Antique Collecting has been a Popular Pastime for the Past 40 Years.
The popularity of the hobby has exploded with the fresh lineup of antique collectors on reality shows, making sometimes thousands of dollars from one found item. Online antique stores offer an even easier solution to hunting for treasures and the public can't get enough. Amateur or beginner collectors are combing nooks and crannies, attics and cellars, but is it just about the money? Old-school Antique collectors will tell you that money is the last thing on their minds, that antique collecting is about a passion for history and is as much about acquiring knowledge as it is old rugs, books or furniture. Whether you're in it for money or love, you have to start somewhere.
What will you Collect?
Choosing your item shouldn't be very difficult, simply pick something you already love or have always wanted to learn more about. You may want to start with an item that you have a personal connection with, an old toy or doll you couldn't part with as a child or a stamp collection you always admired. Whatever you decide, make sure you have a genuine interest in the antique or collectible item as it makes the hunt so much more fun.
Learn how to Collect!
Take a trip to some antique stores and make appointments with other collectors and dealers. Ask questions and learn some tips of the trade. Another great question to ask is about reliable appraisers in your area that specialize in your collectible. Also, learn what you can about the world of collecting. For example, antiques are generally considered to be over 100 years old, while collectibles are more modern. There are many online classes for beginner collectors as well.
Research your Item.
Pack a lunch and head down to the local library. Or better yet, start surfing the internet for information about your collectible. When was it invented/made? What is its country of origin? What makes it special, not only in your eyes but in other collectors' views as well? You will also need to learn how to spot genuine items and fakes if you'd like to make your collection authentic.
Set a Budget.
Every hobby has to have a weekly, monthly or yearly budget. Some antiques and collectibles make for very pricey habits (for example, Persian rugs), while others are more affordable (teacups anyone?). Remember that while almost everyone needs to set a budget, sometimes you may have to dig deep into those pockets for a really rare find.
Decide whether you will be Collecting for Investment or Pleasure.
Will you be trying to make a profit or building an inheritance with your collection? Or will you be the coolest kid on the block with all of your superhero memorabilia? This can sometimes make a huge difference in the calibre of collection you build.