We all know the feeling – it’s something you’ve just gotta have! Researchers have shown that it is inbuilt into human genes to want to collect something, whether its stamps, film memorabilia, snow globes (very popular in the USA) or bus tickets! I have a great mental picture of a caveman coming home with yet another piece of carved flint, and the female saying ‘What do you want another bit of old stone for?!’ After all, she’s probably the one who’s going to have to clean it…. But, joking aside, the reasons to collect are as many and varied as the items collected. Some people are in it for the money, some because they want to build up a collection of the choicest or rarest items available in the market.
Some people want to get together with like-minded fellow collectors and swap information and surplus items, whilst others build up their collections in private. Some want to leave it to the Nation, and some people know that it might not be worth much, but hey, it’s mine! Some people like to collect fine china, or Lladro figurines, because they love the workmanship and beauty of these objects. H.Samuel has lovely collectibles, ranging from Swarovski glass to Lilliput Lane cottages, at reasonable prices. Many people collect things which have a connection to their past, for example, the books or comics one enjoyed as a child can lead to a desire to collect first editions of one’s favorite authors, or a run of a favorite comic. For me, as I suspect for many, it’s the thrill of the chase! The feeling that you get when you manage to find something you have been looking for a long time, and get it at a good price, is something our caveman would have recognized!
So, what are the 10 Golden Rules for Collecting?
1 Do it for the love not for the money! You have to live with it remember!
2 Condition is key.Find the best example you can afford. A chipped or damaged piece will do as a way to fill in a gap in your collection, but always aim for the best.
3 Think outside the box and don’t go for something everybody collects e.g. stamps or coins, unless of course you want to! For example, if you like books you don’t have to stick with 1st editions but find something different, e.g. I collect Shire books – they are interesting too and don’t break the bank to buy. I have fun searching them out at car boots and in charity shops and they don’t take up too much room either, which is also an important consideration!
4 What do you like? How about something connected with your job? A pharmacist friend collects old pharmacy jars and bottles. An Avon rep I know collects early Avon bottles and packaging.
5 Learn all you can from books, magazines, internet, clubs & societies. If you are an expert, you can pick up bargains because of what you know.
6 Where to find? eBay, auctions, car boot sales, charity shops..
7 Set your price and stick to it. It is all too easy to get carried away, especially when bidding at auction, whether in the saleroom or online.
8 Buyer Beware (caveat emptor) keep your wits about you- if it looks too good to be true it probably is….
9 Don’t forget to safeguard your collection. Depending on the value, it is a good idea to add your collection to your household insurance policy. Take photographs of figurines or jewelery for example, and catalog your collection to keep a record in case of loss or theft.
10 ABOVE ALL HAVE FUN!
Copyright c. M.Michaelis2009