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Collecting on a budget

River Tame Sepia

You can collect all kinds of things, old postcards, stamps, coins and it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can even collect advertising leaflets and posters. You can get those free! The old leaflets and posters from years ago are valuable today, but you need to be selective. You need to have an eye for good design and visual appeal. You can even collect packaging, bottles and jars.

Lots of packaging from the 1930’s and earlier is now in demand and some items from the 50’s and 60’s are now collectable. Those items tend to be related to what was going on at the time. In the 50’s and 60’s it was pop music that caught the public’s imagination in European countries. In the 1930’s and early 1940’s it was the war that had everyone’s attention.  What has everyone’s attention today? The financial crisis does, of course, but it would be hard to collect items related to that; but you could look for leaflets. Coins might be collectable as money is devalued and with the price of gold going up, gold coins are worth having. Things to do with social media would be worth having but it’s hard to collect something that relates to something virtual. In years to come the Facebook merchandise that is around, like Facebook pin badges might be sought after collectors items.

It is a good idea to look at the past to see what might be collectible in the future. I have a World War II ration book and they can be collectible because film companies making films about World War II will want to copy them for the film. Cars are collectible too but expensive to buy, maintain and store; but great fun!

Look for the unusual. I had a look around my home for unusual glass items and found a soya sauce bottle, a olive oil bottle that was square and some jars. Most of these will be phased out in the future and replaced with plastic. I’m already seeing  jam come in plastic  containers as jars disappear. Even a glass Heinz salad cream or ketchup bottle will be collectible soon. I still see tins used for a lot of things like chocolates, sweets, shoe polish, cough sweets and so on; but for how much longer?

Things that have been printed have always been collectible and we are now seeing a big change to publishing with so much going online; like this blog! Newspapers are going online and so how long before the printed version disappears and we all read news from computer screens or from the screens on our smart phones or smart televisions? Newspapers and magazines could be the collectors items of the future. There are companies now that offer a newspaper from the day you were born for a price. I think some of those ‘newspapers’ are copies, printed specially but you still need an original. Even collecting the scanned images of some publications might be a good idea.

I wouldn’t ignore the traditional items to collect either. How long will traditional posted letters last, with the more technological means of sending messages and greetings becoming ever more popular? Email has already made inroads into mail services and it’s use continues to grow. You could start saving your birthday and Christmas cards and maybe those of you family and friends too. They do take up storage space though and could present a fire risk. How about collecting something unusual like badges or key rings? Some people collect beer mats, business cards, drinking glasses or something pertaining to their occupation. This is good if you have an unusual occupation. Fashions change and retro stuff often gets popular as people become nostalgic. Imagine an optician collecting frames for spectacles, they could be sort after in 20 or 30 years time.

People often collect things when they’re young with the intention of selling the collection when they get old, but frequently become too attached to it. Collecting things instead of saving for a pension isn’t a good alternative to investing your money!

Do you have an unusual collection? Please tell us about it in the comment box! There are more amazing blogs on the Home Page.

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