If you are contemplating starting a collection, big or small, it’s always best to have a plan before spending your hard-earned money.  Planning ahead, whether you decide to collect autographs, trading cards or other types of collectibles, will help to accomplish your goal and will result in an enjoyable collecting experience. 

  • Select a Theme

The first thing you should do is decide on a theme.  It should reflect you and your passion.  This will help you to stay focused on your goal.  It’s always better to start small and move up from there into rarer pieces.

  • Buy Authenticated/Graded Collectibles

Purchasing collectibles that have been authenticated/graded by a third-party service will help to protect you.  It’s all about the condition.  Certified collectibles can reduce your anxiety as a buyer and increase opportunities as a seller.

  • Do Your Homework

Ask as many questions as you need regarding a third-party service, a dealer, an auction house or a collectible.  More information is available due to the internet with websites and forums giving information about collectibles and their history.  Increase your knowledge no matter what type of collection you decide on.

  • Use a Reputable Seller

Deal with a seller you trust and that assists you with your goals.  A good dealer helps his customers learn more about what they want to collect.  They may be able to help you sell or trade your items.

  • Display or Storage

Depending on the type of collection, do you display your items or put them away?  If you want to display your collection, you need to come up with a creative way to accomplish this without mounting everything on the walls (example: displaying signed bats on a rack instead of a frame on the wall).  If you decide to use a safety deposit box, home safe or other method for storage, make sure they are big enough to store your items.

  • Budget

Establish a budget.  There is nothing wrong with looking for a good deal but  remember, “if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is”.  You don’t want to purchase a forgery.  Buy the finest quality you can afford.  There is no guarantee an item will increase in value or even retain its value, you can’t go wrong with good quality items.  You get what you pay for and it’s an investment.

Keep it fun!  You may not always be able to afford the piece you want or find what you need, but the experience should be fun.