Browsing through any collectibles price guide, the inexperienced collector will assume a new acquisition is a monetary goldmine. Then they become frustrated and don't understand why their item won't sell at book price. Any item is worth only as much as someone is willing to pay for it, and prices in most books reflect the highest retail value that can be expected for an item in mint condition. To determine to actual price you can expect to receive for your item requires lots of research. Price guides are great to determine the relative value of one item over another, but that's not necessarily what things are actually selling for.
I usually start my research on Ebay. I search completed listings for the specific item, and for similar items, to see what they actually sold for, including shipping. I don't pay any attention to the asking price of unsold items, as they are often inflated. By checking sold items, I can see what someone is willing to pay. After my Ebay research, I often check out other selling sites such as Etsy, Artfire, and Bonanza.
If you sell at a local collectibles mall, as I do, or at a flea market, you'll also want to check out the prices of your competitors items. Price your stuff too high, and customers will migrate to other booths. Price too low, and they'll wonder what's wrong with your stuff! Always price an item with consideration to it's condition. Two booths may sell the same pyrex bowl... one for $12.00, and another for $8.00. Why? Condition.. condition.. condition.
Then there's always the problem of selling something that you can't find anywhere and have no idea of it's worth! I often find myself in this position because I look for the unusual. In that case, I price according to what I would pay for it. Sometimes it sells, sometimes not, but then I have a cool collectible for my own use! I never buy anything I don't like.
What are some of your pricing strategies?