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What's a Collectible?

The Experts Give Their Answers


The word collectible means something different to everyone who ponders the question. Ask a non-collector what a collectible is and they will probably mention little figurines that are specifically marketed as collectibles or, more likely, they will mention Beanie Babies! Sometimes the non-collector will mention stamps, coins or even rocks and sea shells. It's always a particular thing.

Ask a collector and you'll get an in-depth answer on the feelings that are evoked, perhaps the investment made or the quest to find their stuff. Although collectors always hope their collections will increase in value, that's not why they started their collection.

My thoughts have always been if it's sold as a collectible, it's not.

At a recently gathering of authors and experts on antiques and collectibles, I asked the question "What is your definition of a collectible?" Rarely did anyone have a quick or glib answer but, after a few moments of thought, would come through with their definition.

The answers:

A piece of a person's personal history that holds a special place in their heart.
Dean Jutilla, eBay

Something you can't get enough of. You get one, you gotta have more.
Brent Feigner, Playthings

A collectible is something made between 1963 - 1980.
Harry Rinker, Rinker Enterprises

You own more than two of something that you have no use for.
Denise, Doll Collecting on About

Something that brings you happiness.
Susan Peterson, Peterson Consulting

Part of a group of something that I want to own.
Peggy Kinstler, Informart

It's a focused and special way to connect with a part of life.
Jordan Wright, Planet Collector.

A collectible is anything that is non-essential that someone wants more than one of.
Lawrence (eBay)

Useless stuff in lots of different colors.
Jane Viator, Antiques Roadshow Insider

Anything that wasn't meant to be and is.
John Bruno, Flamingo Promotions

Something that has an emotional connection to you personally.
Linda Kruger, Collector's News

Collectibles are things you collect.
Jim Tucker, Antiques & Collectibles National Association

Any object that has special meaning to a person.
Beth Deisher, Coin World

An item that's valuable to you personally no matter what the actual value is.
Cathy Clark, The Numismatist

Anything desirable that people are willing to pay money for (to add to a collection).
Pam Wiggins, Antiques.About.com

Something I must have to add to other like objects.
Barbara Crews

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