Worthless Knick Knack Investments

A few weeks ago, my neighbor hired me to help her with the inventory of her parents’ estate. She needed photographs and an assessed value inventory list of all the “valuable items” for her attorney. Since her parents have lived in the same house for the last 40 years, she did warn me they have amassed quite a large collection of stuff. She wasn’t sure how long it would take but since we only needed to inventory mainly collectables and antique items, I thought it shouldn’t take more than a couple of days at the most. Was I wrong! What I thought was going to be a couple of days, turned into a two-week project.

Never in my life have I ever seen so many crystals: cups, plates, bowls, wine glasses, and decanters; or the various sets of dinnerware, and silverware; dozens of porcelain figurines and other supposedly valuable knick-knacks. Every cabinet, closet, and dresser drawer was stuffed full with something. I was amazed by the amount of stuff but what shocked me even more was the purchased price for these items. They were purchased as a collector’s item and supposedly would increase in value over time. The sad truth was, during my research for the prices of these items; I discovered the value of many items did not increase, but a lot of them were virtually worthless compared to the original purchased price. Basically, they are nothing but pretty little knick-knacks… but for my neighbor; more problems than its worth. She needs to find ways to dispose of her inheritance. This reminds me of the Beanie Babies collecting frenzy in the 90’s. It was crazy! People were paying thousands of dollars for these little stuff bean bags as an investment and now you can’t even give it away. In my opinion, there’re better ways to invest your money and get a better return; than to invest in knick-knacks that does nothing but collect dust, and later on a headache for your heirs.

5 Comments on “Worthless Knick Knack Investments

  1. Curiously, there are people who still collect this sort of stuff (well, they do in the UK, anyway.) I think it’s the ‘period’ association, retro and all that. Your neighbour might do well to try something like ebay to sell them, someone I know made about a thousand pounds doing it that way.

    The bottles and glasses look very fifties/sixties. I remember some very strange, overdecorated glassware from those couple of decades.

    The nick nacks on the shelves actually remind me of the content of ‘pixie’ shelves in an old childhood photo I posted to my blog some months back. There was a wishing well and one had to dip a pixie into it! But there were also other things, plates and who knows what else!

    It’s hard to deal with stuff that’s left over when someone dies, but much worse if the stuff was loved.

  2. I feel sorry for your neighbor. Hopefully we all learn some valuable lesson from this recession.

    But on the positive note, it gave you an opportunity to use your camera and earn few bucks 😉

  3. Lol… funny Wesley. Actually, this was the easy photo session. For the first time, I didn’t really have to worry about getting the perfect light, color, composition, etc. I set it on Auto and flash. The best part was — I GOT PAID! 😀 Now… this is the part I would love to get more practice.

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