Starting a collection as an investment

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by johndr, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. johndr macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2014
    I am looking at starting an Apple collection - they are obviously cool and iconic products which is reason enough. From an investment perspective I wonder if members have any comments.
    Some limited research seems to indicate that products unopened retain their value best (as you would expect). It also seems that unopened items are more expensive to buy on Ebay than the most recent version (e.g. an ipod classic generation 5 with an asking price of 1000gbp)
    I guess there aren't many people who are not going to open the box! An Apple product is not like a painting or a stamp which you can enjoy by looking at it. To enjoy an Apple product you obviously have to open the box and plug it in which reduces its value dramatically.
    I was thinking of starting off by buying the shuffle range as it could then be sold off later as an entire set.
    I am tempted to buy from the UK Apple store, as a dated receipt could add value.
    Do members think this is worthwhile purely from an investing perspective?
    Thanks guys.
  2. DZ/015 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2003
    New England
    As an investment, you would most likely lose money. I can't think of any items that sell for more than the original selling price. Original 128k Mac, the Tam, color classic, IIfx. All are highly collectable. All sell for far less than the original sale price.

    If you want to make money, invest elsewhere. If you want to collect for your own satisfaction, go for it. But don't expect to make money.
  3. johndr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2014
    Thanks DZ/015.
    You are better informed than me but I'm kind of surprised that there wouldn't be any increase in value in say 20 years. Maybe the demand from collectors just isn't there.
  4. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Would you buy a tape deck from 30 years ago as an investment? Even a top of the line version would be practibly worthless.
    Collect if you are interested, but not as an investment.
  5. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Unless you collect Apple I, then no, not as an investment.

    One thing you could go for, is cheap, limited run merchandise. The Think Different posters go for much more than they did back then. Of course, they are one of the few things that do go for more.
  6. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030


    Jun 12, 2011
    For an investment, no, it is not a good idea. Of course, none of us are financial advisors. I own a small collection of Macs, and I have probably spent more in part and repairs (i.e., recaps) then the machines are worth. Why? Because I love these machines.
  7. Ih8reno macrumors 65816


    Aug 10, 2012
    This past year I myself started a mac collection and trust me you probably won't make much money. Collect them because you like them is my advice, if you want to make money off of Apple buy some stock instead ;)
  8. tdiaz macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2006
    "asking price" ≠ "value" where value is a "selling price".

    Starting now, as an investment? You're about 20 years too late to the party, at the ground floor. Buying an iPod now and just sitting on it? Keeping a receipt.. would just remind you how silly you were when you bought that.

    Want to make money? Be around when a store is cutting inventory, or when there's some kind of bundle opportunity.

    The original Mac, $2,500 in 1984, in dollars adjusted for inflation, that's about $5,700 today. You -might- get $2,500 for it now.

    A recent "ready to go, entire museum" worth, was posted on eBay recently, asking price $150K. In reality, if you had a budget of $150K, and about a year, you'd be able to buy all that stuff for about $20K, $25K on the high end.

    The way you "make" money in Apple items is to discover them at estate sales from clueless sellers, thrift stores, swap meets, et al., or have gotten them when they were -worthless- and people couldn't do anything to get rid of them fast enough.
  9. johndr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2014
    Many thanks to everyone for their thoughts.
    I guess I was trying to think of something that you could buy now that would be a collectible in 20 years - maybe not tech stuff.
  10. ChrisFerri macrumors member


    Apr 22, 2009
    New York
    I have my apple collection not because I think it's an investment but because I love the products. Start a collection for those reasons. But who are we to say what is going to be collectable and worth money many years from now. No one thought that baseball cards in the turn of the century would be worth money, or comic books. The examples could go on and on. The stuff that usually ends up being worth money is the stuff that no one would ever think to keep or stuff that wasn't made to be collectible. Thats my thought.
  11. Fralle macrumors 6502


    May 18, 2012
    South part of North
    So. How about those 1st generation boxed iPods? They often cost more than $399. Original "Think Different" posters are really expensive if genuine. But basically you are 100% right. :)
  12. johndr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2014
  13. Cryptic57 macrumors newbie


    Oct 12, 2011
    Mac 128 and investments.

    I have a Mac 128 and ebay prices range from $95 to one hopeful - trying to cash in on the 30th anniversary - wanting $3449 for a boxed and good looking machine, ha!
    But, my sister commented recently that some of the iPod range were becoming very expensive (second hand in good condition).
    I would put my money in silver given its very low price just now, unless you can access a large collection ready-made and add to it. There are some iconic Macs but I doubt in our lifetime they will be a money making proposition.
  14. johndr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2014
    Thanks Cryptic57 - I have decided against investing in Apple now. I have been buying silver regularly over the last 6 months - I reckon it's going to rocket at some point. Thanks again for your post.
  15. Intelligent macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2013
    The TAM was 7,500$ at launch, now it goes for max 500$. It won't raise higher sadly.
  16. CooperBox macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2010
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    You surprise me with this comment ref max price now. Do you mean in USA, and $US?
    I can tell you that in some countries a TAM in superb condition, complete, and working are fetching far more than that - assuming you're talking $US.
    In superb condition, complete, and working flawlessly for 500$, I'll take 2 please!
    I've been monitoring two (in Europe) over the last few weeks, one for the equivalent of 1600$US, and another at 2000$US. They'll probably sell too as they appear probably more scarce outside the US. I want one but not at those prices thank you.
  17. Intelligent macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2013

    Im from europe too, and we sold a TAM in 2005 for 750$. I would have guessed its not worth as much anymore, so i just went to check some TAMs on ebay, and it seems the average is around 500$. 2005 was 9 years ago and it has dropped down like 250$.
  18. chris.breshears macrumors newbie


    Jun 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    You have a better chance at making money if you were to invest in the stock market. Go to your bank, open a brokerage account, and throw your cash into stock or mutual funds.

    Computer hardware is generally a negative return investment.

    Buying Apple stock might be another story.

    But that's another topic...


    Might be a good idea.

    Personally, I wouldn't want to invest in precious metal.

    Societies have historically used gold and silver as currency because they are generally stable. - (If the price fluctuates from high to low, it wouldn't be a very reliable or stable currency.)

    Because gold and silver are so stable, it's usually not a great investment. Money can still be made of course. But that's an exception to the rule that gold and silver are supposed to hold their value to what the USD is valued as.

    But I digress.
  19. CooperBox macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2010
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    Interesting comments, thanks.
    I would agree from what you've said that TAM's (and other computer hardware in general) would prove to be a bad investment.
    However, again checking on Ebay, 500$ would not appear to be for a perfect, working example of TAM, rather just the cost for the repair of a TAM CD drive.
    There are others available, but on auction from 1000$ to 3.2k$!
    The 2 others I mentioned at the equivalent of 1600$US & 2000$US are still showing on a French (non-auction) site.
    Obviously it's all about supply and demand, but if the above is anything to go by, I suggest that the TAM you sold (if perfect) would now sell from 1k$.

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