Early Memorabilia A-L




Collecting Guidelines


I.    Valuing Memorabilia 

                The value of any item is exactly what someone is willing to pay for it.  Much of the escalation in memorabilia pricing is due to publication of trade price guides which depict prices sometimes high and sometimes low.  The difficult task for collectors has always been which sources to believe.  It seems that to decide the value of an item,  a person has to contact many sources.  One thing’s for sure:  it’s always profitable if one can double their money which is at the very least what many people do when investing in the toy market.  Not only is it advantageous to buy items at low prices but also to be selective when you purchase.  By keeping this in mind and by accurately grading an item’s condition, it’s hard to go wrong.  Many items,  especially the rarer items,  will continue to climb in price as time goes on.  These pieces have,  and will,  always proved to be a good investment.  It’s important to note that many of the items only escalate in value due to demand.  This factor alone will determine the destiny of today’s rock ‘n roll treasures.  How could one go wrong with purchasing a Jimi Hendrix vintage stage outfit or a Buddy Holly personally owned guitar?


II.    Determining an Item’s Condition

                 Nothing is more important than an item’s condition, period.  The seasoned collector knows the importance of quality and will pass by most items that aren’t in top condition.  A beginning collector may purchase items in most any condition to start building a collection.  As this collector becomes more educated and informed they may choose to upgrade a item because of condition.  This is common practice.  The following Grading Guidelines are considered to be the “Universal Grading System” adopted by all collectors and memorabilia dealers worldwide, not just for Beatles collectibles but for all types of collectibles.  Please note that a +(plus) or -(minus) sign may accompany a grade to further denote the exact condition of an item.

III.    Grading Guidelines: 

We have been grading Beatles records and memorabilia for over 20 years now and we uphold both Goldmine and Perry Cox Standards for accurate and strict grading.

Grade 10 = Mint Condition.  Perfect condition.  If included,  the box, card or package must also be perfect (Mint Condition).  Items in mint condition are in the best possible condition,  these items cannot be upgraded.  Note: brand new store bought items may not be mint due to handling or manufacturer flaws. 

Grade 9 = Near Mint Condition.  Extremely slight wear.  If boxed or carded,  item may have been removed and returned to packaging but not played with or used substantially.  Item has a like new appearance. 

Grade 8 = Excellent Condition.  Minor wear but item still displays well with no major flaws.  Original packaging may have slight wear or minor crease.  Grades 8 and above are the best to collect for resale investment. 

Grade 7 = Very Good Condition. Items definitely show wear, fading possible, shows use but still complete.  Original packaging may have slight damage (corner splits, small tears, damaged cellophane). 

Grade 6 = Good Condition.  Items have considerable wear : scratches, worn paint, chips or decals missing.  Parts may be missing.  Original packaging has considerable damage as well.  These items may display heavy writing,  staining or be badly crushed.  Avoid purchasing items in this or lower grades unless extremely rare.  An item in Good Condition is usually valued at 20-25% of the Grade 10 value. 

Grades 5 thru 1 = Poor thru Bad Condition.  This condition represents items in very poor to totally trashed condition.  Only if the item is truly a rarity would someone purchase items in these conditions.  An item in this condition range cannot be valued at more than 10-20% of Grade 10.

 Note:  original packaging, ie. boxes, backing cards, etc.,  can usually account for 50-75% of an item’s value.


IV.    Buying  

                Nothing is more exciting in the collectors’ world when he or she finds a great piece of memorabilia at an unbelievable price.  This process is basically known as the ’thrill of the hunt’.  All you collectors know exactly what we’re talking about here.  All those hours spent searching and tracking;  it’s really nice when it pays off!  It definitely does, patience is a virtue.  

                Many collectors seek certain specialty items like lunch boxes, Beatle collectibles, autographs, one of a kind items and spend their time searching for just the ones desired.  When dealing with sellers,  it is useful to ask them if they have exactly what you’re looking for.  Many sellers that you might deal with at a collectible show have more than they can display and have boxes of items hidden from view under tables.  Additionally, by making contacts at shows you may stumble on a gold-mine of memorabilia by merely trading phone numbers.  Making and keeping good contacts is the key to building an impressive collection. 

