Once in a while, you may hear news of how someone discovered an antique item in the basement that ended up being worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Such news stories may be few, but they show the value of collectible memorabilia.
If you already have some item you have been collecting for years and aren't aware of its value, you must learn more about collectible items. This is especially so if you are at the point in life where you need to get rid of some things. To make smart choices and keep possibly valuable items, you need to understand what is useful.
In this article, we will answer some of the commonly asked questions when it comes to collecting items.
What is considered a collectible?
In simple terms, a collectible is any item that had increased worth compared to when it was initially sold. Such an increase in value can be either due to rarity or popular demand. There are different categories of collectibles, including stamps, coins, toys, antiques, and even comic books.
Another type of collectible is when items are mass-produced and on sale. This is a marketing strategy used by companies to increase demand for a particular topic. In time, the supply may diminish, leaving any who were able to purchase the item unique. The thing is now of higher value than it was when produced.
In this article, however, we will be referring to the first definition of a collectible. Today, many have to spend time and money to collect different items from mint tins to bottle caps. The difference between merely collecting random items of interest and a collectible is the monetary value involved. For example, the old bottle caps you received for years probably haven't changed in their value. On the other hand, if you collected Madame Alexander dolls or a Lionel train set, these collectibles are of high value.
What are the most popular things to collect?
There are a handful of items that are worth collecting for more than sentimental reasons. Here are the top 7 collectible items that have increased in value and continue to grow in value as time passes.
1. Vinyl Records - despite being among the oldest records available, many music lovers continue to use these early records to play music. Some vinyl records are worth a lot of money, while others are valued depending on how much they were back then.
2. Antique furniture -to determine whether your antique furniture is worth anything; you will need to contact an expert. Some antiques are worth thousands of dollars while others are worth nothing so get your furniture checked before you throw anything out.
3. Coins and Currency - some pieces have a very high value in the market, so if you happen to possess some unique examples, make sure you take good care of them. Chances are, their value will continue to increase with time. An example of a precious coin is the rare 1894-S Barber dime that sells for more than 1 million dollars.
4. Classic cars - it is no wonder why those who own classic vehicles spend a lot of time taking care of them. These cars can be listed among your most valuable possessions if you own them.
5. Comic books - the thing about collecting comic books is - storage is critical. A minor defect can have a significant impact on the value of the comic book. If well kept, some collections can be worth a lot of money. For example, a 1938 copy of Action Comics #1 sold for about 3.21 million on eBay in 2014.
6. Stamps - collecting stamps has been an old hobby that still has many loyalists. Stamp collectors share a love of art and a love of history. Although not all your stamps will be worth a lot of money, you may possess some unique stamps worth a fortune. For example, the famous “inverted Jenny” stamp was sold for 1.17 million dollars.
Another stamp that has high value is the 1867 Benjamin Franklin stamp which has a cost of $935,000.
7. Wine - this is one of the items that make a lot of sense to collect because wine gets better and more valuable with age. Some collections of fine wine are so expensive; they can be worth more than a house.
8. Toys and dolls - if you are a doll collector, you probably have hundreds of dolls that you may want to pass on someday. If you have a carefully curated collection, selling your beloved collection may well bring you close to 1 million dollars in return.
An example of a doll collection that has a high value is the Cabbage Patch Kids from the 1970s to '80s that can sell for $3,500 to $5,500. The Barbie collection, especially the 1959 edition, is another high-value doll that can sell for thousands online.
Action figures are also valuable. Take, for example, the 1963 G.I Joe that sold for $200,000 in 2003. Superhero figures from the 1960s like Wonder Woman can also earn thousands of dollars on eBay.
9. Trading Cards - there are different types of trading cards from Magic the Gathering. The most common trading card are baseball cards. Like comic books, you will need to keep the cards in pristine condition if they are to be of any value.
Some unique trading cards can fetch millions like the 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner baseball card that was sold at 3.12 million in 2016. Other cards like the first edition of Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards can be worth thousands of dollars on eBay.
10. Movie Collectibles - these are among the most challenging kinds of collectibles to own simply because of their rarity. For example, the Cowardly Lion Costume from "The Wizard of Oz" sold for 3 million dollars while the "Casablanca" piano sold for 3.4 million.
Benefits of Having a Collection
Whether you already have an item of interest that you have started collecting or plan to begin this hobby, there are numerous benefits of having any collection. For starters, collections build organizational skills. Collectors need to spend a lot of time going through lists and documents that will help them organize their collection. Such organizing is an excellent workout for your brain. A real collector spends time to understand each piece carefully and classify it correctly.
Another benefit of collecting is that it allows you to build expertise in a specific category or niche. In the beginning, you will probably need to do a lot of research, but once your collection grows, you will have a database of knowledge. Collecting objects can give you a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence which are all valuable as you age.
Collectors often have a circle of those with similar interests who get together to trade items. It is, therefore, an excellent way to build your marketing skills. Trading and haggling are vital skills every collector should master of which have value in real life. Once you successfully trade a piece you had your eyes on, you become more confident in your skills and can apply this skill to other purchases.
Tips to Starting a Collection
Since collecting is an excellent hobby to try, there is no age limit as to when you can start a collection. If you are retired, have more time on your hands and are looking to start a hobby, collecting may very well be for you. Here are some easy tips to help you get started.
Select your passion
If you are to become a serious collector, you need to be genuinely interested in the item you choose to collect. It may be something that catches your eye on a trip or something that your family has received in the past. Whatever it is, it must be something that genuinely interests you. You can never succeed as a collector if you collector a random item that is not dear to you.
Off course, you need to make sure that your choice is neither too easy to find neither too difficult. Make your collector item unique yet scarce enough to provide the thrill of the hunt.
Remember that your collecting is a mere hobby and should not take too much of your time or money. The beauty of having a collection is that it is something you can continue doing for years. Be careful, though that your collection does not become an obsession.
Starting slowly also means starting with the simple pieces and then working your way up to the more difficult, scarce ones. To identify the standard pieces in your niche, you will have to do some homework. Find out if there are any fellow collectors out there to figure out how to start.
Collectible Memorabilia can be an excellent way to pass the time while keeping your mind active. If you select an item of interest that is unique, you will have the chance to continue your collection and perhaps pass it down to your grandchildren. Remember, though that collecting can quickly become an obsession, so it is vital that you strike a balance and set limitations from the very start.