bowling trophy-, awards and plaques to support nonprofit organizations that are in great need, especially in today’s economy. They have been recycling for 30 years. In 2016, they started charging a recycling fee to recycle your trophies as a way to fund themselves.

Total Awards & Promotions and their team have been donating their time for years to recycle, rebuild, repair, sanitize, clean, and engrave donated trophies. Due to changes and the current economy, they have opted to move the program as a pay-for-service. Sales of the trophies that come from recycled parts will also keep the recycling program running.

This program helps organizations that have cut their spending on motivation trophies, event awards, appreciation, and overall recognition. Quantity limits apply.

Repeat Champions

Repeat Champions Nonprofit collects gently used trophies and medals from any sport or activity. It accepts all shapes and sizes of awards and refurbishes them as non-gender-specific awards, which are then donated to organizations that reward athletes of all ages with their achievements.

Trophies are refurbished, recycling as much as 90% of the parts, and donated to groups and organizations within their community and abroad due to the lack of resources to buy them on their own. House-league sports teams, seniors groups, and after-school clubs are just a few of the people they help. It is their way of showing each recipient they are a CHAMPION!

“Repeat Champions spreads the joy of winning, one recycled trophy at a time, extending the life of a trophy and rewarding new winners because we believe that everyone deserves to be a champion!”

Lamb Awards and Engraving

This company has also started a trophy recycling program to help find new homes for your very old trophies – including bowling trophies – so that they avoid the landfill. They will either donate matching sets to charities in need or disassemble the trophies. This company has a program that handles rebuilding new trophies, with whichever parts they find useful, then they recycle the rest.

Later, the rebuilt items are resold or donated to nonprofit organizations. 

These organizations – and programs – will allow you to ship your trophies that are in fairly good condition for nominal processing and shipping fees (beforehand, be sure to check out whatever restrictions they might have and that you would be eligible).

Can’t Afford To Ship Your Bowling Trophy?

If you can’t afford to ship your trophies or awards, or you are concerned and want to skip the carbon footprint of shipping, you might want to check with your local trophies shop to find out if they have a refurbishing program of their own. Even if they don’t, they may be able to point you in the right direction. 

As a final resort, If you know or at least have an idea of what materials your trophy contains, you can reach your local recycling program directly to check if they will be able to process it, and if so, how they’d like you to break it down or if they are able to do so themselves.

Other Ways To Recycle Your Old Bowling Trophy

There are many crafty reuses for bowling trophies – and all kinds of trophies-. You can either put your bowling trophies in a terrarium with a turtle, or you can make a decorative yard ornament, or a person could turn your old bowling trophy into an art piece.

Importance Of Recycling Your Old Bowling Trophy

YOU GO GREEN! These programs allow people to use sustainable parts by recycling the old trophies. They recycle the metal engraved plates, save all that marble from the landfills, reuse the columns, rods, and figures to make new trophies for sale and donation.

Conclusion

With any plan you have for your bowling trophy: selling it, giving it away, recycling, or doing craft work with it, remember they hold great value for you and for those who will receive it.

Tim C, M.D.

My grandfather and my mother both taught me bowling in the early 1970’s. I spent the next few decades working my way up to the top tiers of local amateur bowling leagues, and continued to participate in college at the club level. My wife and bowled in coed leagues before kids, and then taught our kids bowling as they grew up. Now I’m here to answer some of the web’s common questions about bowling rules, techniques, equipment and more. To see more about the site, check our About Page

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