Episode 2: Not All That Glitters

So today, while hunting for something, old “collectibles” were discovered, and questions were raised as to their value these days. I mean after all, they should be worth more than when they were bought/obtained/stolen/dragged-through-time-warps… Right?

Well, that’s just it. I didn’t think they would be, but in the interest of finding out for sure, I did a little bit of searching on eBay. Turns out I was right. They’re pretty much worthless these days. Some of the things we’d found were being sold in the multiples for roughly $1 CDN for the entire group. Apparently, people are trying to get rid of these things left right and center. That being said however, there were some that were of a remotely decent price. Nowhere near the incredible value you might think a “collectible” would have, but at least they were breaking even on their original price, or maybe a little more expensive. Of course if you were to take into account things like inflation and the value of a dollar today versus the value of it back when these objects were purchased, then you’d probably find that they’re actually worth less today than they were then, I’d expect. I didn’t do the math on it, I’m afraid. I wouldn’t even know where to begin on figuring that one out.

But this brings me to my main point. These things were supposed to be oh-so collectible and valuable within however many years. So why aren’t they? Because everyone thought they would be. The market was flooded with them. What makes something valuable? Well, it has to be something desirable. People have to want to either collect it or use it. Without anyone interested in the object, there will be no buyers. Also, it has to be rare. The rarer the better. Let’s say you’ve got 500 people looking to own whatever it is you’ve got. Now if there’s 500 of them made, then everyone knows they can get one and they don’t have to fight over it. But if there’s only 10, then there’s 490 people who will have to be disappointed, and no one wants to be that person, so they’ll outbid each other until they can’t anymore.

Now, supply and demand may not be something new to you. It’s an idea that gets drilled in quite often. But what you may or may not realise immediately is that anything that gets a lot of attention for being collectible will almost definitely not be collectible at all. So if you’re looking for something collectible to stash as a retirement nest egg, then look for something obscure. Something that had a limited production run. And if you know that in 20 (or however many) years it will become intensely popular, then buy buy buy!

That’s really all I’ve got for now. Nothing big, I know. Really just wanted to share a bit of my daily life this time around. Do with it what you will.


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