Who says politicians aren't for sale?
Lori Ferber Collectibles, which has been buying and selling political memorabilia for more than 35 years, has seen a “staggering increase” lately in requests for its free appraisals, co-owner Steve Ferber says.
Large collections are coming on the market as hard-core collectors retire or pass away, and the rocky economy has people looking to sell mementos for extra cash, he says.
At the same time, hobbyists and investors continue to buy, and interest should only intensify with the 2012 presidential election getting under way.
“We find a big increase in the number of items being sold, but we don’t really see a let-up at this point in the market," says Ferber, who started collecting political memorabilia around age 14. "There are still a lot of serious collectors out there and just people who have an affinity for a particular president.”
Ferber’s business, owned with wife Lori, offers products ranging from a $2.95 Michele Bachmann for president button, to 1860 Lincoln-Hamlin ferrotype presidential campaign buttons offered for more than $1,000 each, to a golf bag once owned by President John F. Kennedy — with a $75,000 price tag.
While campaign and presidential mementos may be only a hobby for some, they also represent a real investment for many political junkies and even for some not drawn by political sentiment. Rising precious metal prices, for instance, have spurred demand — and prices — for inaugural medals, which were produced in gold, silver, and bronze versions, according to Ferber.