Stuff Is Almost Never a Good Investment


I had a small chuckle at a yard sale the other day. The seller had tons of Beanie Babies for sale. All of them had the “tag protectors” on the tags and a few were in those little plastic display cases that were made especially for the preservation of Beanie Babies. When I commented on the sheer volume of the Beanies (there were hundreds), the seller said, “Yeah. I got caught up in the frenzy. I thought that I could get enough of them that I could pay for my kid’s college tuition. You know, they’d appreciate and I could sell them. It didn’t work, obviously, because my kid is in college now and here we are.”

I should say it didn’t work. Most of


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7 Responses to Stuff Is Almost Never a Good Investment

  1. honour says:

    My mom bought the most expensive formal dining rm suite available way back in the 60’s when she married. As a teen I spent too much time polishing table, chairs, buffet and display case. She thought it would be a valuable, heritage piece – some day. Fast forward 2010, none of us wanted those giant, heavy, awkward, old , matchy sets. No takers on Craig’sList, finally sold at auction to get it gone

  2. jay says:

    A family member obsessively collected those once a year (or so) “special edition” Barbies, and never let her kids play with them. Needless to say, they’re *maybe* worth the original purchase price (not accounting for inflation) and the kids will always remember the “don’t touch” rule.

  3. Minny says:

    Same here in the UK. Dinky toys were cars and vehicles made from metal. They are only worth money if in perfect condition with a perfect box. My husband says he thinks of all the little boys in the 1950s who weren’t allowed to play with their toys!

  4. jay says:

    Second what Tony says, with the final aggravation coming when one decides to cash in, aka get rid of, the collection. Where’s the market for it, what price is good enough, the whole processing of a sale, etc. Some may consider it fun, or worth it, but not me!

  5. Gailete says:

    I remember my ex collected crap that he figured would one day be valuable. He hated his job and everything involved in working, so anything he perceived as being possibly collectible would be treated with better care than anything including me. I guess he figured one day all his collectibles would be his key to getting out of punching a time clock. He too has been buying those ‘collectible’ plates. Now he buys bobble head dolls. What these collectors fail to realize is that anything marketed as collectible most assuredly isn’t! Save the room in your house. Sure some things might eventually rise in value, but most things that are mass produced, are well, mass produced. A lot got made and what effects collectability is rarity.

  6. diana says:

    On the other side, I wish I had kept some of my toys in better shape as they would be worth quite a bit these days.

  7. Nick Tyliakos says:

    Great article! Has anyone ever seen those antique or pawn shop shows?

    I’m always amazed at how much some items fetch. Some things seem to be a safer gamble than others,like stamps, sports memorabilia,complete sets of stuff, and most importantly antiques are always worth more when accompanied with adequate providence.

    Also, value often waxes and wanes depending on what’s “in demand or en vogue” in future generations.

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