How to Make Money With Rare Memorabilia and Collectibles
With eBay and other online sales outlets at your disposal, you might think that making money by selling memorabilia and collectibles is a simple enough proposition. But if that were the case, everyone would be doing it! The truth is that few are suited for this line of work. While you can certainly hit garage sales, flea markets, antique stores, and auctions in search of low-cost items that you can flip, finding and selling rare collectibles and memorabilia requires you to be something of a curator. The average person couldn’t go into a gallery full of paintings and pick out the masters from the master forgers; this activity requires the eye of an expert. However, like anything in life, you can become an expert in collectibles if you want to, and thus earn a living buying and selling them. There are just a few things you’ll have to do first if you want to enter the world of rare memorabilia and collectible trading.
First, you have to realize that memorabilia and collectibles are broad categories. Memorabilia, for example, could basically include any objects from the past that are linked to memorable people, movements, events, and so on. The most common types of collectible memorabilia are from sports and movies. As for collectibles, nearly anything could fall under this category. Common collectibles include comic books, figurines, toys, autographs, stamps, coins, cars, artwork, and anything antique (furniture, jewelry, etc.). And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Some people collect oddities like buttons, bicycles, signage, beer steins, and even animal skulls. There’s a market out there for just about anything. The point is, when you deal in collectibles you just never know what you might come across, and it’s practically impossible to be an expert in everything.
For this reason you may want to choose an area of specialization, and since you have to become an expert, you should select something you love. This could mean that you wheel and deal in exotic, antique automobiles, or that you focus on finding rare movie memorabilia. Perhaps you have been interested in coin collecting since you were a child. Of course, you may eventually branch out to other areas of collecting in order to expand your business, but start with what you know and go from there. A solid base of knowledge is required to ensure that you don’t get swindled.
You’ll have to have a good memory and a sharp eye to make it in this business. You need to know everything there is to know about the items you buy and sell because the collectors who come to you will certainly be experts in their particular area of interest. They’ll know what is rare and what it’s worth, so you’d better know, as well. And you will almost certainly come across fakes and forgeries in your quest for rarity, so you need to know the hallmarks of the real deal (or at least have a list of experts on call that can authenticate items for you). It takes a lot to run a sports memorabilia business or a comics emporium, but you can do it if you put your mind to it. And with hard work you can build a solid reputation and a targeted clientele that will ensure you make money doing something you love.