Whether you are a fan of history, music, movies or sports or looking for a lucrative investment, buying memorabilia is all the rage at the moment. But such an open market can lead to potential pitfalls and disasters for buyers. We’ve put together the top ten tips to Buying Memorabilia to make sure you buy wisely and enjoy owning such a sentimental item to the full.
Buying memorabilia is all the rage in the UK at the moment. Whether you are a fan of history, music, movies or sports or looking for a lucrative investment, there’s a great pleasure to be gained from buying and owning an item of memorabilia.
The growth of sites like eBay and the ease of searching and buying online means buying memorabilia is no longer the preserve of the die hard fans. We’ve even seen an influx of programmes like Channel 4′s Four Rooms dedicated to the buying and selling of collectables.
But such an open market for memorabilia can lead to potential pitfalls and disasters for buyers of memorabilia. So to make sure you buy wisely and enjoy owning such a sentimental item to the full, we’ve put together the top ten tips to buying memorabilia.
1. Educate yourself about the area of memorabilia you are interested in
Whether you go for sporting memorabilia, music memorabilia, or collectors’ items from movies, film stars or celebrities, get to know the market you want to collect in. The best advice is to start modestly and stick to items that you can afford. This way you can build your expertise and knowledge and give yourself a chance to decide where your specific interest lies.
2. Buy from a reputable seller
Whether they are a dealer, auction house or online seller, do your research on them. Look at reviews, visit forums, ask other collectors which dealers they recommend and which to avoid
3. Research the asking price
Check out the current market value. Ask another dealer or auction house for a second opinion or go online and check with likeminded collectors via a forum.
4. Research the future value
If the memorabilia is an investment,check the possible future market for the item. Ask other dealers what they think of the investment value of the piece. The memorabilia in question does not have to be wildly popular, but is should be important enough that it is unlikely to decrease in value.
5. Check the condition
This is less easy to do if you are buying online. If the picture doesn’t give enough information, ask for a condition report from the seller.
6. Check out the history
Ask questions about where it was obtained, the dates, the previous owners. The greater the provenance of an item, the easier it will be to resell it later on if you are considering the investment potential.
7. Beware of Certificates of Authenticity
Unscrupulous traders can easily generate these certificates and they are completely worthless. If the item does come with a certificate, make sure it’s from a reputable dealer and look for a money back guarantee.
8. Collect the kind of stuff that interests you.
That way, your collection will always be enjoyable to you regardless of the investment value of the item.
9. Look after your collection
Whether you’re displaying your memorabilia in a special display case or storing them, you’ll want to take the right steps to protect them from temperature, light, and humidity, and of course the potential for pests and animal -all of which can adversely affect certain pieces and reduce their long-term value.
10. Make sure your memorabilia is covered on your insurance
Congratulations if you managed to successfully purchase a cherished item of memorabilia but as soon as you’ve taken ownership, (in-fact before you do), make sure the item is covered by your insurance should it get lost, damaged or stolen. As a rough rule of thumb if an item is worth more than £1500, it’s likely to need to be specifically listed on your household contents policy. You also need to check what sort of insurance you have in place, and whether accidental damage is included. Don’t risk losing all that you have worked so hard to collect. Speak to your insurance broker to get the correct cover for your memorabilia and collections.
To help you enjoy and share your memorabilia for many years to come check out 7 Ways to Look after your Memorabilia Collection.