The Importance of Staying Active
One of the more appealing aspects of collecting is the action itself - the process, from beginning to end, of building a collection. This may include things like the development of a theme, a blueprint for possible display, research and the hunt for the items needed to move towards completion. Building a collection is a process; it takes time. Even after you finish a specific collection and check all the required items off the list, it is only truly finished when you decide it is.
What do I mean by that?
Well, even after you complete a collection, or set, there is always the possibility of upgrading certain items within the collection. Of course, where that stops is up to you and your financial resources, but technical completion doesn't necessarily mean the action stops. Moreover, you may find yourself collecting something that is ever-evolving, like a run of single-signed Hall of Fame baseballs or Super Bowl tickets. Every year, the checklist grows, so the collector must react accordingly if he or she is interested in maintaining 100% completion.
Let's say you have finished exactly what you set out to do and, unlike the examples above, your specific collection has stagnated because the composition is finite. For example, if you are a collector of Mickey Mantle items, you might decide to assemble a collection of every baseball card manufactured during his playing days in a particular grade. Since Mickey Mantle isn't playing anymore, that specific collection is limited in terms of its makeup. Once it is done and it has reached your quality standard, there is nowhere else to go.
However, your collection does not have to end there. In addition to the basic action of assembling a collection, expanding your horizons is something that can also be highly enjoyable. If you are like the aforementioned Mickey Mantle card collector, you might consider adding other Mantle-related collectibles as complimentary pieces to your existing foundation. You are already a big fan of Mantle, so why not consider collecting things like key autographed items, significant tickets from Mantle's career, original photographs, game-used equipment or display pieces?
You can decide to take this as far as you want it to go. Best of all, the expansion can fit just about any budget. It's all about the types of items you want to pursue as compliments. Is it a $50 wire photo or a $500,000 jersey? That is up to you. The beauty of finding complimentary items is that, often times, you will find that it isn't always the most expensive addition that brings you the most joy. While it's true that many high-value collectibles reap the most attention, you may find joy in owning something that doesn't quite fit that description. These are the items that may not inflict serious damage to your wallet.
As a collector myself, I have experienced long droughts which have adversely affected my hobby experience. I know I am not alone here. There are times when you either can't seem to find the right item for your collection, or you simply can't make the purchase due to your particular financial situation. Whatever the case may be, if the action stops, it can deflate your desire to collect. I have been there, and I know many others who have experienced that feeling as well. Just keep in mind that there are ways to stay involved no matter what the circumstances may be. There are even ways that cost either little or no money at all, such as simply learning more about the collectibles you already own or ones you are considering in the future. Education is a great and inexpensive way to stay active in the hobby.
Do yourself a favor and try your best to stay active. It keeps feeding the inner-collector in us all.
Never get cheated,
Editor In Chief
Copyright © 2014 PSA – A Division of Collectors Universe. Nasdaq: CLCT. All rights reserved.