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What is Collectible? What Will Be Collectible in the Future?
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Newsletter 04-11-2008

What is a Collectible and What Will be Collectible in the Future

Ever walk into someone’s house and it is filled to the brim with collections of knick knacks and Tchotchkes to where you are afraid to knock something over?  We have been to a few of those places, includingestate sales in the local area where we wonder how anyone could have lived in such a house.  Then we have to examine the question, “what were these people thinking?”  The answer might be, the “Antiques Roadshow” and eBay.

Ever since the advent of those two mediums, many people have felt the need to collect and not throw anything away for fear they are throwing away something valuable away.  What these people fail to understand is that just because you collect it, doesn’t make it valuable.  Collectibles (noun) are usually things that were made by a manufacturer for so that people could specifically collect the merchandise.  Some examples of these types of companies are Ty and Franklin Mint.  Ty produced hundreds of thousands of Beenie Babies that were very collectible a few years ago.  Franklin Mint has offered many different collectibles in various genres.  

However, because of the amount of product that these companies produced, their collectibles may not be worth as much money as collectors may think, unless you have a rare, one of a kind, or unusual piece.  These collectibles may not have much monetary value, but in the end if it is what you like, then it may have a different value to you and you alone.   The bottom line is, in most cases, you won’t get rich owning one of these collectibles although there are exceptions, such as trading cards. 


There are other things that were not specifically made for collectors but designed to have a function in our daily lives, such astoys, stamps, coins, jewelry, painting and glass.  However, these items can become collectible (adjective) because of their appeal, rarity, beauty and demand.  Although these items may always be in demand, the prices of these items can fluctuate depending on interest from collectors.  However, in a lot of cases their price will appreciate in the future. 

An example of this is the recent record auction sale of an Elvis Presley jumpsuit that was not intended to be collected when originally designed and manufactured. The demand however was high recently because of the anniversary of his death was in August.  So what should we collect in order to get rich in the future?  The bottom line is that we just don’t know.  Maybe we should all look for a Michael Phelps trading card or a Martin Johnson Heade painting.  So the old adage applies when collecting, buy what you like and what you will enjoy for now, if it becomes collectible and valuable in the future then so much the better.