From newspapers to memorial plaques, everyone wants a piece of the Queen – and prices are rising

$1,000 for a Barbie doll? Savvy sellers take advantage of Queen’s death

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As thousands of mourners flooded the doors of royal residences across the UK with flowers and cards following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, some are commemorating the event by collecting the memories available.

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From her coronation to her platinum jubilee, all the major stages of the Queen’s reign have been marked by the production and sale of teacups and tea towels, coins, stamps and almost every other type of goods.

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Some sellers say the Queen’s memorabilia will likely rise in value after her death, but others warn some will take advantage of the heightened emotions at this time by raising prices.

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Memories go for top dollar

Millions are spent on royal merchandise and souvenirs whenever a major royal event takes place. Consumers shelled out around £408million for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, celebrated in June.

But many people may see this as their last chance to get something commemorating the Queen and sellers were quick to take advantage.

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British newspapers from the day after his death were selling on eBay for over $50.

A tea set marking the Queen’s coronation has a winning bid of $678 on eBay, while a Barbie doll of the Queen marking her platinum jubilee sold for $1,194. And for $496, you could get an album of the Queen’s visit to Canada in 1951.

The online marketplace would not share any insights or information about searches or sales related to the Queen during the official mourning period.

Meanwhile, local sellers are also hoping to cash in. On Kijiji in the Toronto area, the commemorative porcelain also marking his coronation was priced at $100.

Sellers have been anticipating it for a while

Jill DeMars, owner of Sweet Home Lagom in Minnesota, says she has retained some royal memorabilia, anticipating increased demand following the sovereign’s death.

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“I have like a core of customers who really like it and buy from me,” DeMars says.

Over the past year and a half, she says sales of royal items have been steady.

“I don’t think you can ever own everything royal because there’s so much – they make plates and teacups and cups and glasses and silverware and literally everything you can find memories, they did something.”

DeMars and Sandi Henning, owner of the PeonycottageBoutique on Etsy, believe Queen Elizabeth memorabilia will increase in value over time as there will be no more events to commemorate her.

Henning, whose boutique is based in Hamilton, Ont., has about 600 items at any one time and about 5% of her stock is royal. She says there has been a “certain catch” in sales of royal memorabilia since the monarch’s death.

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“I don’t have a huge stock as finding my pieces can be difficult and I usually only have one of each. Anything royal usually sells out in due time to my clientele.

And even if the value of the items doesn’t increase immediately, Henning and DeMars believe there will always be a niche market for these items.

“Collectors treasure them,” says Henning. “His coronation pieces are the most sought after, in my shop anyway. The queen was a remarkable woman. Respected, admired. People feel a connection to her and want this very unique keepsake from her time.

Collectors should be careful

However, Laren MacPherson, owner of Middletown Antiques in Middletown, California, couldn’t help but notice that items for sale in the days after the Queen’s death seemed to be more expensive than before.

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She warns collectors to be on the lookout for sellers who take advantage.

“There are always vultures in any field and someone who probably doesn’t know much about antiques – they’re opportunists, let’s just say that – and they were like, ‘Oh, she just died, so this plate is probably going to be worth a lot of money,’” MacPherson said.

She suggests people do their homework before buying expensive souvenirs.

Not all royal keepsakes are made equal. Because there is no registered trademark on the royal family, anyone can produce royal items.

If you’re looking to invest, experts advise looking for rare items, rather than those that have been mass-produced. Specially crafted, limited-edition items are likely to provide the most value.

Still, MacPherson remains skeptical of the increased value of Queen Elizabeth’s memorabilia in the long run.

“The royal family has a long history and there have been tea towels and teacups for a few hundred years and it’s only really of interest to a certain group of people,” she says.

This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.

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