There has always been a fascination with royalty and as a niche area for collecting and auction trading, it is still a relatively accessible market. And it can also be extremely interesting.
There is a vast range of items that you can choose as your niche market. So whether your interest is in fine china, silverware, mugs, clothing or whatever, you can usually find something with a royal connection. And you don't need a huge bank balance to get started, as prices can be very modest depending upon your specialty.
There always seems to be a healthy demand for royal memorabilia listed on eBay and other online auctions. And now that items from the 1980's and 90's are becoming collectible, you can start trading with a very low budget.
So, is there a favorite Royal for eBay traders?
What can be said is that the British royal family has inspired more memorabilia than any other dynasty: whether it is stamps, photographs, medals, books, tins, china or a host of other varied items, the likeness of a British royal has probably appeared on it. And UK royal items are sought after all over the world and especially in the US. So this could be a high demand area to initially concentrate on.
Products related to Elizabeth II, the present British monarch, are currently the most tradable. Items can still be found related to the birth and childhood of Elizabeth, her 1953 coronation, the Silver and Golden Jubilee celebrations and other items associated with key birthdays, wedding anniversaries and state visits.
It is now believed that the most photographed person in royal history was Princess Diana and related memorabilia still attracts a strong interest and demand. Hand-written letters from the Princess can now sell for £ 10,000 plus but you can still find a Charles and Diana wedding matchbook for 50p!
Recently, the Christies' catalog for the sale of Princess Diana's dresses sold for £ 775 on eBay.co.uk. In 1997, you could have bought this same catalog for just a few pounds. So start searching those junk shops and yard sales. You just might find a copy tucked away in a corner somewhere!
On a slightly macabre note, if you have a copy of the original French newspapers (dated August 31st and September 1st 1997) that reported the injury and death of the charismatic Princess, you probably have an appreciating collectable. Hang on to it for a few more years and its value is bound to increase.
Other royal memorabilia in order of desirability are items connected with Queen Victoria, Prince Philip, the late Queen Mother, Princess Anne, the late Princess Margaret, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry.
Memorabilia featuring royals from other countries is also very collectable but interest tends to be concentrated within that specific country. The exception is any item associated with the Russian royal family especially the Tsar and Tsarina, Nicholas II and Alexandra.
So which items of royal memorabilia are the most tradable and profitable?
I'll be exploring these questions in my next article appearing soon. I'll also be looking at the how and where to source royal memorabilia to maximise your auction profits.
Until then, wishing you every success.