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Do collections really pay off?


A photo signed by all four Beatles is displayed amongst other Beatle memorabilia auctioned off by Christie's.
A photo signed by all four Beatles is displayed amongst other Beatle memorabilia auctioned off by Christie's.
Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

Is your mother still hearing about that vintage Partridge Family metal lunchbox she gave to Goodwill when she moved out of your childhood home? How could she have thrown that away without even asking you? After all, it wasn't just full of childhood memories; it had monetary value as well! Right? Lucky for your mom, that lunchbox probably wasn't worth as much as you thought, thanks to the beating you gave it everyday transporting it to and from school. And what about that "Abbey Road" record you recently sold on eBay for just $15? Turns out it was actually worth a lot more than that. According to The Telegraph, "Abbey Road" is one of the 20 most collectible vinyl LPs [source: The Telegraph]. If your record was an original and in mint condition, it could have scored you up to $1,500 [source: The Telegraph]!

Obviously, there is some money to be made in collectibles. But to really invest in something, it's best to focus on building a collection -- a group of collectibles with a common theme. Choose a theme -- such as baseball cards, any and every item you can find from a particular artist or designer, or original vinyls from your favorite band -- based on your interests. Also, in order to be successful making money from your collections, you must be an expert on your topic. You need to know what collections are worth, where to find items at bargain prices, how to take care of them and where to sell if you really want to make a profit. So, is investing in collections really worth your time and effort? Before you decide, read on to see how to decide what to collect in the first place.