Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hunting for Antiques and Collectibles

By Christina VanGinkel

Hunting for antiques and collectibles is the perfect hobby for a variety of different people. Everyone that I have talked too that spends time antiquing or searching for collectibles has given me a different reason why they enjoy it as much as they do. Maybe they like the thrill of finding something that someone else deemed junk, but is actually worth money in a marketplace, such as Ebay. On the other hand, they like getting out of the house going to sales on the weekends, or enjoy the thrill of bidding when the items are up for bid at an auction type sale. Sometimes they like to go antique hunting because they like decorating their homes with their finds. Maybe they have begun a collection of an item, and they have collected it for so long, that the item has gone from being an everyday item, to becoming a collectible, so in order to keep collecting it they have had to change the way they shop for it. The reasons behind why so many people enjoy this hobby are probably equal to the number of those that do it, so unique are everyone's experiences.

If you are unsure if this is something you could do, even though you like the idea of it, because you feel that you would not know an antique or collectible if it jumped up and bit you, then stop right there. One reason so many people do enjoy it, is that it takes absolutely zero skill! The most successful antique or collectible hunter is one who hunts for things they like. There is no law book on what will be a popular antique or collectible tomorrow. For this reason alone, you really should only buy something if you like it, not because you feel it might have a monetary value now or in the future. What, you want to get involved in this hobby because of the potential to make some cash on the side? There are books available to help make your hunting more value oriented. There are books on specific types of antiques and collectibles, on markings to help you differentiate a real antique from a fake one, there are books available to help you even tell the age of an item, or the material something is made of.

Along with books, there are also hundreds, even thousands of online sites about all different aspects of antiquing and collectibles. Some are about specific items, while others are about antiques or collectibles in general. Browsing through websites is a good way for you to notice what is collectible and what is not. It may even help you identify what it is about hunting for antiques or certain collectibles that appeal to you. This is exactly how I discovered my appeal to postcards.

I was browsing online, helping my son search for an old picture for a project he was working on. We found one that would work, and when I realized it was a photo of a postcard, I remembered a cigar box of old postcards that my Mother had given me years ago. I dug it out, and before I knew it, I was looking for postcards every chance I was given. To this day, I will sop at every antique store, no matter how small, rummage sales, and browse Ebay just to see what I might find. All because of a single photo, I came across online when looking for something else. I have also since discovered numerous websites about ephemera collectibles in general, both antique and those newer but still considered collectible. This backs up my belief that you should look for those items you like. Hunting for antiques and collectibles is no fun if it is a chore; you should enjoy the search as much as the find, and for that to occur, you must really enjoy the possibility! Does that make sense? If you are looking for a fun hobby, try hunting for antiques or collectibles, it is a fun hobby, and one that you do not need any special tools for, other than an interest in getting out there and finding whatever it is that has sparked an interest with you!

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