Good quality, well-known branded goods provide a safe long-term investment as well as enjoyment, according to Dorset auctioneers.

Examples include Moorcroft vases, Rolex watches, Steiff bears and Dinky toys.

And thanks to eBay, the internet marketplace, they have become more accessible and affordable.

But David Elliott of Elliotts Auctioneers in Wimborne sounds a note of caution. He says that while this website has opened up collecting to a wider market, the inexperienced can make poor decisions because experts aren’t at hand to assist buyers.

eBay allows visitors to watch an item and track its sale price.

A 2009 Moorcroft vase with a daffodil design fetched £120 on the site. Steve Ozier from Riddetts in Bournemouth says it could be worth between £150 and £200.

“Quality makes such as the Moorcroft pot will always have an intrinsic value,” said Kate Howe from Bulstrodes in Christchurch, who believes that modern pottery is a long-term investment. Perhaps surprisingly, a vintage 1930s Rolex Rolco wristwatch with 15-jewel Rolex movement, white gold casing and an enamel face, serviced and in good working order, sold for £120 on eBay and “is worth about £120 to £150”, according to Mrs Howe.

“Not all Rolex watches make hundreds and thousands of pounds unless they’re diamond encrusted Oysters,” said John Condie from Cottees Auctions in Wareham.

At eBay a 75th anniversary 2001 Winnie the Pooh Steiff bear achieved £55 but Mr Elliott says this “should fetch around £80”.

There have been numerous 1960s Noddy, Big Ears and Golliwog Dinky cars for auction on eBay selling from £10 to £200 for those in immaculate condition.

Mr Elliott believes the one pictured could fetch up to £50 at one of his toy auctions, the next in September, while Mr Ozier reckons £60 is possible. A similar price could be realised for the 1970s Magic Roundabout Dinky car complete with Brian the snail, Dylan the rabbit and Dougal the shaggy dog.

A historic 19th century American or French solid silver letter opener that sold for £20 on eBay could be worth up to £30, according to Mr Ozier.

However, a solid silver 1941 H Samuel pocket watch that fetched £22 is, according to Mrs Howe, “very common and hence only worth £20”.