In 1602, when the Dutch East India Company issued the first shares of stock on items that were made tradeable on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, little did these capital investors know that their business model would be used centuries later by passengers on private jets, yacht enthusiasts, vacationers– and now sports memorabilia collectors.
Collectable’s Jason Epstein says it’s about time.
Collectable has pivoted from first being an aggregator for auction companies, compiling online auction information and becoming a large database of trading card and memorabilia sales, to now allowing collectors to be fractional owners of some of the most high-end sports collectibles on the market.
An advisory board of industry-wide experts will select cards or memorabilia items for purchase based on desirability, scarcity, and market demand. Shares in the item will then be offered at a pre-determined price with an eye on making a profit for all once the item is re-sold. There will be no fees charged to the collector/investor who participates.
“Sports collectibles are highly desired and have proven to be superb investments,” explains Epstein, who as of this week ascended to COO of Collectable while thumbing through a stack of baseball cards from the 50’s and 60’s at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago. “We give people a chance to own a high-end card like a 1952 Mantle graded 9. Not many people could afford that, so Collectable gives people to buy a share of that card for as low as $50.”
While Collectable may not be a carbon copy of a company like NetJets, Epstein, who likes the comparison, says there are some similarities.
“Right now, our plan is to have these items stored in one of three areas of the country,” says Epstein. (Locations would be) Miami, L.A. and New York. They will be in showrooms, where you can go and view them live.”
Epstein says the showrooms would be “museum-like” and that they want people to enjoy the pieces by being able to visit the items in which they’ve invested. While in possession of Collectable, the items would be 100% insured and bonded with 24/7 security in place.
Any item purchased would eventually be re-sold, hopefully for a profit shared by investors.
Decisions on selling will be conducted by vote. If an offer is made on an item and it seems like a reasonable offer, Collectable would alert the group and a vote would be held. If at least a 50% of the votes cast are to sell, it would then be sold.
“The goal is for the group to resell it,” adds Epstein. “They could sell it as quick as possible or hold for years.”
Epstein, an avid collector who has spent most of his career in real estate, says they expect the program to be up and running by the end of 2019.
“The focus will be on modern baseball and basketball as that has the most demand right now. Everything we plan on selling will be graded and authenticated by the top companies, but we will also have our own internal team of experts to back up their authentication.”
Epstein said SEC filings are now being completed.
He was attending the National for the first time and enjoyed seeing the mix of high-end shoppers and average collectors with smaller budgets sharing the same trading floor and talking about sports past and present. Making some of those big-ticket cards accessible in some form to the average Joes is something he’s looking forward to.
“This is what we all love. Sports. It brings families and teams together. Now we are aiming to bring collectors together.”
More information, including an early sign up option, is available at www.collectable.com.