There’s an important rule for collecting I’d like to share. If everyone is collecting it, it’s going to be worthless. The only thing that become worth money are things people don’t expect to become worth money. If everyone is saving an object, then nobody is going to want it in the future. Prime example: Beanie Babies!
Beanie Babies gained popularity in the late 90’s as a hot toy among kids and collectible among adults. The plush animals were each purposely made for a limited time and often secretively to increase the impulse buy. You had to buy now, because there was no later.
Madness ensued at retailers every time a new plush was introduced. When McDonald’s put them in their Happy Meals, Soccer Moms everywhere invaded the fast food chain. No pimply burger flipper was safe.
Of course Beanie Babies never got anywhere near the value people thought they would. It’s the simple lesson of supply and demand. Demand diminished because everyone interested in the things already had a supply of them.
Old comics, baseball cards, and toys became worth money because they weren’t saved. Nobody thought drawings of a flying man would be worth anything, but now the first Superman comic sells for over a million dollars. Everyone thought the Death of Superman comic from the 90’s would be worth money so everyone went out and bought it. Now it’s worthless.
But don’t take my word for it, check out this mini 8 minute documentary about a family that spent $100,000 on Beanie Babies:
One of the things I noticed about this video is that the father was unemployed, spending all day collecting Beanies, and that his son mention his Dad’s crazy ideas, sounding like this isn’t the only weird idea he came up with.
It reminds me of the guy who was always was trying to come up with get rich quick schemes. He finally succeed by winning tens of thousands of dollars by figuring out an algorithm on a game show, but then lost it all in the process of attempting another scheme. But that’s a strory for another day.