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Introduction – Collecting and Collectibles

15 February 2011

“Collecting gives purpose to going to Estate and Garage sales”.

Collecting is a broad subject and can cover a wide variety, if not almost an infinite number of items. It does not have to be expensive. But is fun to do as well as rewarding to share your treasures with others.

Where to Start

If  you don’t know where to start, pick one or more items you are personally interested in. Stay within your budget. This may mean saving-up between purchases.

Some easier and less expensive treasures to begin with can be dolls, paper weights, costume jewelry, baseball cards, hats, old cameras, ash trays, old keys, door knobs and the list goes on. Do some research on your choices to learn what makes one item more ‘collectible’ than others. The Internet is a great resource for research as well as your local library. There is a wealth of information available.

Not all old items are valuable – Some newer items are valuable or will be valuable.  Examples of what drives the value are the material it is made from, the maker or artisan, the age. Also, how much time was required to make the item.

Of course, some of the more traditional, and usually more expensive, collections are glassware, art, sculptures, paintings, gold, silver. Each of these categories are divided into rather specific groups. Again, do research. Learn what makes one item more collectible over another. Learn how to identify the different ‘makers marks’. Why is one artisan’s work in more demand than another.

Trading Up

One of the great aspects of this hobby is you can start small and ‘trade up’ at your own pace. Depending on your circumstance and how avid a collector you become, trust me, you will eventually run out of room. Unless of course, you turn this into a business and have stores and warehouses available to hold your stuff.    (This is no disrespect to those who do have stores and warehouses. For you I am envious.)

Consider this an opportunity. It is time to trade up. Replace your existing collections with newer ones. They don’t have to be more expensive, just different. Over time, your interests change, so its time to find new interests. As you learn what makes one item more valuable than others, you can begin to collect the more expensive or more traditional items. And to make room for your new collections, you may have to replace what you already have. This may mean giving away, donating or selling some of those that are your least favorite.

If you have collectible furniture, you can replace a piece at a time with one of better quality, more ornate, fits with your current decor or something that just pleases your eye better.

The Risks

Collecting can be an investment and increase in value over time. They are not making any older pieces, rather they are continuing to diminish. However, there is a risk involved. As time moves on, fashion and taste change. What may be the most popular and in demand today may not continue to be in demand next year or next decade. Therefore, value on those items will go down. The good thing is, if it is something you are interested in and enjoy, it will remain a treasure and you can continue to enjoy, not only the piece itself, but the memories, time and effort you spent finding it.

Start Now

Whatever your choices for collecting, start now. Doing is learning. The sooner you start the sooner you will begin to reap the reward for your efforts. The sooner you begin the quicker you will learn the fine art of collecting.

And always, enjoy and share with others.

Collecting and Collectibles

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