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What items did you collect as an investment, only to find they didn't increase in value?

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Beanie Babies? Pokemon cards? Action figures?

Did you build up a collection of toys, games or trinkets in the hope they’d make you a fortune, only to find they ended up being worth very little when you tried to sell? We’d like to hear your stories.

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  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 72,494 Ambassador
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    Not me personally but when I first started out reselling one of the things I sold were sci fi collectables. I had close friends who were buying identical items, one to ‘play’ with, one to keep mint in pack and one as an investment. Some even had storage units which they termed their pension pots, most of it now is worth a great deal less than they paid for it because for every stupidly expensive rare Star Wars figure there are a thousand Star Trek figures or Xenia Warrior Princess book. 

    Even know I rather dread it When people find out I resell vintage and collectable items as a sideline and tell me proudly about their Mum’s Royal Doulton ladies that they are planning to sell so that they can buy a static caravan on the coast for the family. 

    Don’t even get started on beanie babies!

    The only thing I ever bought for myself, not as an investment but because I like it, is Wedgwood Jasper ware, it’s basically worthless now . 

    I could go on for hours. 
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the eBay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales, Boost Your Income, Praise, Vents & Warnings, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning , UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com.All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • olgadapolga
    olgadapolga Posts: 2,284 Forumite
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    Stamps. First day covers and the ilk. A total waste of money. There are some interesting ones amongst them but even those  aren't worth the paper that they are printed on. Can't even use them for postage.

    At least I realised fairly early on that they were worthless so I don't have that many to fret over.
  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 72,494 Ambassador
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    Stamps. First day covers and the ilk. A total waste of money. There are some interesting ones amongst them but even those  aren't worth the paper that they are printed on. Can't even use them for postage.

    At least I realised fairly early on that they were worthless so I don't have that many to fret over.
    I still have the few that I bought plus hundreds inherited from my dad and as you say basically worthless . I used to make a special trip in my lunch hour from work to queue to buy these at the Post Office when budget allowed 😕
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the eBay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales, Boost Your Income, Praise, Vents & Warnings, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning , UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com.All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • NBLondon
    NBLondon Posts: 5,577 Forumite
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    soolin said:
    Not me personally but when I first started out reselling one of the things I sold were sci fi collectables. I had close friends who were buying identical items, one to ‘play’ with, one to keep mint in pack and one as an investment. Some even had storage units which they termed their pension pots, most of it now is worth a great deal less than they paid for it because for every stupidly expensive rare Star Wars figure there are a thousand Star Trek figures or Xenia Warrior Princess book. 

    I know a few of those...  There was a point where that was possible because adults were buying the items they didn't have/couldn't afford as a child and would pay for mint items.  But that's gone because there has been so much more merchandising since the 80s and the ratio of items to possible buyers shifted.  But I bet there are people who have hidden stocks of Funko Pop! figures thinking these will be an investment but not realising that in 20 years time, all the likely buyers will already have one that they bought as a young adult.

    Stamps. First day covers and the ilk. A total waste of money. There are some interesting ones amongst them but even those  aren't worth the paper that they are printed on. Can't even use them for postage.

    On the stamp forums I dabble in - there a lot of people saying that it's a hobby that will die - young people aren't starting to collect at the same rate and the older collectors are dying off.  Plus modern issues are far more expensive as postage authorities chase a smaller number of completists.

    To answer the question....  I've only ever collected things that I wanted to have.  Some I have sold on when I was tired of them but any money raised was a bonus.  I went through a phase of buying US comics and magazines, which I sold on after reading Occasionally I got lucky, but it was never a planned investment - just a way of part-funding the next purchase.  
    I need to think of something new here...
  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 72,494 Ambassador
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    I know someone with several hundred Funko pops, tried selling around 50 of them recently for £1000 and got laughed out of every group he posted in. 

    Just after Christmas I was asked by a friend of a friend if I would be interested in buying her large collection of decorative plates , she had sets and sets of them. Cute cats and dogs, Fragonard style pictures, general scenes of nature, , she’d paid as much as £20 a plate for years. She’d sign up to a set and then the companies would keep offering her more and more, one a month for £20 a month type of thing . She thought she’d at least make her money back and I had to sit down with her (luckily in a pub) and go through completed listings on eBay trying to convince her that they weren’t worth selling. It was a bit sad and I really don’t want to make out that I made fun of her, but she had half a garage full of them, some merely opened but never displayed and I think she felt a bit conned by it all . 
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the eBay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales, Boost Your Income, Praise, Vents & Warnings, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning , UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com.All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • greyteam1959
    greyteam1959 Posts: 4,594 Forumite
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    edited 29 July 2022 at 8:38PM
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    Yes it is surprising how worthless a lot of 'collectibles' are.
    I inherited about 25 three inch thick first day cover albums from around the world.
    Thousands of beautiful stamps.
    Probably cost thousands of ££ initially.
    Sold at auction for around £25 for the lot.
    ☹️☹️


  • BargainJunky
    BargainJunky Posts: 1,525 Forumite
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    I am guilty of collecting Beanie Babies and remember my aunt paying stupid amounts of money to buy me The End which was supposed to be the last one - they then released more!  I gave them away to someone who was doing a charity teddy tombola just to get rid of them  I did keep a few including The End.
  • adindas
    adindas Posts: 6,853 Forumite
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    edited 30 July 2022 at 1:06PM
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    I remember a few years ago a few people were mentioning about floppy disks, 256MB, 512MB memory cards as collectible to be sold later to Hi-tech companies in defence such as NASA, BAE, etc
    I wonder how it has ended up now as you could still find this items nowadays as give away items for collection or sold very cheap like peanuts on eBay. Also you could still find them from people dumping an old PC on the skip, waste / recycling centre.
  • in_my_wellies
    in_my_wellies Posts: 1,652 Forumite
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    My mum has a wall cabinet full of cut glass. All probably expensive but as it's not named I can't sell it properly. The only saving grace is that they did use and enjoy it all so not purely investment
    Love living in a village in the country side
  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,865 Forumite
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    NBLondon said:


    To answer the question....  I've only ever collected things that I wanted to have.  Some I have sold on when I was tired of them but any money raised was a bonus.  I went through a phase of buying US comics and magazines, which I sold on after reading Occasionally I got lucky, but it was never a planned investment - just a way of part-funding the next purchase.  
    Me too.
    Speculating on collectibles is - imho - not the best way to invest.
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