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Are art / collectibles / classic cars really a great store of value?

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It has been said on here before by many including me, that physical art / collectibles are a good way to preserve wealth "cos you can't print Van Gogh's"

 

But I am interested in certain collectibles such as classic cars and rifles, I am noticing that although the prices have gone up a lot, some of these pieces go unsold for literally years.

 

A few examples:

-was looking at used Anschutz rifles at the weekend, some had been available for over 2 years 

-had my eye on a "show room condition" 1990s Mazda Rx7, great condition and high price, but was on sale for well over a year

- see numerous high end watches on eBay, with a high "buy now" prices, consequently they never shift.

 

Some of these things would definitely sell if the price was cut in half.

 

My question is are dealers pushing the investment angle of collectibles really chancing their arm?  Are these things really a good store of value if you struggle to sell them at their inflated prices?

Edited by reddog

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I've been given a family heirloom, expensive 6 figures painting. I can't do shit with it.

I can't release equity. I can only receive 80% of appraisal value because of all the leeches. 

 

So yeah even for high end stuff it's shit

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17 minutes ago, Errol said:

Depends what you buy.

Faberge is good. Da Vinci paintings are also a good bet.

Fair point, but what about on the mid / lower level?  For example 1980s reasonably collectible BMWs and WW2 rifles, which have both shot up in value?

Edited by reddog

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Well, whisky (a subject close to my heart) has gone absolutely nuts over the last two or three years. Especially closed distillery stuff like Port Ellen, but also Macallan and a number of obscure Japanese ones too.

No idea how long-term this trend is, but it's mainly being driven by collectors in the far east. Great for the industry, not so good for those of us who enjoy drinking fine Scotch whiskies!

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A lit of these increases in value hide some eye-watering costs for maintenance, insurance and storage. It's fun to drool over a copy of Octane magazine but most of their vintage exotics spend about 363 days a year in a high-security climate-controlled garage and thus, can only be afforded by squillionaires.

As for fancy watches? Who in their right mind wanders about with upwards of £20k strapped to their wrist?

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48 minutes ago, reddog said:

It has been said on here before by many including me, that physical art / collectibles are a good way to preserve wealth "cos you can't print Van Gogh's"

 

But I am interested in certain collectibles such as classic cars and rifles, I am noticing that although the prices have gone up a lot, some of these pieces go unsold for literally years.

 

A few examples:

-was looking at used Anschutz rifles at the weekend, some had been available for over 2 years 

-had my eye on a "show room condition" 1990s Mazda Rx7, great condition and high price, but was on sale for well over a year

- see numerous high end watches on eBay, with a high "buy now" prices, consequently they never shift.

 

Some of these things would definitely sell if the price was cut in half.

 

My question is are dealers pushing the investment angle of collectibles really chancing their arm?  Are these things really a good store of value if you struggle to sell them at their inflated prices?

You have to differentiate between actual investments and people buying stuff for nostalgia.

  • The investments type tend to be sort-of robust.
  • The nostalgia stuff tends to move with the economy much more.

So the showroom Rx7 doesn't sound like an investment to me.  I suppose it might be, but it is IMO just a pander to middle aged people buying the stuff they wanted when they were younger.  'Showroom' has a more difficult time -- these things tend to be driven, so the value of the 'showroom' is lost -- just keeping it at 'showroom condition will cost a reasonable £ks per year.  Compare this with a Ferrari (or whatever) -- the £3k it costs just to keep it in a shiny white room with heating etc is worth it given its value and the hopeful increase in value in keeping it in good condition.

Anyway, there's loads of stuff on ebay at inflated prices.  I think they've got a reasonable business model -- hope that some idiot comes along and pays the inflated price.  Easier than actually doing lots of transactions to make the same money.  I guess it works, eventually, as they don't seem to ever do the 'drop the price a bit' thing, which would be the obvious way to proceed if they actually wanted to have a higher turnover.

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Rolex watches seem to only go up in value. Stainless steel Daytona models are very desirable. Can pick up good ones for around 10k. No upkeep, easy to store, prove authenticity and come with a certificate.

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2 hours ago, Freki said:

I've been given a family heirloom, expensive 6 figures painting. I can't do shit with it.

I can't release equity. I can only receive 80% of appraisal value because of all the leeches. 

 

So yeah even for high end stuff it's shit

Do the value is actually 80% of the appraisal then?

