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Children have a habit of ripping off the gift wrapping and tearing the box of new toy apart, but if they were instead to carefully removed the toy, retain the box, and sell it years later, they would be considerably better off.
“Ninety-nine per cent of toys don’t come in their original boxes which is a pity given the consequent loss of resale value,” says Dennis Kafkis, owner of Lobos Collectables in Thornbury, Melbourne.
Instead of tearing apart the box your gifts come in this Christmas, consider packing it away somewhere safe.Credit: iStock
Kafkis started collecting toys as a child in the 1970s, with his store, which opened 16 years ago, specialising in vintage toys from the 1970s through to the 1990s.
“Most of my clients are collectors in their late 40s through to their 60s. There’s certainly the nostalgic factor for the toys, but they’re also looking for the original packaging,” says Kafkis, picking up a Luke Skywalker Jedi Knight figure from 1983.
“Without its box, you would pay $125. But with the original box, you are looking to pay close to $900.” GI Joe’s, as well as Masters of the Universe figures from the 1980s will, according to Kafkis, “always be more attractive to collectors if in their original package.”
Collectable toys, such as this Luke Skywalker figurine, can be worth far more with their original boxesCredit: iStock
Few children have the foresight to retain the original toy boxes and even adults throw out the packaging for household objects. At the Smith Street Bazaar in Fitzroy, most household items are displayed in glass cabinets without their original boxes.
There are a few exceptions such as a set of Bodum tea glasses from the 1970s, with a pair including their spoons selling for a modest price of $45 for the two in the one box. Pricier are the Alessi trays designed by Carmello Cappello, circa 1972, with its original box. Retailing for $495, the signed and numbered tray attracts those with a love of designer history as much as the completeness of its set.
“Collectors of Alessi are keen to have the original packaging. It’s an important part of its provenance,” says Eryca Green, who owns the store with Eddy Opmanis. Even a bottle stop by Zack has more appeal in a box selling for $90 rather than for $70 if it was on its own.
But while this form of packaging can be measured in the tens and hundreds of dollars, when it comes to the luxury market, the packaging can make a difference of thousands.
Andrew Shapiro, managing director of Shapiro Auctioneers in Sydney, sees packaging as being integral to the luxury design market. Whether it takes the form of watches, designer bags and even shoes, the original packaging reigns supreme.
“You can be looking at a price difference of 20 per cent or more if a luxury item is in its original box and dust bag, referred to as the whole ‘set’,” says Shapiro. “An original box is literally worth its weight in gold,” he adds.
For a Hermes ‘Kelly Bag’, with a price tag of $10,000, having the original box and dust bag will add, according to Shapiro, “at least an extra $1,000”, with the original box for a Rolex watch “adding between 10 and 20 per cent.”
A Cartier bracelet purchased in its distinctive red leather box with its gold detailing also brings up to 20 per cent more on the sales figure. But when it comes to say a diamond ring, Shapiro says, “It’s the quality of the stone and its certificate that is the value, and not the original box.”
One of the most coveted packages is the distinctive floral-printed box for Dior, described by Shapiro as literally “floral bouquets” and the highly identifiable orange Hermes box with its brown logo.
Indigo Keane, luxury specialist for Leonard Joel Auctioneers, certainly sees the serious (monetary) side of packaging. As with Shapiro, she describes the luxury items sold, be they shoes, bags or accessories by Louis Vuitton, Channel, Hermes, Fendi or Dior, as having considerable more value with the original packaging.
A Hermes bag with its box can add an addtional $1000 in value.Credit: Shapiro Auctioneers
“It adds to an item’s provenance and its authentication,” says Keane, who uses the example of a Hermes Birkin 25 bag in its full set being of considerably more value. One such bag sold last year for $28,000. If it didn’t have the full set the cost would be closer to $20,000,” says Keane, who also sees that there’s not a hard and fast rule when it comes to packaging. “It obviously depends on the leather, its condition and also the colour,” she adds.
- Advice given in this article is general in nature and is not intended to influence readers’ decisions about investing or financial products. They should always seek their own professional advice that takes into account their own personal circumstances before making any financial decisions.
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