If you’ve ever been to one of the Hard Rock Cafe locations scattered across the globe, you know that movie and music memorabilia has a prominent place in pop culture. I personally love to read about the various costumes and props used in movies as well as learning more about the history of the various rock legends whose music I enjoy. I also love the Studio Backlot Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios because it takes you on a tour of various movie props and costumes and when you exit the attraction, you’re left in a warehouse of amazing movie memorabilia.
But how do people make money from these items? Sure, the studios can sell things to collectors for a pretty penny, but how does the average person make money from the seemingly endless supply of movie, music and pop culture magic out there?
The answer is simple: By selling pieces of (or all of) memorabilia collections.
Make Big Bucks Selling Elvis Memorabilia
The King certainly lives on. Did you know that by 1957, the merchandising and licensing deals that encompassed Elvis Presley grossed over $25 Million?? Even today, decades after his death, Elvis’ estate continues to rake in upwards of $55 Million each year according to Forbes Magazine. If you’re looking to make some money selling Elvis memorabilia, the advent of sites such as eBay and Tophatter make it even easier to do so.
Here are some tips for cashing in with the King:
- Vintage items from the 1950s fetch the highest price tags other than authentic clothing and autographs (a stage suit of his once sold for over $100K at auction)
- Sets of items such as the Elvis trading cards and paint-by-number collections command prices of $1K or more
- Photographs aren’t worth much and neither are mass-produced vinyl records
Make Big Bucks Selling other Music Memorabilia
The buck doesn’t stop at Elvis in terms of making money when selling music memorabilia. In fact, on the global scale, items that were once owned/used/worn by The Beatles are worth far more money. And the same goes for most anything related to Michael Jackson. Years after his death, Jackson’s estate is still bringing in upwards of $170 Million/year through the sale of memorabilia items and the sales of his music (in June of 2011, his ‘Thriller’ jacket sold for $1.1 Million!). As with most memorabilia sales, you will make more money if you patiently amass a full collection of items rather than selling items one by one.
How to Protect Your Investment from Fraud
If you’re serious about collecting and profiting from those items, you should take care to ensure you’ll purchasing (and subsequently selling) only authentic items. A few tips to do so include:
- When deciphering among Elvis autographs, remember that felt pens didn’t exist until he was already dead–anything signed with them is a fake!
- If you can, inquire as to whether the actor, actress or singer personally signed the item
- Remember that items (other than famous pieces of clothing) that show signs of wear & tear often bring in far less money than those which are in mint condition
- Original packaging increases an item’s value so always ask for it
- Don’t forget that if something seems too good to be true, it usually is!
Good Luck, Penny Hoarders!