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What Is A Collectible

A collectible is usually an item that is plentiful and affordable such as new items that were created by companies and then marketed specifically to be collectibles or gifts. An example of these items are Hummel figurines, Barbie Dolls, PEZ Dispensers, and even United State Mint Proof sets. Many collectibles are limited in production and then discontinued after a period of time or the popularity fades. After a period of time it is almost impossible to find these pieces in new and unused condition. This causes the value of many of these items to increase and a collectible is born. Many companies see this resurgence of interest and re-release the product or make an updated edition. This starts another cycle of limited production and new collectors. Some collectibles are never reproduced and the originals will become even more valuable over time.

Collectibles of this type are more valuable if they remain in their original packaging or boxes. Serious collectors consider their unused items as a wise investment and some times buy more than one item when the price is low. Investing in high priced collectibles as well as the stock market is uncertain, so do your homework.

A collectible can also be an old item that over time has created a great deal of interest to a collector. The earliest collectibles were product incentive or the product themselves. An example is baseball cards of the 1950s and 1960s depicting individual baseball players in a pack of gum. Postcards from the early 1900s are another collectible that has a great deal of interest by topic and location. Old trade tokens that were used in the late 1800s to the 1940s is another example. Many of these items are highly prized by a special breed of collectors and can also include Coca Cola, coins, stamps and movie memorabilia.

As a result we now have two basic types of collectibles. Items manufactured to be collectibles and much older smaller items not yet antiques. Things that are more than 100 years old are considered antiques and not all old collectibles are antiques! However, the most popular collectibles are items from the early 1900s to about 1960. Other examples of these small collectible are advertising memorabilia, autographs, bottles, telephone pole insulators, cuckoo clocks, knives, tools, toys and photographic images. Some collectibles or groups of collectibles have taken on unusual names such Numismatics (coins), Exonumia (tokens), Breweriana (brewery and beer), Disneyana (Disney), Militaria (military) etc.

How do you decide what to collect? Actually, collectibles probably choose you. Something that sparked your interest as a child or that unusual item you saw on a table at a local flea market. It doesnít matter what you choose as long as the item is affordable, attracts your attention and will spark your interest for years to come. Donít be influenced by what other people collect and never look at collectibles as an investment. Collecting is about becoming more knowledgeable not richer.

Where do I find collectibles? From commercial dealers on the web, antique shops and flea markets. My favorite place is eBay. The eBay Collectibles category is the premier place to find popular and hard-to-find items on the web. The best part about eBay is you decide what to pay for an item! eBay is also a great place to find the value of your collectible by looking at closed auction prices.

Submitted by:

Glyn Farber

Glyn Farber has published a catalog of all known Hickey Brother Cigar Store Tokens and co-authored a book about Louisiana Trade Tokens. In addition he wrote several articles for The Token and Medal Society (TAMS) and The National Token Collectors Association (NTCA). Glyn has been a devoted collector of Louisiana Trade Tokens, Louisiana collectibles and Lake Charles, LA postcards for almost 40 years.

Find out more information about Collectibles and Trade Tokens at his web sites http://www.most-popular-collectibles-at-auction.com and http://www.louisiana-trade-tokens.com





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