Collecting – for Fun and Profit

Do you collect stamps, coins, wine or sports memorabilia?  If so, you have company.  A recent study found that people make a hobby of collecting for a variety of reasons — primarily because it’s “fun,” but also because they are hoping to see the value of the items grow.  A few things to remember when collecting:

  • The market for some items may be limited, which could make it difficult to sell quickly if you need to cash out your collection.

  • It may pay to have an appraisal done every few years.  This can help for insurance purposes and also if you decide to pass down your collection to family members.

  • Some collectibles — stamps, for instance — can be counterfeited.  Know what you’re buying and deal with reputable sellers.

Collectibles can be given to charity, but if the items aren’t used for the charity’s exempt purposes, your deduction will be limited.  Even if the items have appreciated in value, you will only be able to deduct your basis — what you paid for the items.  Always check with the charity first about how any gift of personal property will be used.


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Contact Information

Joe Woodward
Director of Institutional Advancement
(909) 482-5220


The materials contained on this website are intended only to show some ways by which you can make a charitable gift or bequest and thereby minimize federal tax liabilities, as authorized by the Internal Revenue Code. All examples are of a general nature only and should not be applied to your specific situation without first consulting your attorney or other advisers.