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Collectibles...

 Posted by Janet Parkinson on December 7, 2016 at 3:29 PM

I started thinking about how to go about telling our buyers about the sale we prepared in Cowpens, SC for a while. This has caused me to ponder collectibles, something I've thought a great deal about over the years. The owner collected, or compiled, a lot of what I find to be interesting old stuff. Almost none of it has much, if any, intrinsic value. It is material which was common and of low value when it was new long ago, but now that it is old and no longer commonly found it is, dare I say, it is collectible. I've said to myself, "These things are cool. People like this stuff". These are THE REAL collectibles: things made for a practical purpose, meant to be used, and because they were used they became broken, worn-out, and thrown away. Those still around are uncommon.

Collectible. I don't like that word. I cringe a little when I hear people use it. Too often they are proudly referring their collection of possessions manufactured and marketed as collectibles, i.e. Beanie Babies, Franklin Mint, Department 56, and the like. Deceptive marketing gimmicks trick people into believing those items appreciate in value. Most don't. The post WWII baby boomers were, and are, the big buyers of collectibles. The youngest of them are now in their 60s. When they pass their stuff has got to go somewhere. The younger generations don't want it.  The market is saturated with collectibles of all kinds and it will never recover for the likes of those mentioned above. For collectibles to be good financial investments knowledge of the market, good timing, and luck are required. Some collectibles can provide a financial return on investment: art, baseball cards, comic books, Hot Wheels, and Star Wars toys are examples, but it depends upon how much a buyer is willing to pay for the item when it is time to sell. More often than not the re-seller gets a skinny wholesale price for things for which they paid full retail. Best to buy "collectibles" just because you love them and can enjoy them for purely aesthetic reasons.

Regarding collectibles, we are seeing higher selling prices for categories of items which no one wanted a short time ago. Examples are '70s-'80s computers, video games, film cameras, USA made bicycles, Craftsman tools made prior to 1970 (really all USA made tools), and '60s-70s audio equipment. Being successful collecting, especially if collecting to resell, requires product knowledge, a discerning eye, understanding the market, and a willingness to research.  

Oh yes! I was supposed to be discussing our Cowpens sale! Cowpens will be composed almost exclusively of well-selected items 40 to 80 years old, in excellent condition, and most of which are, like I said above, very cool. If you saw it you'd be inclined to pick it up and example it and try to figure out what the heck it was used for, or, it would remind you of something last seen in grandma's house, or in grandpa's garage