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Is buying a car, plane, house or other property once owned by a celebrity a good investment? That is our question today and we believe it’s a bit more complex subject than what it might appear to be at first glance.

As an example, we sold a replica “General Lee” 1969 Dodge Charger at auction about 15 years ago. Let’s just say that buyer calls me 5-10-15 years from now asking if I can sell it again this time for him? I wouldn’t have particularly good news …

In 2002 when we sold this automobile for $25,000, almost everyone in our crowd knew the names of “Bo,” “Luke,” “Daisy,” “Jessie,” “Coy” and “Vance” from the show Dukes of Hazzard. By 2027 or so — over half, if not most, of our auction crowd would know none of those names, nor would have any idea there was a show called Dukes of Hazzard.

Celebrity items are hot when those 45-65 years old are reliving their childhood memories. One only needs to ask Barrett-Jackson what cars were hot 15 years ago contrasted with which cars are in demand today — and you would know it’s materially different. We wrote about this phenomenon here: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2015/08/10/what-some-collectors-cant-find-buyers/

My friend Brigitte Kruse is right — buying celebrity cars and the like can be a great investment if purchased when those first 45-year-olds are staring to relive their childhoods. However, per our math, buying that same car when those last 65-year-olds are reliving … and the prices are likely to go down from there. You can read more of her thoughts here: http://www.gwsauctions.com/buying-celebrity-cars-investment-help-college-tuition-retirement-funds/

The oldest phrase in any type of investing in order to make money is … “Buy low and sell high.” Indeed looking for provenance or contagion (https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/contagion-encourages-auction-purchases/) relating to personal or real property items can lead to increased potential for value/profit.

“Seller markets” where there is more demand than supply results in higher prices — which is maybe a time to sell. “Buyer markets” where there is more supply than demand results in lower prices — which is maybe a time to buy. However, more important than where any market is … is where is it headed. By taking the age of any collector car or the like and adding about 55 years might give you a good idea of that direction.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College of Business, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and Faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University.