Model steam engines can and do become collector’s items. Just like with any other collector’s items, the price of those items goes up over time. Now, this seems like a slam dunk. This seems like a nice recipe for buying something low and then unloading it in the future at a much higher price. Unfortunately, things aren’t that easy and obvious.
It would be nice if things were that simple. They’re not. Just like with any other investment, you have to be both systematic and methodical in your investment approach, otherwise, you might make the wrong call. Otherwise, your expectations might not pan out. You’re expecting to buy low and sell high and you might end up simply breaking even or, in some cases, even experiencing a loss.
Pay attention to the following tips so you can increase the likelihood that your choice of model steam engines will actually produce a positive return on investment in the future.
Select Solid Brands
The first that you can do is to focus on brands. Don’t roll the dice with unbranded merchandise. Don’t take risks on unknown brands that are supposed to be big deals in the future. I can tell you that there are so many up and coming brands that build themselves that way. They tell potential buyers that they’re the next big thing. Well, anybody can say that. Anybody can make that claim.
While I don’t doubt that a tiny fraction of the companies who are making that claim now will end up getting big in the future, it’s too much of a crapshoot at this point in time. It’s simply too speculative. So do yourself a big favor and focus on brands that are already solid. These are brands that are already known in the industry. These are brands that collectors of best model steam engines already collect.
Existing Collector Market
When looking for model steam engines, look for models that already have an existing collector market. It doesn’t necessarily have to be big. It doesn’t have to be intense or involve huge prices. As long as there’s an existing market, that is a good sign.
Tell you what, this is so much better than buying something and hoping to unload it in the future knowing full well that there’s nobody collecting it at this point in time. Do you see how this works? So the very fact that the particular model steam engines you’re collecting already has a collector market, regardless of how small, is a good sign.
Realistic Collector Market Growth Rate
Now, as I mentioned in the discussion above, you need to look for an existing collector market. This is non-negotiable. Now, even though that market is small now, it can get bigger over time.
The next step in the analysis is to ask yourself how realistic is the growth rate of this market. Is it even realistic to assume that the market will grow in the future? As long as you’re sure that the market for the collector’s item that you’re buying now has a very realistic chance of growing in the future, then you’re on the right track.
Clear Condition Rating System
In any collector’s market, make sure that the collectibles follow a standardized condition rating system. For example, in comic book collecting, there is mint and there is good. And there are many different grades in between. It has to be clear what the condition is.
People should properly define what constitutes a top condition item and what constitutes a lower grade item. Without this condition rating system, you might be wasting your time collecting that item because it’s anybody’s guess what the value of your collection would be in the future. You want some sort of assurance that whatever money you pay now for your collection will grow or will be well rewarded in the future. And that’s very hard to do when people can’t even agree on a rating system.
Clear Authentication Procedures
As mentioned in the previous discussion, certain brands fetch a lot more money than others. With that said, there has to be a procedure to authenticate that an item is actually what the owner claims it to be. In other words, you have to be clear on authentication.
If you can’t even authenticate the stuff that you own, this is definitely a red flag because anybody can claim that the brand that they sold you is legit. The worst part to all of this is that there is really no way for you to know that. There is really no way for you to authenticate the claims of sellers and then you end up buying worthless junk.
Ships and Distinct Easier to Preserve Packaging
The iron rule of toy collecting or any other kind of model collecting is that packaged materials tend to fetch higher prices. This definitely applies to lunch boxes and other goods. So do yourself a big favor and make sure that you preserve the packaging of the stuff that you’re collecting. You would be positioning yourself for better returns in the future when you purposely pick up collectibles that already come in packaging that preserve their quality. In other words, you’re buying stuff that already ships in collectible packaging.