Music Memorabilia Buying Guide

contract signed by John Lennon, but there's room for all collectors to find some memorabilia from their favorite bands. Collecting is a hobby, above all else, so it should be fun and exciting, no matter what your price point is! If you want to find memorabilia easily on ShopWiki, your best bet is to enter the most specific searches that come to mind and then take it from there.

Types of Music Memorabilia

Aside from being essential to a great collection that you have already begun to build, any of these items would make a great gift for a fan. Consider thinking outside of the box and buying your music-obsessed friend a concert poster from his favorite band's final show. It's personal, unconventional, and all around a great idea for that hard to buy for person's next birthday.

Collecting Basics

'''Educating yourself''' is probably the most important step in collecting. Take the time to do research information on the items you're interested in buying and get a sense for market values. You don't want to overpay for an item, and even worse, you don't want to overpay for an item that later turns out to be a reprint or a replica. There's several '''third party authenticators''' that can take some of the guesswork out of collecting, especially when buying online. Sometimes buying a replica is okay just make sure you're know that the item is replicated and that you are paying the right price. There are plenty of books and magazines that you can use as resources for this sort of information, as well.


'''Third Party Authenticators''': This is the best way to authenticate an autograph, short of getting your items signed in person. Authenticators are independent and unbiased, but look for reputable ones like Collectors Universe or dealers who are members of the Universal Autograph Collectors Club. Members of the UACC must adhere to strict guidelines and register with the club, while Collectors Universe is one of the most trusted authenticators in the collecting industry. Also, a '''Certificate of Authenticity''' is always valuable, but remember it's only as good as the source. * Get expert advice on items and don't be afraid to ask questions about where the seller obtained the piece. ** '''Details''': look for signs of wear and use on clothing and instruments. Musicians may take good care of their favorite instruments, but they should always have some sign of wear and tear. Someone selling a first guitar in mint condition is a little suspect. * '''Sources''': Try to buy from someone you feel you can trust or try to buy from someone who worked with the band. ** Ask for buyer references. If the seller is legitimate, then s/he shouldn't have any issues with keeping up good business practices. Be cautious with sellers who aren't willing to answer questions or try to steer you in one direction or another. ** Ask about behindscenes photos from the seller if s/he worked with the band. ** Always get a Certificate of Authenticity stating from where and when the seller got the item. ** If the seller refuses to provide any of this information then you are not obligated to make the purchase.


Pricing can be difficult to measure due to the subjective nature of collecting. It all really depends on how much you're willing to spend, but there's a few factors to help guide you. * '''Age''' and '''rarity''' play a big role in pricing. More current memorabilia will obviously be easier to find than older bands who've broken up or no longer perform. As a general rule: if the artist is dead, his/her memorabilia is usually worth more. * '''Condition''': The better condition the item is in, the more it should be worth. * '''Content''': Handwritten letters or messages that provide some kind of context or insight into the author's character may be more valuable than a straightforward autographed 8x10. * Some expert collectors recommend looking up completed sales on auction sites like Ebay or Heritage Auctions to get a sense of current market prices.

International Resources

For this resource in your home country, please see: ! ES: Coleccionismo de objetos musicales