Niche Collections Draw Fans, and Can Help Dealers, Auctions Too

It’s time to get out your want-lists, note pads and the items you want to offer in trade – the SCD Collector Directory returns in the Feb. 22, 2013, issue.

In this day where everyone seems to be online-focused, the Collector Directory remains a pivotal tool for like-minded collectors to reach out to each other and help fill their memorabilia shelves. I’m surprised every time we publish this with the amount of updates, additions and the like that come flowing in for the following edition. The current list is fully updated, with the last additions made just before the issue went out the door to the printer. Read, connect with others and have fun – that’s what it’s all about.

I love looking through the Collector Directory just to see what people are looking for. The possibilities are nearly endless in the sports memorabilia field, and even the tiniest niche seems to be covered in the nearly 10 pages of this edition of the directory.

I love niche collecting. Everyone has a favorite person or team they followed growing up, and maintaining a connection to the person/team by collecting through adulthood is another one of America’s pastimes. The trouble with niche collecting is finding others with a like-minded affection for said entities and/or finding memorabilia related to those entities. Auction houses – unless local, small ones – don’t offer much in the form of niche collectibles, instead focusing on items with broader appeal that will attract a larger buying audience and, hence, make more money for the company. Can’t blame them there.

Auction houses, more likely smaller outfits, could certainly cater more to niche collectors. A lot of dealers serve as brokers for sports memorabilia collectors – when they see something a client is interested in, they buy it for them. Auction houses could do the same. Many of them have a built-in application in the bidding registration program that asks for a bidder’s areas of interest. However, I’d guess that few auction houses actually act on the information that is provided by a willing buyer.

If you keep a running tally of what people are willing to hand over cash for – always good to know when running a business – you can assist those collectors and the gratitude and continued loyalty from those customers will go a long way toward your bottom line.

Yes, it’s time-consuming and certainly not for every business, but the opportunity is there to serve niche collectors. And niche collectors are always looking for more treasures.

Searching less targeted selling outlets like eBay is an option, but even there it is hit or miss. The places with the best success for niche collectibles are shows (regional, national and local) and the Collector Directory. Businesses could certainly help fill the void.

And niche collectors – don’t be afraid to voice what you are looking for anytime you can. Stumbling upon an item to add to your collection is a thrill, but sometimes a person landing on your doorstep with what you seek is even better.

Leave a Reply