7 Items You Can Buy That Will Increase in Value
Here are a few items whose value might actually appreciate after you bring them home, including luxury watches, vintage Apple products, and more.
Image via Complex Original
American culture is consumer culture. Buying stuff is what we do. And while we can lament that we don’t live in a society that values sharing over spending, it kind of is what it is at the moment. We cop new shit. We cop old shit. We cop shoe shit. We cop gold shit. Y’all remember Dr. Seuss.
The worst part of all this consumption? No, not the system that grinds the majority of our fleeting lives into higher profits for the wealthy. No, not the centuries of abuse of citizens and natural resources. No, not the environmental damage that now threatens our existence.
All right, so yeah, this isn’t the worst part of all this consumption. But you want to know a pretty bad part of all this consumption? Most of what we buy is instantly worth less the moment we buy it. Exactly then. Immediate depreciation. To paraphrase Andre 3000: the newest Mercedes will lose value as soon as you drive it off the lot (lot, lot).
Which is why buying stuff you like that actually increases in value over time is such a smart play. Like sports? Memorabilia and collectables are obviously huge. Like art? People are literally buying percentages of paintings as an investment now. Like sneakers? LOL you already know.
Sometimes being wise with your purchases (and maybe a little lucky) can turn indulging into income. Consuming and profiting all at once? That’s raw, uncut America right there. Here are a few items whose value might actually appreciate after you bring them home.
Unless you’re an enthusiast, the phone in your pocket and computer on your desk are essentially utilities, and that iPod you got for your 16th birthday is a relic. Except, well, it isn’t—at least not if it’s somehow still in its original packaging. Technologically, we’re long past the days of moving music from desktop to MP3 player via firewire, but the device that after the turn of the millennium cost a few hundred dollars, a seemingly astronomical sum, is now commanding thousands on resale platforms. And other Apple items, like old iMacs, have also exploded in value. Why? Speaking to The Guardian in 2016, one seller put it this way: “It’s because Apple’s been around for a while, and a lot of people, product-wise, they like Apple very much. I guess the collectability is because of Steve Jobs, and the history of Apple.” Seeing a sealed first-generation iPod go for about $30,000 today will make anyone old enough to remember Limewire wish they’d never opened theirs. —Lucas Wisenthal
Today, the majority of us really don’t “own” our music. We use streaming services like Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, etc., all of which have been excellent in allowing us to listen to unlimited music from a seemingly endless list of artists, albums, and playlists, but keep us from having the satisfaction of owning something tangible as it relates to our music. Which is likely why physical media like vinyl records have maintained some semblance of relevance even in the digital age—people enjoy that personal connection to their favorite projects. So how do you know which vinyl albums will be worth big bucks and which will become the vinyl equivalent of Jerry McGuire on VHS? Well, according to budgetandinvest.com, there are several factors to pay attention to: albums with a history/story, original pressings of the vinyl, new albums that you feel could be worth more down the road, and albums from between the years 1993 and 2003 (when there were fewer records being printed due to the record industry’s push for CD adoption). —Maurice Peebles
There’s no great secret to this one: a watch from any number of premium brands isn’t going to decline in value the moment you exit the store. There’s a lot to consider—manufacturer, model, year, and the like—but if you can come up on one, a classic Rolex, like a Submariner, is a safe bet. As Bob’s Watches CEO Paul Altieri told Business Insider, “Rolex has done fantastically well appreciating in value in the past few decades.” Specifically, demand for sports models like the Submariner has increased, so their prices have risen accordingly. It’s not quite a Daytona (Pusha-T’s favorite, and another model pretty much guaranteed to hold its value), but it also goes for less than $10,000, putting it on the more affordable end of the Swiss-movement spectrum and making it a relatively low-risk investment. —Lucas Wisenthal
According to Refinery29, the secondary-market value of the Dior Saddle bag has risen a staggering 191 percent year over year leading up to 2019. The law of supply and demand obviously plays a part in this, as does the classic look and feel of these bags and others. Unsurprisingly, Vestiaire Collective says you’ll find the best long-term value in Dior, Balenciaga, and Louis Vuitton—the usual suspects. When (or if) you unload them is up to you. But unlike, say, sneakers, bags probably won’t fall apart after years in your closet. —Lucas Wisenthal
Whether you chose to collect cards, jerseys, autographs, or autographed cards with a tiny piece of a jersey on them, the sports memorabilia space had long been somewhere fans parked their money with the hope that their purchases would net them more down the road. The biggest difference between then and now? The recent resurgence of the memorabilia game, as the pandemic/quarantine offered fertile ground to usher in a new sports memorabilia renaissance. Sure, that could mean that prices are inflated and the quality of what’s available is more watered down than what it was a decade ago, but it also means an introduction to this possibly lucrative world for millions of fans who never viewed a signed Kevin Durant jersey as a potential investment. You may not have $738,000 to buy that Michael Jordan rookie card, but with a keen eye, a research-driven approach, and (again) a little luck, you could happen upon a lesser-known, high-value piece of sports history. —Maurice Peebles
For something that has received so much press, attention, and money, and has sucked such a large percentage of the air out of the blockchain conversation, there’s still so much we don’t know about the future value of NFTs. Are the people paying six and seven figures for CryptoPunk avis suckers (hey, Odell!), or wise investors who will one day own the blockchain-confirmable equivalent of a Basquiat? If you’re not yet familiar with how exactly NFTs or the underlying technology works, we’re probably not going to get you there in this short blurb. But there’s certainly money being made—and fortunes being created—in the .jpg/.gif space, and while there’s no magic formula to predict which series/piece/ape illustration will go from .0001 ETH to 4520 ETH, there’s more than enough information available to educate yourself and make some smart purchases with an eye to our web 3.0, blockchain-powered future. —Maurice Peebles
Skateboards became collectables because, until recently, they existed for one reason: to be skated and (sorry) destroyed. The supply of pristine originals from decades prior was vanishingly small, which translated to high prices for dead stock as demand rose. By the early 2000s, though, companies like Powell-Peralta and Santa Cruz had caught on, and had begun reissuing models from the ’80s. This carried over to brands from the early ’90s, when skating hit a low in popularity and board runs were small, doing the same. Today, if you can’t drop a few grand on that NOS (new old stock) 101 Natas Kaupas model, you can cop the screen-printed reissue for a lot less. Or you can pick up a Supreme board on a Thursday morning. Whatever the case, you shouldn’t have trouble finding a buyer down the line. —Lucas Wisenthal