Noname Antiques » Vintage Tupperware Value (Identification & Price Guides)

Vintage Tupperware Value (Identification & Price Guides)

A $2.6 billion company, one that hosts a sales party in at least one place around the planet every 1.5 seconds, started quietly in New Hampshire in 1946. The Tupperware bowl you have in your kitchen had humble roots.

Earl Tupper, famous now for his creation of Tupperware, couldn’t have known the success his company would achieve when he introduced air-tight seals to a less-than-enthusiastic crowd.

However, Tupperware has become such a force in the culinary field that vintage Tupperware is incredibly valuable and sometimes even hard to find. If you are lucky enough to find a piece, you are probably wondering how much it’s worth.

We will look at the history of Tupperware, how to tell if what you have is official, how much it might be worth if it’s dangerous, and even how to clean it!

The History of Tupperware

Beginning in 1946, an engineer named Earl Tupper introduced Tupperware products with airtight seals on their lids. Though earl started with his Bell tumbler, he used this technology on everything from bowls to salt and pepper shakers.

With an 80 percent increase in home refrigeration, food storage became a perfect place for Tupper’s plastic containers.

Unfortunately for him, crowds didn’t trust the new technology out of the gate. Vice President of Sales, Brownie Wise, made the decision to start Tupperware parties to give demonstrations to customers on the benefits of using Tupperware.

Tupperware’s popularity exploded, and by the midcentury, Dip ‘N Serve Trays were being sold, plus in the 1960s, the company started to target mobile solutions for food containers.

To this day, Tupperware is used in many home kitchens. Because of their lifetime warranty, replacement lids, and durable polypropylene (PP) build, Tupperware pieces are still as popular now as they were in the 1950s.

What is Vintage Tupperware Made Out of?

Earl Tupper first invented the Bell Tumbler to serve as a drinking vessel for soldiers in World War II. After the war ended, he used the same technology to launch his line of bowls. Using low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plastics, he created the Wonderlier line.

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The plastic was highly durable, easily replaceable, and bacteria resistant. Earl’s products could be used to keep a soda carbonated or a salad crisp.

How Much is Vintage Tupperware Worth?

vintage tupperwares
Image Credit: Today Show

This really depends on the demand. With marketplaces like Etsy and eBay, a vintage piece of Tupperware can be easier to find, driving prices down. It’s also easier and easier to find old Tupperware in garage sales and estate sales.

If you are looking to become a vintage collector, here are some general rules to look pricing:

  • Full sets in difficult-to-find colors can sell for hundreds if they’re in great condition.
  • Complete select sets can sell for between $50 and $75.
  • Salt and pepper shaker sets may sell for $50 or up to $200 depending on the type of plastic and condition
  • Single old Tupperware containers can go for anywhere between $5 and $20

It’s important to remember to keep the condition and color in mind when deciding a price to sell your vintage Tupperware for.

How to Identify Vintage Tupperware

There are many different ways to decide if a piece is authentic Tupperware. The easiest is to check the bottom of the piece for the “Tupperware” stamp. It would also have a two-part number on the bottom of it.

Method 1

The most accurate way to tell is to take the first part of the two-part number, or its mold number, and send it to a Tupperware representative. They will be able to tell you for sure if it is an authentic piece.

It’s very simple to find a Tupperware representative. You can go to the official Tupperware website and you just have to click the “Find a Rep” button. Once you’ve connected, it’s easy to ask about your vintage Tupperware or sign up to host your own Tupperware party!

Method 2

One other way that would take some more research would be to check the color and shape of the available Tupperware lines. You can look at old catalogs to check. While this is a harder way, it can be rewarding to look through old lists of Tupperware, similar to a treasure hunt!

Here are some of the popular lines you can look for: Wonderlier bowls, Bell Tumbler, Millionaire collections, Carousel caddy, Servalier Astro bowls, Cake taker, Condiment caddy, and Flatout line.

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What is the Most Sought After Vintage Tupperware?

VIntage Tupperware servalier lids
Image Credit: Etsy

There isn’t one go-to answer for this question; however, anything with the Tupper mark tends to sell at the highest price. It’s also very rare to find a pink set of Tupperware, because pink tends to fade the worst.

Keep an eye out for full sets in great condition (especially salt and pepper shakers or pieces with the Tupper stamp) that are in a color. Sets that are white or crystal aren’t as popular because those were sold the most.

Is Vintage Tupperware Toxic?

It certainly can be! Old Tupperware has been known to test positive for lead, arsenic, cadmium, and even mercury. These toxic chemicals are known to cause a myriad of problems for people, so it’s advised to only use vintage Tupperware as decorations.

It’s also important to note that the Tupperware company only formally removed BPA (Bisphenol A) from its products in 2010. Some of the most severe toxins found in vintage Tupperware can cause diabetes, kidney failure, cancer, or other diseases.

Always be wary of your Tupperware finds. It’s impossible to tell what toxins it holds without having an expensive test run on it. If you have questions or concerns, it’s better to be overly cautious and assume there are harmful toxins in the Tupperware.

How to Clean Vintage Tupperware

As with anything older, it’s important to care for your vintage Tupperware pieces with care. Because Tupperware has been marketed as microwave safe, you need to be careful of toxicant leaching adding harmful chemicals to your food.

Use warm water and watered-down dish soap to softly clean your Tupperware. Be extra careful while cleaning any Tupperware with odors, stains, chipping, scratches, or peeling, because you don’t want to exacerbate any issues.

What to Look for When Purchasing Vintage Tupperware

It’s always important to look for the official Tupper stamp. This authenticates your piece. You should also be looking for the two-part number that can be used by an official Tupperware representative.

In order to figure out the worth of the pieces you’ve found, look at the color of the set, and always try to find a full set in great condition. Pink is always a hard-to-find color, so try to find those rare sets.

Don’t forget to also look at the condition. Make sure the piece you’re getting isn’t chipped, cracked, stained, or in any other way damaged. Odors can be offputting, but aren’t necessarily dangerous.

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In the end, It’s most important to remember never to use old Tupperware pieces for actual food storage. They should only be used as decorations and should never come into contact with actual food.

Hosting Your Own Tupperware Party

Tupperware makes it very simple to host your own parties, and it’s a great way to make extra money and new friends! All you have to do is connect with an Independent Tupperware representative.

After you’ve done that, you pick the date of your party, choose who you want to invite, send out the invitations, then enjoy the party! All the supplies and information are sent to you, so you get to have fun with minimal effort.

You get a thank you gift for hosting, and you also get great discounts on Tupperware products. You get to meet new people, and you even get a connection that can help authenticate that rare piece of Tupperware you find!

Some Final Thoughts

If you’re wanting to get into the world of vintage Tupperware collecting, you’ve stepped into a huge community. Started by Earl Tupper nearly 80 years ago, Tupperware has come a long way from its humble beginning.

From measuring cups to salt and pepper shakers and everything in between, Tupperware has always been identifiable by its push-button seals and the “Tupper” stamp on the bottom.

Though old Tupperware pieces have some harmful chemicals in them, it’s important to remember that it’s perfectly safe to display your beautiful bowl set, just make sure not to store any food in them.

In your new world, always remember to be looking for full sets (especially ones that are pink colored) in great condition. Those are the most impressive finds, and they have the best resale value.

But most importantly is to remember to have fun! Enjoy hunting through eBay or live garage sales to find a piece that collects a set or a new color you’ve never seen. Welcome to the world of Tupperware!

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