Do Collectibles Make Good Gifts?


First of all, I want to apologize for the delay in getting this entry out and thank you for your patience. Unfortunately, life intervenes and even bloggers have set aside their musings and attend to whatever comes up.

So, let’s get on with this week’s entry, which deals with a timely topic, namely the giving of collectibles as gifts. Well, do they make good gifts or are they a waste of time and money?

The answer is, it depends.

If you know what the recipient likes and want to add to the person’s enjoyment, then by all means give the collectible to that person. If you have no idea what the person likes, other than “She likes 50’s memorabilia” and you proceed to something that either A) the person already has, B) is no way related to what the person collects, or C) is a fake, you just wasted your time and money and the other person is left wondering if you have more dollars than sense.

Okay, that last line was a little harsh. Still, all is not lost. If you are dead set on giving a collectible as a gift, here are some tips to help you out.

1.) Learn about what the person collects
Ask questions like, “Why do you collect X?” “Where did you get this?” “What is this used for?” These questions don’t just make the collector feel good, they will teach you about the person’s collection and you can use that knowledge to buy something the person will really like.

2.) Give the gift of knowledge
Collectors are always looking to add to their knowledge of the item they collect, as much as they want to add to their collection. So, getting a book about the item or if you learn that, for example, an expert in baseball ephemera will be speaking in your town and your husband has a massive baseball card collection, buy him tickets to that event.

3.) Things that store or display the item are good gifts, as well
Believe it or not, some people still use shoe boxes, used envelopes and vegetable boxes to store their collectibles. If you are a regular watcher of The Antiques Roadshow, you know that the appraisers recommend storing items in either acid-free boxes, frames that protect against UV damage or plastic sleeves. So, give some archival quality storage items. They will help to protect the collectible and you will get some brownie points for realizing that the items in question are important to the collector and worth protecting.

Yes, this entry appeared a bit late for the 2010 Holidays, but birthdays come up all through the year and it isn’t too early to start planning for the 2011 Holidays. So, either way you’re set when it comes to collectible related gift giving.

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