FRANKLIN MINT COLLECTIBLES From die-cast cars to Marilyn Monroe dolls to the official coin sets of the world, the Franklin Mint sure knows how to make items with absolutely zero resale value. Sure, the Franklin Mint gets plenty of buyers to pay $260 for its silver medallions struck with the faces of every U.S. president, but it can't make them sell for more than $65 on eBay.

"They produced a lot, they advertised, but their items don't have much value," Kahn says. "Like Rockwell Plates, it's hard to get anything for them -- you could sell them in a 99-cent store and you'd have a hard time getting it to sell."

If collectors are lucky, they'll get the "melt value" of their coins, which is the exact worth of the small amounts of precious metal the coin actually contains. In fairness, the mint doesn't guarantee or allude to an increase in value and isn't the only such organization to peddle perfectly useless items to potential collector investors.

The Danbury Mint also stocks keepsakes such as Michelle Obama inaugural dolls, Department 56 holiday homes and $99 Elvis TCB diamond pendants that, Kahn says, depreciate significantly once they are bought thanks to overproduction and a distinct lack of secondary interest.

"To go to a store and buy one of these items at retail price ... you're losing money," Kahn says. "Cars used to depreciate 10% when you drove them off the lot, but when you take collectibles like these out of the store, you lose about 80%."

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