The Reality of the Value of Collectibles

I spend a lot of time in other people’s houses.  They always want me to take a tour of their rooms and furniture.  But the highlight is always their collectibles.

Hand painted plates are displayed in large wooden cabinets.  Crystal glasses, enough to have a really great party, as well as punch bowls.  I have only ever seen actual punch bowls in a Church basement, during a Christmas dinner, or a high school dance.

Collectibles.  What makes them collectible?

Who says they are collectible?  Or valuable?

Will they be worth more than what was paid for them years ago?

The short answer is NO.  collectiblesThose Rockwell plates are sold at endless garage sales for about $2.00 per plate or grab a bunch of them for $15.00.

Just because you see them offered on eBay for $40.00, doesn’t mean they will sell at that price.

Rest easy about clearing away all this stuff, there is a market for it, but not as a valuable thing that will enable you to retire early.  Mass produced things from the last century are not special, or particularly valuable to most of us.

There is a whole industry involved in creating things you can collect or give as gifts.

They come with certificates saying they are a thing.

If you like hand painted plates, go ahead and collect them.  But don’t believe that they are going to become any more valuable than the day they arrive in your mailbox.

Today, I went to one of my favorite places, a second-hand store that sells used furniture, artwork, books, knick knacks, and oh yes, those collectibles.

More than one artist has had his or her work made more available to everyone by having their work recreated on a porcelain plate or coffee mug.

Will my coffee taste better if Mr. Rockwell painted a scene on the front?  I actually care that my coffee comes in a very large mug, so I don’t have to refill so much.  Same with my tea cups.  I don’t care for tiny, dainty “Hand-painted periwinkles” as Mrs, Bucket of “Keeping up Appearances” would say.

I found a large, solid wood table with a drop leaf end for $40.00.  It needed refinishing, but it would be a great family table after that.  Or grab a tablecloth from one of the other second-hand places, if you aren’t handy.

wine glasses collectiblesI also found an amazing stock of crystal wine glasses, all along shelves.

Then there were the huge china platters for the big family suppers that few people have anymore.

Also rows of gold-velvet couches, or the amazing flowered love seats from the Seventies. They have come out of Grandma’s basement into the glorious light of day!

They can have another life as a couch for people who may not have a lot of money but will appreciate the comfort that a velvet couch still has to offer.

The platters can still serve food to those who would not ordinarily be able to afford to buy things like that.

After the terrible fire in Fort MacMurray last year, there were families who lost everything and had no insurance.  They had to start over, with only a small amount of money to set up a home.

Families fleeing domestic violence, people who have suffered a bout of crippling mental illness and are starting over.

Young couples, just starting out as a family, little money, but much love.

All this wonderful and ugly stuff can help them as they start a new life.

Kind of makes you take another look at Grandma’s flowered loveseat, doesn’t it?

70s couches