Petroleum Collectibles Monthly

July 2008 - State of the Hobby


State of the Hobby
I decided to keep this short this year and get right to the point.
A few years ago I mentioned the fact that globes (and signs too) may become somewhat scarce in the near future. The near future is now here and I see that globes and signs overall are getting harder to find. eBay seems to sell mostly reproduction items at this juncture and the gas and oil shows still have many items but nothing like what used to be there. Factor in an unstable economy and high gas prices and what do we have? We have people hanging on to their collectibles. Yes, there are a few auctions here and there, a few signs, globes and cans here and there, but not like what was offered even three years ago. Common items are selling well as these items are affordable to everyone. If I had a collection of common globes and signs right now I would be very happy. No matter what the economy is doing, no matter what gas prices are doing, Shell globes, Standard Crowns, Mobil and Dino globes, common signs, any pump plates, etc., are still bringing what they brought many years ago. You can always sell these items and at least get your money out of them - unless you paid $350 for a Dino globe or $200 for a Dino pump sign. Yes, some mid range items have adjusted a bit, but with patience they sell. The better items still bring the better prices. Ripple globes, well just set your price and color doesnít matter. Picture globes, signs and cans are still doing very well. One piece globes, any good porcelain, and good pumps are still doing very well. Has anything really changed over the last few decades? Look at the auction results, show sales and other sales and youíll see what I mean. The only thing I have seen, and many agree with me, is that in just the last few years there are many dozens of new collectors. These new collectors are gobbling up anything that you and I donít buy. This is a fact, not an opinion. If you donít believe me, look at what e-Bay has offered recently and the last several auctions, shows and other events. Inventory is way down folks! But this is good as it signals a strong hobby!
So what would I collect if I wanted a good collection right now and was worried about the economy, gas prices or my budget? I would spread it out a bit. Meaning I would buy common as well as scarcer items as I could afford them. I, like most collectors, purchase what I want or like and what I can afford. But I donít like just buying all the high dollar pieces. Nor would I want just low dollar pieces, though that is always a safe bet. Spread your collection out a bit. Remember, low dollar pieces always sell but sometimes take longer to sell. High dollar pieces are fast sellers, but you have a more limited audience. Pick up a little bit of everything. I still say our collectibles are a better bet than the stock market. This is where I put my money. I hope you donít own much GM stock right now!

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