Can you imagine that some things that used to be nearly free in the past are now reaching incomparable prices? Well, that’s the rationale behind collectibles. Sometimes, the more weird an object is, the more valuable it gets. To be successful as a collector, you must do extensive research, be passionate about this hobby, and have a sharp eye.
Read our in-depth guide on how to do research and tell the difference between promising collectibles and regular series. We took a step further and outlined the most valuable and sought collectibles around the globe and the places to sell them.
Table of Contents
- 1 Check For Authenticity
- 2 Research The Collectibles
- 3 Perform Market Research
- 4 Know The Condition Of Collectibles
- 5 Good Collectibles To Invest In
- 6 Where To Sell Your Collectibles?
- 7 Final Thoughts
- 8 FAQs
Check For Authenticity
Don’t fall for incredibly low prices for rare items as those are probably fake. The truth is that the market is overwhelmed by counterfeits of anything that can come to mind. Avoid confusion and misunderstandings by learning at lengths about the collectibles in question and the process of collecting.
For instance, if you’re checking a vintage model car, find the signs of date, the logo of the company, or its tag. Make sure it’s as old as the owner claims by its appearance. Logos and stamps should tell you that the item is authentic. Of course, it’s much easier to verify whether the item is genuine with books and comics. Finally, if you aren’t sure about the thing, consult an official appraiser to certify it.
Research The Collectibles
People who don’t do their homework and neglect studying the collectibles lose money. That’s why you must have specific information about your items and know all the details about them. Potential customers appreciate the fact that you’re well-educated about the topic and will be willing to pay more.
Let’s imagine that you’re a coin collector. In reality, you won’t collect every minted coin in the world. You’ll be looking for rare, limited edition items that are hard to find and cost over the moon. In a word, look for quality in pieces, not quantity, as it rarely pays off.
Perform Market Research
Getting into the collectibles world means you have to learn about the competition. The closer you reach the primary sources, the better prices you can name. Depending on what you’re selling contact owners or managers of shops that specialize in such items. For instance, if you have game cards or stamps, contact dealers and insiders who possess a large inventory of those.
Establish the real interest for your collectibles on the market. You will probably wait a bit if the current demand is weak. Otherwise, when you have determined that you’re dealing with high-value items, appraisals from trusted sources always prove beneficial.
Know The Condition Of Collectibles
Thorough and detailed knowledge of the value and condition of your collections is a must. Not only will you overpay for them if you’re collecting, but you can also deprive yourself of significant cash when selling. Therefore, dedicate some time to do quality research on your items and study their features and specifics.
Nowadays, there is a limitless range of sites and books that specialize in almost any collectible, including artwork, stamps, coins, etc. Meticulous research will teach you what condition is acceptable and brings additional value. This way, you can assess the items accurately and set the right price ahead of other collectors.
If you do the work, you’ll be able to make quick cash, too.
Good Collectibles To Invest In
Not all collectibles reach fantastic selling prices. We are speaking of a never-ending market with so many possibilities and gaps. Your objective is to find that market gap and have the sense to identify the increasing potential of certain collectible items. The following are some of the best sold and most frequently sought rarities.
First edition copies of any classic and highly-valued book might be worth a fortune. If your old house is sitting on a library of old, forgotten goodies, it’s high time you give it a long search. Check the condition of the books and their dust jackets as this will set the selling price.
When trying to establish the book value, consider the popularity of the author and the book rarity. If you can’t determine the value of your collection of books, take it to an auction house or a bookstore for appraisal. Collectors particularly appreciate the first editions of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Also, authors like Shakespeare and Scott Fitzgerald are an exceptional bet.
Did you know that the first issue of the Amazing Spiderman comic book got sold for €3,200? As a result of the massive fan base, Action Comics #1 issued in 1938 are now worth up to €3 million. Central characters introduced in earlier editions are highly appreciated, as well.
Check your attic for stashed comic books gathering dust over the years. The adventures of Batman, Captain America, or X-Men have skyrocketed in value thanks to movie success. Generally speaking, the older the version of the comic and the rarer it is, the higher amount you can achieve. Special features, promotional issues, and recalled editions are worth even more.
Though present on the world scene for over 61 years, the power of this doll has remained undisputed. What is more, three Barbies get sold every second making it the most popular toy on earth. Aside from its global presence and frequency, individual dolls are worth thousands of dollars.
To understand which Barbies are worth selling, make sure you explore the matter more deeply. Meaning, the age of the toy is what matters the most. Also, when the doll and its outfits are in their original packaging, the example will surely fetch you more money. Vintage Barbies (manufactured before 1972) in a nearly perfect condition can earn you above $1,000 apiece, depending on the edition.
