It is the dream for any hoarder – all of those erasers or comics that you’ve been collecting for years are actually worth a fortune. For most of us our low value collectibles turn out to be just that: not worth very much. However, there are some items that, even if you haven’t started collecting them already, could be a wise investment now – because they’ll make you a fortune in the future.
Low cost collectibles that could be high value items
Collectibles can be very subjective – it all depends on whether you can find the right buyer who wants to pay the right price for what you’ve collected. However, there are some categories of collectibles that have a better chance than most of making you a fortune in the long run.
Pop memorabilia. Music memorabilia has always had a great deal of value and now is the time to begin drawing together, and adding to, anything you have from the 1980s onwards – the era when pop music began to explode. It’s amazing what people will pay for unique items of pop memorabilia so don’t be put off if at first you think what you have is of no value. For example, a single set list from a Nirvana gig sold for $8,750 at auction because it had been scribbled on by Kurt Cobain.
First edition books. This doesn’t have to be vintage books (although they do tend to be very valuable) but could be modern classics too – first editions of the Harry Potter books, for example, can go for five figures. The general rule though is that the longer you hold on to them the more likely they are to increase in value.
Childhood toys. There is a big market for childhood toys now, mainly driven by the nostalgia factor and people looking back at what they used to play with. If you’ve been collecting Micro Machines since the 1980s, for example, you could find yourself with high value spoils on your hands. To the right collector, the right Micro Machines model could go for anywhere up to £200.
Star Wars stuff. The older collectibles and figurines tend to fetch the highest prices right now but Star Wars collectibles from recent films, especially the limited edition pieces, are unlikely to lose their value. The rarer the figurines, the more they tend to fetch. So, if you have Star Wars figures and you’re not sure whether they’re worth anything it’s important to check first so that you don’t end up accepting less for them.
Comic books. Comics are some of the most collectible items around and those that can often generate the most impressive financial return. If you’re looking to invest in comics that really might make you a fortune then it’s those that date back beyond 30-40 years that have the really high price tags.
Old coins. Maybe you inherited a stack of old coins from a relative or perhaps you’ve been a serious collector for some time. Coins can be worth a lot more than their face value if they are unusual or out of commission. The rarest coins fetch the most cash but you might also see the value of your collection swell with rare, commemorative or limited editions.
It’s often difficult to put a value on a collection of stamps – even some of the oldest ones may not be worth that much other than to a nostalgic collector. However, it is always a good idea to get a valuer to look at the stamps you have in case the collection contains some rare ones. A Penny Black, for example (the world’s first adhesive stamp) could fetch many thousands of pounds if it still has the original gum and the right margins.
Some sage advice on collecting collectibles
Choose something that you love, not just items that you think are likely to make you money. That way if it turns out that you have nothing but boxes full of old comics, as opposed to a priceless find, then you’ll still get some pleasure from them.
If you’re doing this purely to make money then choose wisely. You need to make sure that whatever you’re going to spend money collecting will guarantee you a return. Do your research online, check out auction sales and look at what other collectors have received for similar items.
Start with what you already have. If you have a box of old Bratz dolls or a bunch of first edition board games then build on what you’ve already got rather than starting completely fresh.
Amanda Gillam is Solution Loans's General Manager and has been since 2009. She is also a prolific writer on personal finance issues, and has been quoted numerous times in articles published on 3rd party websites and in press releases. Her...Read more about Amanda Gillam