Skip to main content


Are You a Collector? If Not – How to Start…

Collecting is done with the heart. It’s normally an unconscious decision, you wake up one morning and realise you’ve already been collecting something for years (like me and my collection of Matchbox cars). Or you may make a specific choice to begin collecting, something to fill your time with now you don’t have to work anymore.

If you’re going to begin collecting you’ll want to know what to collect, where to get it – and of course if it’s going to end up worth something in the long run. Which isn’t to say that you should collect with a financial motive: if you do that you’re more likely to become a sort of unofficial dealer than a real collector. And you’ll miss out on all the pleasure that comes with having a genuine obsession…

Some basic rules to get you started:

1: Buy what you love. You won’t enjoy collecting if you don’t actively desire the items you’re picking up. Not sure what you love? Think about what you gravitate towards when you go into a second hand shop. For me it’s old toys, old games, first edition books (oh, and my already mentioned car collection)!

2: Never throw the box away. Whatever you collect – if you can get it in its original box, keep it. The closer an item is to its original condition the more you’ll love it. And the more it’ll be worth to other collectors when you start getting serious!

3: Use the Internet. Research is key in successful collecting – and if there’s one thing the web is good for, it’s providing a forum for sites devoted to arcane pursuits. I guarantee no matter what you’re collecting, there’ll be dozens of sites devoted to it!

4: Get out and about. Once you’ve done your research you’ll know a little bit about what you’re looking for. Then the hunt is on! There’s nothing like traipsing round the local bric a brac or junk show looking for that hidden bargain.

5: Join a club. Collecting isn’t the solitary pursuit you might think. If you’re into something, so are other people – and there’s no better foundation for a social connection than shared interests. From scarab beetles to playing cards, there are societies out there who’d be delighted to have you as a member. Just Google the objects of your affection with the word “society” or “club” in the search terms, and join up.

6: Involve the grandchildren. Collecting can be a great way to share a special relationship with your grandkids. Join forces to hunt out bargains, online and at jumble sales!

They say everyone needs a hobby. If you’re the kind of person who attaches special memories and emotions to a certain type of thing, collecting could be the hobby for you. What better time to get involved than after retirement, when you have the time and the funds to indulge yourself?

Ultimately that’s what collecting is all about. Indulging your obsessions and filling your home with stuff you love!

Here’s something to get you started: