What are some fun, short-term purchases that don't depreciate?
September 6, 2014 12:44 PM   Subscribe

I'm lucky enough to have some spare capital and some time. What are some purchases that I can buy and safely sell without too much risk?

I recently bought a 15m boat in pristine condition at a fair rate, and spent a couple of months living on it and exploring, and then sold it for the same amount. As so little time had passed it was easy to get the same price and I didn't need to do any maintenance so it didn't depreciate much. It turned out to be surprisingly easy to sell a boat without taxes etc and it got me thinking!

Macbooks for instance hold there value very well. Camera lenses are another.

But I'm wondering what other items might be cheaply accessible for short periods with spare capital?
posted by molloy to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
It depends, do you mean things you can buy, use as you did the boat, and then sell? Or just nice things to own for awhile? If the latter, fancy watches or gemstones might do it. If the former, you could do worse than buy condos in desirable cities, live there for awhile, then flip them. See the city like a resident, but with the mobility of the wealthy.
posted by zadcat at 12:51 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Musical instruments, especially when bought used.
posted by gregglind at 1:05 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

If it's just things to hold for a while, then something like gold or silver might qualify: they're not something you could play with (like the boat) but the price of precious metals continues to rise.
posted by easily confused at 1:28 PM on September 6, 2014

A used gun will likely retain its value. Of course, if you want to do anything besides look at it, you have to buy and expend ammunition.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:08 PM on September 6, 2014

Classic muscle cars when bought for the right price hold their value surprisingly well. Stay away from Rat Rods and Hot Rods as they are more of a "Eye of the beholder" thing for value. I second guns as well. Also I believe used vintage sailplanes/gliders (although the market is small) retain their value.
posted by HappyHippo at 3:30 PM on September 6, 2014

Lots of used stuff if you don't mess it up while you own it. Bicycles and kayaks come to mind from personal experience.
posted by gatorae at 4:06 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Spinning wheels and drop spindles, both antique and modern, depreciate very slowly. If you spin or want to learn, of course.
posted by mgar at 5:15 PM on September 6, 2014

Definitely bicycles, especially if you buy them privately when they are already vintage.

Not gemstones, at least not diamonds.

Probably not condos, at least not in countries where there is stamp duty on buying or some sort of tax on selling, and anyway, condos usually have monthly fees involved.

Artwork if you can hang it in appropriate conditions with regard to sunlight and humidity and so on, maybe.

Second hand things in general. If they've already depreciated, you won't lose much more. So vintage jewellery, older furniture, vintage clothes, etc. but if you buy them from dealers rather than privately you'll be paying a mark up that you won't get back, so you need to do some hunting.

My aunt bought a vintage caravan second hand, used it for a few years, repainted and made some small improvements or repairs, and sold it for twice what she paid. She says that's pretty common.
posted by lollusc at 6:28 PM on September 6, 2014

But don't forget even if you make back what you paid, you are still losing the money you would otherwise earn as interest by investing the same amount. And losing out due to inflation, if the item you sold didn't appreciate the same amount as inflation. And if you have any debt you could have paid off with that money instead, you are effectively losing the amount of interest the debt attracts. So an item you pay $5000 for now and sell for $5000 again in five years was not free. It might have effectively cost you between $1380 (assuming 2% inflation, and a potential 3% annually compounded interest if you had invested it) and around $5000 in the worst case scenario where you have unpaid credit card debt at around 12% (and inflation still at 2).
posted by lollusc at 6:38 PM on September 6, 2014

« Older I'm just a caveman. Your modern guitar tech...   |   Will it ever get better? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.