Q: Why should I collect?
A: I have heard that people who “collect” are happier people than those that don’t! Now I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it does make sense that having a hobby (and collecting is a hobby) would keep life more interesting. I have a friend that was once depressed, then she started collecting things that made her laugh (at the suggestion of her doctor). She’s just fine now…and loves the funny things she has collected through the years that still make her laugh!
Q: What should I collect?
A: Collect what you like! Really! What’s the point of collecting anything if it does not appeal to you? Besides, if you start a collection just for the sake of an investment, and that market “heads south” for whatever reason, you’d be stuck with a collection of things you don’t really care for. However, don’t forget that collecting can be a lucrative investment also. Read antique publications such as Kovel’s or AntiqueWeek for tips on what things might be moving UP in value (but trends still come and go – sort of like the stock market). Some people I know say they collect for their children and grandchildrens’ inheritance!
Q: How to start collecting?
A: Start by browsing in your local antique shops to get a feel of what appeals to you. Visit antique shows that might come to your town periodically. Browse around on the internet or visit a book store to see what might spark your interest. Some people collect what makes them remember “days of old” when they were a child….or things they remember their Great-grandmother using….like butter molds.
Q: Collecting on a Budget: What types of things can be found at a reasonable cost, yet are collectible and should increase in value.
A: Well, no one really knows the answer to that – we only have our opinions. However, anything you decide to collect can be a good investment, if you spend wisely. Inexpensive collectibles that will probably grow in value according to Kovel’s Tips are: Bookmarks, knitting and crochet instructions and equipment, cuff links, sample bottles, souvenir dish towels.
Q: What is HOT in collecting now?
A: There are some categories that stand out in my mind – with prices climbing. Old Toys, cast-iron Banks, Fifties furniture (esp. by designers), Space collectibles of all kinds –Star Trek and Star Wars memorabilia, robots and space guns, Milk bottles and farm collectibles, Fishing equipment, Colorful pottery, Southern Pottery, Old Christmas Ornaments, Oyster plates and antique Advertising memorabilia, just to name a few.
Q: How should I care for my old metal toys I’ve had since I was a child?
A: Just gently clean them without using any chemicals (and DRY THEM) – If you put chemicals (even glass cleaner) if could take off paint, especially on old tin toys. Don’t repaint them because it will lower the value a great deal.