Monday, February 06, 2006

Collections As Hobbies

Collecting as a hobby is a fairly well-known way of displaying your interest in a certain type of item. There are many collections that you can begin. Here are a few of the more popular and some of their pros and cons.

Antiquing, or collecting old items, is one type of hobby. The benefit of this hobby is that you can often begin your hobby collection for little money because you will be able to start by rifling through antique shops, flea markets, and estate sales to find good deals. The downside is that if you are willing to spend more money, you could find yourself being taken advantage of. You also could get overwhelmed. There are a lot of older items out there for collection. Your best bet is to try to narrow yourself down to a certain decade or a certain type of item.

Historical memorabilia also can be a fun group of items to collect. There are smaller items you can gather, such as political buttons from campaigns past as well as larger items, like posters and objects that belonged to famous people. The upside is that this hobby comes complete with complementary hobbies, such as reading about the historical periods from which you are collecting. On the other hand, these items tend to be rare and pricey.

People in any economic bracket can collect dolls. While there are some people who specialize only in high-end dolls, there are enough well-paid ceramic and porcelain models around that other people can collect them at any cost level. The benefit of doll collections is that they can grow pretty easily. You can start out collecting only wedding dolls, for example, and then move into other arenas, such as nationality dolls, which represents different countries of the world. Doll collections also lend themselves to display, which is unlike many types of collectibles you will find. The downside is that you must have room to display them because they should not be left in their boxes. They also are fragile, so houses with unruly dogs or children are not good candidates for this hobby.

Some people stake their collection reputations on certain brand-name items. Some people may try to collect smaller items. For example, perhaps they collect all of the items sold in McDonald's Happy Meals over a period of time. To ever have any chance of making money with these collections, it will be necessary to keep them in mint condition. The upside is that the hobby is cheap. You also could go for trademarked items, such as Star Trek. These hobby collections often have groups of people who share the hobby, so that you can make friends as well as develop a new hobby.

If you are at all handy, then old record players and other musical items could be for you. There is something wonderful about restoring an old phonograph and then being able to play it! You will find that you can thumb through salvage stores for old albums to put your new hobby to use, or you can sell the items you restore. You may be surprised at how many people want old musical equipment and how much they will pay for it!

There are other collections that most people know about and many try at some point. Baseball cards, coins, and stamps all are part of these collection-friendly items. All of them are fairly easy to get, unless you start looking for rare items, and most of them are inexpensive. The items themselves are small, meaning you can display them in a small area or keep them locked away for the future. These collections will bring you much joy and happiness if you take the time to learn about how to care for the items, how much they are worth, and what they represent.

Collections can be a fun way to pick up a hobby. It is something to which you do not have to commit weekly, monthly, or even annually. It is a hobby that works on your schedule and one that will allow you to spend time caring for something that you enjoy. Take the time to examine what you love. Is it possible to turn it into a collection hobby? You will be rewarded greatly for your efforts.

By Julia Mercer

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