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What Is Considered A “Collectible” Item?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2022
collectible auctions

What comes to mind when you first hear the term “collectible?” If you are like many people, you might think about something rare and valuable, such as a pristine piece of vintage jewelry or a signed first edition of a classic book. 

While these items qualify as collectibles, numerous other things fit into the category. So, what makes an item qualify as a collectible? Read on to find out. 

What is A Collectible?

Generally, a collectible is an item worth much more than its original price because of its rarity, uniqueness, popularity, or historical significance. Besides art and classic cars, many other products also retain considerable value and may qualify as collectibles. 

These products include vintage toys, coins, jewelry, luxury handbags, antique furniture, music memorabilia, and Chinese ceramic. Many collectibles can cost a fortune if they are rare. A significant factor that influences the price of a collectible is its condition. 

The more pristine the condition of a collectible, the higher the price it will fetch. If an item has undergone severe deterioration over time, the chances are that it won’t be worth much. It is also worth noting that not every item marketed as a “collectible” at retail officially qualifies to be one. Businesses often misuse this term intending to add value to ordinary products. 

Below are common categorizations used in the world of collectibles:

  • Vintage: Culturally significant items aged between 20 and 99 years, worthy of collection, fall in this category. 
  • Antique: If you have a collectible item aged at least 100 years, it’s an antique.
  • New: A never used item, often in its original packaging with the tags intact. 
  • Deadstock: A never worn item in its original packaging. This term is common among sneaker collectors. 
  • Estate: An item previously belonging to someone else. Collectors usually use the term to describe jewelry. 
  • Period piece: An item from a time in the past or recent history that some may prize for the sense of nostalgia it brings. 
  • Repro: An imitation collectible; an object designed to look like a valuable item. 
  • Retro: An item mimicking a past style. 

What is The Difference Between Vintage, Antique, and Collectible?

People use collectible, antique, and vintage interchangeably, but these terms have different meanings. Generally, antiques should be at least 100 years old. On the other hand, vintage can be any item ranging in age from 20 to 99 years, which invokes a feeling of nostalgia relevant to the culture. 

Popular sub-cultures include:

  • Hip-hop culture
  • Pop music culture 
  • Movie culture
  • Sneaker culture

Collectors consider items younger than 100 years as collectibles to differentiate them from antiques. 

Looking for Collectible Items?

Now that you know what collectibles are, if you are looking for various collectible items, look no further than High Plains Auctioneers.

We are open to the public, offering a wide range of collectibles at our auctions. Having searched far and wide to amass our collection, we have something for everyone. Call 806-244-6776 for more information about our auctions, or check out our upcoming auctions on our website.