Understanding The Collectible Marketplace

Understanding The Collectible Marketplace

Understanding The Collectible Marketplace

I often get the questions What is my ______ collectible worth?  Who will buy it?  I think the best way to help you answer these questions is to share a typical letter I received, and my reply.

I am not sure if this would be something you are interested in. I collected Beanie Babies since they first came out and have kept them in perfect condition. I have many different types with all tags still on each Beanie Baby.   I can provide photos.
I would be grateful if you had any information for someone specializing in this area.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

My Reply:

I would not be interested in the Beanie Babies.  We used to provide names of buyers that bought many different collectibles as well as Beanie Babies, but no longer offer that service (re-evaluating).  The challenge is many collectibles (including Beanie Babies) are going through what I call a collectible paradigm shift.

In the antique / collectible industry there is a saying that says:



When you understand the actual timing of this, you will understand the marketplace for collectibles (the paradigm shift).  Most people start collecting in or around their early 30’s,  and they often collect items that remind them of their childhood.   People then start to get rid of their collections in their late 60’s early 70’s.

Various Collectibles
Various Collectibles

Since Beanie Babies came out in the 90’s, and TY over populated them – their collection span died in the early 2000’s.  Beanie Babies were that cute inexpensive toy that many parents (who were in their early 30’s at the time) originally bought for their young kids.  However because they were so cute, and new ones were coming out and old ones retiring, many parents began collecting them.   When the collecting phase died, these same parents held onto them, thinking these are going to worth some good money one day.   The children that grew up with Beanie Babies all around their house, are saying I don’t want this junk around my house, and is the mom that is throwing them away, and thus not much of a buying market for them (and very little value).  However, many of mom’s children (the grand-children) will see the Beanie Babies displayed at Grandma’s house.  And as a young child, they may even get to play with some, or even get to take one or two home (despite mom’s wishes).   Some of these children will even inherit Grandma’s collection.  Thus the re-birth of that collectible.  When the grandchildren are around 30 the Beanie Babies will again be collectible.   There are a few Beanie Baby collectors out there, that are still trying to complete their collection.  They are seeking Beanies that were not so popular, mainly those from the first three tag generations, (none of these had stars on them).  No matter what generation the tags are, if they are bent, have a even a slight crease, or the Beanie Baby is dirty or has any imperfection, collectors don’t want them, they are worthless.

Now I use Beanie Babies as the example here, but this applies to all collectibles.  And many collectibles related to TV shows, may not ever regain their popularity (unless the show is reintroduced to the younger population).  That being said, the best way and place to sell your Beanie Babies right now is online at Ebay or other online selling sites.   I would sell them individually, with the Buy It Now option VS auction format.  You can determine the value by looking at previously sold Beanies.  On Ebay this is done by selecting ADVANCE search (to the right of the regular search bar).  Select COMPLETED LISTINGS (gives results for last 90 days).   The black text prices are what people were asking for, the green text prices are what they actually sold for, and that is your true value.

Many people are upset because the items they collected 10 -15 years ago, are no longer being collected.  Because of the internet, and the collectible marketplace many collectibles have actually lost their value, as many of the kids today don’t want them.

Hope this helps,
Mister Find IT

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