As with any type of investment venture, the antique market is a game of buy low, sell when the market peaks.
I find that many collector, while not actually “dealers,” work on the theory that dabbling in resale is a great way to support their collecting habit. Ready for a little speculative buying in 2014? Here are my top picks for items that the diligent shopper can purchase buy low... and sell high.
As we enter a new year, the key word is “vintage”. To the surprise of many Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), the toys, art and even home decor they knew as a child have taken on a monetary value. Things that they cherished as a child have now become desirable to collectors who are drawn to the kitchy randomness of the second half of the 20th Century.
1) Vintage vinyl records and albums from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s are in high demand. Purchased by those of us who remember when these records topped the charts, as well as the 20 something crowd, strong sellers include the Beatles, ‘70s rock, ‘80s rock and new wave and obscure artists from 1960 to 1990. Condition and rarity are the largest determinants of value, so exercise caution until you have done your homework.
2) Once considered a throw-away, turn tables are back. Belt-driven models from Philco and Pioneer, German made 4-speed dual turntables and direct drive automatic return models are all desirable. Just make certain they are in good working order, as repairs can be costly.
3) Vintage furniture will hold strong in 2014, so head for the thrift store! Lighting fixtures, upholstered chairs, blonde furniture and Scandinavian design occasional pieces from the ‘60s and ‘70s are common finds.
4) Vintage kitchen items and hostess pieces are fun to use and can still be had for pennies on the dollar. Remember your Mom’s Pyrex bowls? They are back in vogue as are Melmac dishes, green and red handled utensils, ‘60s bar accessories.pitcher and glass sets and punch bowls.
5) Taxidermy, so popular in the 1970s, is making a comeback, especially with the “hipsters” who consider it a must to their decor. Wall mounted wild boar, ram and deer heads are rising in value as well as table top pieces like birds and fish. These can often be found at area auctions in the $100 range. But if you go to the decorator shops be prepared to pay 2 to 3 times that.
6) Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars can often be found at flea markets and auctions. Most are of minimal value, but there are some that make it worth your time to search. This is evidenced by the recent eBay auction that garnered $502 for a mint condition 1969 Hot Wheels Redline gold custom T-Bird which came out of an $8 auction box lot!
7) Posters are collected by their category and also as an art form. Movie posters from 1950-1980, Anti-war posters from the 1960s and ‘70s and concert posters from classic rock groups like Black Sabbath, Beatles and Frank Zappa are in high demand. Note: this is a case of ‘buyer beware’ as the bulk of posters you will find will be reprints and of little value.
8) Old magazines are just old magazines... most of the time. Be on the lookout for early celebrity covers. Popular finds include the October 1983 issue of “Island” magazine with Madonna’s first cover ($1,000) and the #1 1953 Playboy featuring Marilyn Monroe ($3,000). Pulp magazines (inexpensive fiction publications from 1896 to 1950) are always of a great find. Bottom end on these will be a few hundred dollars and top end $4,000-$5,000.
As we enter 2014 the old saying holds true, “one man’s trash IS another man’s treasure,” so dig out the drive way, scrape the ice off the car windows and let’s go treasure hunting! Until next time,
Linda Hamer Kennett is a profession liquidation consultant specializing in down-sizing for seniors and the liquidation of estates and may be reached at 317-429-7887 or firstname.lastname@example.org.