Well-known players’ gear such as bats, gloves, or caps cost an arm and a leg today. For example, Muhammed Ali’s Boxing gloves sold for an incredible $1,100,000. Moreover, Babe Ruth memorabilia is considered the most valuable in the world as he was the iconic baseball player of all time.
However, today, there are many fake sports items, so you have to possess a verified one to increase its value. Above all, the autograph must be authentic, and there must be a photo as evidence. Of course, professionally authenticated items of famous sports people always get sold for higher amounts.
Music And Movie Memorabilia
Have you decided to go with popular culture memorabilia because you find it both exciting and fun? Think about props, rare records, and movie costumes that can become pots of money. When it comes to music, famous singers and bands receive the most significant attention. Any item that belonged to Elvis Presley, The Beatles, or Michael Jackson can resolve your money issues.
With movies, Hollywood collectibles are the most popular ones. For instance, Marilyn Monroe’s garment in which she sang the ‘Happy Birthday’ song to President Kennedy got sold for an incredible $4.8 million. Audrey Hepburn and James Bond memorabilia are also some of the most sought film props world-wide.
Coins have always been the first love of keen collectors due to their beauty and variety. Overall, the value of an average money piece will increase by 220% over ten years. If you want to know whether a coin is valuable, consult guide books on coins, and keep them neatly in a collector’s album. Don’t clean them as you might inflict scratches and reduce their value.
Coin addicts don’t think twice to invest millions of dollars for a rare dime or nickel. So, if you spot a rare coin with a promising future, hold on to it. Coins with flaws are particularly valuable, so make sure you keep those for as long as possible. For instance, a two-euro coin minted in 2006 in The Vatican costs about €100 today.
Philatelists collect a wide range of stamps as their hobbies, but some combine their hobbies with money earning possibilities. Remember that postages increase their value by 250% over a decade. So, if you have a talent for spotting their potential, you can earn significant amounts of money by collecting and selling stamps.
Generally, stamps that commemorate important events or anniversaries reach the highest amounts. In terms of most valuable postage stamps, avid collectors are ready to spend millions. However, if you don’t possess a unique item, selling a robust collection can bring a satisfactory revenue. The more organized your stamp collection is, the more money you’ll get paid for it.
Toys tied to the most famous movie blockbusters tend to reach the highest value on the collectibles market. For example, Dinky Toys and their made-to-scale model cars are selling for impressive sums. So, if you’ve set your eyes on toy cars, look for models in perfect condition and the original packaging. This way, you can earn as much as several hundred dollars per item.
Did you know that a vintage set of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from 1937 is worth nearly $1,500? Not surprisingly, but Disney figurines and toys have always had a substantial market for keen collectors. Disney-themed characters from McDonald’s Happy Meals with pint-sized toys are also highly appreciated. Even old PEZ candy dispensers that feature Mickey Mouse and Santa Claus from decades ago will earn you a small fortune.
Where To Sell Your Collectibles?
Thanks to the development of technology, today, collectors have endless alternatives to trade their beloved collections. What if online platforms to sell stuff for cash is not good enough for you? Well, you can sell your items in person to dealers and auction houses. Below, we have listed the most efficient channels to market your collectibles for better prices and within the shortest time frames possible.
The good old eBay won’t disappoint you whatever you choose to sell online, particularly if you’re up for an urgent sale. However, be aware that the “golden age” of eBay has long perished as the site became oversaturated with products. Your items must be truly extraordinary if you want them to sell for higher amounts.
Vending collectibles that are difficult to find or a lot of people are in pursuit of will undoubtedly generate an adequate income. Opt for a fixed price or put your product for auction. Auctions might be your most straightforward way when you need quick cash, but not always the most profitable. Also, check the fees for eBay’s service as those might get complicated at times.
Considered the largest vintage market on the net, with Etsy, you can sell anything from handmade items to old collectibles. More and more people are switching to Etsy or use it as a starting point since it’s becoming increasingly popular. Yet, self-promotion didn’t hurt anyone, and this way, you can boost your chances of selling.
To be able to sell antiques and collectibles, the requirement is that they have to be older than 20 years. For only 20¢ listing fee, you can list an item to be active for four months. Once the product gets sold, Etsy charges 5% of the selling price plus the shipping cost.
Present on the market for 25 years, TIAS is an all-encompassing stop for collectibles and antiques. Though no appraisals are available, TIAS is a complex network of cyber shops that offers half a million items for sale. Your primary task is to browse online catalogs that consist of photos and descriptions regularly.
Even better, you can open your own collectibles shop there. TIAS also offers feedback forms and an extensive Magazine Rack with a vast selection of magazines about collectibles and antiques. Once an item gets sold, you pay TIAS a 10% commission of the fixed price, or 2% if you sell through online auctions.
