The craze around "Star Wars" extended far beyond movie theaters. Upon the release of the series' latest film in December, fans purchased a wide range of toys, costumes, posters and other pieces of memorabilia. For some, these items are fun to play with or admire, or cool gifts to give to family and friends. However, for others, the collectibles serve an entirely different purpose. The Han Solo action figures and limited edition artwork are long-term investments, meant to be saved and appreciate in value before being sold.
There is precedence for this type of investment paying off. In December, Sotheby's in New York City auctioned off original "Star Wars" toys, including a pack of seven plastic figures that had been purchased in 1980 and kept in their original box ever since. The box set – which cost a few Canadian dollars when they were purchased 35 years ago – were sold to a collector for a staggering $32,500, CNN reported. Several other items related to the film series also were sold for large profits.
Experts say it is impossible to predict if the most recent line of toys will have the same value in a few decades. The supply of current memorabilia may be higher, while the demand for them may not match what the original films produced. Still, there is little doubt that some of the collectibles will appreciate in value as the years go along.
"A memorabilia store will appeal to a very wide range of people."
That is good news for memorabilia stores that sell products such as "Star Wars" toys, along with sports collectibles, historical music items and a wide range of other artifacts that people like to admire and invest in. As more shoppers have a renewed interest in buying these types of items, retail locations may have to acquire more space to fill the needs of their customers. However these are not items that can be crammed onto a shelf or left hanging in the back of a warehouse. One scratch on a toy or watermark on a poster can have a severe impact on the item's long-term value, meaning that a business needs to take specific steps to ensure they have enough protected space for all the merchandise they aim to sell.
For retail locations that need to create room for new memorabilia to sell, there are some approaches they could take:
Appeal to different customers
A memorabilia store will appeal to a very wide range of people. Some shoppers are serious collectors, looking to find that limited edition item they can't locate anywhere else in order to fill out their personal collection. Others may have a fascination with a particular movie, actor, team or athlete, and only want items connected to that specific topic. Meanwhile there are also people who are not looking to invest and re-sell the things they buy, but instead just want the products for their original use.
For a retail location, appealing to all these types of customers is important. They each have specific needs, so organizing a store correctly to make it easy for everyone to find the goods they are looking for is important. Catering to just people looking to collect could turn off casual shoppers, while not taking proper care of the items would cause issues with the serious enthusiasts. That's why finding a middle ground is important.
Save Your Stuff said an important key to selling memorabilia is knowing the difference in the varying types of products and how decay can impact them all differently. Plastic toys will not face the same issues old newspapers or autographed baseballs will, so having different types of protective casings will be key. The last thing a store wants is to be selling items it thinks are in mint condition but actually decaying. Certain items may need to be framed in order to be properly stored.
Given the new interest in memorabilia, having a separate area to display items that are not worth a lot yet but may grow in value could be useful. Organizing a store so that the wide range of customers can find what they need will improve the customer experience, while still keeping items safe and in their original condition.
Acquire additional storage
"Star Wars" collectors are eager to get their hands on the newest collectibles, either to play with or save. For retailers who specialize in the sale of these items, this is great news, as it should mean a spike in sales. However the downside is the extra space needed to store all of the products shoppers want, along with all of the other merchandise in a store.
Acquiring a temporary storage space from Mobile Mini is a great way to keep valuable items safe while creating room for new merchandise. The portable units allow a business to be more efficient and keep more items on-hand, leading to more revenue and greater margins. Keep up with the increased demand for various items while having what everyone needs, from diehard collectors to casual fans.
Mobile Mini's portable storage units are also safe and secure, so a business can feel comfortable storing valuable items in them. The raised interest in collectibles is good for the memorabilia industry, and having ample space to keep all the items people want to buy will help a business thrive.