The only reason why I used to like going shopping with my mum when I was young was so I could make sure that she bought the right type of tea – it had to be Brooke Bond Tea!
The reason for my preference – as you will have guessed – is that I used to collect the Brooke Bond collectors cards, of which one came free in every packet of Brooke Bond Tea.
These cards, when all collected, would form a set based on a common theme: ‘Famous Inventions’; ‘Ships of the Sea’; ‘Fastest Cars’ etc.
The full series would then be pasted into a colourful collectors ‘series book’ and many of these completed books are sought after today.
The same reason spurred me on to join my father on our habitual Saturday shopping trip, as my pocket money would allow me to buy the bubble-gum packs, sought after by schoolchildren at the time and found in all good newsagents.
These packs also contained collectable cards. I have fond memories of collecting the series for Batman and The Man from Uncle.
I am quite certain that many business people today owe their highly paid skills to the many hours spent bartering and swopping cards as kids in the playground.
In previous newsletters I have advocated buying whole collections of items and then profiting by selling the component parts on a piecemeal basis.
This week, I am proposing that you consider doing the opposite: profit by collecting and building up complete series or sets of items to form a much sought-after collection.
There are always buyers who are willing to pay handsomely for a complete or even partially completed collection of vintage memorabilia… as long as the subject matter is right.
One genre – pictured in this article – which I can assure you is very collectable today is vintage Ladybird books.
Prices for decent sets have rocketed over the last few years, but individually, these books can still be picked up quite easily in jumble sales, car boots and charity shops for 50 pence to a couple of pounds each.
Ladybird books are known and loved the world over. For many people, they bring back the golden days of childhood – learning to read, discovering the magic of books, and growing up.
These are all good reasons why Ladybird books are sought after by collectors today. One other reason is because many of the earlier books are now in short supply.
Ladybird books were first produced by a printer called Wills & Hepworth during the First World War. After several factory relocations and company takeovers, the Ladybird brand is now part of Penguin children’s books.
During the intervening period, literally thousands of individual Ladybird books were produced. With so many to choose from, how and where, one might wonder, should one start collecting?
The Daily Mirror recently reported of a lady in Harpenden who has amassed a collection of 7,500 of these iconic books – a lifetime’s work. But to get on board you really don’t quite need to go to those extremes!
My advice would be to pick a proven collectable series, such as the 606d series, entitled: ‘Well Loved Tales’. There were 32 titles published on this series between 1940 and 1980.
I have seen full sets achieve good prices on sites such as eBay, but even partial sets can do quite well.
One set of 28 books in the series recently sold on eBay for £199.99. I am almost ready to auction my small collection, shown in the picture… just a few more copies to get hold of to complete the series!
Before I finish – this being my last newsletter edition before Christmas – I must tell about a new course just released by Sharon Fussell: Copy, Paste, Profit.
It was Sharon’s very first course – Sold Dispatch Now – which first got me involved in trading second-hand books on Amazon and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve always liked her down-to-earth approach of discovering simple but lucrative business, which at the same time are very do-able with just a little bit of effort.
Her latest creation Copy, Paste, Profit is no different.
I have been through her manual and recognise that her core technique is a winner. It out and out works. I know this because I have also used a similar technique in the past with great success.
The difference is that she has taken this idea and raised it to a whole new level, which is simple to use and works every time.
I highly recommend Copy, Paste, Profit!
Just after Christmas I will return with some more ideas to help kick-start your New Year.
Meanwhile, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for following my newsletter during the course of this year; I hope you have enjoyed some of the content sent your way as much as I have enjoyed putting it together.
Here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas, although perhaps not a white one this year… I haven’t checked the bookies odds recently!