When it comes to high-end and rare products, consider collaborating with a local or national auction house. Specialty items can sell exceptionally fast and for decent cash, if auctions get advertised in front of a wider audience. The most famous houses are Christie’s and Sotheby’s and are dedicated to selling fine artwork and are collectibles. Even if you have less rare items, the number of local auction houses is quite sizable.
The upside with auction houses is that you don’t have to put a fixed price. Often, if you’re concerned about how well your collectibles will sell, give a reserve price, too. Last, remember that the auction house will charge you a commission for every item sold. The percentage depends on the value of the product and the policies of the house.
Pawn And Consignment Shops
In case the need for urgent money is pressing you, consider a pawnshop as a last resort solution for your worries. Be aware that pawn shops will sell any item at a discounted price since they tend to get rid of merchandise fast. So, if your items are valuable or you’re emotionally attached to them, selling with pawn shops might not be a great idea.
Alternatively, if you want to avoid antique shops, try your nearest consignment store. Many people mistake consignment shops as places to sell your wedding dress or clothes. They also work for collectibles too. There, items get listed for sale on consignment at a price that you specify. The shop owner announces the product, and only after the deal gets completed, you receive the payment.
Sell Locally Using Apps
Craigslist is an excellent option for selling general goods without needing to pay fees. For instance, if you have a piece of furniture, try selling it locally to avoid hefty deliveries. Consider meeting your potential buyers at public places and do the swap safely.
Facebook auctions and Instagram stories are perfect if you wish to earn money by selling worthy collectibles. On the other hand, Facebook Marketplace is a free service that offers listing items with photos and descriptions. Payments get executed via cards and are generally secure.
A Yard Or Garage Sale
Do you have a bunch of old stuff that you don’t use anymore? Or you have valuable items but still decided to declutter your home? A yard sale can be a smart way to get rid of old collections but don’t expect to earn much. Make sure you have a permit from the town government to hold it.
The upside of garage sales is that you don’t have to pay a commission to anyone. Further on, don’t get discouraged if you can’t sell at the prices you’ve contemplated. Be patient since one man’s trash can be someone else’s treasure. Even better, don’t put initial rates and wait for potential buyers to name the price themselves. You may be surprised that the price they call is higher than the one you would’ve suggested.
In case you’re looking for unique and impressive merchandise to resell, classified ads may be a rich source. Often, you can find advertised entire collections of figurines or porcelain. The benefit of this reselling alternative is that you can procure a large stock at reasonable prices.
Classified ads are available at Craigslist and eBay, and in some cases, you can place them for free. Otherwise, eBay charges €16 for a 28-day listing. Lastly, consider placing ads in local newspapers and other periodicals that get distributed free of charge.
As you learn the nuances and grow your collecting hobby, the value of your collections will grow. Use our suggestions above on how to pick items with the potential to sell for more. Get a head start before other collectors and locate the best online and in-person places to trade collectibles efficiently.
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What are the most profitable collectibles?
The world of collector’s items is an ocean of passion, devotion, and details. Profit is also in the picture for special series of collections that include books, comics, and even old newspapers. Moreover, coins and stamps are some of the earliest collecting passions and notably worthwhile. Even action figures, board games, and model cars are appreciated collectibles that can earn you decent cash.
What collectibles are worth money?
For some items, you’re going to spend precious time trying to locate them, whereas others might be right at home. If you own old video games, VHS tapes, or Polly Pocket toys from the ’90, these can reach unusual prices. Even old and well-preserved china sets from the 1900s are worth a lot of money today. Depending on the condition and the artists, vinyl records can earn you serious cash, too. Finally, keep an eye on old functional typewriters since the demand for them has recently been rising.
What can you resell collectibles for money?
It’s time you dust off the boxes of old comics and books and determine their value. The older the book or the poster, the better price you can attain. Stamps and coins are valuable items for avid collectors and are pretty high on the trading scale. Moreover, action figures, Barbie dolls, and model cars sell excellent if in good condition and rare.
What can I buy in bulk and sell for profit?
Your best shot is to go with high-tech items that are gaining popularity. Start by investing money in drones and accessories, as well as in video game consoles, since the demand has recently plummeted. Consider the toy industry as a second alternative and focus your attention on kitchenware, instruments, Legos, and racing cars. You can also sell sports equipment and sunglasses for a living. Last, consider apparel and minimalist jewelry but first check what famous fashionistas and bloggers suggest.
What is the best stuff to sell online?
The best strategy is to pick unique, eye-catching, and less pricey products to sell online. Some of the trending niches in 2020 include travel accessories such as inflatable pet collars, bags, and portable blenders. Technology products like car phone holders, WiFi repeaters, and home security IP cameras are highly sought, too. When it comes to baby gear, pay attention to baby carriers and slings, water playing mats, and swings.