Wednesday, February 21, 2007

3) What is it really worth?

SECRET NUMBER THREE. It often said on the PBS program "Antiques Roadshow" that the worth of an object is, bottom line, the personal connection the object has with the individual or family outside of what others might offer to buy it. Collecting Martin Luther memorabilia can very easily remain a hobby that offers a break from the stress of the workplace or opportunities to learn more about the history of the Reformation and the reformers. In this case collecting, and the research involved in checking out an objects' condition and worth, is in the same category as using personal "mad money" to buy a lottery ticket or spend a weekend hitting the slots in Vegas. That being said, you as a collector must be very clear on your own motivation to begin amassing large quantities of stamps, postcards, coins, statues, plates, posters, books, medals, pins, and the like. If your goal is to get the most bang for your collecting buck, then getting a sense of the prices for things over time is essential. To date there is very little when it comes to a current database of realized prices for Luther stuff. Your best bet? Make regular use of eBay's "completed items" feature. Note prices, condition and the frequency with which the specific item appears. Whether you're bidding on a Luther 20 Mark proof or a tin Luther statue that holds a music box that plays "A Mighty Fortress," you're always only a few bids away from paying too much. Take your time and do your homework. Even -- especially -- when you're considering purchasing that one-of-a-kind, hard-to-get, never-seen-that-before item with the hefty price tag.

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