By Barbara Crews, About.com Guide
- Different Strokes for Different Folks
- Tips for Collectors
- The Experts Share Tips for Beginning Collectors
- Learn to Identify Finds and Treasures
- Flea Markets, Shows and Museums
- Televison Shows
- Quizzes for Collectors
- Books, Magazines, eMail Newsletters
- The Companies Behind Our Collectibles
- Sharing Your Stories, Finds and Collections
- Crafts/Decorating/Trash to Treasures
Different Strokes for Different Folks
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 specific little figurines that are marketed as collectibles or, more likely, they will mention Beanie Babies! Meanwhile a collector might say they collect something like Disney, Pottery or Advertising -- usually a wide category. The fact of the matter is -- collectibles are all this and more. From antiques to MacDonald's fast food toys, it's all special in the eyes of the collector.
- What is a Collectible? The Experts Give Their Opinions.
- Collecting the Weird and Unusual
- Incredible and Passionate Collectors Share Their Collections
Tips for Collectors
What you collect is up to you, but there are tips and resources that every collector should know or follow. These are especially important if you're just starting out.
- Cheap Things That Save My Collection and My Sanity
- Collectibles Glossary
- Holiday Decorating with Collectibles - Share Ideas
- Insurance and Your Collection
- Join a Club
- Spring Cleaning Your Stuff
- Starting a Collection
- Ten-Second Tips for Collectors
- What's Your Best Cleaning Tips?
The Experts Share Tips for Beginning Collectors
Learn from the experts and collectors in the various fields. Find out what they look for and how they go about adding to their own collections. You may not have the years of experience, but you can take advantage of theirs.
- Entertainment Collectibles: Tips for Beginners
- Guide to Collecting Movie Posters
- Learn How to Collect Autographs by Mail
Learn to Identify Finds and Treasures
What do you have? The first thing to look for is the manufacturers identifying mark and/or patent numbers. The mark can help you figure out several things, such as what company made it, when it was made and where it was made. Patent numbers will let you zero in on exactly as well as complete information on the item.
Use these resources to help date and value your collectibles.
- Fenton, History of the Logo
- M. I. Hummel Marks of Authenticity
- McCoy Pottery Marks
- Pottery and Porcelain Marks
- U.S. Patent Numbers and Dates
Flea Markets, Shows and Museums
Although the Internet is great for those hard to find items, there is nothing like seeing an item in person. Holding and touching an item at shows is the best way to tell if it's authentic and how to identify similar piece in the future.
Shown here are a few places I've been visited and shows I've attended.
Over the years there have been a number of shows for and about collecting, here are few that have profiled on the Collectibles site. There are a few shows no longer on, but occasionally show up in the middle of the night, as well as the granddaddy of them all -- the Antique Roadshow.
Quizzes for Collectors
Just starting out? Longtime collector? It doesn't matter, our fun quizzes are for everyone. Best of all they're just for fun and no one will know the score!
- Mystery Items - Can You Figure Out What They Are?
- Collecting Collectibles: Do you consider yourself a collector?
- The Cookie Jar IQ Test: Can you figure out what these jars are?
- Disney Tough Trivia: Do you know your Disney movies?
- Do You Want to be a Dealer? See how well you know your stuff.
- Hobby Word Quiz: What are the names for these collectors
- Elvis Presley: Are you a true Elvis fan?
- Collectors News: 10 Questions for Well-Rounded Collectors
- Celebrities: What do they collect?
Books, Magazines, eMail Newsletters
Research is the key to building a smart collection. Even old price guides are a valuable tool in finding out what's available or when it was made. There's a wealth of information available through magazines and the numerous free newsletters on the Internet.
The Companies Behind Our Collectibles
Find out more about the company behind your collectibles. Both current and companies no longer in operation are profiled on this list, as well as well-known auction houses dealing with antiques and collectibles.
- Auction Houses Specializing in Antiques & Collectibles
- Ceramic and Pottery Company Profiles/Histories
Sharing Your Stories, Finds and Collections
Most collectors have a story. Perhaps it's a treasure found buried at a flea market, something given to them that turned out to be valuable or a piece that might not have monetary value, but is worth it's weight in gold for the memories or the person who gifted it.
Read these shared stories and feel free to tell other collectors your treasure hunting stories, pictures of your beloved collections or trash to treasures projects.
- Best Finds
- Childhood Holiday Pictures
- Tell Us About Your Collection
- You Know You're a Collector When . . .
Crafts/Decorating/Trash to Treasures
Do you decorate with your collections, use them in craft projects? Or perhaps you love to create treasures from junk and old stuff. Get inspired with these ideas or share your favorite projects.
- Creating Jewelry from Antique Bits and Pieces
- Gift Tags from Vintage Artwork
- Holiday Decorating w/Collections