May 25, 2022 - 12 min read
Right now might be one of the most exciting times to collect in the VeeFriends universe, as the IP and project are not even 13 months old. It's rare to get the opportunity to collect at the beginning stages of something new with big potential and I'm here to break down a few ways you can approach it.
Collecting has been a part of human nature throughout history and it’s only seemed to accelerate in awareness with the advent of social media where different people can show off their collections.
It’s much easier to share your collection (whatever it is you collect) with a larger audience and connect with those who share your passion for what you specifically collect.
In my adventures garage saleing, I came across people who collected Budweiser memorabilia, Disney memorabilia, Chess Sets, sports cards, Star Trek memorabilia, GI Joe, vintage beer signs, video games and so much more.
I’ve also written extensively about sports cards, and have retold the fascinating backstories of why certain cards have become extremely collectible for non-obvious reasons (like a chocolate company giving away a hockey card with each sale, then promising to mail a pair of free skates to anyone who completed a set, only to make one card extremely scarce to keep their free giveaway in check).
The exciting part about collecting IP (intellectual property) is that you can choose what you like and make it into a hobby that’s rewarding and fun.
The even more exciting part about collecting IP is being in it while it is being developed.
I’ve written before about VeeFriends (it’s probably the project besides Curio Cards that I have the most articles on this site about) because the IP is forming right before our eyes and these are the early days to start your collecting journey.
And I’m not even talking about the NFTs!
I’ve run into a lot of social media comments (I read a lot of them because Gary V has repeatedly said that it helps him understand behavior) from outside of this universe that “don’t get” the physical collectibles from VeeFriends, likely making this a great time to collect what you like from the project.
This article is not financial advice, but rather a fun take on how to start your collecting of physical items from the VeeFriends ecosystem. This is fun for me because while I collected sports cards, I’m a bigger fan of Gary V and what he’s doing. The opportunity of “getting it” in the early stages is just too much fun.
There are a lot of different strategies (this is part of collecting, it makes it fun) in how to approach this, but I wanted to provide a comprehensive guide based on my years of experience reselling various collectibles, writing about collectibles, and really digging into what works and what doesn’t (hint: if you collect what makes you happy and don’t spend money you can’t afford to lose, you are doing the exact things that work).
PS — this website was born after I wrote about 55 Famous Failed Trading Card Games and Gary Vaynerchuk shared it all over social media. I’ve been in collectors forums for all different kinds of groups and am excited to share what I learned.
PPS — collecting isn’t always about money, but a lot of what people like to do is buy rare and scarce items that other people want. Again, this is human nature. I will talk about my thoughts on what might become popular in the VeeFriends physical collectible universe and why. I don’t want to conflate popularity with price, but oftentimes the two go hand-in-hand.
I’ve observed nostalgia as a really big driver of collecting.
A lot of people in the sports card hobby talk about cards as a window into a moment of time that brings them back to childhood or other good memories.
Sealed Pokémon cards
Logan Paul paid a handsome fee to open up some Pokémon cards 20+ years after their release (although it turned out to be a fake box). The IP is one of the most popular culturally, and when prices on those cards started going up, it made it more fun to open old packs (with 7-figure price tags) to “chase” pristine editions of those cards.
It doesn’t always have to be a high price tag for collectors to want something to relive the nostalgia and it’s so common for people to buy sealed products (VHS, video games, trading cards, etc.) to feel like its new again like it was at a different point of their life.
Trading Card Games
Just have a look through this list of sold eBay auctions for trading card games — scroll to pages 4, 5, and 6.
You’ll see a lot of diversity in what people pay for, even IP that is defunct and no longer relevant!
Gary V has been relevant for over a decade because he is a content machine, and a business operator and keeps current with trends and practical advice.
I see that continuing, which makes collecting now that much more fun knowing Gary V will be in the conversation decades from now.
People collect all kinds of things that mean something to them and it’s pretty obvious that Gary has directly impacted a lot of lives with the free content and Q&As that he puts out.
Takeaways from nostalgia-driven collecting:
I think most people miss the bigger picture of nostalgia-driven collecting: the 10-year-olds now who play VeeFriends UNO, the Series 2 trading card game, watch VeeFriends animated videos, or open packs of Series 1 cards with their parents, are the ones who when they start to have more disposable income in 20 years will want to relive some of their childhood.
We can certainly relive our moments of this forming and the NFT boom but I bet in 20 years, you will see an entirely new collector base of VeeFriends physicals and NFTs.
There are a few ways to look at this:
(1) If you hold UNO, Series 2, or Series 1 trading cards for 20 years, you could probably sell for a nice profit in 20 years and be financially driven
(2) You could hold those same products and enjoy watching the IP develop and relish in owning something rare that people want and be collector driven
There’s no wrong way to go about it, do what makes you happy, but curating a valuable collection is a lot of fun.
Takeaways and advice for collecting in VeeFriends: observe what is happening closely through social media comments, what Gary shares, what your kids talk about, what your friends talk about, etc.
Maybe the UNO game really “pops” or the Series 2 game “pops” and you see forums, meet-ups to play the game, and even tournaments!
Or maybe collectable pillows take off in another IP world and you spot the trend early so you snag some of the VeeCon issued pillows off eBay. Gary talks about stuffed animals and “mug life” and I’ve seen it first hand with garage saleing that those items do sell well!
