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There are many ways to determine the value and price for a collectible. Collectibles are an investment for the buyer. As such, the intrinsic value of the good is valuable for the owner of the product. However, there is also a lot of sentimental value in memorabilia.
Many factors determine an item’s value. Since every piece is unique, there’s not one blanket answer, but a good place to start is rarity. Like any other good, the rarer a collectible is, the more valuable it tends to be. Another major factor is who the piece is signed by or belonged to. The more noteworthy the person is, the more money the item will command.
Quality is also important when determining a collectible’s value, as collectors will always dish out more dough for a piece in better condition. If the item is signed, the quality of the signature itself is very important to its value. You want a clear, bold autograph that’s easy to read.
An inscription, like “World Series Champs,” tends to increase the rarity, and therefore the value, of the piece. A personalization, like “To Johnny,” tends to decrease the value of the piece because it limits the amount of people who want to buy it.
Some items contain multiple signatures. If the signatures are random, they are typically value decreases. However, if the signatures have some sort of commonality, like on this 1986 New York Mets Team Signed World Series Baseball, it can up the value.
Finally, market trends are also important to understand. If a player, team or sport is currently “hot” or in the news, chances are related collectibles will see a spike in value. Much of the time, a player setting a new record, a retirement, a Hall of Fame induction and death are all reasons for the value of a good to increase.
Early in 2020, we have already witnessed a "boom" in price for many big-time athletes' autographs - including Eli Manning (retirement), Derek Jeter (Hall of Fame) and Kobe Bryant (passing away).