What is it that makes a collectable valuable? This question is something that collectors of all ages will debate heavily into the foreseeable future. Take my son for example. In his short life of only thirteen years he has had several different collections that have been near and dear to him. At two he collected Thomas the train, at four he found a passion for the movie Cars and collecting the little car replicas but now nine years later both of those collections have been left in the dust along with his pokemon cards and we are on to collecting disc golf Frisbees.
The answer to that question is as different as each collection and collector. Did we ever profit from any of my son's collections? Yes and no, we found great satisfaction over the years in the adventure of finding a missing or hard to find item for his set which in itself is victory but financially we may have just about broken even. This is not the case for all collections and yes had we been more diligent in who we sold the collections off to we could have been more profitable but that wasn't what we were after.
For a collectable to be of financial value there is a whole set of ground rules that differs from us casual collectors although it is still quite subjective. For a collectable to have the investment factor there are numerous things to consider.
For a collectable to have a monetary reward someone has to be willing to purchase it. Even if a collector thinks their collection is worth a certain dollar value it isn't unless another collector also perceives it to be worth spending amount of money on it.
Another factor that comes into play for a variety of collectables is the condition of the item. For instance, antique canes are quite popular amongst collectors. A certain amount of wear is acceptable for items of past eras but an unreasonable amount may decrease what a buyer is willing to pay. This may not be true with all collectables. With antique canes the historical value, along with the age of the cane and whom it may have belonged to come into play when determining the value as well.
This is however not the case when it comes to collectors of baseball cards. The collectable nature is the shape of the card, the rarity of the individual on the card and that person's place in history. The shape of the card plays a huge role in the value of the card. Any amount of wear seen on baseball cards is deemed an imperfection and decreases the value.
Collecting should start from the heart and not the pocket book. If you love something and enjoy seeking out the beauty in finding an odd, unique or rare piece then the money spent on the collection and the return on investment becomes less important. Collectibles of all kinds are fun to acquire. It doesn't hurt to consider the condition, age, authenticity and rarity of an item before you pay an exorbitant price for it. Just remember in the end what remains after the funds have been exchanged is the thrill of the find.
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