Reading "Collectors are as confused as you are about that $1.56M Super Mario 64 sale" made me curious. What you'd expect from a collector is this: "the biggest collectors generally wanted to own a complete, playable set of all the titles on their favorite platforms." And, of course, "as these completionist collectors got near the end of their checklists, they all ended up competing for the same rare titles. [...] For these completionists, the fact that these titles had little-to-no intrinsic value in terms of nostalgia, gameplay, or historical significance was beside the point."

Or in simpler terms: when it comes to collectors, you have deep pockets combined with a tendency toward a lack of rational decision-making. That urge to complete your collection is strong. So what are problems worth solving in this area?

First up, a disclaimer. I'll focus on tangible assets with "real, physical" scarcity. Everything around digital collectibles, especially non-fungible tokens, is a different topic. That being said, let us do a quick research and idea briefs.

  • Collectors are communities of interest. Therefore no-brainers are to provide specialized forums and other forms of exchange.
  • Collectors are experts in their fields. This could be an expansion of the community aspect or a standalone offer: provide historical data, learning material, etc.
  • Where to buy: online auctions. Of course, there are plenty of them already. How about a laser-focused platform for a certain type of collectible? Or if there are generalized or specialized platforms already available, how to know when a certain item is on sale? How about curation or watchdog services?
  • Where to buy: the real world. There are plenty of flea markets or business and household liquidations. Each one is a potential source for a special item. How about shopping services or other kinds of gig services?
  • Don't buy, trade. Leverage the non-fungibility of physical assets. How about a platform to exchange items directly instead of traditional buying/ selling?
  • Sell different. Take Whatnot as an example.
  • Show me what you've got. What is better than having a great collection? To brag about it. Provide channels to showcase collections.

When it comes to competition, have a look at the Online Auctions and Collectibles hubs at Crunchbase. Yes, there is competition. There always is. But take these lists, for example, and cross off those that cover digital assets/ blockchain stuff and you'll get a different picture. In addition, a search on Indie Hackers does not show any product about collectibles.

The ideas above are all rather generic. Always remember that for indie hackers, serving a niche is important. And when it comes to collectibles, there is a market for everything.

This post is based on Basic Problem issue #50.

If you liked this, feel free to follow me on Twitter and subscribe to my newsletter.

Previous Post Next Post