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At Julien’s Auction in Las Vegas, Nevada, Michael Jackson memorabilia sold for fifty times its pre-auction estimates on the day after his death. Twenty one items once belonging to the King of Pop were sold for more than $200,000 on June 26 & 27, 2009. The most sought after item was a Swarovski crystal studded shirt once belonging to Jackson; it brought in $52,500. The buyer, Glenn Johnson, hopes that Michael Jackson memorabilia will soar in the coming years like that of other superstars such as Elvis and Marilyn Monroe. At this same auction, a Marilyn Monroe bathrobe sold for more than $120,000 and an Elvis Presley necklace sold for more than $97,500.
Whether you loved him or hated him, one thing most rational people can agree on is that Michael Jackson was mega talented and his loss to the recording community is huge. Jackson, also known as the King of Pop is already a recording legend and his Thriller album is not only the bestselling album of all time, but his videos associated with this album helped transform MTV and the video industry. It is no wonder then, that after his death last week, many people sought to immortalize the artist by buying a piece of nostalgia in the form of a collectible or memorabilia from the superstar.
It has been widely reported by various news organizations that eBay alone saw listings for Michael Jackson collectibles and memorabilia increase by more than 275%. Before his death, dealers were listing between 200-400 items a day, after his death they were listing nearly 20,000 items per day. For those looking for a piece of nostalgia and those looking to honor the man by buying something to remember him by, there is no shortage of items anywhere, whether it be eBay or any other retail outlet with more yet to come. The Better Business Bureau however has issued a warning, be careful what you buy and be careful about inflated prices.
If you are buying a collectible or a piece of memorabilia because you like it and want it to be part of your collection, that is one thing. If you are buying because you want to cash in at a later date, think again. First of all, the market has been flooded with nostalgic items since last week at inflated prices as the demand went up; and the demand will probably remain up for a little while. However in a couple of years, when demand is lower, you will be lucky to get what you paid for the item, unless you have purchased something unusual that no one else has or maybe a hand autographed item by the late singer. And when buying autographed items, be sure you can confirm its authenticity warns the Better Business Bureau.
Aside from confirming authenticity, the BBB also lays out these guidelines; educate yourself. Make sure you know what you are buying before you pay for it. Ask questions before you purchase, “how did you get it?” is one question that we always ask a seller. Watch out for “limited edition” collectibles, limited edition doesn’t mean that there were not millions of the item made. Make sure you do research on the seller as well and buy only from reputable dealers and sellers. Lastly, buy with a credit card. Buying with a credit card gives you the option of disputing the charge if the item is not what you ordered or you never receive the item.