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56 minutes ago, 2rocketman said:

Rolex watches seem to only go up in value. Stainless steel Daytona models are very desirable. Can pick up good ones for around 10k. No upkeep, easy to store, prove authenticity and come with a certificate.

I have heard that, someone on a YouTube channel was saying they are the best for retaining value (although they do have to be serviced regularly).  Having been preserved as a bit naff in the 90s/ early 2000s, I think they are coming back due to continued insistence on quality.

 

But how liquid is the market?  If I had what I thought was a £10k Daytona, could I really get £10k for it in a month or so?

Edited by reddog

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20 minutes ago, Northern Welsh Midlander said:

Do the value is actually 80% of the appraisal then?

sounds amazingly good deal to as much as 80% if its cash offer, do well to get that via auction route

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1 hour ago, 2rocketman said:

Rolex watches seem to only go up in value. Stainless steel Daytona models are very desirable. Can pick up good ones for around 10k. No upkeep, easy to store, prove authenticity and come with a certificate.

high up keep if you have to pay for servicing.

 

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3 hours ago, Freki said:

I've been given a family heirloom, expensive 6 figures painting. I can't do shit with it.

I can't release equity. I can only receive 80% of appraisal value because of all the leeches. 

 

So yeah even for high end stuff it's shit

have you considered just renting it out to some young scumbags?

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Collectables are very risky. Excluding blue chip high art, what one generation considers special means nothing to another. Railway memorabilia had a boom a few years ago, a friend of mine bought a station sign for 5 grand at auction. Sadly when those middle aged men die, all that stuff will flood the market, it will mean nothing to younger people with no romantic memories of the age of steam. Conversley people now pay a premium for original victorian fireplaces and other features when after the war it was ripped out and tossed into skips. 

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my father had a antique shop and was in the trade most of his life in pretty much all aspects of it, heres what i know, my firsst job was actually as a trainee valuar for a london auction house, but just as i was kicking into the trade it fell completely and utterly on its **** and has not recovered since. 

 

1. brown furniture, as its known in the trade. this is all that old and heavy and large edwardian - victorian furniture, all of it boomed up to about 1990. then it went completely out of fashion, im sure people can remember all they antique fares and little antique shops in every town up and down the ountry, well every one of them disapeared because the prices dropped so much that you couldnt give the stuff away. beautifull furniture, solid and wll last forever. no-one wanted it anymore and the noom 80s times have never returned with the prices today cheaper than they were some 40 years ago.

2. the 80s was the boom times and as a direct result of this the public demanded and got a million books about collecting and tv programs started up like the antiques roadshow. everyone wanted there house full of antiques as an investment, what helped it along was the sheer crap otherwise available at the time. this was the days of mfi and rubbish fkatpack so it made sense.

3. people only hear about the headline grabbers, and every antique dealer dreams of one day finding that golden goose that makes him, the one piece found in a deaseased estate that changes his life. but like winning the lottery its very hard to do. in the 40 years my dad was in the trade and anything interesting was allways apraised by christies or bonhams etc before selling on, the big auction houses used to have their experts go around the country and would call on you, so you would put aside anything that looked interesting for their appraisal. and in all this time the best my dad got was $12000 for a painting, o when you read all they storied of this guy picking up a 50k ceramic at a bootsale believe it with a very big pinch of salt. this kinda thing is very very rare indeed. sometimes its even done as a way to launder money.

4. the trade has never recovered even today.however there are a few areas that have held up better than others and some areas that have completely crashed. for instance anything to do with tobacco has crashed, vestas, cases, snuff boxes etc all crashed. but more modern pottery has gained popularity like moorcroft. 

 

if you walk into an auction houe now, thats if you can find one because about 90% of them have closed down, there are few buyers and less enthusisim. today its all about specialisation. if i was collecting personally i would go in for coins or other small high value items. things collectors can keep in a drawer and open up and look at now and then, thats where its att. pens, medals,coins, watches, trading tokens and cards, signed photos, old records, letters, football programs, parchments, maps faberge eggs, diamonds, precious stones.people these days like there treasures in a drawer 

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44 minutes ago, jimmy2x3 said:

my father had a antique shop and was in the trade most of his life in pretty much all aspects of it, heres what i know, my firsst job was actually as a trainee valuar for a london auction house, but just as i was kicking into the trade it fell completely and utterly on its **** and has not recovered since. 

