Author Topic: The Zen of Collecting: 8 Tips for Building a Better Collection  (Read 4863 times)

Offline AzT

  • Supporter
  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jan 2014
  • Posts: 6759
  • Liked: 1849
[ Shared for the encouraging benefit of the many collectors in this fab community; helpful tips, these  :D ]

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

by David Chesanow (04/22/14).
 
“Knowledge is power,” a quote attributed to Sir Francis Bacon, is the watchword of collecting and one reason WorthPoint is such a valuable resource: With a few keystrokes you can research a specific collectible and find out what similar items-even the very same one you’re considering purchasing-sold for in the past. It’s the ideal way to get an idea of how often a collectible comes on the market and whether you’ll be paying top dollar if you decide to spring for it.

As for general advice, novice collectors may benefit from-and veteran collectors may identify with-the following observations gained by more than three decades of prowling various venues, including the universe’s biggest flea market: the Internet.

1. Collecting is about restraint, not the lack of it. If you buy selectively, you’re a collector; if you buy reflexively or compulsively, you’re a hoarder. In other words:

2. Don’t amass “stuff”-collect something that’s meaningful to you. True collecting is much more than just acquisitiveness; it’s about knowing all you can about your subject and, even better, discovering something new that other collectors don’t know about.

3. Choose your collecting area carefully, specializing as much as possible, and set parameters for yourself. It’s smarter and certainly more cost-effective to limit your spending and then broaden your field than to spend widely and then narrow your focus.

4. Be realistic. If you flip burgers at McDonald’s for minimum wage, don’t plan to collect signed Hemingway first editions. Better to choose a more contemporary author or artist or musician you really love whose associated memorabilia is within your price range.

5. Stay within your budget. Part of the fun of collecting is getting great stuff at great prices. Sure, if you have deep pockets, you can buy whatever you want by just throwing money at it-but how rewarding could that possibly be? What’s more, you’re bound to overpay more often than not.

Some of my favorite pieces are the ones I paid the least for. This usually meant spreading the word about what I was looking for, watching a lot of online auctions and dealer websites, exercising patience and in general persevering. When you finally nab what you’ve been searching for, that’s when you’ll feel the most gratification.

6. Quality is more important than quantity. Unless something is unique, one-of-a-kind or so rare that you’ll never see another, expect it to pop up on the market again-sooner rather than later, in better condition and/or at a better price. Before buying or bidding on something, ask yourself: Do I really need this particular item? If your honest answer is no, then pass on it.

7. You can’t have everything. Collecting is a journey that never ends. Unless you collect a very limited series of something-rookie cards for the 1969 Mets, for example, or Franklin Mint spoons for the state of Hawaii-you’ll never acquire every worthwhile collectible in your area of interest … so don’t try to buy everything. Again, be selective.

8. When you lose an item, let it go. I write this on the very day that I lost something on eBay just as I was about to snipe it-because I mistyped my bid. Sleeping through an early-morning auction, mistaking the date or time an auction ended, encountering a computer glitch, discovering that an auction ended unexpectedly because the seller sold the item directly to another bidder-all these things have happened to me. Most often, I’m simply outbid. It used to ruin my whole day-even my whole week.

Then I learned to take a deep breath and just get over it. If you want to be spiritual about it, just accept that everything happens for a reason. Maybe it means that you’ll get something even better before long. Or consider it fair payback for the great stuff you were lucky enough to get in the past. The important thing is not to agonize over a loss and, if possible, to learn something from the experience.

If you follow these simple steps, you’ll be a better collector for it.

Offline BadWolf

  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 3281
  • It's all the same to the many faced god.
  • Liked: 663
Re: The Zen of Collecting: 8 Tips for Building a Better Collection
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2014, 07:43:56 AM »
Wow, turns out I am not a good collector. I collect a &*%$ton of toys and don't follow half these rules. For instance, I feel like if you really want it, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and overpay for it.

Friends of Comic Cons

  • Guest

Offline Zero

  • Global Moderator
  • Stan Lee's Hospitality Suite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 10270
  • Liked: 1793
Re: The Zen of Collecting: 8 Tips for Building a Better Collection
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2014, 08:18:30 AM »
Truth be told, I don't collect a lot of toys or figurines.  I'm extremely selective on what I buy when it comes to collecting things.  It may take years before I add anything to any of my collections, whether it be related to toys, books, pins, comic books, DVDs, stuffed animals, and so forth.

This also means that I tend to save up for a really long time and then splurge on one major purchase.

I suppose that would mean that I'm following the rules of collecting, right?  Or, is it too selective?  Ha ha.
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login | You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Searching for the light known as 'you' in the middle of the night...

