The collectible field changes everyday. Everyone collects for different reasons…some for fun, some for an investment and others use for decorating. No matter what your reason, collecting is fun.
We get questions from both beginning and advanced collectors as they gain knowledge and change collecting fields. Here are some of the questions we have answered.
Question: I only have a small amount of money to purchase items with, and I have been buying a lot of items that are only in good condition, am I wrong?
Answer: It depends on how you are displaying the items and if you are planning to sell them in the future. If you are just storing them hoping to sell them in several years for a profit, chances are you should have just put the money in the bank. For investment, we suggest buying the best quality you can afford, even it you have to save up for a couple of months. Instead of purchasing 20 good quality items, you should look at purchasing 2 to 3 near mint to mint quality. However, if it is part of your home’s decoration and you enjoy it, continue to buy as you are.
Question: How do I learn about the collectible I want to buy?
Answer: Look in your local bookstore, as well as look on the internet for information on the field you are starting to collect. Knowledge is the key. Price guides are a great source of information. However, price guides are only guides. Also link up with other collectors who will teach you what they know.
Question: Should I buy from an antique shop or over the web?
Answer: Again knowledge and the use will guide your purchase. By shopping at antique shops or co-ops, you can touch and feel the item before purchase. You can also judge the condition for yourself instead of letting someone else grade the item for you. Antique shops also do layaway plans, if you are a little short on the total. If you are shopping over the web, check out the person who you are buying from. Ask questions about the item…is it original or reprint…do they guarantee their items…how do they grade the item…where did they get the item…can you get close up pictures of the item for inspection. Reputable dealers will be more than happy to help you.
Question: What about auctions, such as Ebay. I have heard that some people get taken.
Answer: Before you bid on an item, be sure to check out a seller’s feedback. Look to see how long they have been selling and look at their other items. Be sure to ask questions in advance of the auction ending date. Ask for more pictures if necessary. Also check out the amount of shipping, sometimes you can find it locally cheaper when you add in the shipping. Again knowledge is key.
Question: I purchased an item and found out it was a reproduction. How can I prevent it from happening again?
Answer: Guess what, even after 25 years of collecting advertising, we still get “took”. It is from this you learn. If the deal is too good to be true, it is probably a fake. We recently purchased an item on Ebay, which we thought to be a small salesman sample of a larger one we once owned. After asking the seller about the item, he guaranteed it vintage and original. The price was cheap. After receiving it in the mail, we realized it was a printer copy glued to cardboard. The gentlemen would not take the item back. We contacted Ebay and they launched an investigation. We had forms to fill out and had to get an appraisal, and in the end, we got our money back thru Ebay / Pay Pal. So, never give up collecting, just because of one bad experience.