Sunday, December 23, 2012

Disappearing Products: What to Hoard Now

<p>               FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, file photo, Twinkies baked goods are displayed for sale at the Hostess Brands' bakery in Denver, Colo. Hostess Brands Inc. and its second largest union will go into mediation to try and resolve their differences, meaning the company won't go out of business just yet. The news came Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, after Hostess moved to liquidate and sell off its assets in bankruptcy court citing a crippling strike last week. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Products sometimes disappear before consumers are ready to let them go. The well-prepared know to stock up while their endangered faves are still available. Take Twinkies, for example. Bankrupt Hostess is looking for a company to take over its brands, but who knows how the new owner might tinker with the Twinkie recipe. As Hostess’s U.S. plants close, the snack, invented in 1930, is still being produced in Canada by Saputo—for now. Load up soon.

Shimon and Tammar/Gallery StockIncandescent Light Bulbs

The incandescent light bulb started beingphased out this year as part of an energy bill signed by President George W. Bush. By 2014, production of all incandescent light bulbs as we know them will cease (unless they are somehow updated to meet the new efficiency standards). Some consumers have been dissatisfied with the light quality of alternative bulbs, though manufacturers have been making steady improvements.

Courtesy: AppleOld iPhone Chargers

Assuming you don’t plan to upgrade your iPhone for a while, you’ll need these old 30-pin chargers to keep your barely-a-year-old iPhone 4S and other “outdated” Apple (AAPL) devices going, as the company’s new products use an 8-pin connector.

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesStamp Collections

What's bad news for the U.S. Postal Service is good news for serious stamp collectors. If the USPS--which lost $15.9 billion in fiscal 2012 and is on the verge of bankruptcy--goes out of business, the value of old, rare collections could rise.

Henry SteadmanMotion Picture Film

As filmmakers switch to digital technology, Fuji (FUJIYannounced in September that it will stop making motion picture film by March 2013. While Eastman Kodak (EKDKQ) still manufactures it, the troubled company has cut back on film products, reported the Atlantic.

Daniel Acker/BloombergIssues of Newsweek

Newsweek, launched in 1933, announced in October that its last print edition will be its Dec. 31 issue. Those with a fondness for paper and ink might want to save a copy, in addition to any of the recent controversial covers such as the Muslim Rage, Michele Bachmann, or Princess Diana at 50 issues, for posterity.

Sanjit Das/BloombergSuzuki

Take care of your Samurai and replace damaged parts while you can. After 27 years in the U.S., the automaker will stop sales here once inventory runs out. So far this year, it is the country's second-worst-selling mainstream brand, behind Daimler's Smart car.

Terry O'Neill/Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesClassic YSL Products

This October, thousands of shoppers raided the annual Yves Saint Laurent sample sale in New York, some believe, because the fashion house is phasing out its classic YSL logo for the new “Saint Laurent Paris” mark. Corey Palmer, founder of luxury handbag-consignment boutique Real Deal Collection, says she wouldn’t be surprised if older YSL goods become more valuable.

Darren McCollester/Getty Images for Ralph LaurenRalph Lauren Rugby Line

If you are among the few who love this style, get it while it lasts. Launched in 2004, this line of costly, preppy, college clothes failed to win consumers. Ralph Lauren (RL) will close all 14 Rugby stores and shutter the site in February.

James Andanson/Sygma/CorbisBurgundy Wine

Burgundy makers lost nearly 40 percent of their grapes for the 2012 harvest to winter frost, mildew, and hail, reported Bloomberg News. The 2012 vintage, such as it is, won't hit the shelves until 2014, when supply will be tight and prices high. This year and next, Burgundy drinkers might want to stock the cellar.

Andrew Harrer/BloombergMuni Bonds

OK, municipal bonds are not disappearing, but they could be worth hoarding. Investors, expecting top earners to pay higher taxes on ordinary income, capital gains, and dividends, have been pouring money into tax-exempt muni bonds since President Obama was reelected.

Namas Bhojani/BloombergArabica Coffee

Coffee addicts, listen up. Scientists at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens predict that by 2080, rising temperatures could destroy as much as99.7 percent of wild Arabica coffee, which accounts for 70 percent of the global market. Yes, that's a ways away, but do you really want to take any chances?

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