Did you ever come across a collectible item and see it sell for a hundred, or even a thousands of dollars? Have you ever asked yourself, “How can I do this? How can I find something and sell it for hundreds of dollars?” If you answered yes, then you are in luck! I am going to provide you with some key details on how to properly start a profitable collection.
1. Pick Your Niche
Picking a niche, or item, to collect is the first step to starting a profitable collection. What interests you? What do you like? Is there a market for this item? Make a list of all the items you enjoy. Is it something you played with as a child? There are literally thousands of items to choose from, but one important aspect of collecting is making sure there that you pick a collectible item that has a market. To me the word “market” means:
- there are many people who enjoy collecting the same thing
- There are items that are highly collectible, which is where the money is
- The company has been around for years
- There are websites dedicated to the topic
Today the market is basically defined by eBay. Most collectors don’t believe this, but trust me – it is. For example. if someone is asking $5,000 for a toy figure and it is being sold on eBay for $500 – chances are that you wont get $5,000 for it. If you go on eBay and type in “GI JOE” you will see hundreds of thousands of people selling their figures. In those listings you will also find that there are MANY figures that easily sell for A LOT of money. So take a few hours, and pick 1 area in which you want to start a collection.
- OLD TOYS
- GI JOE FIGURES
- HOT WHEELS REDLINES
- OLD VIDEO GAMES & SYSTEMS
- STAR WARS
As you can see there are hundreds of items to choose from. Personally I like to stick with collectibles since this is an area where lots of money can be made.
After you have decided what you want to collect, it is time to start researching. This is an ongoing process that will take a lot of time to master. Start by buying a new, updated price guide. I recommend buying a updated price guide because it will give you a every item that pertains to your topic and it will list ALL the rare items, if you come across them. It will also list a “market” value price and since its a book – you will have EVERYTHING available with a flip of a page in your hands. It is much easier than using Google or eBay. Also, if you find a very rare item Google might not even have the item you are looking for. One thing to remember about price guides is to not follow the prices religiously. Nearly all the prices in there are for mint items and always overvalue the price of an item. For example, if an item is listed in a guide at $400 don’t expect to get $400. If you are looking to start collecting toys I recommend buying some new up to date price guide.
3. Join Forums and Network
After obtaining a few books it is time to start joining websites, newsletters, and forums. Forums are extremely important and will allow you to find other people who collect the same thing. Get to know them. Don’t annoy other members or create arguments. They will help you and guide you. I am a member of many hot wheels redlines forums and I have learned many great things and met many collectors. This is the most important step to building a profitable collection.
4. Start Buying/Selling
After you have researched your topic and joined forums it is now time to start buying items for your collection. Use everything that you learned and try to find deals. Everyone collects to make money. People would not be investing time and money into something that cant be sold. If they are then I feel sorry for them. I am not telling you to only collect to resell, but I believe everyone should have knowledge in their area and should be able to collect something they like, and sell what they don’t need. Over the years, I have HEAVILY relied on the following websites to help me start my profitable collection.
- eBay – look for items that end during the day or late at night. Look for items being sold in LOTS. You can make a lot of money doing this. A few months ago, I bought a “lot” of about 20 hot wheels redlines for $100 late at night (both of the tips I mentioned) and I later sold 1 car for $100, since i knew what it was worth, and sold every other car for over $20. MASTER YOUR TOPIC – MAKE MONEY!
- Craigslist – This is another extremely useful tool. Find someone who is getting rid of a collection. Meet them somewhere public – evaluate what they have – make an offer – buy it – then resell the money makers. Option 2:CREATE A WANT AD! Say Hi there – I’m looking to buy your collection of “XX” – its worth a shot!
- Kijiji – eBay Classifieds – Just like Craigslist – find someone, or post here
- AuctionZip – this extremely useful site has every single estate sale across the US. Type in whatever you are looking for in quotes in the search, add your zip code, and search for ALL actions. This is useful because say you find an auction in alaska, and you live in Maine – You cant make it obviously – but you CAN email the auctioneer and ask them to place an absentee bid for you. 99% of the time you WILL be able to place a bid, and if you win they will ship the item to you. You need to verify all that with the auctioneer first.
There you go! Some great places to find your collectible items!
After you have found your items and know what it is worth – its time to sell and make some money! You can resell your item just about anywhere – Most of the time you can sell your item in the same way you found it – for example: forums, eBay, Craigslist, etc. I personally collect vintage hot wheels from the late 60′s and early 70′s known as redlines. I have been collecting them for years and have made a few thousand dollars by finding the right items to buy and selling them properly. I have decided to make a comprehensive guide since i was NOT able to find one. I hope this helps and is useful! GOOD LUCK!