Forging Ahead into the World of Collectibles
The art of collecting and the very things that we collect take us many places. It is often both an interior and an exterior journey. From the flea markets to eBay to the great moral debates on discussion boards and in collector clubs, collecting is a very fascinating endeavor.
Your successes and failures as a collector essentially boil down to how willing you are to take the time to master the ins and outs and the ups and downs of the unpredictable collectible marketplace. It's entirely up to you to unearth everything you possibly can about your collectible passion—history, book values, fakes, and so on—and then make patient and wise decisions based on that acquired knowledge. It's up to you, too, to buy, sell, and barter as honestly and fairly as you know how. And you should expect and demand the very same treatment of you! Of course, even the best-intentioned of us will fall down and scrape a knee from time to time; so don't get discouraged if you blunder on occasion, or miss that buy of a lifetime. It's merely being human.
Common sense will never let you forget that rarity rules and condition is king on the collectible front. But common sense will also help you keep in mind that not everything is worth big money. Time and again, you've seen collectibles and memorabilia from a variety of fields that sell for big money. It makes for entertaining reading, and it's a considerable part of today's collector mindset. But it bears repeating that it's not what most collectors and collections are all about. Collecting is primarily about personal gratification. It's a part of people's lives that needn't be affected by other aspects of their lives in which they have no control. By and large, collectors are in control of their collecting—and this is the way it should be. The value of a collection is foremost its sentimental value, and many times a sentimental collection is simultaneously a very expensive collection. And that's the ultimate combination that so many of us want—and there's nothing wrong with that!
You've got a lot of collectible choices in this world. Choices on what to collect—sure. But also choices on how and where to locate your collectible finds, and how to care for them and display them. Make the choices that are right for you more times than the ones that will bring you grief, and you'll be a happy collector for years to come.