With former DJ Mike Read in the news recently for selling his £1 million rock memorabilia and record collection, this a collectables field which has been very much in the public eye and one which garners a lot of popular interest. Music and film memorabilia is of course relatively populist, given that films, television and music are always part of popular culture inspiring fans and devotion possibly unknown in other fields of collecting, making the type of memorabilia collected a very personal choice which seems in any cases to be driven by love of the genre rather than for investment purposes. This type of memorabilia can be records, tapes or CDs, VHS or DVD, concert tickets, programmes, T shirts or novelty items like key rings or mugs.
They can be unplayed or well worn, but must be genuine, even if you are not buying them for value, as inauthentic items will not add any value to a collection. These buying choices are made from a sentimental interest in the collectable and can be very fulfilling indeed, often turning a minor interest into a satisfying hobby. Music memorabilia, for example records have the added bonus of a purpose. You can listen to the music, show your appreciation for a favourite band, and generally make the most of the items you buy rather than leaving them somewhere simply as a display in a cabinet. Of course, we have all heard the apocryphal stories of people finding pristine Yellow Submarine records in their loft and selling them for a fortune, but this kind of return is not common. Much memorabilia has obviously been mass produced, meaning things like film merchandise and records are not always rare, but finding them in great condition is less likely and therefore obviously increases their value. If you collect for the love of the band or genre however, you won’t be concerned with appreciation or deprecation in value, rather valuing your collection for its own intrinsic worth to you instead.
Collectors then are clearly more likely to purchase based on an interest in a specific artist or star, and as such of course, value of specific items will be determined by current popularity and desirability. Something like an original piece of Star Wars memorabilia for example probably always had a good resale value, but the advert on the new films in recent years stirred interest in the original, some consider cult classics, and this will have had the affect of driving up resale prices on many collectors pieces previously held at certain values.
If you are looking to collect for investment purposes, try using a memorabilia dealer who will be able to give valuable advice as well as helping you source your collection, on what to buy to gain the best returns. It is still a good idea to choose a subject matter which interests you, to give you pleasure from the hobby but also to ensure that if your collection does not increase in monetary value, you are still left with something you like.