Sports Memorabilia

Sports Memorabilia

Auctions and Collectors

 

By Christine Davison


 

Sports memorabilia collecting is a business that grows in leaps and bounds. While it can be a profitable and satisfying pursuit, time and love of sport are a starting point, but connections and authenticity are equally important to traits to view as investments when breaking into the business.

A true fan doesn’t just watch games; they savour them and then save the tickets as well. Still many more sports fanatics go much further than that. A true fan often wants to have something tangible to connect them to what they love.

Marc Juteau, President and Founder of Classic Auctions, knows the business well. Marc started as a young teenager working for his Aunt’s collectibles shop in Montreal.

"I got very interested in the sports side of collectibles and she put me in charge of the whole sports section. It was the late 1980s when the cards were booking so it got real busy and real profitable at that point. I started my company about 7 years later at age 21 in 1994."

Having an early start, combined with the assistance and expertise of family, can really help to give you a leg up in whatever industry you’re in. Even though Marc started out with just a part-time summer job with his family, Classic Auctions has done well over $50 million in sales since its start and publishes an auction catalogue that rivals the quality of Christie’s and Sotheby’s.

Marc is glad that he began things off on the right foot and at the right time.

"Its not easy at all to start an auction today because its very difficult to get the trust of the consignors, it takes years before the collectors start trusting you to consign their items to your auction. So, it would most likely require a large investment today for buying products to start an auction house."

Barry Meisel of Meigray.com thinks that the key to starting (and then keeping yourself in) deals as a sports memorabilia dealer, is authenticity.

"Authenticity is everything," Barry explains. Over the last 10 years, MeiGray’s commitment to authenticity has changed the game-worn industry in the sense that I believe there is increased consumer confidence. Collectors know what they are getting these days when they by a MeiGray authenticated game-worn jersey because of our authentication system."

Barry also thinks that investing in game-worn is the way to go, especially when "teams and players who are hot on the ice are hot in the market."

Retired former sports memorabilia collector and dealer Gregg Daniell agrees and advises to, "Find an expert in authenticating to work for you, or to rely on for protection against buying or selling a fake jersey. Do your research and know what you are buying. You can not just come into it with money and buy, you need the knowledge or have someone to work closely with you."

Marc Juteau, Barry Meisel and Gregg Daniell are all of the same opinion when it comes to what’s most in demand: Jerseys that have been worn by prized athletes, especially when they’ve been worn during historically significant games. One example is the jersey recently sold by Classic Auctions for 1.2 million dollars, which was worn by Paul Henderson during the Canadian/ USSR 1972 Summit Series.

Gregg points to the very real value of nostalgia "…game used is the best form of collectable. It is art; it is having a piece, part, item right from history. Like a gun or uniform for a war item collector," adding again, "Authentication is a key to this industry. This is what your repetition in this industry relies and is built on."

 


LINKS:  |   Classic Auctions   |      MeiGray.com

 

 

Story appears in

HobbyFirm Magazine

Volume 1., Issue 2

 

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