THERE’S A QUESTION I get presented with on an almost constant basis — lately, two or three times a week. It’s a simple one, but a heavyweight: “Is all this money that I’m spending on collecting going to pay off in the future?”
It’s a good question. With the economy still recovering from a tough couple of years, people are still keeping a tight grip on discretionary spending. And collectors justifying the cash outlay for a new piece might find comfort in the notion that a buck spent on hobbies today could realize a return in the months and years ahead.
As a father with a wife and two young children, I can understand where these thoughts are coming from. Paying a mortgage, floating car payments, preparing two college funds, and everyday household needs are priorities that have to come first at the Goodman home. That means I find it difficult to pick up every diecast car that I want. And trust me, I want a lot. Assuming that I’m like most collectors — and I am — my concerns about reaching into my pocket can be reasoned away by the thought that a model bought today will be worth more, even a little more, if I need to liquidate it tomorrow. This commonly held rationale would seemingly turn every purchase into an investment, and every new addition into a potential source of positive income.
I’m not a financial analyst, and I can’t guarantee that any of the rosy images above actually apply to our world. But I can put forth my opinion that there will always be an automotive enthusiast base. Cars, and all that goes along with them, are an embedded part of our culture. Wherever there are wheels on roads, an enthusiast’s choice of vehicle defines who they are as an individual.
As car buffs, we spend money on our passions; sometimes more, sometimes less, but generally in keeping with what we can reasonably afford. Whether it’s a new set of wheels, a specialty tool for our 1:1 driver, a family day trip to a car show, or the hunting and gathering of collectible diecast or resin models for our shelves, there will forever be a market populated by folks at the ready to drop a few bucks on the things that make them happy.
New collectors are taking part in the collectible model hobby, and it’s a trend that is picking up. One reason? Collectibles offer auto enthusiasts the opportunity to partake in the automotive culture at an affordable price point. They can cruise the car shows, read all the magazines they want (including, we’d hope, this one), and then take home that gotta-have car, in scale, and put it on the shelf. Like classic iron? Got it. That new Ferrari calling your name? No problem; grab it in any color they make — and probably a few that you’ll never see on the streets.
So — will every car in your collection increase in value? Hard call to make. But if and when you’re ready to sell, turning your items back into liquid funds won’t be difficult. Treat your models well, keep the packaging, and hold on to them for a time, and chances are that if you can find the right collector to sell to, you may even make a few dollars. There’s no guarantee. But ask yourself this: how can you put a dollar figure on the fun you’ve had with that old model — or hang a price tag on the joy of spending time with your collection?
As you sit down to read the Fall issue, think about those you know who are automotive enthusiasts. Pass them this magazine — after you’ve read it ragged, of course — and let them know about DCXmag.com Tell them about our new digital format, and the easy download of the DCX app. Show them a few cars. Get them interested and engaged. It won’t cost you much — and it’s the best investment in the hobby you could ever make.