Thinking of Starting a Collection


If you are thinking of Starting a Collection but not sure what, Start looking around and see What Interests You.

I knew I liked antiques, and my eye was always drawn towards things that were unique or different than most common collections.

So I happened upon my own on what to collect by what life threw at me. And what I was drawn to, it could be something from a collection I saw from a book or something I saw in an antique store and I thought it was cool.

So, there are so many ways collections can start and they can be literally anything that catches your eye, and they don't need to be permanent. You can sell off one and start another when you either lose interest or run out of space.

Sometimes I'm inspired by other people's collections, but generally, it's just something that reminds me of a special event in my life.

You need to ask yourself if you're looking for a small collection or something you want to continue adding to throughout your life because this stuff can take up a lot of space. Maybe think about tiny objects and a shadow box to start with which can also be inspiring. You are then collecting miniatures of things you like rather than jumping in head first, just an idea of course. Jot down a list of things you like and want more of or collect for a loved one or friend.

Collecting is usually an unconscious decision, it hits home when you realize you have ten cobalt blue bottles found over the years or when your elephant collection keeps growing over the years, (Those two or three sitting on a table that makes others think you're into elephants.)

But sometimes collecting is a conscious decision it might be when you want something to remember vacation trips, want to decorate your house with a personal touch or decide to look for fun stuff when shopping.


What is a Collectible

The word collectible means different things to different people, ask a non-collector what a collectible is and they might mention little figurines that are specifically marketed as collectibles, Beanie Babies or perhaps stamps and coins, usually a specific thing.

Ask a collector and you'll get an in-depth answer on the feelings that are evoked, the investment made or the quest to find their stuff. Although collectors hope their collections will increase in value, that's usually not the reason they started collecting.

No one can tell you what to collect, but it should always be something you're drawn to and love looking at. It's that first thing you pick up at the flea market or what catches your eye at the gift shops each time you see it.

It doesn't always have to be a particular item, many collect by colour or shape. You could have a terrific collection of bottles, vases, boxes all in that one colour.

The best advice is to buy with your heart. If you love it and can afford it, get it! a collection should be something to live with and enjoy, not always for future profit. That's called investing and should be left to the experts. Yes, many times collections can increase in value, but even the experts aren't always right and can guess wrong.


What is a Limited Edition

Depending on what you collect, the term-limited edition might come up. A limited-edition can be anything the manufacturer wants it to be. The item might be limited to the year it was produced, with hundreds of thousands being produced or it could be limited to a specific number of pieces.

Before getting excited that an item is a limited edition, find out more about the edition size and how the company released the pieces. Also, check previous editions from the same manufacturer to see if they sold out.


What to Watch out For

The problem’s to beware of depending on the collectible include, rust, chips, cracks, missing pieces, tears, fading, and stains.

Newer collectors often feel an item can be repaired or a part replaced, in most cases yes, unfortunately, that's not an easy task.

When purchasing, buy the very best example you can find. A piece of pottery with a hairline crack or a glass plate with a chip would be substantially less than "book value" and will not appreciate in value the way that perfect piece might. Even if you're not buying for investment, when it's time to sell your stuff, it's a lot harder if the collection is chipped and cracked.

If your collection is the newer stuff that comes in special boxes, it's always more valuable with those boxes. The same is true with vintage stuff the item will always be worth more with the original box.

Also, be sure to keep those boxes in excellent condition, a dented box will also devalue the item.

This also brings up the question, should you keep an item MIP? (Mint In Package) It depends on do you want the display to look like a store shelf? If you can afford it, buy two one to keep MIP and one to display.


How to Care for Your Items

Take great care of your stuff, this means keeping items that can fade out of direct sunlight storing those fragile items in a closet, not the attic where it can be wet and damp. It also means researching the best way to clean your items, such as not putting that gorgeous glass in the dishwasher!

Find the company website and see what they say about taking proper care of their stuff. Company websites are great resources and usually have lots of good tips to share with their collector base.


Tools of the Trade

If you're collecting vintage items, research is the key to being a smart collector. Buy a book it will be a small investment when compared to the cost of a few mistakes.

Don't buy a book primarily for the price information buy it to find out more about possible reproductions, company history, marks to look for, etc. Another good purchase is a general price guide that is handy to find out more about other stuff you might run across in your travels.


Where to Go

If you collect vintage items, the conventions, newsletters, and forums that clubs sponsor are invaluable as a way of keeping informed about your collection and the history of it.

Visit the local swap meets, shows, antique shops, wherever your stuff might show up. Even if you're not ready to purchase yet, learn more about the pieces by touching and feeling it, that’s the best way to becoming an informed collector and if the item shows up "cheap", you'll be ready to pounce.

Check out other online resources, bargains can be found, but even more important those hard to find items will eventually show up, and by adding to your favourites, will be another way of checking for those items you’ve started to collect.


Write to Us

If you have a story of how you started your collection, feel free to send me pictures and a short story about how you started your collection, who knows we might put your story on Roadshow Collectibles Blogs and Articles page, write to


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