Collecting is a serious hobby for many and a casual pastime for others; from coins and baseball cards to Jim Shore figurines and garden gnomes, the search for and acquisition of the next piece in a collection is something that delights hobbyists from every corner of the globe. While the steps to becoming a collector are certainly simple, the evolution of any collection can span years.
Although it seems obvious, new collectors must decide what to collect; more specifically, they must choose an area on which to focus. For example, a collector of sports memorabilia may want to collect only baseball memorabilia or items from a certain team or player. Others focus on a certain period in history for their unique collections, making the hobby one that is highly subject to personal preference.
Research is another important part of becoming a successful collector. After all, learning about the most common, rare and highly sought items in any area will make it far easier to recognize a piece that must be immediately added to the collection or reject one that is more expensive than it should be.
Like any hobby, maintaining a budget is a good way for collectors to ensure that they are not exceeding the amount of money that they can afford to spend on the activity. However, another important part of becoming a collector is to determine whether the collection is intended as personal, investment or both. Similarly, researching prices is a good idea not only for budgetary concerns, but for expanding the collector’s horizons in terms of finding pieces that he or she never even knew existed.
Finding New Pieces for a Collection
While shopping for collectibles online is often the fastest, most convenient way to bolster the size of any collection, there are still plenty of other ways to unearth those items that are hard to find. Although shopping standard retail stores may not yield the results that a collector is hoping for, those who take the time to explore secondhand stores, church rummage sales and auctions may find interesting additions for their collections.
Estate sales are also an excellent way to find new items for a collection. However, instead of waiting to stumble upon a sale at a former collector’s estate, peruse forums and other online communication resources to determine when and where such events will occur.