From reading past ezines, you are well aware I tend to specialise in selling books and media online.
That’s where my ‘expertise’ lies. However, that is not to say I am not interested in selling other products, because I am and I do.
Sometimes interesting items jump out at me in charity shops and I might buy them to sell – usually on eBay; sometimes on Amazon; it depends on which site I think might be most appropriate to get the best response.
Sometimes a listing catches my eye when I am browsing online. I am always fascinated by items other sellers place for sale, especially items that remind me of my childhood.
I know I am not on my own: memorabilia is always popular, and sometimes it’s hard to identify or guess at what is popular or will be in the future.
That’s why I was really interested in Richard Bullivant’s eletter Maverick Money Report, which is weekly sent out from Canonbury Publishing.
It covers lots of alternative ways of making money and discusses this very subject: where one person’s ‘junk’ is another’s treasured memory.
There is always something in the media reporting that a one-time everyday item sells for big money in an auction.
There are lots of items out there – lurking in car boots, school fetes and charity shops, where the seller has no notion of the value of the items they are selling (often for pennies, just to clear the ‘junk’ from the house).
Richard recalls as a child loving to go shopping with his mum and his father too…
‘The only reason why I used to like going shopping with my mum when I was young was so I could make sure that she bought the right type of tea – it had to be Brooke Bond Tea!
‘The reason for my preference – as you will have guessed – is that I used to collect the Brooke Bond collectors cards, of which one came free in every packet of Brooke Bond Tea.
‘These cards, when all collected, would form a set based on a common theme: ‘Famous Inventions’; ‘Ships of the Sea’; ‘Fastest Cars’ etc.
‘The full series would then be pasted into a colourful collectors ‘series book’ and many of these completed books are sought after today.
‘The same reason spurred me on to join my father on our habitual Saturday shopping trip, as my pocket money would allow me to buy the bubble-gum packs, sought after by schoolchildren at the time and found in all good newsagents.
‘These packs also contained collectable cards. I have fond memories of collecting the series for Batman and The Man from Uncle’.
Richard says: ‘There are always buyers who are willing to pay handsomely for a complete or even partially completed collection of vintage memorabilia… as long as the subject matter is right, such as Ladybird books’.
I can believe that: only a few weeks ago I picked up a ‘Janet and John’ book, in lovely condition. I only paid 10p for it, and sold it on Amazon for over £12.99 – a great profit margin, I am sure you will agree.
I remember reading ‘Janet and John’ books at school and I guess parents – or even grandparents – love to buy books that remind them of their childhood to share with their offspring/grandchildren.
You may recall collecting cards from cigarettes left around by parents or grandparents and sticking them in special collector’s books.
Perhaps you swapped duplicates with friends in order to ensure you completed a selection of your own.
As Richards muses: ‘I am quite certain that many business people today owe their highly paid skills to the many hours spent bartering and swapping cards as kids in the playground’
He’s most probably right about that!
In fact, Richard now advocates buying whole collections of items and then profiting by selling the component parts on a piecemeal basis.
But he also proposes that you consider doing the opposite: profit by collecting and building up complete series or sets of items to form a much sought-after collection.
Richard is always looking out for alternative ways to make money. He is working on a brand new project at the moment, full of money-making opportunities and I can’t wait to tell you more about it.
Sign up to Maverick Money Report here.
This article first appeared on Book Seller Profits. Read more and comment here