St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 19, 2011 - With area businesses hoping to cash in on fans' appetite for all things Cardinals during the World Series, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is urging shoppers to buy for enjoyment, not for investment.
“Anyone who thinks that stockpiling 2011 World Series pennants or souvenir beer mugs is a plan for early retirement will be sorely disappointed,” said Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO. “Over the next few days, the marketplace will be glutted with World Series memorabilia. The chance of any of it increasing in value in the foreseeable future is remote.”
David Doelling, a St. Louis area sports collectibles expert, says the sheer number of mass-produced items makes investing in most World Series products folly.
“There is just too much of it,” he said. “Buy the stuff because you are having fun with it or because you want to have something to remember,” he said. But don’t expect to re-sell it at a profit.
Doelling said that Cardinals World Series memorabilia from the 1920s, 1940s and even the 1960s has appreciated in value largely because so little of it was produced.
In those years, fans often could purchase World Series items only at the stadium. Today, the high cost of licensing means that a manufacturer must distribute tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of a specific item through chain supermarkets and department stores to be profitable.
Items sold to mark the 1982 World Series nearly three decades ago have seen little appreciation, Doelling said. In some cases, items from the 2006 World Series are actually worth less than they cost at the time.
“Once people started actively collecting and investors got involved, the items stopped becoming highly collectible,” Doelling said.
The BBB offers the following tips to fans looking to buy World Series trinkets and other memorabilia:
- Buy what you like, not what you think will increase in value. Chances are it won’t.
- Shop around. Prices can vary significantly from one vendor to the next.
- Be aware of knock-off, counterfeit or other unlicensed items which may be of poorer quality.
- Be especially wary of purchasing autographed and game-used items unless you are certain where they came from.
- Buy from reputable dealers. Remember too that certificates of authenticity are only as good as the business that issues them.
- Check a company’s BBB Business Review at www.bbb.org or by calling 314-645-3300.
Michelle Corey, President & CEO, 314-584-6800, email@example.com
, or Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, 314-584-6743 or 314-681-4719 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org