Have you ever looked in your cupboards and found old collections of items you’d forgotten existed? Do you know whether they’re worth anything?
Of course to many minds all the stuff we collect over the years is collectible. Our childhood toys, school reports, stamp collections or sports memorabilia may be of sentimental value if not monetarily valuable. For this reason alone you could elect to just keep everything and cheap storage units are the ideal way to stash everything safely out of the way.
The advent of the internet and auction sites like eBay has transformed the collectibles market. Traditionally collectibles were things like antiques, coins, stamps, sports cards or vintage toys and the value of these was generally determined by local auction dealers. There is now a whole new genre of collectibles determined in part by sheer nostalgia and not necessarily vintage or antique.
Toys and Comics
You don’t have to be the owner of an original Steiff Teddy Bear to be in the money. Vintage tin toys and wind-up toys are very collectible but so are some more modern ones, particularly those relating to movie franchises like Star Wars. The earliest Star Wars figures, from 1977-1979, are the most valuable with some fetching hundreds or thousands at auction. Anything Disney-orientated are collectible too as they appeal to all ages all over the world. Vintage comics of all genres from the 1950s to the 1960s are highly sought after so an unbroken collection of The Beano for example could net a tidy profit. Early editions of more modern comics are collectible.
Military memorabilia especially certain medals, helmets or uniform insignia is worth keeping hold of. These reminders of past conflicts and sacrifice are more potent than ever in the light of recent commemorations of the Great War.
It is always assumed that antique clothing will be the most valuable but there is surprisingly a thriving trade in sneakers, particularly 1980s Nikes. Early Adidas sneakers are also increasing in value.
Games and Books
Some video games from the 1980s and 90s are fast attaining antique value so if you find some hold on to them. An original Monopoly or Mousetrap, in good condition will likely fetch a tidy amount to a collector whilst first editions of the Harry Potter series of books by J K Rowling, in particular those printed by Bloomsbury, have attained a collectible value. And because of the rise in GPS technology even old maps and map books are likely to rise in value.
How to keep your collectibles
The secret to ensuring your collections retain their value is to look after and store them carefully. Rather than just throw them in the shed or chuck them in boxes in the loft, pack them carefully before you store them. Fragile or delicate items should be wrapped in tissue paper or bubble wrap to prevent breakages before being moved into cheap storage units . And the key thing is to stop them getting damp and mouldy which will decimate their value over time. The best way is to keep them in temperature-controlled self storage units where you can visit them whenever you want.