Market for collectibles fluctuates as items age


70p2.previewI’m often asked this question by collectors who are hoping that their prized items have appreciated in value: “What is this worth?”

Let’s say rather than antiques, your quality collectibles are going to hold their value. The thing we have to look at is that collectibles are what we call cyclical. They go in cycles. It’s who wants them. How many collectors are still around who want a particular item?

I look in these older magazines at pieces of art glass that sold for $8,000 and $10,000 and say OK, that was a beautiful piece of art glass. It was worth that kind of money then. What’s it bringing now? It’s probably bringing $4,000 to $6,000.

Does that mean it’s not as good a quality? Does that mean that it’s not as rare as it was 20 years ago? No, that’s not what it means. What it means is that 20 years later, there’ are probably fewer people who collect that item who could appreciate the quality of what they haveI use this example all the time: With antique cars, vehicles from the 1920s and 30s used to bring ridiculous money at auctions 20 years ago. Now, stuff from the 1960s and ’70s is bringing crazy money. Why? Because the guys who grew up with cars from the 1920s and ’30s are no longer collectors or they’ve passed away. The baby boomers who grew up in the 1950s and remember riding in dad’s Chevy Impala or his GTO want to be able to have a part of that history, or they want to be a part of that era, and they have the money to pay for it. So now, they’re into collecting the antique cars.

The same thing with the art glass that was made in the early 1900s. Lots of older people collected it. They remember growing up with it. The newer generation of people can lots of times appreciate the quality and rarity, but there’s not as much of a market these days that says, “We’re going to compete for this particular piece.” It’s just not there. This is what we run into with collectibles. But if you decide you’re going to get involved in collectibles, like I’ve always said, enjoy it. When you pick your collectible up at the end of the night, you fondle it, you touch it, and if it makes you smile, by all means, collect it.

If you’re buying collectibles as an investment, remember that you want to buy the best quality you can afford. You want to know that it’s genuine because once collectibles become expensive and they’re worth money, there’s always going to be somebody out there counterfeiting those items, copying them and aging them so they look old, and trying to sell them to a collector who’s a novice and hasn’t gained enough knowledge to know the difference. Know who you’re dealing with. Make sure that person from whom you buy collectibles will stand behind the items with a guarantee, not just give an opinion. Put it in writing that the seller guarantees the item to be genuine.If you take a collectible to someone who is more knowledgeable and get an opinion that the item is not genuine, make sure the person has the credentials to make that call. There are a lot of selfproclaimed experts out there. Deal with someone who has been doing transactions such as these for years. A reputable dealer will stand behind his or her opinion in writing.

Courtesy of Florida Weekly.

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