Collectibles investing is often more a case of personal interest than of someone trying to make money. What would make someone like Jay Leno build an enormous garage to store his antique cars? Is he trying to make money? Unlikely. It works the same with those of us in a smaller net worth bracket too.
I had a high school friend whose father had the full Topps baseball card set for every year since the early 1950’s – quite an amazing collection! I don’t think his plan is to sell it either. And perhaps the sets with Mickey Mantle are worth a lot but at the time, he didn’t spend too much to put the collection together. Which goes to show that sometimes, the value of collectibles is a surprise years later.
Investors/collectors can collect various items – from coins, to stamps, from art to music (I have a friend with an enormous LP record collection). Will your collection be worth something? Hard to say – often, if you try to sell something to a dealer, you will be offered 50% of the selling value (they have to make their profit right?). The rise of eBay and other auction sites has given the little man the opportunity to sell items ‘to the highest bidder’ which is certainly helpful considering that in the old days, that 50% was often the only option available to small collectors.
Lastly, some treasures can be found in the most unsuspecting places. I heard one story of 2 local historical society workers who happened upon a painting worth about $250,000 at a church yard sale – they didn’t pay much for it. Oftentimes, knowledge gaps between the collector and the seller can yield opportunities, or it can simply be timing or an unforeseen circumstance (such as the untimely death of a star). Collectibles may or may not have a reasonable rate of return; therefore, it makes sense to collect things that you enjoy yourself. In that way, even if no one else finds value in your stuff, you will.
See a clip of the recent episode of “Hoarders” where “Sir Patrick” finds out his stuff isn’t worth much: Hoarders Video
If you have any questions regarding collectibles, feel free to contact us either by phone – 781.393.0021 or through a Quick Contact – we’d enjoy talking to you and have a network of professionals that might be able to help.
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