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Not Hot…Just Not…

by | Oct 16, 2018 | Blog Post

Not Hot…Just Not…

Every week I typically visit a topic to make the reader aware of what is valuable in the world of antiques and fine art. But this week, I’m going to strive to make my job back at the gallery a whole lot easier. Every time the phone rings, I’d say there is a fifty percent chance someone is calling with one of these items. This week’s topic is the top most absolutely worthless items that people think are opulently expensive. Before we start, as with everything there can always be the rare exception, but generally speaking this stuff is equal to dirt. Use it as skeet, shoot it, or light it on fire and burn it in your fireplace. These are the items you’d be happy to see sell at a yard sale for a dollar.

Beanie Babies, oh yes, Beanie Babies. The Beanie Baby craze of the 1990’s seemed like an unstoppable train with no market ceiling to be had. Then the realization sets in that you just spent $500 on a mass produced stuffed animal you were convinced was an investment. While Ty Inc. was genius in their marketing by retiring and restricting releases, the product was simply too mass produced to sustain the secondary market it had. Beanie Babies suffered two fold, because they also fell victim to the rule “If it’s made to be a collectible, then it is not collectible”. How can something become rare if it is never given the opportunity? With Beanie Babies, everyone saved them from new, it’s not like 1978 Star Wars that every kid played with. This rule takes us to our second dreadful category.

When the first line out of anybody’s mouth is “I ordered these directly from the Danbury Mint”, it’s the antique equivalent of being a doctor and telling someone they have six months to live. Danbury, Franklin, or any television advertised collectible “Mint” is the upmost worst investment you could make. Unless you are buying something for the pure joy of collecting, with no want for a return on investment, do not buy these articles. They sell it all, plates, coins, stamps, statues, chess sets, jewelry, train sets, and die cast cars. You name it, they make it, and it’s “Collectible”. All of these articles are considered a first market collectible. The value (I guess) is in watching an infomercial, placing the order, receiving the package, and then repeating after waiting for next month’s addition. Once you purchase it, there is nobody waiting in the wings to buy it from you.

The message here is that if you want to collect something, collect quality. While you may not get the joy of buying stuff frequently, your money would be so much better spent in even just one item a year then twelve from a subscription service. Learn from you parents and grandparents’ mistakes. If you have two hundred Norman Rockwell collector plates in front, it will be ok. Just remember you will need to go to work tomorrow.