How to Start a Collection

I’ve mentioned this to you before, my dear Wanderers, but I am a collector. In particular, I collect action figures, ranging from the cheap mass produced ones, to the high-range made for the collectors market style. Though, actually, I never go too far into the latter range but that’s more a question of cost versus my own personal disposable income once the needed things are paid for. One of the questions I always get asked, when informing someone of this, is how did I get into collecting in the first place. Now, in my own case, it was actually a habit that formed from family members consistently getting me similar types of items and starting a collection for me. When I was old enough to do so, I just sort of… continued, moving into areas I preferred.

That being said, I can realise how daunting it may all seem for someone who wants to maybe start collecting things, but isn’t quite sure where, or even how to start. So, this tips article is going to be a little different.

First, I shall preface by stating this: DO NOT PUT YOURSELF INTO DEBT OVER A COLLECTION. There are things that are far more important that having that newest item, and you should always make sure you are comfortable in the necessities first. Right, that being said, let’s get on to the tips:

  • To begin, set a budget of sorts – I learnt how to create a weekly budget out of desire to be able to grab some of the Classic Doctor Who serial DVDs while they were being sold at a very affordable price at the local supermarket. Yes, this is a entirely selfish motivation, but it is a motivation, and it is a type you can use. Learn how to adjust your money wisely, so you have enough for the needed things in life, and enjoy to spend how you please. I realise that, occasionally, it is very easy to stray from this budget, so it will take a lot of self-control to keep to it.
  • Keep a track of how much you have spent – Related to the tip above, and expanding on it more. Yes, making a budget is all well and good, but so is keeping all those receipts! Be aware of just how much you are spending on your collection, and if you ever find yourself questioning if a piece is really worth the price it’s asking, it’s probably not meant for you so just.. put it back on the shelf. I’m sure you’ll find something that will make you pay for it, no matter what the cost. (Though in those cases, I advise saving up).
  • Be sure to do some research on what the market offers – Prices fluctuate. We all know this. Particularly if you use sites like Ebay. However, when taking that first step into the area you want to collect, it is probably helpful if you have a look around, and just look and see what it is in particular you want to collect. Okay, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, so let me explain. You want to collect action figures? Cool. So.. what kind are you going for? Are you only looking for ones from DC Comics? Then the DC Direct/DC Collectables site will be your best bet for seeing what is out there. And so on, and so forth. Research helps.
  • Don’t let it become a job – If you ever get to a point where you feel to have to get something, just to complete the series, even if you don’t particularly like it? My advice to you is just don’t. Collecting, like every other aspect of fandom, is meant to be something that is fun to the person. It shouldn’t feel like a task. If it does, take a step back and have a look. Maybe the collection isn’t as fun as it used to me, or maybe you’ve gotten to a point where you’ve got everything you might want. This is all fine. Just… don’t make it feel like something you have to do, even if you don’t want to.

Z McAspurren (Guilty of occasionally overspending. Doing her best to be better about it)

This entry was posted in FW Tips, Issue Forty-Five and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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