Collecting Tips

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.

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What is another definition of a collector?

Not an Ordinary Collector

I am not your ordinary collector.
- anonymous

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.

How do I remove wax from my collectilble?

Removing Wax

Removing wax from candle holders is an easy task. Simply place the holders in a freezer for about 2-3 hours. Remove from the freezer and peel the frozen wax off your collectilble.

What is an antiques worse enemy?


When displaying your antique collections remember; sunlight, heat and humidity are an antiques worse enemy! Take gentle care of them and you will enjoy and your children's children will enjoy also. Protecting a piece of history is invaluable.

I need advice on coin collecting?

Coin/Currency/Postage Stamps

Please visit for great information on Coin/Currency/Postage Stamps collecting advice and tips!

What should I bring with me when I go antique shopping?

Your Journey

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.

Any general rules for collecting?

General Rule

Some of the discards that are parked in your attic may one day be valuable, but others won't pass the test of time. The general rule is: If it's indestructible, poorly made, or mass produced, it probably will not appreciate in value.

How can I keep my ivory collectible white?


The best way to keep ivory collectibles in their original warm, white color is to expose them to light.
This is the only collectible I know that will benefit from sunlight!

Can I trust this dealer?

Keeping records

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)

Should I wait on buying an anitique?

Waiting to Buy

If you can afford that collectible and you want it, buy it now! If the condition is the best you have seen or will probably ever see again in your travels, chances are it won't be there tomorrow.

What are predictions for the future?


It is very hard to predict which collectible piece will increase in value. Some experts are saying furniture made between 1850-1890, 19th century brass and late 19th century china and cutglass will continue to appreciate over time.

What should I do when buying antiques over the internet?

Buying over the Internet

If you are buying antiques over the internet, you need to ask as many questions as you can about an item and even ask for more pictures, or perhaps a video, if you are willing to pay for it.

How should I be informed when buying antiques?

Be Informed

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.

How should I touch up my collectible?

Touch Ups

Always use real gold leaf to touch up gold leaf trimmed collectibles. By using gold paint, the value will be depreciated.

What is considered a collectible


Simply put, a collectible can be defined as any object that a person desires to collect.

Are there different types of collectors?

Collector Types

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.

What anitiques are holding their value?

Holding Value

Silver, glass, pottery, porcelain, books, paintings, jewelry, rugs, clocks, and furniture are all considered the bread and butter of the antique world. These items are not trendy and subject to massive fluctuations in price and value, and are good for the long haul.

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Guru Spotlight
Kristle Jones