Friends of Comic Cons

  • Guest

Offline Transmute Jun

  • Buying Group Coordinator
  • Stan Lee's Hospitality Suite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 21222
  • Queen of the Bird Missiles
  • Liked: 7452
Re: The Zen of Collecting: 8 Tips for Building a Better Collection
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2014, 10:17:20 AM »
I used to do the 'hoarder' type collecting when I was younger, and it was so much fun... until I had to move and realized that I never looked at this stuff. I Ebayed it all and then moved on. Since then, I've been a lot more selective and generally just buy items that I think are super cool and have some meaning to me.

Offline Chris

  • Global Moderator
  • Volunteer HQ
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 6698
  • Liked: 1537
Re: The Zen of Collecting: 8 Tips for Building a Better Collection
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2014, 06:03:18 PM »
Pft.  Hoarding schmoarding.  I sleep on a bed of dollar comics like Smaug on a pile of gold.

Offline Jim Watari

  • Supporter
  • Pre-Registration
  • ******
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Posts: 2162
  • Twitter @jwatari
  • Liked: 538
Re: The Zen of Collecting: 8 Tips for Building a Better Collection
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2014, 09:12:48 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Pft.  Hoarding schmoarding.  I sleep on a bed of dollar comics like Smaug on a pile of gold.

I thought you were going to say Scrooge McDuck

The more things change, the more they stay the same

Hoban 'Wash' Washburn: It's okay, I'm a leaf on the wind!
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: What does that mean?

Offline jujubaSD

  • Gaming Lounge
  • ****
  • Join Date: Feb 2014
  • Posts: 463
  • Liked: 67
Re: The Zen of Collecting: 8 Tips for Building a Better Collection
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2014, 01:08:06 PM »
My "specialized" area is pretty broad. lol That would be "Marvel." Whether it's variants of fave issues, rare issues, trading cards or figurines/toys. I am pretty good about limiting it to my fave characters but "Marvel" is kinda sorta a big broad range of things to collect. I am also a completist when it comes to my comics. I think that part kills me. :X but if it's wrong...I DONT WANTA BE RIGHT


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Chris

  • Global Moderator
  • Volunteer HQ
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 6698
  • Liked: 1537
Re: The Zen of Collecting: 8 Tips for Building a Better Collection
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2014, 07:02:53 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
if you buy reflexively or compulsively, you’re a hoarder

I'm not sure I agree that reflexively = hoarder, but I will agree that compulsive collecting is a trap that a lot of people fall into and something to look out for.

Offline AzT

  • Supporter
  • Volunteer HQ
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jan 2014
  • Posts: 6759
  • Liked: 1849
Re: The Zen of Collecting: 8 Tips for Building a Better Collection
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2014, 06:40:38 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a super auction!

Local collector hopes to strike it rich with his Golden Age comics

By Peter Rowe 5:36 p.m. May 20, 2014

When John C. Wise sold his first comic book collection in the 1960s, he netted enough to buy a car.

This time, he hopes to do better.

“I’m going to fund my grandchildren’s education and I’d like to buy a bigger home in San Diego,” said Wise, 62, who now lives in a harbor side townhome. “Or maybe in Coronado.”

These are lofty goals, yet Wise’s latest stash is a treasure trove of 175 comics he bought in the 1980s. Among these Golden Age (1935-1956) landmarks are “Action Comics #1,” Superman’s debut; “Detective Comics #27,” Batman’s introduction; “Marvel Comics #1,” launching Sub-Mariner and lighting the Human Torch.

“Those are seminal books,” said Robert Scott, the veteran owner of one of San Diego County’s largest comic book shops, Comickaze. “Those are kind of the holy grail of comics, the first appearance of Batman and the first appearance of Superman.”

Heidi MacDonald, a former comics book editor who founded “The Beat,” a blog that tracks this industry, agreed. “That’s a very, very significant collection,” she said.

Yet Wise’s books, which could fetch more than $1 million, extend far beyond the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel. It also includes the first “Archie” (1942). The first “Classics Illustrated” (1941). The first appearances of Flash (1940), Captain Marvel (1940), Green Lantern (1940) Justice Society of America (1940), Joker (1940), Catwoman (1940), Daredevil (1941), Wonder Woman (1942).

“This is one of the great Golden Age collections,” said Stephen Fishler, whose New York-based Metropolis Collectibles is conducting the online auction. “It is incredibly hard to put together a collection like this today - it has pretty much all the important key issues.”

How much money will these fantastic adventures command?

“Hopefully a bunch,” Wise said. “Already, it’s a bunch.”

The online auction will continue until June 3 at 4 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time, at comicconnect.com. In the first week, total bids topped $500,000. Even so, Fishler maintained, the action is just beginning.

“We’ve got thousands of clients all registered for the auction,” he said. “The last day of the auction is where the activity happens.”

$1 million

Born and raised in Rockford, Ill., Wise was the son of a high school principal who hated comics. The boy began collecting comics in junior high school, only investing about five years - a few thousand dollars - in this hobby before a car caught his attention, prompting him to sell out.

Too soon.

One example that still rankles: The teenage collector bought a “Detective Comics #27” for $200, held it for a few years, then sold it for $400.

