Is Autographed Sports Memorabilia Worth It

Is Autographed Sports Memorabilia Worth It

I saw an​ article the​ other day claiming that sports memorabilia is​ one of​ the​ top 10 biggest wastes of​ money. Chris Pummer, who wrote the​ article claims that, "This market for​ the​ celebrity struck may be the​ greatest separator of​ fools and​ their money ever."

He lists premium coffee to​ go and​ cigarettes as​ a​ few other "biggest wastes of​ money."

I agree with Pummer that sports memorabilia is​ a​ waste of​ money if​ you buy the​ wrong player or​ if​ you purchase something that is​ fake.

But the​ bottom line is​ that the​ market for​ autographed sports memorabilia and​ collectibles is​ huge. Authentic autographs are tough to​ get, expensive, and​ there are limited amounts available.

Take Pete Rose, who signs every weekend in​ Las Vegas. There is​ such a​ demand for​ his autographed memorabilia that his jerseys, baseballs and​ other items consistently bring good money -- no matter how much he signs.

When Pete becomes unable to​ sign -- or​ he dies, his existing, authentic autographed memorabilia will double or​ triple in​ value.

Pummer mentions how a​ $700 Barry Bonds ball is​ worthless. I have to​ agree with him on that one. Sports memorabilia shopping is​ all about picking the​ right player (and Bonds is​ not the​ right player). When a​ Willie Mays autographed baseball currently sells for​ around $250-$300, why would you spend $700 on a​ Bonds baseball?

Mays is​ proven, he is​ the​ greatest living baseball player on the​ planet -- do the​ math. Even when Bonds surpassed Willie's home run record, he did not become more collectible than Willie Mays. Bonds will never be more collectible than Mays and​ his baseballs will never be worth more.

Sports memorabilia collecting is​ similar to​ the​ stock market. the​ athlete is​ the​ stock. You have to​ make sure the​ athlete has good fundamentals, management, and​ you also have to​ investigate how the​ market values them.

Joe Montana, for​ example, is​ one of​ the​ all-time best selling autographs in​ the​ industry. He is​ a​ proven athlete, no steroid scandals, and​ people love him. He does sign frequently, but there is​ such a​ huge demand for​ Joe Montana memorabilia, it​ doesn't matter.

Sports memorabilia is​ not a​ waste of​ money, it​ is​ an​ investment if​ you know what you are buying. Educate yourself on the​ market -- for​ example, shopping on eBay if​ you don't know how to​ spot fake autographs is​ a​ bad idea. There are tons of​ sellers on eBay that still sell fake autographs even though a​ few forgers went to​ jail as​ a​ result of​ the​ FBI's Operation Bullpen over 3 years ago.

If you educated yourself on authentic autographs, found good players to​ invest in, and​ studied values of​ items based on what they are currently selling for, then you could see better returns than your stock market portfolio -- well, maybe at​ least better returns than the​ S&P 500 and​ those horrible mutual funds!

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