Monday, April 25, 2011

The Secondary Market for Modern Collectibles

The manufacture of contemporary collectibles was at its height from the 1960s through to the 1990s.  Some people purchased these to enjoy and use but many purchased them as investments. Although many collectibles were labeled as 'limited editions' the actual number of items produced was very large. The result of this is that there is very little demand for many items produced during this time period, which means their secondary market values are often low.

The retail price of a new modern collectible is valid only at the time it was purchased. Once the collectible comes into the buyer’s possession most of the costs associated with the retail price (i.e. advertising, production cost, shipping cost, etc.) must be deducted from that to determine the object’s immediate value on the secondary market.  There is no secondary market for an item at all unless someone is willing to buy it, and an object's value is whatever the buyer is willing to pay for it.

That certainly explains why the dolls I purchased during my heydey of doll collecting won't sell for the price I originally paid for them, not even half of their original cost in most cases.  Not that I bought them as investments per se, I bought them to enjoy, to display and to share with others.  But the novelty wore off, my focus changed and many of them have been packed away in boxes in my storage room for so many years that I'm not even sure what is there anymore. 

I've pulled some out over the last few years and tried to sell them on ebay or through online doll groups with very little success.  Seems like every other doll collector is in the same boat.  So I ended up donating a significant portion to charity auctions.  People seem more willing to buy them when the money they spend is going to a good cause and it gets them a charitable donation receipt for their taxes.

I try not to think about how much money I initially spent on all those dolls.  At this point, I'm just happy to have them find a new home where they will be appreciated as they once were in my house. 

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