Do You Sell or Save Your Valuable Collectibles?

I just discovered that a book I purchased through Kickstarter in 2013 for $40 is now selling for $980 (+2,450%), whereas two years ago it was going for $320 (+800%). I bought it because I fell in love with the artist’s work in 2008 and, as a broke college student, couldn’t afford the actual prints. Today, I’m wondering whether to sell it or hold on to it. Looking back, there were very few Kickstarter backers (~40), so it may remain a scare item as his clientele (including HBO, Netflix, NY Times, Sky Harbor airport) grows. Yet, it’s been sitting on a bookshelf for eight years. Is it, then, a beloved and sentimental treasure or a valuable collectible? I have fond memories of visiting Daniel Martin Diaz‘s tiny galley in Tucson and chatting about symbolism, but I don’t think those memories will fade with the sale of a token.

My boyfriend has ten large boxes of collectibles. He has an editor’s copy of Sandman signed by Neil Gaiman, along with a dozen other Sandman collectibles. He has met the members of the bands Radiohead and NIN on several occasional due to fandom, connections, and good luck. Thus, he has countless signed albums, posters, and special merchandise signed by Trent Reznor, Thom Yorke and more. A child of the 80s, he still has his old gaming consoles, Rob the Robot, and over three hundred classic Nintendo and PlayStation games, several of which are selling of over $100 each. All of these items have been stored under the guest bed for longer than I have known him. Are the appreciating in value? Maybe. Are they worth holding on to? Maybe not.

My parents have may antiques passed down from my great grandparents, including a highboy, baby grand piano, music box, silver kitchenware, and gold jewelry. My mother is very attached to this items because they hearken back to her childhood and make her feel connected to her parents and her past. For sentimental reasons, she will never part with this items. As late-1800 to early-1900 antiques, they likely hold monetary value that could be realized, if she so chose. But would that be a statement that money is more valuable than personal history? Or would the sale of a family heirloom be as simple a transaction as any other?

It’s easy to clear out the closet, dispose of duplicate items, and upgrade appliances that no long work. When it comes to collectibles, the right choice becomes murky and more nebulous. It includes the consideration of resale value, sentimental value, future appreciation, and missed opportunity costs, the physical space it occupies, and the possibility of future regret over selling… or not.

Five years ago, I sold about 75% of my 1,000+ books. I was moving in with my boyfriend and he suggested we probably don’t have room for all of them and perhaps it’s not fair to keep them boxes up when other people could be enjoying them. Of 750 books, there are three that I think about often and wish I hadn’t donated, two of which were signed by the author with a personal inscription to me, which I likely cannot retrieve.

Remembering this instance, however, gives me some confidence that most collectible that don’t hold sentimental value are best sent off into the wild to find a new home, especially when they have spent years on a shelf or decades in a box awaiting their final destiny.

How do you feel about collectible items? Do you hold on to them indefinitely, sell them when they increase in value, or get rid of them when they take up too much space?

11 thoughts on “Do You Sell or Save Your Valuable Collectibles?

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  1. I don’t think anything I’ve kept has increased in any value lol they just take up real estate.. I secretly hope my husband will throw it out one day without me realizing and then I won’t feel so sad about letting stuff go… But I don’t want to tell him to throw them out in case he takes this as a carte blanche and throws out all my stuff that he feels is “just taking up space”

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    1. Yes, that’s pretty true here also! The art book is the only thing I have of value (aside from family heirloom jewelry). I completely know where you’re coming from… I have so many things that could disappear and I would never know the difference, and sometimes I wish they would so I wouldn’t need to deliberate over whether to keep or toss lol!

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  2. I want to sell my stuff because they are games which I cannot play, even though the games are worth a lot according to Amazon and eBay. I don’t have a PSP that still works. There’s no point keeping them for my daughter since she has her own console and games. I sell locally and doubt that anyone would be willing to pay these high prices though. Feels like sunken costs which is sad, but there’s no reason for me to hang onto them anymore.

    I have a netbook which I don’t use either and is rather outdated (2010). I want to sell it but not sure if anyone would buy it. I kept it in mint condition though.

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    1. I complete understand that feeling of sunk costs. I have a few appliance that I didn’t get much use from and I’ve listed them at 20% of what I paid originally… it’s making me a lot more thoughtful about future purchases. Do I *really* need this? It’s been easier to say “no” lately.

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  3. I sold my library (let’s say most of it) & kept only 80-100 books. They were huge lol 😂 & looked nice on the shelves. But last year I started to buy books again (mostly secondhand, some collectibles & first editions) – often random, but of coz something I liked or somehow felt connected. I read them too, and I’m going to make a catalogue during March. The books I read & didn’t liked (dropped after 30-50 pages), im trying to resale. It’s difficult to collect = 1. Takes too much space 2. Dust 3. You have to wait 20-or-40 years to sell it for the better price or you have to own an exceptional work/book. In any case… it’s fun 🙂

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    1. That’s so smart to resell the books you didn’t particularly like. Reading is great, but unless you have a huge home library, hoarding hundreds and hundreds of books isn’t too practical lol! 😂

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