Almost everybody who writes to me has high hopes that their collection is worth much more than it really is. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I usually am. While you may feel that I am trying to low-ball you in order to get a good price on your artifacts, in reality I always try to give a good estimate of what they will sell for full retail, and then if I'm interested in what you have I make an offer. You of course are free to go someplace else to try and get a better price. If you have the know-how to sell them yourself online, expect the seller fees and shipping costs to be at least 20% of the selling price, which is why when I buy artifacts I always tailor my offer at around 20% below the retail value. Please try not to take offers I make that don't meet your expectations personally.
The term "Arrowhead" is a generic term used to describe a wide variety of Native American artifacts. In reality, very few of them were actually used on the tips of arrows. If you think about a modern arrow, the metal tip is very small. The same was true with prehistoric arrows. True arrowheads are tiny, about the size of your finger nail. Everything else is usually much larger, and were used for everything from knives, to spear points, to hide scrapers. They were very good at creating a tool for a specialized need very fast.
A common misconception about artifacts is their age. People tend to think in terms of tribes that may be associated with artifacts they have, and that they are perhaps a couple centuries old. Humans have been in North America for more than 14,000 years, and they made hundreds of millions of stone tools in that time. Those tools are scattered throughout the Americas and it's safe to assume that humans walked and hunted on about every square foot of the US.
The obsidian knife blade pictured to the right is a good example of what collectors look for. It's roughly 9,000 to 12,000 years old, and very uncommon to find in good condtion like this one is in. This blade is valued in the $1,500 to $2,000 range. If a piece of the tip or base was missing, the value would be less than half of that.
These are the things which have the biggest impact on artifact value..
1. Rarity. Just like everything else, the more rare something is, the more desirable and valuable it becomes. The same is true for artifacts. A lot of them are literally worth more than their weight in gold.
2. Age. Most established collector gravitate toward artifacts that were made by some of the first inhabitants of North America. We really know very little about them other that what we find with their stone tools because everything else turns to dust while the stone remains forever. We're always learning more, but for now we have their tools.
3. Condition. In artifact collecting, condition is everything. A very small piece of the tip missing from an otherwise perfect artifact can decrease the value by half or more. Anybody who has ever hunted arrowheads can tell you that they generally find hundreds or thousands of broken or damaged artifacts for every good one they find. So perfect arrowheads are very rare and generally have the most value.
In every collection, the value of the entire collection is based on around 1-5% of the total artifacts. This means most of what you have will be worth little to nothing. But, those pieces that are in marketable condition could be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars each.