You've probably seen the sappy ads for paraphernalia related to President-elect Barack Obama: Men and women gaze up at their Obama Victory plates, look deeply satisfied, and then go about their business.
Those plates may look harmless, but they're potentially a big waste of money. The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about such memorabilia and says that posters, buttons, coins, and plates are unlikely to grow in value over time.
"In order for memorabilia to become worth much money, it generally needs to be quite rare, unfortunately for Obama collectors, there is a glut of merchandise being sold nationwide," said Steve Cox, BBB spokesperson. "There's nothing wrong with buying a plate or a coin celebrating Barack Obama's inauguration, but consumers need to be aware that the value of the item might be purely sentimental."
While most of the memorabilia attached to the Inauguration of President-elect Obama are not worth much, it doesn't mean that everything is worthless. There are some items that might actually increase substantially in value. Experts believe that items associated with the President-elect's senatorial stint, for example, will be more sought after than items from the presidential race.
In other words: Buy the plate if you want to keep it, but don't plan on selling it for profit later.