It’s wise to buy book before buying chips

Sep 5, 2018 3:00 AM

How can you buy and save and not get ripped off when purchasing casino memorabilia?

This is a tough one. As a collector of many years, I am always interested in acquiring items I have not been able to purchase previously. The problem appears to be that many folks try to maximize their profitability when selling. No fault of theirs, it’s just the marketplace trying to exert its influence.

There is a solution; but, it isn’t cheap. You need to buy the books that give you some guidance in understanding what an item of casino memorabilia is worth.

Of course, therein lies the rub! Who determines what an item is worth? Is it the seller who tries to get the most bang for the buck? Is it the buyer who tries to pay the least amount?

Is it the book author who probably owns a great many of the items he or she is listing in his/her price guide? Is it the marketplace altogether? The best you can hope for is the marketplace will determine the value and it is one you are willing to pay.

The other side of the coin is recognizing the authenticity, validity or genuineness of the item that has caught your interest. There are any number of folks who will attempt to sell something they know is either misrepresented or less than it seems to be.

Here’s a recent case in point: an item was offered for sale for which the seller had no knowledge of its origin or value.

Fortunately, knowledgeable folks recognized the item from another outstanding information source: (no pricing exists on this site) and were quickly able to establish its lack of authenticity.

So, it comes down to that old refrain: Buyer Beware!

The only way you can be sure of an item is to do your due diligence before you push the button to make the purchase. There are a number of popular guides, some with values and some without. If you are willing to pay for an item, I am sure there is someone willing to sell it to you.

As the founder of our club, The Casino Collectible Association, Archie Black is fond of saying: “Buy the book before you buy the chip.” These are definitely words of wisdom.

Next month: The future of the Museum of Gaming History.