Abby Drexler is a contributing writer and media specialist for US website Antiquities. She regularly produces content for a variety of collectors’ blogs. Here she gives some expert advice on collecting memorabilia
There is something special about the various creations people have made throughout the years, including music and movies. The same could be said about sports and even history. Many people find collecting memorabilia fascinating and for good reason, and this love can often be taken to another level and allow you to venture into a whole other hobby. The following are a few tips to help you get started with your collection.
Location is Vital
The first thing that any collector has to learn is where to find the goods. There are so many possibilities out there, such as antique stores and charity shops. Accept the fact that you will not always find something good, but go to the ones that you feel you might find something at.
Some collectors travel far and wide to visit charity shops and antique stores that they have not visited before. You should also check out car boot sales, flea markets and garage sales. It might also be a good idea to check out consignment shops if you like collecting brand clothes.
Learn and Learn
It is important that you learn (and keep learning) as much as possible. You can collect film memorabilia, music memorabilia, or any other type of memorabilia for years and will still need to continue learning.
What you want to learn while you are searching are titles, years, and editions that are worth something online. The internet might teach you something, but it’s always a good idea to go to auction houses, and attempt to learn as much as you can there, too. Learning the unique history behind the artefacts that you finally obtain is also what makes collecting memorabilia so fascinating.
Have Your Backup
It’s probably best to admit that you are never going to learn every piece of information about your area of interest. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a backup, such as your mobile phone to hand. You can search online for the item you found to get an idea of how much it is worth before making the purchase. You want to make sure that the seller is not trying to sell it to you for more than its current value.
As such, it’s important to make sure your phone is fully charged so that you can go through an entire day of hunting. Keep a car charger and a rechargeable battery charger with you to make sure you always have access to the internet when needed.
Expand Your Reach
It is easy to think that some items, especially the ones that you feel might be worth something, are out of your reach. The fact of the matter is that this is not true. In fact, there are many items that you can purchase, even if they seem out of reach.
For example, those who like to collect movie props can actually buy them from the prop-creating companies themselves. Sometimes, these props are sold to people with installment plans, which makes them quite affordable. Of course, this strategy only works for some collectors. Others might have to wait to get lucky while hunting.
Know About Replicas
You are going to come across replicas as you start collecting, whatever you like to collect. You need to be aware of replicas and the real thing so that you are not paying more than you need to. Official replicas usually have a mark or plate telling the buyer that it is a replica, though this is not always the case.
The best thing that you can do is go online, and study the kind of details that will tell you that you are holding a genuine piece. You are going to have to learn how to spot the difference between various textures or be able to calculate weight on the spot. These types of skills could help you become a better treasure hunter.
Understanding how to preserve some of the items you find is vital for any collector. It is very easy to make a mistake when you are preserving something. For example, you might think it’s a good idea to laminate a piece that you are collecting. Lamination is a bad idea. This is likely going to ruin the piece; destroying your investment at the same time.
There are many tools that you should familiarise yourself with to properly conserve your piece. For example, using acid-free scrap books are good for cards, or frames with ultraviolet filtering should be used for larger pieces of paper. Acid can ruin color, and you want to keep those powerful UV rays from your posters, pictures and photos because they can discolour pieces. Many are delicate to begin with.
Now, you know a little more about collecting, hopefully some of these pointers will guide you in the right direction. It is important to note that these are just beginner’s pointers, but you will learn more as you go along. Be sure to carry cash because many of the places you might hit during your hunts are likely going to want payment in money. Without further ado, go forth, collect, and good luck!