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What Happened to the Value of Collectibles?
Are Old Cast Iron Toys Worth Much?
Do You Buy Artwork?
What are My Porcelain Dolls Worth?
What is the Next Big Collectible?

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Collecting

What Happened to the Value of Collectibles?

Why Are So Many Collectibles Not Worth Much These Days?
There are many factors that affect the value of collectibles. In the last few years several entire categories of collectibles have lost nearly all of their value. One of the main factors that have caused the value of a lot of collectibles to plummet in value is directly related to the Events of 2008.

Prior to the housing market crash of 2008 many people were throwing money away buying and hoarding art, gold, collectibles, sports memorabilia, and much more. Once the Housing market crashed and gold plummeted in value People have lost faith in virtually anything retaining value.

I guess people came to the conclusion that if Houses and Gold can not hold their value than Nothing can.

Are Old Cast Iron Toys Worth Much?

Old Antique cast iron toys can be worth anywhere from $20 up to Several Thousand Dollars Each depending on the Style, Manufacturer, color and condition. Some colors were more rare than others and so are worth more money than others. The Most Important thing with collectibles though is Condition. Condition of Collectibles is everything!

There is, however, a major problem with cast iron toys these days. In the last 10+ years China has been mass producing fakes that are purposely made to look like old antiques. These Fakes are being sold in flea markets all over the US. Many people then try to pass them off as real ones. This type of activity is totally discouraging many real collectors and now prices for the real ones are plummeting. This is because collecting Cast Iron Antique toys is no longer fun for collectors. The fun is taken out of collecting when con-artists and scammers flood the market with millions of fakes that look very close to the real ones. Currently there Far more fakes on the market being passed off as real ones than there are actual real die cast antique toys. 

Counterfeiting collectibles seems to always ruin a collectible market. So beware when buying Antique Cast Iron Toys. Just assume that 95% or more of the ones being sold out there are fake, counterfeit items.

Do You Buy Artwork?

There are Currently Not many people or even Art Dealers these days that are Buying Artwork. Even the "Pawn Stars" people that you see on the History channel on TV are for the most part no longer buying artwork. The Pawn Stars people have been sending a lot of the Artwork that comes into their store to us. We do Buy Some Artwork. However, There are some questions that need to be answered to determine a value.

#1 - Is the Piece an Original, Limited Edition Print, or a Copy.
#2 - Who is the Artist (popular, well, known, famous, or unknown)
#3 - What is the condition of the piece
#4 - Does it come with quality paperwork
#5 - What is the Subject Matter of the Piece
#6 - What is the Collector Appeal Value

Collectors are very particular with what item they collect.
There are Collectors who Collect Art from certain artists, Collectors who collect certain themes, Collectors who collect items that match the decor of their home, ect. Collectors usually only stick to their interest category only.

Of course works of famous artist are easier to sell than unknowns. Likewise, artwork of desirable themes are easier to sell than those of undesirable subjects.

For example, a Salvador Dali painting of a pile of Dog Crap may be easier to sell than a Bowl of fruit painted by an unknown Artist just because Dali is more well known.On the other hand we have sold very nice paintings of totally unknown Artist simply because the piece was a beautiful painting of a Disney character scene, or Elvis, or Marylin Monroe. We have sold some pieces just because the item matched a Western Theme the Buyers had going on in their home.

When we determine a Cash offer for Artwork we have to take into consideration all the factors above which in turn will determine the ease or difficulty in selling the piece to an Art Buyer.

What are My Porcelain Dolls Worth?

Porcelain Dolls have plummeted in value in the last 10 years.
There was a time where porcelain dolls were very popular and many sold in stores for $50 - 500 each or more. Unfortunately those times are gone.

One of the main problems with porcelain dolls today is that China is Mega-MASS producing them. The Chinese have been selling these porcelain dolls for the last 20 years by the case at super cheap prices. Dolls that Cost $100.00 or more 30 years ago can be purchased today very easily for Around $5each brand new in the box from suppliers when you buy them by the case. Because of this many people in the US have been selling them on eBay for the last 30 years at lower and lower prices to compete with other eBay sellers. This has forced the prices to dump to near nothing.

Today you can literally find hundreds of porcelain dolls Brand New in the Box online or at local sales for $5 each or Less. For ones that are Out of the Box and have been previously displayed you can find them all over for around $1each. We even sell them in our local sales at $1each (and they Still do not sell well even at that price).

Today collectors are staying away from porcelain dolls for the most part not only because the value is gone but, because there are just way to many of them out there.

There are some porcelain dolls that will have a higher value. These are the ones that are specialty dolls. Examples would be Porcelain Barbies Dolls, Disney Porcelain Dolls, Porcelain Dolls of famous people like Marylin Monroe. The reason these dolls have more value is because the cross the lines into other collectibles markets. People who collect Barbie Dolls or Disney Memorabilia Would buy these specialty dolls. However, a Disney Collector for example will Only buy Disney Dolls and Not just any porcelain doll.

What is the Next Big Collectible?

Many People try to predict what the next big collectible will be. Predictors may buy and horde all kinds of things; Hoping they will strike it rich sometime in the Future. Many times people who try to predict the next great collectible find later that they were wrong and have wasted their time and money. Most often they find out that their items are actually worth much less than when they purchased them. Meaning they have actually Lost Value.

