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Scam Central

Value of 9-11 anniversary memorabilia may be short-lived

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September 9, 2011 | 1,459 views | Post a comment

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- With the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks approaching, Better Business Bureau is advising consumers that the value of most memorabilia and commemorative items is sentimental; Prices for many items will likely drop over time.

Patriotic websites are promoting magnets, pins, flags, clothing, license tags, license frames and jewelry, among other items as a way to remember the anniversary. Sellers are also marketing commemorative items on auction sites like eBay, where the seller must rely on emailed questions and online photos to determine an item’s value.

Many of these items are mass-produced by the millions. Because the value of collectibles is largely dependent on how rare an item is, mass-produced commemorative items are not likely to appreciate in value.

“While many Americans might feel compelled to purchase memorabilia associated with the tragedy of Sept. 11, they need to understand the chance of these items increasing in value over time is unlikely,” said Carrie A. Hurt, president and CEO of BBB serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin.

If you are interested in buying items to remind you of the Sept. 11 tragedy, BBB offers the following advice:

· Get educated. Collectors need to research the value of items before they begin purchasing them, especially if they want pieces with the potential for substantial appreciation in value. Think about whether you are buying it as an investment or a keepsake.

· Confirm authenticity. Autographs can be verified by a third party, but for other items, the collector should ask the seller questions, including how the seller came to own it. If the seller can’t answer simple questions, the collector should walk away.

· Make purchases with a credit card. Consumers should always purchase items with a credit card when shopping online. If the seller turns out to be fraudulent, the consumer can dispute the charge with the credit card company and may be eligible for reimbursement.

· Do your research. When purchasing items from an individual on eBay, research the seller’s track record by reading buyer reviews. When shopping on Craigslist, never wire money as payment.

· Don’t be fooled by empty advertising claims. Just because the seller claims the item is of limited edition, it doesn’t mean there weren’t millions made. If the item is being widely advertised, chances are it’s too common to actually gain much value over the years.

To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit

About Better Business Bureau:
BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.

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