Purchasing Obama memorabilia? Buyer beware

Fri Nov 28, 2008 5:41pm EST
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By Rebekah Kebede

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans are snapping up mementos to commemorate President-elect Barack Obama's election -- from plates and coins to sneakers -- but experts are skeptical they will ever become valuable collectibles.

The zeal for Obama merchandise has not flagged since he was elected on November 4 as the first black U.S. president, even as Americans suffer a weak economy.

"This is definitely the most aggressive rush for memorabilia items that we've seen in a long time," said Steve Ferber, part-owner of Arizona-based Lori Ferber Collectibles, who saw newspapers sell for as much as $75.

GreatSeats.com is seeing high demand for tickets to events surrounding Obama's January 20 inauguration, said owner Danny Matta, adding that he suspects many customers want to hold on to the tickets as keepsakes.

"It's not like anything else I've seen before," said Matta. "It may actually be topping Hannah Montana, which is big."

TeleBrands Corp, a New Jersey company that markets gadgets such as pet manicuring tool PediPaws on television, is selling its first commemorative presidential "victory plate."

A.J. Khubani, the company's president, said he came up with the idea for the $19.99 plate as he watched the excitement on Election Day.

WHAT'S IT REALLY WORTH?   Continued...

<p>Barack Obama election items are displayed for sale by a street vendor on 125th Street in the Harlem section of New York City in this November 4, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files</p>