Some people invest in stocks, others in luxury real estate. At the minute, there is a significant push for all types of cryptocurrency that may or may not make you a millionaire. But, while all of these investment ideas are sound, they can cause plenty of stress, and it only takes one dip in the market to go from hero to zero, and no one wants that.
If you’re looking for unique ways to invest, especially if you’re looking for something on the side, sports memorabilia is a fantastic option. You may remember sports cards from your youth, and it’s likely your dad or grandfather had boxes upon boxes of cards with players you’d never even heard of.
There is more to sports memorabilia collecting than first appears, and over the past 12 months, there has been a considerable boom in the industry. So how does someone get involved in sports memorabilia? And why would they want to?
Why get involved in sports memorabilia?
Sports Will Always Be Popular
There are no two ways about it; sports will always have a place in society. Whether it’s football, baseball, soccer, basketball, hockey, or anything else you can think of, stadiums are packed to the brim every time a game is on.
And, unlike crypto or fashionable stocks, this means you always have something to rely on. There will always be someone interested in something you have if you start collecting.
You are also not restricted to just one sport. If you love watching anything on TV or seeing it live in the stadium, you’ll have a wealth of options while you figure out what investments are best for you.
It Will Give You A Bigger Appreciation of the Sport
If you didn’t grow up playing a sport or visiting Lambeau Field, Green Bay Packers at every opportunity, it can be a challenge to get the nuances of games that those around have grown up in the thick of. Sports memorabilia can change all of this, and you’ll soon find that you know more about the sport than you ever thought you could.
Collecting sports memorabilia means you’ve got to sit down and watch the games. You’ve got to speak about players, teams, and even coaches with other collectors. You might not know anything right now, but you’ll soon realize that it’s not all about ratios and stats.
Soon, you’ll recognize great players for what they are. As much as the likes of Lebron or Messi catch the headlines, other players are just as good as what they do, and collecting will help you realize that.
It’s More Than Just a Hobby
Memorabilia collecting starts as a hobby. You pick up a set of cards here, you might be gifted a signed ball or photograph there. For many, this is enough. But, others might get a taste for something more.
For these people, collecting is so much more than a hobby. It’s more than displaying your prized possessions on your bookcase or mantlepiece. Sports memorabilia collecting is a way of life. While it won’t consume your every waking minute (and nothing should), it will inspire you to connect with others and learn more about different sports.
What’s more, you’ll get a glimpse into the history that can contextualize the present, and this can help you make decisions about what you collect when you sell, and how much you sell for.
More Collectors Get Involved Every Day
From sports cards and into worn jerseys or balls from classic games, there are enough memorabilia to go around, and every day, you will find more and more people involved in the industry.
While many won’t stick around forever, it will still put you in a comfortable position. Although you won’t have much experience, neither with the plethora of other budding collectors. You can meet these on forums, Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms, and you can all learn together.
This might mean there is some competition over specific items, especially those that feel you need to have, but this is all part of collecting, anyway
It’s More Fun Than Buying Stocks
Stocks are undoubtedly a double-edged sword. One day, you’re at the top of the world, and the next, you’re at the bottom of the canal. It can cause more stress than it’s worth, especially if an investment doesn’t pan out the way you hoped.
Sports memorabilia takes some of the pressure off your investments. While there’s still a chance for a loss if you don’t act at the right time, you’ll have fun learning about different players or the significance of specific gear. If you’re looking for a (mostly) hassle-free option, memorabilia is the way to go.
What do you need to know about collecting?
Do Your Research
Like any investment, research is key. If you’re already experienced with certain sports, you have a head start compared to other novice collectors, but this doesn’t mean you’re blessed with all the knowledge you require.
Researching current markets and prices will give you an idea of what you can purchase, but more importantly what you want to purchase. You may not know where to begin (although sports cards are always a good place), so look at potential options.
You can also consider what sports you want to specialize in. Some collectors opt for versatility to appeal to a broad market, whereas others prefer to stick to a niche that allows them to know everything they could ever learn.
Keep Up With the Market
It sounds obvious, but keeping up with the market is an essential step if you want to succeed as a collector. This can be tricky depending on where you are in the world. While the majority of collectors are located in the US, especially for traditionally American Sports like football and baseball, there are collectors in other markets.
You don’t want to miss out on a fantastic deal on eBay or the many other trading sites, so this could mean sitting up until the small hours to catch a new listing.
It’s also important to identify trends in the markets, which you’ll only get from keeping up with them. This can put you at an advantage early on, especially when other collectors are still finding their footing.
Balance Current Value Against Potential Value
Every collector dreams of finding the big-ticket item that will change their life. There will always be something, a White Whale of sorts, that you have always wanted but can never find.
When the time comes, it’s tempting to purchase it as soon as possible, but this is not always the best approach. Like purchasing stocks or property, you need to balance the current value against the potential value.
While some items will increase, others will depreciate or stagnate. Depending on what you want from your investments, this could affect your overall success as a collector.
Stick to Your Budget
Never bet or invest more than you can afford is just as true in sports memorabilia as it is anywhere else. Thankfully, early investments will not put too much of a strain on your finances, so you can generally invest and trade without any problems.
However, the more you collect and the bigger the items, the more money you’ll need to spend. Outlining a budget when you get started will teach you discipline, even if the budget is low right now. As your collection grows, you can come back to your original budget and rethink everything. If you’ve had a good year, it is reasonable to increase your budget. If you’ve not had such a good year, perhaps it is best to reduce the budget.
This will prevent severe financial problems that can stop your investments dead in their tracks. While many get into collecting to make money, they also want to have fun, meet people, and learn. This should be your primary concern rather than anything else. So, be sensible with your bidding.
Don’t Get Taken For a Ride
As much as the collector community is supportive and welcoming of new members, there will always be a few people who want to take advantage or generally be unkind to you. Of course, you’re better off without these, but they can sometimes be unavoidable.
If you want to grow your collection and increase your standing, you need to find accredited dealers that can show proof of authenticity for anything they sell you. You may get burned a few times when you start your collection, but this is all part of the process, and hopefully, you won’t have parted with too much money.
The more you learn, the more you’ll be able to recognize a legitimate seller from a scam. When you think you’re being taken for a ride, be cautious, and be sure to report them to the relevant authorities.
Collecting sports memorabilia might not have been something you ever considered. But, it’s an interesting, unique, and even exciting way to make some investments that you feel a connection to. If you spent your youth watching the Bulls tear up the court, or remember how much R9 made you fall in love with what soccer could be, this approach will transform the way you look at investing and sports in general.