With Collectibles Value is NOT Determined by How much you paid for an item when they first came out. It is also NOT determined by how Old an item is. I get people all the time bringing in items that are 50 or even 100 years old or more thinking that they are going to get a lot of money for it just because it is old. But, if no one is looking for that particular item then the age of the item in itself is meaningless. Rocks are millions of years old and you can find them everywhere. No one will give you anything for them.

There are several factors that determine the value of collectibles. One of the main factors in determining future value will be rarity. The more rare the item is the greater the potential future value. Example:  There is a Huge difference between a company making Millions of 1999 Collector Holiday Barbie Dolls, and say only 50 Super Limited Edition Signature Series Designer Barbie Dolls. When something is Mega-Rare, then high end collectors will pay almost any price to have that Ultra-Rare item to add to their collection.

Another Good indicator that will determine a collectibles future value would be Childhood Memories. Anything that brings back childhood memories will be almost always become collectible. Once a person gets older (age 35-55) many times they will start to feel sentimental about things they did and items they may have played with as a child. Many times an adult can simply see or hold an item that they used to play with as a child and they will have a rush of pleasant childhood memories come over them. This can Greatly Increase the Value of an Item. Many times older people will pay near any amount of money to relive a part of their childhood.

How Much are My Autographed Baseball Worth?

Autographed Sports memorabilia has lost a lot of value in recent years.

One of the main problems is that there is more fake autographs out there than real ones. There are scam artist faking items for a living. There are relatives and friends of famous players who have perfected the signatures of their player to near perfection and are making livings selling fakes. A relative a Joe DiMaggio has made a fortune selling signatures that they have signed themselves. Also, it has become a sport in China scam people in the US out of money. Large Companies in China make Huge Money by coping nearly everything of value in the US to sell to us here in the US under a con of false claims that they are real.

This has caused many collectors to totally lose interest in collecting.

With autographed baseballs true value will come from several factors:
#1 Who Signed the Ball - The Bigger the Name the More Value
#2 The quality and Clarity of the signature - The Better the signature the more value
#3 Does it have a Certificate of Authentication - all collectors want quality certificates
#4 Who did the Certificate - Only a handful of Authentication companies are accepted

Only when all these factors are perfect does a baseball have high collector value.

If any of these 4 factors are missing or of bad quality - value is almost gone.

There are only 3-5 certification companies that are accepted by everyone and greatly increase the value of the items that are certified.

The problem is that these few companies charge between $100-1,000 per signature to authenticate and because there are so many fakes out there even these companies do not authenticate much anymore. Even they know that almost all signatures are fake and they are very reluctant to put their name on a cert.

The bad thing is that even if a Certification Company Declines your autographed piece and will not authenticate a signature for you they will still charge you the $100 - 1,000.00 with No refunds.  I know this because I have lost lots of money with items that are KNOW are real - but, they will not authenticate. They still charged my charge Thousands.

This is why autographs with certificates are worth much more money.

If you have good clean signatures of key players and/or teams with top quality certs - You may have some big money in your memorabilia. These are the rare collectibles that collectors are looking for.

Collecting Should Be Fun

What is the Main Purpose of Collecting? Collecting is something that we are supposed to enjoy. It helps to pass time. Collecting can keep us out of trouble or away from bad vices (like gambling or drugs). Collecting for many people can help us bring back pleasant, childhood memories. But, mainly Collecting Should be for the most part entertaining. Collecting Should Be FUN.

Many times certain collectibles will skyrocket in value over the years. There are many factors that will determine weather items will increase in value or decrease (we will get into these factors at a future time. However, for now we just want to make sure that what ever we are collecting is at least some form of pleasure for us. 

There are some people that collect for the wrong reasons. The wrong reason in my opinion would be for "Investment Purposes". Collecting strictly for investment purposes is very difficult. I can be very difficult at times to attempt to 'guess' if items will increase in value. The problem is as I see it is if you are collecting Only for the purpose of investing and have no enjoyment in the items you are collecting you may find out later that all your time collecting was wasted.

Think about all the people who collected Ty Beanie Babies in the 1990s and Early 2000s. At that time many Beanie Babies cost literally thousands and sometimes tens of thousand of dollars each. Many people collected Beanie Babies because they enjoyed them. But, if you collected them for the purpose of investing and still have them today, you will have to face the hard fact that they are virtually worthless today.

I am remind of a Elderly man that came into our store one day with 6 Hummel Collector Plates. When this gentleman explained how he came into this collection he explained that he purchased them many years ago as strictly an "investment". He explained that he "Hated These Plates". He only purchased them and saved them for a big pay day. We asked him How much he was expecting to get paid for the plates today. He explained that if you took the cost of what he paid for them years ago and added 10% per year compounded yearly that he should be paid $20,000.00 for the 6 plates today. 

Unfortunately we had to explain to him that the plates were only worth on today's market about $20.00 each Max!  We even showed him on the computer people selling the same plates he had on eBay for less that $10.00 each. This poor guy was furious to come to the realization that he wasted the last 30 years saving items that gave him no enjoyment at all and that actually were worth less today than he purchase them for 30+ Years ago. He left our store in a huff of anger and smashed one of the plates on the sidewalk as he was leaving.

So, remember: The Main Purpose of Collecting should be for Entertainment and Enjoyment. If you enjoy collecting then weather the items increase or decrease in value should not matter. The fact should be that it was Fun to Do for the Time you were doing it.
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