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Aussies earning $10,000 selling collectible sneakers, trading cards, LEGO

Aussies are making thousands online selling collectibles like sneakers, coins, handbags, LEGO sets and toys.

Collectible sneakers
Aussie collectors like Matt are making thousands by turning their passion into a profit. (Source: eBay)

Matt has been collecting sneakers for more than 20 years and has now built up a collection of almost 200 pairs.

“I grew up with a lot of basketball-centric entertainment in the ‘90s and was always fascinated by players and their constant rotation of sneakers,” Matt told Yahoo Finance.

Matt has dabbled in buying and selling sneakers for years, but restarted the side hustle more seriously almost a decade ago. Last year, he made a whopping 118 per cent return on investment through the business, earning a profit of $15,000 from the sale of 20 pairs of shoes.

This was a particularly good year, Matt said, with the bulk of his profits coming from just one sale - a pair of sneakers he purchased for $4,000 and sold for $15,000.

“Over the last nine years, I’ve made back more than I’ve put in. It’s turned into more of a regular ongoing investment, along with some more traditional investments I have,” he said.

Matt is one of many Aussies who are turning their passion for collectibles into a profit. According to a new report by eBay and Deloitte Access Economics, one in four Aussie adults are collectors. Of those, more than 40 per cent see collectibles as an alternative stream of income.

Collectible sneakers
Sneakers are one of the most popular collectibles, along with coins, LEGO and toys. (Source: eBay)

The most common collectibles included coins (36 per cent), LEGO sets (33 per cent), toys (26 per cent) and sneakers (22 per cent), the survey of 3,960 Aussies found.

Watches and luxury handbags were the most lucrative items, with the average watch collection valued at $7,000 and the average luxury handbag collection at $6,100.

“When we surveyed the collectors, we found that, over a three-year period, their median profit for all the items they bought and sold was $5,000 to $10,000,” eBay Australia head of sneakers and collectibles Alaister Low told Yahoo Finance.

But profits can be bigger. For instance, the most expensive sneaker sold on eBay globally was the Nike LeBron 2 James All-Star game-worn sneakers, Low said, which sold for north of $130,000. In Australia, the highest sneaker sale was a pair of Air Jordan 1 Retro High X Dior sneakers, which sold for more than $15,000.

Collectible trading cards
Pokémon trading cards are also popular on platform. (Source: eBay)

Low said he’d noticed an increase in collectors in recent years and thought the trend was accelerated by the pandemic, which gave people the time to engage with their hobbies and passions.

“We saw huge increases in demand for trading cards, including from people who used to play Pokémon cards or collect sports cards when they were kids and were now re-engaging as adults,” Low said.

“Now they see it from a different angle. Instead of just playing with the cards, they can also collect the cards and see their value increase in price over time.”

Collectible price increases

The prices of some sought-after collectibles have skyrocketed in recent years. Here are some of the standouts:

Collectible item

Average price 2019

Average price 2022

Price increase

1999 Base Set Charizard 4/102 Unlimited Holo PSA 9 Pokémon trading card

$300

$2,400

790 per cent

Pokémon 2016 Evolutions Booster Box

$200

$1,300

725 per cent

LEGO Kings Castle

$200

$600

200 per cent

Jordan 4 Bred sneakers

$360

$530

50 per cent

Hermes Kelly 32cm handbag

$6,700

$25,800

285 per cent

Source: eBay

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