How Collectible Sub-Economies Will Drive the Future of Consumer Commerce

September 12, 2022

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Notature

The collectibles market is close to half a trillion dollars, it is no secret that many people enjoy collecting things. Whether it's sports cards, coins, or toys, amassing a collection is a hobby that does not seems to slowing down any time soon. Many collectors take this passionate past-time to greater heights by leveraging their collectibles in a secondary market.

The evolving consumer market

The growth of e-commerce and social media not only provides consumers with more control over their purchase decisions, it empowers them to take ownership of resale decisions as well. The sneaker resale market is worth $2 Billion in North America and people make a living simply from reselling sneakers. Of course, this market resides within the sneaker industry as a whole which presents the opportunity for people to buy and resell items on peer-to-peer marketplaces.

This is for one product; the possibilities for the collectibles industry to expand to where multiple ecosystems are cultivated by the communities that not only have an interest in particular assets, but can leverage them to create sub-economies of consumer commerce as a whole. 

Image showing a wristwatch, and the coresponding digital copy.

Physical NFTs fuel the secondary market

The decentralized nature of Web3 empowers consumers to resale digital collectibles with ease due to the security of the blockchain. Connecting this concept to the innate passion people have for collectibles and a trend of consumer-driven exchange economy we see a few interesting emergent dynamics.

The bridge that ties these two together comes in the form of NFT-enabled products powered by a specialized NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. This will allow for secondary markets to exist within communities which in turn empowers the growth of sub-economies within the collectibles industry. 

Current [Web2] marketplaces that are considered peer-to-peer still need third party authenticators which have their pros and cons on both sides of a transaction. However, as NFTs continue to have communities as a concentric focus, consumers within them will utilize the technology to easily transfer ownership of their collectible to another fan without the need for intermediaries. Now products that are attached to NFTs can be a straightforward transition of adoption for secondary market exchanges and strengthen consumer commerce within it. 

[Read: The Evolution Of The Blockchain-Powered Marketplace]

Liquidation of secondary assets

The secondary market exists largely because of the value given to assets as a function of its scarcity after initial purchase at a primary sale event. When consumers decide to leverage their collectibles in the secondary market, it is understood that the asset will retain or increase its value based on many factors such as cultural impact, asset integrity; just to name a few. In the NFT marketplace, digital collectibles have been compared to trading stock, mainly due to the blazingly fast transactions

What would it look like if the traditional activities in the collectibles industry met with the ease of buying and selling NFTs?

More importantly, what does it look like?

Illustration showing how to use SmartSeal

Pairing NFTs to NFC tags 

NFC technology embedded into a physical item which is then cryptographically linked to an NFT where all important information involving the item is securely stored due to the blockchain. This gives customers the utmost confidence when making a purchase decision on the secondary market. 

Consider this, if the technology around NFTs merged with the physicality of the collectibles industry by way of embedding NFC tags in products, how can this impact the ability to easily resell items? If there is no need for the arduous process of authenticating an item, then this could be the time for consumers and brands to drastically transform how things are not only collected but resold as well.  

Communities are Sub-economies   

The modern consumer is well-informed and expects a lot out of their purchases, which highlights how consumer expectations have been driving big changes in today’s economy. They want to buy sustainable products that have a better retained and embedded longer-term value. For example, the big uptick in vinyl records sales provides insight into the changing relationship people have with physical products.

Consumers want to engage with products that do not come with built-in, near-term obsolescence, they also want to be around like-minded people that share the same interest. With this understanding integrated with the streamlining and provenance that NFTs linked to specialized NFCs provide, it will foster a new generation of product engagement that will revolutionize the collectibles industry. 

Communities, specifically in the NFT space, have their own ecosystem powered by a growing Web3 infrastructure. Community-building and the technology of NFTs merged with Smart NFC tags embedded in items can be applied to the collectibles industry which will allow makers to keep consumers within their ecosystem and empower them to resell items with ease, therefore operating in sub-economies.

This is a new kind of secondary market within communities that empowers consumers while elevating the essence of being a collector. 

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