How to Start a Winning Collection in 8 Easy Steps
Winning Collection i

Arctophiles. Sucrologists. Lotologists. These are but a few of the many obscure words used to describe people who collect specific items. (Teddy bears, sugar packets, and lottery tickets, respectfully.)

Ever since humanity was stable enough to have a wealth of supplies and tools available, there have been people who longed to collect things. If you want to join the ranks of the collectors but aren’t sure how to start a collection, never fear. Our guide will show you the steps you need to follow in order to start your first collection.

Step 1: Choose a Collectible You Like

Are you passionate about pennies? Can’t stand to go without stamps? Perhaps you used to play with baseball cards or trading cards back in the day and want to capitalize on your collection. Or maybe there’s a specific show or movie that you love more than anything else in the world, and you have to have all the merch for it.

Whatever your motivation, you typically start collecting out of love. So, if you’re ready to start your first collection, sift through your interests and narrow in on the one thing you’d treasure having more of than anything else.

Step 2: Buy Your Heart’s Desire

Everyone remembers their first collectible item, whether it was a shiny card in a Yu-Gi-Oh! Booster pack, a favorite record, or your first challenge coin, you never forget where you started off. If you don’t already have a collection started, buy your first piece with love in your heart.

The thing about starting a collection, especially when you collect things that are hard to find, like older coins or stamps, is to make investments when you have the chance. If you see a piece that you think would fit perfectly in your collection, and you have the funds to buy it, get it while you have the chance.

Chances are, by the time you return to that store, the one thing you desired will be long gone.

Step 3: Choose Your Motivation

Figuring out how to start a collection is easy. Figuring out why you want to collect can be hard and is an extremely important step as it will inform your purchasing decisions. Are you buying these things with the intent of one day reselling them at a profit? If so, then you need to take extra care to preserve the collectibles.

If, on the other hand, you’re collecting these items for the pure love of them or their usefulness and don’t care about resale value, you won’t be too fussed about potential damage. Do you want to collect comics to read them at your leisure or to resell rare volumes at top dollar? Are you collecting trading cards for playing the game or to profit off of the meta?

Make sure you know your motivation before you start a collection.

Step 4: Preserve Your Collectibles

You don’t see comic book collectors without protective sleeves, card collectors without binders, or figurine collectors without display cases. Even if you don’t intend to one day sell your collection, you need to take steps to preserve it. This means at the least finding ways to protect them from water, dust, skin oils, and other contaminants.

Step 5: Search Far and Wide for Additions

Depending on what you’ve chosen for your first collection, finding additions can be as simple as purchasing a pack of trading cards from the local store or as difficult as traveling to auctions across the country. Some collections are easier to start than others and require far less investment and upkeep.

Once you’ve focused on what you want to collect, think of the pieces you want to add to it the most, then scour the web or local stores for them. Don’t be afraid to search beyond the standard websites like eBay, as you can find resources for collectors of almost any item on the internet if you search hard enough.

Step 6: To Store or Display, That Is the Question

Once you know how to start a collection, it’s time to figure out what you want to do with it. Do you want to store your collection away from the light of day, where only you can appreciate its beauty and value? Or would you rather showcase your collection to the whole world and add some decorative value to your home in the process?

Depending on what you collect, certain choices might be more or less appropriate. However, if you intend to display your collection, you’ll need shelving units, frames, binders, shadowboxes, and other creative solutions. You should also try to highlight your focal pieces in these displays.

Step 7: Care for Your Collection

Even if you intend to keep your first collection for your entire life, you should do what you can to protect it. This means washing delicate dishes by hand, avoiding harsh chemicals on figurines, and keeping anything that can fade out of sunlight.

If you collect jointed toys, you may need to take them out and reposition them or play with them to prevent those joints from breaking down. Cars need to be driven a certain amount to avoid dying. So, don’t forget about the more active parts of maintaining your collection beyond simple cleaning.

Step 8: Keep an Open Mind for Pieces

When starting a collection, it’s easy to get laser-focused on your dream pieces to the exclusion of all else. However, you need to keep an open mind while you’re out shopping. You never know what kind of great finds might go unnoticed if you’re too focused on trying to find one specific thing.

Let’s Review How to Start a Collection

Still not sure how to start a collection? Let’s review. First, you pick something to collect and decide whether you want to keep it or eventually resell it. After that, you start accruing collectibles and either storing or displaying them. With all that done, you are officially a collector. Congratulations!

If you need more help with your first collection, whether it’s finding pieces or taking care of them, check out our blog for more articles like this one.

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