                Be sure to thoroughly inspect all items you’re considering to purchase.  Many expensive mistakes are made when the buyer acts to hurriedly.  Remember:  condition is everything!  Once inspected, a value can them be accurately determined.  Knowing values for items can also be important when making in-person transaction.  For mail order and auctions,  there’s time to do your research before purchasing.  Always ask for several photographs of any items you’re considering.  Ask questions:  ‘what’s the history of this item?, etc.’.  If the seller has more than one of the item you want and they are affordable, buy them all for investment or for later trading.  Some 1960’s items surface occasionally in ‘bulk’.  Knowing your product, current prices and the rarity allow the collector to make ‘a big find’.  Many warehouse finds of Beatles memorabilia from the 1960’s have occurred :  Beatle sneakers in original boxes,  the Yellow Submarine Pop Out Art Decorations Book,  Beatle 8” nodder dolls in original boxes,  Beatle concert tickets,  Beatle headbands in original unopened packages,  Beatle licorice records with their cardboard store displays,  Beatle headphones,  Beatle Wigs,  Yellow Submarine stick-ons, Yellows Submarine switch plate covers, Yellow Submarine key-chains,  Yellow Submarine paint sets, and  Yellow Submarine stationery sets.   I’m sure there have been many others we’ve never heard about.  

                A last note on buying is to watch out for reproductions.  Just be aware that many items have been counterfeited over the years and probably will continue to be.  Most of these “bootleg” items can be differentiated from their authentic counterparts.  Many items will be obviously whilst others with require careful examination.  Just be aware.   Post an entry into our Discussions page with any questions on authenticity you may have.   Many people would be happy to help you.                                                             


V.    Selling

                 Selling can also be a precarious experience.  Before selling an item, always do your homework.  Knowing how and where to sell rock ‘n roll collectibles is as important as the guidelines for buying them.  Some rare items are very easy to sell but hard to know appropriate values.  Always remember that an item’s value is only what someone is willing to pay for it.  Sometimes one gets top dollar for an item and other times you don’t. Just be fair when selling your collectibles and be as honest as possible.  In the long run,  this formula will prove to be your best friend.  Trading items with others is sometimes a useful way of getting new items and reducing your overall costs of the hobby.  Creative and effective trading takes time and skill to master.  As a seller it is wise to make as many contacts as you can in the marketplace.  By talking with people and keeping lists of what buyers are looking for, the seller has an edge.  It’s always easier to buy if you know what to sell and to whom.   Many clubs are available for rock ‘n roll enthusiasts and are good avenues for contacts whether buying or selling.  The more contacts you make,  the broader your scope of sale items become.  By practicing these guidelines also comes a better chance of locating the items you want.  

There are several avenues to which to sell your collectibles today:

 Auctions.   These usually return the most money for rock ‘n roll collectibles given an interested audience.  Whether it’s selling one item or an entire collection,  the auction marketplace is a good choice.  Make sure the auction you intend to utilize has a sufficient following for your items.  Keep in mind not all items will bring top dollar.  Establish reserve prices to protect your investment.

 Trade Magazines.  Many people place classified advertisements in national newspapers and magazines.  This can be an effective means of selling your merchandise. 

The Internet.  The world wide web has recently proved to be a popular medium for both buying and selling rock ‘n roll collectibles.  Check out the particular internet site before selling to ensure potential buyers and collectors frequent them.   See our For Sale Section to list your original 1960's items here on our site.

Selling your entire collection to a collector and/or a dealer.   Certainly selling your collection all at once to a collector would probably return the best price for your items.  Finding a collector willing to purchase an entire collection is a task in itself.  Advertising to all known contacts is the best approach here.  If you are considering selling your collection to a dealer keep in mind that the dealer probably at best would only offer you 50-60% of the market value.  They are looking to resell your items and make a profit but this avenue is often the quickest and fastest way to selling your collection.


VI.    Protecting Your Investment

                 Care should be taken to protect your rock ‘n roll collectibles.   By participating in this hobby you agree to become the ‘caretaker of your collection’.  Sunlight, humidity and dust are key factors to consider when displaying your collection.  All can damage items if proper care is not exercised.  Paper and other items should always be wrapped in Mylar protected covers.

                 Photographs and videos of your collection should be taken and submitted with appraisals to your insurance company.  You never know when a disaster might strike.  Many insurance companies write special policies to cover collectibles and the price of these policies is relatively small when compared to the values of some collections.    See our Appraisal service page for information on obtaining a written appraisal for your collection.

                Some collectors attempt to touchup the defects on their ‘less than mint condition’ collectibles.  A word to the wise…. DON’T.   A word to the wise – don’t touchup or alter your collectibles!  One can usually always tell when an item has been repainted, re-glued, etc.  Many collectors will not purchase an item that’s in this condition.  If you purchase collectibles like these and ever intend to resell them,  it is imperative to mention these ‘touchups’ when presenting your items for sale.  Remember honestly is the best policy ! 

 With a little care and protection,  your collection will be enjoyed for years to come.


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