People start collections for so many different reasons. While some collect figures to dive deep into their favorite animes, others do it to form connections with like-minded pop culture fans. Still, some collectors enter the hobby with a specific goal: building a valuable inventory.
Some might find it surprising that many figures are worth a pretty penny. However, knowing how much your items could go for is essential if you want to make money off of them in the future. Even if you don’t intend to sell your collection, being aware of their worth is helpful in protecting your investments. Learn how to know if your collectibles will one day have value.
Determine Your Figure’s Condition
Several factors go into determining a collectible item’s worth. However, your figure’s condition is among the most telling and vital aspects. Serious collectors will pay top dollar for figures in good shape, so it’s necessary to take care of your valuable items.
You’ll need to make some choices at the beginning of your collecting journey if you want your collectibles to retain or grow their retail value. Will you keep your items in their boxes? Will you store them behind protective glass? All of these things can affect their condition and alter their price.
Authorities in the collecting community often assign “grades” to figurines. These labels communicate to other collectors about the state of your items. If you want to know if your collectibles will one day have value, you should become familiar with common condition grades and try to keep up with your valuable pieces of inventory.
The term “mint condition” refers to high-quality items and is the highest grade your collectibles can receive. These figures have virtually non-existent damage and look like they are fresh off the shelf. Most figurines that win this coveted title remain in their original packaging, which should also have zero sign of wear and tear.
Collectibles in “near-mint condition” are still in excellent shape but might have minor flaws that only an expert could spot. These items won’t have any dirt or discoloration but might have small damages from the manufacturing, packaging, and shipping process. You may find a loose joint or a missing accessory in these collectibles, but they are otherwise in near-perfect shape.
Figures in “fine condition” still look great and are fully functional but have more significant flaws that are easier to identify. They aren’t missing any essential parts but might look dull and have damage associated with use. Collectors who remove their items from their boxes usually have items with this grade.
If you handle your collectibles often, the chances are that they are in “good condition.” These figures look like they’ve gotten a lot of playtime and likely have scratches and many missing components. These items may be fixable but definitely depreciate in value.
These items are worse for wear and have very noticeable damage. Missing limbs, broken pieces, and even water damage are typical with collectibles in “poor condition.” While these figures may have a lot of sentimental value to their collector, they are unlikely to pull a profit later in life.
Identify Average Retail Prices
Knowing the condition of your collectibles is essential to determining their value. However, it’s also important to identify the average retail prices of your favorite items. While some collectors will pay over the average for rare or vintage characters, most won’t make an offer over the standard price for more common figures.
The good news is that it’s easy to find a collectible’s average price, and you can do it in various ways. For example, you can visit online stores and auction sites to gather data about current pricing. Even though the internet is the most accessible tool, many books and magazines are still on the market—with pricing guides to help determine worth, too.
Compare Collection Prices
Word of mouth is a powerful tool, especially in the collecting community. Hobbyists and serious collectors alike are usually willing to share valuable tricks of the trade. While you’re exploring retail prices, check out collection sales to see how much other collectors are selling their inventory for.
This process looks similar to identifying retail prices, with a few exceptions. You can go to websites like eBay and other auction sites to compare collection prices or go to physical auction houses to see collections up close. Of course, you can always reach out to your network of collectors to get asking prices straight from the source.
Hire an Appraiser
If you want to get the most accurate estimate for your collectibles, you can hire an appraiser to determine their value. Appraisers are experts in specific industries and know exactly how much an item is worth. Toy appraisers work hard to learn the history of various figures and their manufacturing process to assign a precise price tag to your figurines.
You can take several avenues if you want to hire an appraiser. You can take your items in question to a physical location for professionals to inspect with a fine-toothed comb. However, online appraisal services now exist, so you can also price your collectibles by sending photos and receipts to these businesses.
Factors To Consider Regarding Value
Finding out the value of your collection isn’t a perfect science. You’ll need to keep many things in mind if you want to sell your figures or are considering purchasing an expensive item. Depending on factors such as market trends, demand, and shipping conditions, prices rise and fall constantly. Expensive characters lose value all time, so consider the risk before you make a significant investment.
It’s also worth keeping an eye on pop culture trends to help you determine your collectibles’ worth. Characters from box-office hits and popular video games will have a higher demand around release dates but may fall in value as people leave the bandwagon. On the other hand, some pieces of media experience a resurgence several years later, and figures worth nothing can suddenly become priceless. While appraising your collectibles isn’t a total guessing game, you’ll need to nail down the timing if you want an accurate value estimate for your inventory.
Whether you’re curating a specific collection or looking to make a profit one day, knowing the value of your important figures is helpful information for collectors at any stage. Make your inventory worth something by purchasing Funko POP! vinyl figures from Shumi Toys & Gifts. Our high-quality items are sure to bring your collection to the next level, so start shopping today!