“That comic today would be worth $1 million,” Wise said. “That’s an example of woulda, coulda, shoulda.”

On graduating from high school, Wise drove south to Kentucky. At Murray State University, he studied business and snagged an internship with Northwestern Mutual that led to a career. In time, he became that insurance and financial services corporation’s managing director in Paducah, Ky.

He began to collect again, this time with an adult’s discipline and focus. He sought vintage comics in good-to-mint condition, tucked into hermetically sealed plastic sleeves. He kept them locked away, safe from his three daughters and - as the years passed - seven grandchildren.

“They are not going to get within 100 feet of a real valuable comic,” he said.

Nothing personal. Even now that he’s divorced and living on his own, Wise doesn’t crack open these publications. “I haven’t read a comic book in 25 years. I’m just one of those people who likes to collect.”

In this pursuit, he became familiar with prominent comic book dealers, traded with other collectors and, in 1988, made his first pilgrimage to Comic-Con. The visit introduced him to Metropolis’ Fishler and to his future home. Soon, he bought a place here and began shuttling between Paducah and San Diego.

Super-sized

Wise is not just a comics collector; he also buys Superman toys and movie posters. The living room of his San Diego home contains cinematic salutes to his two homes - an original poster from “Some Like It Hot,” shot in part at the Hotel del Coronado, and lobby cards from a 1922 silent, “The Kentucky Derby.” Upstairs, a framed banner over his bed touts the Cary Grant-Deborah Kerr weepie, “An Affair to Remember.”

He’s keeping some comic books, yet their worth is largely sentimental. “The ones I’m selling are the most valuable.”

This is a good time to sell. At “The Beat” last week, MacDonald followed an auction for an original piece of art from 1974, the first appearance of Marvel Comics’ Wolverine. The final bid: $657,250.

“The collectibles market is skyrocketing,” she said. With comics-themed movies and TV shows popular now, “there’s a lot of interest in all these characters.”

For Wise, though, these comics are a means to an end: retirement in super-sized digs in San Diego - or Coronado. He’s also planning for a more distant future.

“My kids,” he said, “would probably rather inherit real estate in San Diego than a collection of comics.”

But the Wise estate’s size depends on the Wise collection’s fate.

“On June 3rd,” he said, sitting in his living room, “I’ll be right here. And on June 4th, I’ll be real happy or real sad or somewhere in between.”

Offline tehlilone

  • Ballroom 20
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 544
  • It's pronounced "the lil one" ^_^
  • Liked: 177
Re: The Zen of Collecting: 8 Tips for Building a Better Collection
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2014, 01:59:39 PM »
I'm a hoarder and I know it *dance* but I get emotionally attached to many pieces in my collections

Sent while on the move!


Offline alyssa

  • Administrator
  • Stan Lee's Hospitality Suite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 20444
  • Liked: 5065
Re: The Zen of Collecting: 8 Tips for Building a Better Collection
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2014, 09:50:06 AM »
re-reading the 8 tips & reflecting on the change in my collecting skills over this past year.

i've gotten a lot better.  Less junk and more stuff i **love, love**

much rather spend a hundred on one piece i love then on on 5 pieces i'm 'meh' about !

Thanks AzT for the original post!
Donations gratefully accepted. You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login,
Our Twitters @FoCCBlog @friendsofcci
"Are you willing to give up all you are, to keep all you have?" G'kar Babylon 5

Offline Chris

  • Global Moderator
  • Volunteer HQ
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 6698
  • Liked: 1537
Re: The Zen of Collecting: 8 Tips for Building a Better Collection
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2014, 10:16:41 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
7. You can’t have everything.

But what if I want everything? 

Friends of Comic Cons

  • Guest

Offline Transmute Jun

  • Buying Group Coordinator
  • Stan Lee's Hospitality Suite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 21222
  • Queen of the Bird Missiles
  • Liked: 7452
Re: The Zen of Collecting: 8 Tips for Building a Better Collection
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2014, 12:08:24 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
But what if I want everything?

If you have everything, you won't appreciate it as much as if there are still things you want. ;)

Offline Chris

  • Global Moderator
  • Volunteer HQ
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 6698
  • Liked: 1537
Re: The Zen of Collecting: 8 Tips for Building a Better Collection
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2014, 12:46:44 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
If you have everything, you won't appreciate it as much as if there are still things you want. ;)

That is not the answer I wanted to hear.  Can you please reword it in a way where I get to get everything I want?   :o

Offline Transmute Jun

  • Buying Group Coordinator
  • Stan Lee's Hospitality Suite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 21222
  • Queen of the Bird Missiles
  • Liked: 7452
Re: The Zen of Collecting: 8 Tips for Building a Better Collection
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2014, 04:00:02 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
That is not the answer I wanted to hear.  Can you please reword it in a way where I get to get everything I want?   :o

You're Batman. Can't you buy everything you want? I hear rumors that you live in some fancy manor above the Batcave...