I’ve always thought that collecting sports memorabilia was a fun hobby. As a kid I collected baseball cards without giving any thought that they might be very valuable some day. Now I wish I had kept them. There’s no telling what they would be worth today – just another missed opportunity.
But today, with the world-wide interest in sports of any kind, collecting sports memorabilia can be a very lucrative business as well as a fascinating hobby. As an example, a jersey worn by the famous soccer player Pele in the 1970 World Cup final recently sold for $224,000 in the United States. Of course not all sports memorabilia will have that kind of return, but guessing which item will become valuable is what makes it an interesting hobby.
I recently discovered another aspect of the “hobby” that can increase the value of your collection. I had an appointment with a doctor that I had never seen before and I was pretty apprehensive about the outcome of the visit. But when I arrived to his office, I was surprised to see the walls of his office covered with pictures, jerseys, gloves, balls and even shoes worn by famous and local athletes. Right away this doctor and I had something in common to discuss (other than my condition, which turned out to be very minor). His hobby turned out to be a valuable asset to his business.
But if you are planning to collect sports memorabilia there are a few points you should consider to assure that you get the best value for your investment.
Pick a particular sport, player, era or tournament that interests you most before you start collecting. That will keep your interest at a peak and decreases the probability that you will make a costly mistake because you failed to do your homework before making a purchase.
Decide whether you want to collect items as a hobby or business. If your aim is to sell the collectibles later make sure that you do not get attached to them and hesitate to sell in future.
Do your homework before making a purchase. Gather as much information as possible before you buy items from the market. The Internet makes a world of information at your fingertips and collecting information has never been faster. One of the best ways to keep updated on the market is to join online forums that deal with sports collectibles. A Google search could bring you a multitude of such forums.
When purchasing memorabilia be sure that you are buying from a reputable dealer or person. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people willing to take your money without delivering the real product. Most reputable dealers provide authentication with their products.
Collecting sports memorabilia, whether for fun or profit, takes time, effort, patience and often a little luck. But it can be one of the most rewarding hobbies you will ever find – particularly if you are fortunate enough to an item like the Pele jersey.