You Get What You Pay For
Collectors will pay shockingly high prices for rare versions of otherwise common items. Take, for instance, a signed first edition of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone," which the British auction house Christie's is putting up for private sale: Offers start at 200,000 pounds ($250,000). And that doesn't even come close to the amount paid for the most valuable book sold at auction. In some cases, a company made a one-of-a-kind item designed to fetch top dollar, but most of these are collectibles that grew in value naturally, from coins and stamps to bobbleheads and Beanie Babies.