Posts Tagged ‘books’

Don’t Blame Mom That You’re Not A Millionaire

October 13, 2011

A recent story in USA Today dealt with how people are turning to collectibles and antiques as investment vehicles. Since the stock market tanked in 2008 and has yet to fully recover, many people taking their money and buying old comic books, movie posters and similar items in the hope that they will get a better ROI* than their 401K**.

Of course, what sets a collectible apart is that it is an actual thing that people can hold in their hand or hang on their wall and admire. After all, when was the last time you looked at your quarterly statements and thought “What a thing of beauty all those numbers are.” Yet, the trouble with articles like the one in USA Today is that it encourages people to go out and buy lots of stuff in the hopes it will be “worth lots of money someday.” Yes, there are items for sale at thrift stores, flea markets and on eBay that are being sold for a faction of their true value. Conversely, there are items that are only worth what someone paid for them in 1998 and it’s not even close enough to make a person quit his or her job and live a life of ease. With all this stuff floating around, how can a person tell what’s valuable and what’s not.

Educating yourself before buying anything helps. No one wants to learn the hard way that the original that they paid $$$$ for is a fake worth $. Read books. Go online and find out the going price for the item in question. Terapeak.com is a website where a person can learn how much an item sells for on eBay. If the item a person wants to buy is more expensive than a Beanie Baby or Power Ranger action figure, it helps to buy from an established auction house. The appraisers at the auction house did their due diligence, so a person can rest easy knowing that the item he or she wants to buy is the real thing.

It also helps to realize that if something is too good to be true, it probably is. The Internet makes it very easy for fly by night types to fly by and take your money. So, it is a good idea for a person not to suspend his or her skepticism just because a good deal comes along. Of course, despite what experts will say, my advice remains to purchase a movie poster or other item of pop culture for enjoyment purposes, not for investment purposes. In addition to all the fakes being sold as the real thing, there’s the problem of no one knowing which item from 2011 will be worth lots of money and which item won’t be worth much.

As for all the comic books your Mom threw out that turned out to be worth lots of money, don’t get mad at her. If you had taken better care of them and not left them lying around on the floor in your room, she would not have thrown them out. In time, you could have sold them for a pretty penny (and dollar too) and ended up living a life of ease. Okay not really, I was just exaggerating. Still, if you take care of your comic books or other doo-dads, you will get more enjoyment out of them and that’s something even a recession can’t take away.

Note: The mention of Terapeak.com was done for informational purposes. It was not an endorsement of the service.

*ROI—Return on investment. For example if you buy a stock at $10 a share and you later sell it for $15 a share, your ROI was $5 a share.

**401K—This is a defined contribution plan set up by companies in the U.S. in place of a pension where an employee can have a portion of his or her pay set aside for retirement before taxes are taken out. Sometimes companies can match the employee’s contribution dollar for dollar. What makes the 401K attractive is that if an employee goes to another company, he or she can bring the 401K to the new company and he or she loses nothing. Pensions don’t have that portability. (/www.investorwords.com/11/401k_plan.html)

Sources:
http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/columnist/waggon/story/2011-09-01/Gold-in-the-attic-Furniture-coins-and-hellip-Ninja-Turtles/50224150/1

Hunter, Lisa. “Author Q & A Internet has Broadened the Art and Collectibles Market for the Better” Heritage Magazine, Spring 2008, pg 68-69

Movie Collectibles—Are They Worth Anything?

July 9, 2010

Eclipse, the third movie in the Twilight saga is playing in movie theaters and in case you haven’t noticed there are loads on Twilight items being sold, ranging from posters to jewelry to games and everything else in between.  I went to eBay and entered the word “Twilight” and there were over 15,000 items for sale in the Entertainment Memorabilia category and over 11,000 items for sale in the Collectibles category. So, many, many people are milking the Twilight cash cow.

Still, Twilight is not the first movie to have an army of merchandise ready to be sold to adoring fans. Those of a certain age will remember all the do-dads that came along when the first three Star Wars movies were released. Of course, these items, whether new or old, cost money. After a while, people start asking, “Are these things worth anything?”

That question was asked in an article in the July 2 issue of The Guardian and the answer is it depends. The article states that according to Adrian Roose, director at Paul Fraser Collectibles, items like buttons, pens, t-shirts, etc, that were made specifically for to cash in on movie’s popularity, aren’t worth much. Roose goes on to say that signed copies of the Twilight books and movie posters that hung in movie theaters are items that are actually worth something because of their rarity.

I would add that if you want to buy that Twilight or Star Wars item, go right ahead. Just don’t expect it to appreciate in value to such a degree that you can sell it, retire early and move to Florida. No one knows what will be considered a classic 20 or 30 years from now and what will be considered junk.  As I have stated previously, if you are going to spend your money on something and you have taken care of the needs part of your life, you should spend it on something that gives you some joy.  If Twilight or Star Wars items give you some joy, great. Just realize that the return on your investment is just that—the joy that you feel from having such items.

Note: The mention of Paul Fraser Collectibles and eBay was done for informational purposes.  It was done not an endorsement of either company

eBay search of July 4, 2010 http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=twilight&_fln=1&_mlcat=45100&_trksid=p3286.c0.m282

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/jul/02/twilight-saga-collectibles-cost-value