Given the recent glut of “american picker” type shows, they always mention “this is worth 4-10000 times as much to a collector.”
I find it hard to believe, given the sheer amount of garbage available, that there are enough collectors of this crap.
One example would be those old gas station signs. How many of those signs would one collector have?
I can understand something that is inherently rare, like restored Coke machines from before 1950. For these, you might be hard pressed to find a buyer with more than one.
On one episode, the picker found an old bicycle gear from an old bike. Just the gear and one pedal, iirc. However, he claimed it was worth hundreds to a collector of that brand of bicycle. Really? For just part of the bike? Why not get an old bike separate all the parts and sell each piece for hundreds?
On pawn stars, they’re always talking about cannon collectors. I can understand smaller memorabilia where you could fit hundreds in one room. But how many cannons would a collector conceivably own? Every cannon that comes on the market is going to a limited number of buyers, right?