Market Focus: Collectibles Buyers
What makes collectibles buyers so appealing to direct marketers is that they purchase myriad other products besides collectibles, including display cases, insurance, restoration services, alarm systems and software. And they spend money traveling to shows and events. Collecting clubs buy event planning and Web hosting services, printing, and custom logo products. The list is long and varied. Indeed, money spent on the collectible itself is only one tributary of the money stream that constitutes this market.
The collectibles arena covers a wide breadth of consumers and dealers, and an equally broad selection of merchandise. A quick search on the Google Directory reveals 51 categories of collectibles, including, for example, arrowheads, autographs, coins, fossils, postcards, toys and writing instruments.
Estimating the size of such a diverse market is particularly difficult. “The market includes dealers, serious collectors and discrete buyers, that is, someone who buys one vintage car that reminds him of his teenage years, or someone who is buying period furniture for only one room of her home,” says Kevin Isaacson, group publisher at F&W Publications, a publishing company that covers several collectibles markets.
But to give some idea of the size of this market, we turn to the Web site Collectors.org, a leading organization in its field. The site serves about 2,400 collectors clubs that, in turn, serve an estimated 6 million serious collectors.
Pinning Down the Demographics
Typically, collectibles buyers are 50 years old and older, and because they tend to have significant disposable incomes, it implies a well-educated market, says Isaacson. One look at the subscriber file for Antique Trader Weekly magazine bolsters his point. Subscribers’ average age is 59 and the average annual
household income is $82,000.
Another example: Linn’s Stamp News, a weekly periodical for stamp collectors published by Amos Hobby Publishing. Subscribers’ median age is 66; average household income is $91,000; 79 percent attended college; and their average net worth is $833,000.