Collecting isn’t just for children. The days of Pokemon Cards and Pogs may be behind us, but I am willing to bet that most of us own some kind of collection. Acquiring multiple versions of the same item can be a very fulfilling experience. We all have our own interests, and having a great collection of interesting items can be an important form of expression.
On the other hand, keeping a collection costs money. There are many rare items that can be out of our budget. These items can also take up a lot of space. There is a big difference between collecting vintage cars and old coins. There can come a point where our collections can become overwhelming. Have a smart and organized approach to collecting can help us save space, time, and money. Let’s discuss how we can get the most out of our collections.
Collecting For Ourselves
We have all heard the stories of people making a fortune from their collection. Someone finds a baseball card in their attic and uses it to buy a new house. Much like hitting the lottery, these are the extreme cases when it comes to collecting. Nonetheless, these stories can offer hope for fortunes in the future.
The value of collectible items are subject to all the normal factors of commerce and investment. The demand for the product determines the resale value. Since culture is always changing and evolving, the prices of collectible items can be extremely volatile. Without a time machine, it is nearly impossible to collect items for value with any sense of certainty.
This is why it is important that we collect for ourselves. We can’t put a value on the things we love. Too many people have fallen for collecting in an effort to have monetary gains. In the majority of cases this leads to disappointment. Collecting items because they have personal value is going to offer us the greatest sense of fulfillment. Any potential earnings should be seen as a bonus and not an entitlement.
Defining The Scope
Having predefined parameters for our great collection can help us save money and space. For the most part, there are two types of collections. Subject-based collections have many different types of items surrounding the same topic. For example, we might collect anything Batman-related. Brand-based collections contain items of a specific brand. Many people collect Funko figurines regardless of their media category. In addition, collections can be further refined by other factors such an era or genre.
Collection parameters inform our purchases. Having strict rules about collection purchases will limit the number of items that are available for purchase. This lowers our chances of buying items we may not love but fit in the collection. Smaller collections take up less space. On the other hand, having a strict collection that includes many rare items can make our collection financially unfeasible.
As a teenager, I collected PEZ Dispensers. All of them. Any time I went to a store I would look to see what I didn’t have. PEZ Dispensers aren’t expensive but this hobby started adding up fast. I hit a point where I had to narrow down which characters I would be willing to purchase. I still buy them, but I am much pickier about the ones I do buy.
Quality Over Quantity
Having a collection that is too big can drain our wallets fast. For example, we are collecting anything related to Nintendo. This leaves us with a nearly infinite opportunity to purchase items. Nintendo merchandise is available in almost any form. The last thing we want is to spend our paycheck on Mario toothbrushes. Our attics shouldn’t be filled with Zelda sticker packs and air fresheners.
Focusing on quality items is important for any collection. The 0 spent on small novelty items could have purchased one quality piece for our collection. Our box of Nintendo blind bag figurines could be a rare NES cartridge or a piece of custom art.
It is important to know how much space we have available for our collection. Limiting our personal space and cluttering our habitat can have bad effects on ourselves and those who live with us. A studio apartment may not be suitable for ten long boxes of comics. If we decide to start a collection, we should consider how much space we are willing to give up.
This is where organization becomes a crucial part of collecting. Having a good organizational system will allow us to keep bigger collections in smaller places. Instead of displaying our entire collection we can decorate with a few pieces and keep the rest safely elsewhere. Our ten long boxes of comics might look better as a few framed issues or a small bookshelf. For most of us our home is our most important location. We should always be finding ways to use our space in a way that best fits our lifestyle.
Look in Creative Places
Great pieces for our collections can be found in a variety of places. All of our typical bargain hunting rules apply here. Thrift stores and garage sales are often hiding amazing items. Clearance bins can be treasure chests of collectible items. Keeping an eye out for a good deal can only help our budget.
Handmade items and crafts are another good way to find collectible items. Many of these items are rare or unique. This is also a great way to support local artists and artisans. A painting of our favorite musician may fit our record collection better than the bin of records at the thrift store.
Do You Have A Great Collection?
What do you like to collect? How do you prefer to keep your great collection? Let me know on social media!