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Collectible craze: What items should we be looking out for?

Mark McGwire Baseball cards
Mark McGwire Baseball cards Copyright LEA SUZUKI/San Francisco Chronicle
Copyright LEA SUZUKI/San Francisco Chronicle
By Katy Dartford
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Investing in collectibles isn't just for the rich and famous, as Netflix's new series, King of Collectibles: The Goldin Touch, demonstrates.

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Netflix's series, King of Collectibles, promised to start a new 'craze' in wheeling and dealing - leaving fans of the show raiding their attics for the right find. 

The show features an array of historic and bizarre items that are up for sale, such as a Princess Diana Beanie Baby and the jersey Lionel Messi was wearing when he scored his 500th career goal for FC Barcelona.

But everyday objects lying around your home, like stamps, coins, posters or even BT phone cards or an old video console could be as valuable as antique furniture or a rare vinyl album.

What is a Collectible?

A Collectible is an item worth more than its original sale price value because of its rarity, uniqueness and its overall condition. Plus how many people want it.

Some of the most common collectables include antiques, coins, comic books, baseball cards, stamps, and toys.

But it also includes militaria, books, scientific instruments, maps, porcelain and glass, vintage fashion, autographs, spare parts of classic cars, film posters and props, horse riding memorabilia, high-end stereos, and sailing spare parts. 

How big is the market

The collectibles market size was estimated at €419,77 billion ($458.2 billion) in 2022 and is expected to cross €92 billion ($1 Trillion) by 2033, growing 6.2 per cent annually, according to market research company, Market Decipher.

This growth is partly down to emerging e-commerce platforms, as well as more customers with disposable incomes recognising collecting as a form of investment.

The largest market share for collectibles is in the US, with Asia Pacific the fastest-growing region. Market Decipher predicts that the growth in Europe will be boosted by the transforming lifestyle and growing awareness of people regarding collectibles as an investment.

While coins and stamps hold a significant share of the market, sports memorabilia is growing at a high rate.

The Non-Fungible Market (NFT Market) slipped in 2022 but is rising again, with France witnessing a budding of various NFT start-ups, such as Aianne, a certification company for virtual product ownership that has raised around €9m in VC. 

In France, the collectibles market was worth 4.3 billion euros in 2022, with an average growth of 6.8 per cent over the past ten years. 

According to a study for eBay, 39 per cent of French people say they are still collecting at least one object, with coins, stamps and old books as the most popular items. Enamel plates, Dinky Toys miniatures and Lego games were the top three of the most requested objects.

In Germany, coins are also the most popular collector's item, followed by books, comics and records and CDs. But valuable status symbols such as watches or vintage cars are still very popular.

What should you be looking out for?

If you're in the UK at the moment, then it's worth looking out for any King Charles' Coronation limited edition merchandise such as coins and stamps.  

According to Anita Lo, owner of Clara's Box, an online store selling vintage fashion and collectibles: "the 50p coin minted for the Jubilee had just over one million in circulation in May and has been listed on eBay for £450. An uncirculated £50 note featuring Queen Elizabeth II received bids for more than £10,000 online."

The Royal Mint King Charles III Coronation Commemorative £5 Coin is currently going for €16.65 and the King Charles Coronation Medal for €20.10. Royal Mail Coronation Stamps can be bought for €8.61

Other items worth thinking about, according to MoneyWise are from McDonald's. In the UK someone on eBay paid the equivalent of nearly €92 for 400 of the plastic straws after the company switched to paper ones.

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A limited-edition Szechuan dipping sauce for McNuggets also sold for a surprisingly high price.

First editions of popular books such as the Harry Potter series, Twilight, The Da Vinci Code or A Game of Thrones are also a good investment.

Forget recycling your old cereal boxes as collectors have paid big money for vintage packets featuring popular cartoon characters and pop stars, such as the Beatles which have sold for thousands of euros over the years.

Also worth considering are first-generation electrical devices like the Amazon Echo speaker with Alexa, the iPod Shuffle or the Nintendo DS, first-edition or limited-release trainers and newspapers covering major political events, such as the 2016 US presidential election.

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