A lot of people will likely open those products, not thinking it could be a collectible because of a higher supply or thinking something like a pillow that’s sealed in the original packaging would never be valuable.
There will be some who keep them sealed in mint condition or immediately grade certain cards from those products (especially with Gary’s audience), but I bet in 20 years, they will be hard to find in good condition.
You might also think of events like VeeCon and the limited edition Ledger device, stickers, etc. The latter (stickers) could even be an interesting play because people will start to think no one wants them and only a few in good condition may remain.
I don’t think stickers are a multi-thousand-dollar collectible in the future, but there are people who do collect them in other genres.
Hard-to-find items in good condition are always an allure of a collector.
No one wants to put a dirty item in their home and most people seem to want to relive the feeling of buying something new.
The VeeFriends Series 1 trading cards are one of the most interesting collectible plays because only 1,000 boxes were produced with just over 10,000 cards. Firsts are always important in collecting (that’s why Gary says VF1 is the alpha) and while there are nuances (a rarer 2nd year sports card could sell for a lot more than a less rare rookie card) the firsts are part of the history with the IP.
I own a box of VeeFriends Series 1 trading cards and watched it hit $15,000 and drop to $6,000 but as a collector, I want to wait it out for 20 years to see what happens. If I’m wrong, that’s fine, but I’d love to have one of the few remaining unsealed VeeFriends Series 1 in 20+ years.
This is artificial scarcity. The company only made 1,000 boxes.
UNO and the Series 2 game, however, could see natural scarcity.
Not many people are likely going to keep those products sealed and in good shape because they seemingly aren’t worth much now.
The most expensive baseball card ever sold, the 1952 Mickey Mantle, had excess supply sent to a dump because the cards weren’t worth anything, and children often put the cards in bike spokes.
This created natural scarcity as not many 1952 Mickey Mantle Topps cards remained in good condition.
VeeFriends Series 1 trading cards already have a high price tag, but UNO and Series 2 could be sneaky.
The hardest (and most fun) part about collecting is buying something now that doesn’t seem to have a lot of value and holding it over the years to see if it does become valuable (even if you don’t sell it in the future!).
As another example of this, I hold 3 “Hustle Like My Name is Gary Vee” limited edition sweatshirts. They haven’t gone up in value much, but these are items I plan to hang on to for 20–30 years just to see what happens.
Gary released those sweatshirts way before VeeFriends and was one of his first limited edition apparel items.
This is fun for me to buy and hang onto and remember that time in the middle of the sports card boom before NFTs. I have one of the hoodies in my size, so if I’m wrong, I’ll wear that and gift the other 2.
I also think of the VeeFriends Limited Edition Ledger devices — only 555 made. Most right now look smart by holding them sealed and trying to re-sell them. Maybe every single person does that, and they aren’t that scarce in the future. It can work both ways but again, the “hunt” of collecting is paying attention.
This is exactly why we tracked box openings of VeeFriends Series 1 trading cards, to see how many boxes had been opened so we had a feel for supply. If the majority of people were holding boxes and not putting them on the market, I may have decided to sell sooner.
Talk to any deep collector and they will have stories about why they collect certain items.
I’ll never forget the exchange I had with a Budweiser collectible on eBay who wanted to buy Budweiser book-ends from me that I had picked up at a garage sale. That person explained to me that I was missing a piece to it, but there weren’t many complete sets because people lost them.
It was only a $40 collectible, but this person knew exactly why they wanted to buy it.
If you are in the VeeFriends universe now, you are part of the story. You have the expertise as it all unfolds before your eyes.
Every time I researched sports cards to write an article, I’d always find a forum that had someone live the experience and remember it in detail, which gave them an edge with collecting.
If you were around in 2003 and into the sports card hobby then, you likely remember all the hype around LeBron James, all the different cards available, what people were saying, what they were buying, and really rich detail.
For example, there was a 2003 LeBron James redemption card that a smart collector graded instead of redeeming. Check it out here — people not around in 2003 (and even some who were) probably didn’t know that card existed.
Being a collector is rewarding in that you develop domain experience and knowledge of a culturally relevant topic or IP.
Just like you have a competency in your career that sometimes comes up in social conversations and is your way to bring value, this same knowledge can do the same thing.
To put it simply, collect what you like with money you can afford to lose.
You could throw all of this out the window, just buy the stuff you like, store it properly and take care of it, and have a nice collection in 20–30 years.
This article is more about emphasizing how much fun it can be to collect and that you don’t need permission from anyone to do it.
I love the hobby, but they haven’t said the nicest things about Series 1 trading cards — the best part? I don’t care and I will keep collecting.
So many people in the VeeFriends community ask me about collecting and my experiences, so the hope is that this article gives you some inspiration, a bit of background and some ideas to get started.
Collect stuff you like regardless of what anybody says — there are PLENTY of VeeFriends / Gary V items on eBay and a wonderful community always looking to trade.
And if you don’t have a lot of spare money, especially in this climate, look for things like VeeFriends stickers that are at a much lower price point.
You don’t even have to spend money right now, you can observe, study, research and set goals to acquire certain items and watch it all play out. That, after all, is the fun of collecting!
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