Becoming a collector takes more than just a vague interest in gathering potentially valuable items. Collectors who are serious about their collections have to work hard to find and source the right items. It requires keen interest, research, a good eye, and attention to detail to become a great collector. If you have these qualities and can stick with something until you get what you want, you might become a great collector yet. Here are a few tips for becoming a good collector:
1. Study and know your subject. It is very important to know what you are collecting and have as much information about it as possible. If you don’t know your collectibles well enough, you may end up ripping yourself off when selling or overpaying when buying. With good research, you will be able to determine exactly what to look for in a collectible and what its value really is.
2. Don’t rush into purchases. Many collectors struggle to be patient when they find an item that they ‘must have’. This is dangerous as they may end up paying way too much for it and possibly have a loss when they try to re-sell at the same or a higher price. When you are at an auction or found a piece you really want, be patient, do your research, and go in with a clear head.
3. Establish relationships with dealers. The best way to grow your collection and find the pieces that you want is by getting close to the people who source them. Find dealers and collectors of the items that you collect and find out where they get their items from. Good relationships with these people could lead to your biggest discovery.
4. Quality is more important than quantity. A common mistake that some collectors make is to buy many mediocre or lower-value items instead of choosing a few more valuable and high-quality key pieces. A larger collection is not necessarily more valuable. In fact, a collection of lower-value items might be worth less than one really good piece.
Once you have these things down, you will be a well-disciplined and clear-headed collector that will get the items he wants. The key is in knowing what you want and where to find the right quality.