Should You Buy Royal Baby Memorabilia?

The British royal family on Buckingham Palace ...

The British royal family on Buckingham Palace balcony after Prince William and Kate Middleton were married. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The new royal baby doesn’t even have a name, but that isn’t stopping enterprising merchants and businesses from cashing in on the birth of a new heir to the British throne.

You, however, are unlikely to cash in — either now or in the future.

According to the Centre for Retail Research, a British market research firm, the birth of a boy to Prince William and the former Kate Middleton is worth about $376 million to the British retail economy over the next two months.  While some of that will be for parties (after all, we all need excuses to celebrate) with almost half expected to be spent on what could charitably described as stuff, and those purchasing it will think are soon-to-be valuable souvenirs.

As a result of this expected baby business bonanza, the makers of memorabilia are ready to go, set to send off orders to factories in China as soon as the royal infant  has a name for everything from commemorative mugs to disposable napkins. No doubt the first pictures will also set off a manufacturing frenzy, with the face of the newest British prince adorning both postcards and dining plates.

For the impatient shopper, there are such things as the Fisher Price potty with a royal themed crown decorating it for $20.69, or an equally royal pacifier.

Buy this memorabilia – and all the memorabilia still to come — if you want a physical memory of the royal baby’s birth. But don’t purchase any of it thinking you will make a mint. The odds are incredible you won’t.

The issue is one of supply and demand. The greatest demand for royal chotchkas celebrating the future King of Great Britain is, well, now. Hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of items will be produced over the next several weeks. As a result, any collector looking to pick up a piece in few years from now, it likely to find a plethora of items available everywhere from local garage sales to eBay, selling at a significant discount to what the original purchaser paid.

Even the items that do appraise is unlikely to make you a millionaire. Take this button selling for $3.99 on eBay, commemorating the birth of Prince William in 1982. True, it’s a gain of several hundred percent. But still … we’re talking less than a $4 profit over a thirty-year period.

Comments are closed.