Investing in Vintage Electronics

Tuesday 22nd November 2022 - Cara Bentham


Investing in Vintage Electronics

Take a look at some tips for investing in vintage electronics.

An unopened original iPhone recently sold at auction for an eye-watering $39,339 (£34,887). Launched just fifteen years ago, the mobile phone was officially known as the iPhone 2G; it retailed for £269 at the time.

The device had just 8GB of storage, compared to today’s iPhones which have a minimum of 128GB. It had a camera with just 2 megapixels and boasted the long-lost headphone port. Predating the likes of TikTok and Instagram, the packaging showed the vintage home screen with apps like iPod for music which would be lost on today’s teenagers.

For many, the appeal of vintage tech like the original iPhone is nostalgia. People like to buy things that remind them of their childhood and days gone by. If you’re looking to start a collection for investment purposes, vintage tech could be a good bet. Interest in this market is rising, and the value of discontinued devices can grow relatively fast.

Compared to antique furniture, for example, you don’t have to wait too long for vintage electronics to become valuable commodities – at most, a generation which is around 20-30 years. This provides more opportunities to buy recently discontinued devices at a low cost, with a good chance they will soar in value in just 5-15 years.

Tips for sourcing vintage electronics

  • Rummage through your attic and cupboards to see if you’ve still got any old devices that could be worth money today
  • Check charity shops, as vintage electronics are often donated by those who don’t realise their potential value
  • Scout car boot sales, where you can often find recently discontinued or superseded gadgets at bargain prices
  • Check eBay and online marketplaces, where you can sometimes grab a deal from sellers seeking a quick sale
  • Bid on vintage electronics at auction – you may get a bargain
  • Invest in prominent brands such as Apple, PlayStation, Nintendo, Sony, Samsung etc.
  • Scoop up limited edition devices as these tend to sell for more later on
  • Research products online to see what’s valuable and in demand
  • Invest only in devices that are in good condition, as damage can seriously affect the value
  • Store items carefully to avoid damage
  • Don’t wait for items to become discontinued – if you think this is likely to happen soon, then snap them up cheaply before the value increases

If you’re unsure what to invest in, consider what was popular when you were growing up or when your children were. If you’re looking to invest for the long term, buy devices that are popular now and keep them in pristine condition. Popular items are likely to attract the nostalgia appeal in years to come. Nostalgia is a vital factor affecting the value of vintage electronics, as people are less concerned with how much they spend to get their hands on a piece of their childhood.

You may not think of items that are only a decade or two old as being of historical value. However, technology moves so quickly in this industry that historical significance is sped up. Investing in devices that mark a turning point in technology can be a good tactic. Think of the first iPhone mentioned earlier and how much this fetched at auction.

Vintage electronics are an excellent investment. It’s a relatively new market, and interest in this area is rising. If you’re looking for a new investment avenue, then this could be the perfect option.