 

Interesting post, I remember my dad who was a hobby furniture restorer forcing my to go round loads of antique furniture warehouses in the 80s.  I hadn't really thought about it, but you are right, that sort of stuff is completely out of fashion.

 

Do you have any insights into how long things should take to shift before a price reduction is due?

 

As I say, I see pieces that have not moved literally for years.  Do the sellers not get the message that the items aren't priced correctly, or can they afford to site on stock for about 2 years?  How would a cheeky 50% off asking price offer be received?

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The world is awash with money looking for a return - hence bubbles everywhere. The fact bitcoin is currently worth what it's worth demonstrates this. Say what you like but at least houses have utility. 

It'll all unwind

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I love brown, edwardian furniture. Have a beautiful wardrobe and draws that i use in the bedroom that was kindly given to me. Solid as anything. I think one reason it went out of fashion is it looks out of place in small, new builds with low ceilings. 

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I started collecting 70's and 80's tech around 10 years ago. Mint, boxed Sinclair Spectrums, James Bond edition early PC's. That kind of thing. All stuff I thought would be of interest to coming generations. My best buy so far is the 1st Sony Walkmans (1979) of which I bought 3. Paid around £50-£100 all with original boxes in unused condition. Worth quite a bit now but the secret is selling at the right time. Same as most things bought as an investment?

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It seems to me that there are asset bubbles everywhere. If it can be considered an asset, it's seen massive growth in the past 10yrs.. this looks unsustainable and I'd expect a correction when the sh*t hits the fan in the wider economy. I've read that the classic car bubble has been hissing for 12-18 months now.

Like any other bubble it's great if you were on board near the beginning and know when it sell, otherwise not so much. Then again what do I know - I called the top of the bitcoin bubble at $3k.

"The market can stay irrational..." etc.

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2 hours ago, HowMuch! said:

high up keep if you have to pay for servicing.

 

Ok, I’m going to say something that no one will believe. I have a Datejust II white gold bezel Rolex that I got on clubcard points. Yup I knew you wouldn’t believe me. But yup x3 at Goldsmith before Mr.T reigned in the point opportunities.

Watch servicing can be had the same way with a x3 voucher (not sure if Tesco still do it) so no need to pay out the £500 service every 3-5 years

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I cannot see Section 1 firearms ever being collectibles. There just are not enough license holders at approximately 150,000 in the UK and even then they all have vastly different tastes, I for example am a black rifle enthusiast and also really like lever action gallery rifles so those Anschutz rifles would not even register for me. You are looking at a market of a few thousand and holding a Section 1 in itself is difficult, not something you can just forget about.

Section 2 shotguns on the other hand - there are 650,000 of those and they are all typically interested in the same type of over and under shotguns. They include much of the landed gentry in their ranks (who are going to want to invest) and a Section 2 is way easier to hold and forget about. You probably could buy those as an investment, particularly the ones with beautifully hand crafted engravings and all the trimmings. I have seen those things go for £20-£30k.

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The ‘restoration’ project I have is my 1962 Rolls Royce (yes I must be the poorest man alive to own both a Rolex and a Rolls Royce) it is a store of value. It’s over-engineering is astonishing even today (double skinned floor pan, air con and electric windows that work 60 years later).

Then you have the likes of Escort XR3is that are popping up for 10-20k, RS Sierra Cosworths going towards 6 figures. Not quality made cars, but based on nostalgia. The majority were rinsed to within an inch of their life, the only examples left are why they are priced as they are.

I remember my brother-in-law taking me out in his RS Cosworth when I was 10 and those memories of sliding out the rear was great stuff!

Edited by sideysid

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25 minutes ago, sideysid said:

Ok, I’m going to say something that no one will believe. I have a Datejust II white gold bezel Rolex that I got on clubcard points. Yup I knew you wouldn’t believe me. But yup x3 at Goldsmith before Mr.T reigned in the point opportunities.

Watch servicing can be had the same way with a x3 voucher (not sure if Tesco still do it) so no need to pay out the £500 service every 3-5 years

I thought I did well getting 3 trees for the garden a couple of years ago for points/vouchers buying stuff in Tesco a handful of times.

End of the day its these schemes, pension, overseas expansions etc. which is they everything seems to be price £1, £2, £3, £4.50 instead of 59p, £1.68, £2.19, £4.09 at Aldi.

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