Make Money Buying And Selling Collectables

If you’re looking for a way to make money part time then buying and selling collectables could be well worth considering. Selling collectables on eBay can be very lucrative, but there are lots of other ways of making cash from collecting too. Here are a few tips to get you started:

First of all, what exactly is a collectable?

Don’t confuse collectables with antiques which, broadly speaking, have to be at least 100 years old and can take a lot of expertise to trade. Collectables are anything old(ish), interesting and which people collect – some collectables are as recent as the 70s or 80s. Unlike antiques, collectables are much less expensive to get started in and don’t require years of experience to deal in successfully.

Choose your niche

It’s best to choose a type of collectable (or several types) and get to know it inside out. It doesn’t need to be something expensive like oil paintings or silverware either. Often the simplest, everyday things are bought and sold as collectables. Paper collectables (also known as ephemera) make good opportunities too.

Here are a few collectables that we’ve noticed are doing quite well this year:

Autographed letters and photographs, badges, banknotes, beer bottle labels, bells, bottles, buckles, bus tickets, buttons, cane handles, card cases, cards, chemist labels, cigar bands, cigarette cards, cigarette cases, cigarette packets, comics, compacts, cork screws, egg cups, fans, fruit labels, hair combs, hat pins, keys, magic catalogues, match box labels, match cases, medals, paper weights, patch boxes, photographs, pill boxes, pin boxes, pipes, pin cushions, railway tickets, scent bottles, seals, snuff bottles, snuff boxes, spoons, thimbles, valentine cards, whistles.

Look to cash in on trends

Once you’ve chosen a niche do a bit of reading and research to see exactly what seems to be selling well at the moment. eBay is very good for this – look for completed sales that have achieved good prices.

Also look out for upcoming events that could cause a surge of interest (and prices) for related collectables. See if you could buy BEFORE interest starts to surge, and sell at the peak of the market. For example, thanks to the Olympics, sport-related collectables are set to do well this year. As is anything with a royal connection, thanks to the Jubilee.

Buy your stock in the right place

Small local auction houses are some of the best places for buying collectables you could ask for. All sorts of weird and wonderful things turn up there and the bidding is often not that competitive, so prices are usually reasonable.

There are some places that aren’t so good for buying if you want to sell at a profit. Car boot sales and jumble sales attract a lot of junk and you’ll be lucky to find a few saleable gems. Collectors’ fairs tend to be too pricey and don’t have many bargains (but are good for selling).

Look for big job lots

This is one of the best ways to make good profits from buying and selling collectables. Look for big job lots – like boxes of medals, postcards, programmes or newspapers. Perhaps from house clearances or collections which are being sold off. They’re often available cheaply as they don’t attract many buyers. Then split them up and resell them as individual lots.

You can sometimes make mark-ups of hundreds of percent by buying in bulk and reselling item by item.

Places to sell for profit

eBay is absolutely perfect of course. There are loads of collectables categories on there and it’s not unusual to see frenzied bidding for interesting items which push prices up.

But also think of other places you could sell. For example, flea markets and collectors’ fairs. Specialist collectables auction/classified sites. Collecting magazines. You could even put the most interesting items back into a swish antiques or collectables auction and turn a big profit from them that way!

More Information. Avril Harper is our resident collectables expert. Keep checking back to What Biz Opp for Avril’s latest advice on the different kinds of collectables you can buy and sell.