- Collecting matchcovers
is like teaching...no one gets into it to get rich! The vast
majority of matchcovers are literally worth only pennnies to
collectors. Still, if it makes you feel better, if a cover goes
for 4 cents, and it was orginally obtained for free, then it's
appreciated 400%! Not bad!
- "4 cents! But this
cover is 46 years old!" True, but 'old' in this hobby means
at least Pre-War (1941 or earlier), and even then most 'old'
covers are still considered run-of-the-mill. Most of the exceptions
are disscussed on the Treasure page.
- "4 cents! But this
business doesn't exist anymore!" True, but the vast majority
of businesses that once existed don't anymore. So, defuct
businesses are the norm, not the exception.
- "4 cents! But I used
to go to this place all the time when I was a kid!" Perhaps
you even used to visit that store, or theatre, or restaurant
, and thus have a personal connection to it...memories...sentiment.
To you, that cover is exceptional...but not to others. When selling
covers, the buyer doesn't deal in sentimental value.
- Also, as with any collectible,
condition is very important. Buyers aren't going to be interested
in struck or damaged covers, so that 4 cent cover may not even
be worth that.
- Thus, if you're looking
to sell, and you're a non-collector, you need to be realistic.
Also keep in mind:
- 1. There are no set values
on any of this material. What a cover, accumulation, or collection
eventually sells for is strictly whatever the buyer and seller
have agreed to.
- 2. Most buyers are looking
for one of each cover, so, if what you have consists of lots
of duplicates of the same covers, that will bring the overall
price down even further.
- 3. Selling in bulk brings
a lower price, since the buyer is paying for what he doesn't
want in order to get what he does want. Even so, it should be
noted that almost all non-collectors sell in bulk, simply because
selling everything at once is the easiest and fastest method
- Even many collectors aren't
realistic when it becomes necessary to sell their collections.
I've seen it many times over the last 30 years. The collector
believes his asking price is reasonable, but, in fact, it's outrageous.
The seller has the last say in whether he will sell or not, but
the buyer has the final word as to the price. If buyer and seller
can't agree, then there's no sale. What invariably happens in
such a case is that the collection doesn't sell, and either the
seller later brings the asking price significantly down, or the
seller's family eventually disposes of that part of the estate
for a much lower amount.
- All of which brings us
back to our opening statement about not expecting to get rich
with matchcovers. Any collector would know, but if you happen
to not be a collector of anything, it might be harder for you
to grasp, but the real value of collecting is not in the collectibles
at all. It's in all the thousands of pleasurable hours spent
in finding, acquiring, organizing, and lovingly caring for those
collectibles. It's in the invariable sense of accomplishment
that comes with putting together a collection that garners respect
by your peers. It's in the realization that, with all that time
and effort, you've become something of an expert in your particular
field. And, it's in the many lasting friendships formed over
the years. Just recently, in fact, a fellow collector happened
to remind me that we have been steadily trading with each other
for 35 years.