Some tags fall right into this category, and if you were to ask anyone in the community what they’d consider to be the rarer tags, you’d probably find startlingly similar answers.
So what makes a tag rare? To me, a rare tag is one that is not often seen for sale on the likes of eBay after the production run has sold out. Rarity can also come from it being a very limited amount of tags cut in the first place.
Case in point - The Iberia A300, EC-DLH. Only 1200 tags were cut from the Spanish flag carrier retro Airbus, making it an already extremely limited edition. In the short time I’ve started collecting, I’ve only seen 5 or 6 of these tags on eBay. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to win a tag from both EC-DLH and CA-01, but I daren't say how much I actually paid for them...
It’s a strange balance between supply and demand when it comes to rare tags. More often than not, demand is greater than supply, therefore pushing the prices up. This then means, if you really want one of the rarer tags, you’ve really got to stump up maybe two or three times more than what the tag retailed for.
You can find however that sometimes the logic of it being a low number of tags cut doesn’t always work. The Lufthansa B747 is one such example. 20000 tags cut, and yet they’re so sought after. Why? Mainly because it came in a variety of colours, and it’s impossible to ignore the significance of the Boeing 747. These Lufthansa 747 tags are rarely sold and when they are, it’s for hundreds if not thousands of pounds.
Collecting rarer tags is a hobby in it’s own right. The thrill of the chase hunting one down, hammering out a deal for it, culminating in the satisfaction of finally filling a hole in your display with something so… wanted… Whilst I enjoy it, I don’t like making a habit of it.
My advice? If you see a tag that’s still on general release, get it. Get it as soon as you can. You just never know when the day is going to come when they’re sold out and you wished you’d just bought one when you had the chance. There’s every chance that what once was common, becomes as rare as hens teeth...