Read these 16 Collecting Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Antique tips and hundreds of other topics.
I am not your ordinary collector.
I don't collect rocks, or stamps, or beanie babies, and I don't collect toys or postcards or any of the stuff most people collect. I collect memories. They aren't hard to find, and they aren't hard to keep. They're cheap, and they are meaningful. In this world I see too many people collecting material things, just to 'have' them.
Why does everyone have a need to have everything they see. You have more than one of something, and suddenly you find the urge to get more and more and more, and then it almost becomes an obsession. With memories, you can simply look back on life, and the wonderful experiences you've had.... but with other collections, later you can just look back on all the money that went into a meaningless hobby. Of course this isn't always true, some collections are of sentimental value, but most are superficial, and leave you empty.
My collection of memories is as colorful and vibrant as the best collection of beanie babies, it's as diverse as the biggest collection of stamps. It holds laughter, tears, fear and hope, and all I have to do is remember.
Bring cash-though some dealers will take a check or credit card, cash is a big plus when it comes to bargaining, especially when you are at flea-markets.
Pack along with you price guides and make sure they're current. Prices, especially for country furniture, kitchenware, and toys have been fluctuating wildly.
Carry a tape meaasure and a list of your room and doorway dimensions.
Magnifying glass for closer inspections.
Get a dated reciept for any purchases. It is standard operating procedure to ask professionals selling antiques to provide you with a receipt that is a full description of the piece, including a condition report and estimated date of production. Without this documentation, you're at risk. (Beat the System, Jeff Bredenberg, 1999)
Your best defense when buying antiques as an investment is simply to be well informed. Read books from the library, ask questions of dealers, know what you are shopping for and what it should be worth. Most dealers specialize and so should you. No one knows everything about everything. If you are buying the piece because you like it and not as an investment, the only criteria is how much you like it and how much you can afford.
There are basically three type of collectors. One who buys for the absolute and shear beauty. Second,the collector who eagerly buys and specializes in one particular object. Third is the buyer who deals stricly for investment, speculation purposes.
Although these categories do intertwine, they are the basic types.