Personal Finance 

Your Take: Do You Collect Anything?

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When I was a kid, I used to collect comic books and comic book cards. I was a Marvel guy and I loved the Amazing Spider-Man, X-Men, and basically all the major characters of that era. I “collected” because I enjoyed reading them and in the back of my mind I thought “hey, maybe they’ll be worth something one day.” I didn’t really think they were going to be worth anything but I went on “believing” it anyway. I would later start collecting the Marvel comic book cards for a few series (two I think) and they were fun hobbies.

None of that comes close to the hobby of baseball card collecting (there’s a 10min video on that post called The Baseball Card Movie that’s a fun watch). So when I saw that ESPN did a 30 on 30 short about the most valuable baseball card in the world, I had to watch it:

There are two really fascinating things in that short:

  • Obviously the drama surrounding the T206 Honus Wagner and whether it was trimmed. $2.8mm is a lot of money to pay for a baseball card!
  • A lot of similarities between the card grading companies and bond rating companies. 🙂 Turn down grades or grade poorly and you might see less business…

What I want to know is what do you collect? Whether as a kid or even today? I find hobbies are good for the soul and while I don’t collect anything today (memories?), maybe I just might start. 🙂

{ 20 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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20 Responses to “Your Take: Do You Collect Anything?”

  1. Scott says:

    I collect a small flag from each country I visit. Most of my “collectibles” are really vacation souvenirs nowadays. My baseball card days are long behind me now.

  2. Glenn Lasher says:

    I collect coins and notes from foreign countries whenever I or someone I know travels. I don’t collect them for their intrinsic value, though, but for the story that they tell.

    I also collect things that remind me of important lessons learned.

    I have, for instance, a power cord that I kept from a business trip to England where the purpose of the trip was to install a server in a data centre. The power cord is significant because they build them differently in the UK than in the rest of the world, in that there is often a fuse in the plug head. That fuse was the cause of a great deal of technical difficulty. That power cord sits, with the burned-out fuse still in it, on my desk at my current (still IT, but not travel) job as a reminder that the problem is not always obvious and your assumptions are not always valid.

  3. Brandon says:

    From elementary through my early years in college I collected Batman action figures. Kept them in the box in pretty pristine condition.

    After awhile it amassed to well over 150+ figures, accessories, etc. Haven’t checked on their worth, but it takes toys quite a awhile to gain some value — the ’70-80s figures were just ramping up in value in the early 2000s so I’m sure it’ll take a couple decades for my collection to be worth much, if anything, since they made figures in much higher quantities in my era.

    It was fun, though, and from time to time if I see a cool figure I’ll grab it and throw in in the closet with the rest.

    One day I’d like to have a room to display them like I did as a kid (hey ladies).

  4. I used to collect alot of different things, tea pots, figurines, etc. I finally stopped because I just had too much stuff. I still have baseball cards though. I don’t add to them much any more.

  5. Dave says:

    I used to collect comics and baseball cards for all the reason’s Jim mentions and now they are worth almost nothing. I looked up all their values recently and was quite surprised at how little they were worth. They sit in a closet waiting until they may be worth something.

    The only thing I’m collecting now are unwanted pounds, and hairs in my shower drain… 🙂

  6. poscogrubb says:


    Not familiar with sneaker-collecting? Try this blog, one of many…

  7. Dolores says:

    I used to own a comic book store in the 80s/90s and while I don’t collect the books myself my husband and sons did and some that we had for sale for a bit of money in the store 20 years ago I can’t sell and others that we didn’t think had worth go quickly on eBay.
    I myself collect perfume bottles and have a select few that sit on a tray on my dresser. If I see another bottle I like I must first decide if there’s one in my collection that I wouldn’t mind parting with and if the answer is no then I don’t make a purchase.
    And Brandon if you want to get an idea on what your figures might be worth check out eBay and do an advanced search and see what some have sold for recently.

  8. Carol says:

    I collected pitchers (unfortunately not baseball pitchers!) from the 30’s and 40’s until I ran out of shelf space. So now I just dust them.
    My most recent collection was the Lord of the Rings lighted character glasses from Burger King when the movie first came out. Apparently they are pretty darn worthless if you look on eBay. Don’t think they will be my retirement income any time soon. 🙂

  9. BrianC says:

    As I kid I used to collect coins & baseball cards. These days, I seem to be amassing an informal collection of hotel key cards and old debit & credit cards.

  10. Kara says:

    I used to collect piggy banks growing up. I had a huge collection but only saw a book as price reference guide once and never found another one. I wish I had bought it!

    My husband collects a lot of Magic the Gathering (MTG) cards and sometimes he’s able to sell the ones he realizes he has not been using. The last card-deck sized pile of them pulled in $100!

  11. elloo says:

    As a kid, I collected stamps both U.S. and foreign. My aunt worked for the now defunct Look Magazine in the reader mail department and sent me stamps from their readers from all over the world. I was facinated by the graphics and themes of all stamps. I learned history, geography and the names of countries in their own language starting at around 7 years old. Stamps still facinate me although I no longer collect them. I have found that the graphics of U.S. stamps are nowhere near as intricate and creative as those of the 1960’s and early 1970’s when pop art reigned.

  12. admiral58 says:

    I def collected cards as a kid. Still have them somewhere. But I don’t collect anything now

  13. Marilyn says:

    I collect fortunes that seem personally relevant to me. For example, when my now husband and I were dating, I once received a fortune that said, “Stop searching for happiness everywhere. Love is right across from you.” They cost me nothing to collect, they’re priceless, they’re worthless. Some times I pull them out and look at them. I can recall why most of them are in the little jar.

    Adults spending money on collecting things never made sense to me. It seems like buying something just to buy it.

  14. jestjack says:

    I collect Snoopy/Peanuts Holiday figurines….mostly of the Xmas variety from Hallmark. I have over 100 and some are fairly elaborate. I was told by an old guy years ago to collect them…keep the original boxes…and ya can’t go wrong….We’ll see…

  15. Steve says:

    I collect drink coasters, matchbooks, and coins. I love it when others help out by bringing me unusual coasters from around the country or the world. With 3,000 and counting, it is a really great hobby.

  16. Master Allan says:

    Avoiding the clutter from souvenir collecting from traveling I settled on shot glasses. For a bachelor’s home they are small & compact and saves me the ridicule from guy friends that might catch me with a spoon, thimble, or magnet collection.

    I’m very proud of my current shot glass state and country collection (still searching for Vietnam on eBay). I have them displayed on some custom built shelves. If I ever needed wall space or $$ I could sell the lot online and have them sold within the hour.

  17. Shirley says:

    I have had (and let go of) many collections over the years… none of them worth any money, just enjoyment.

  18. James says:

    As a child I collected baseball cards, stamps and coins. The baseball cards have all been sold or given away but I still have several of the proof books tucked away. Years later I started to collect and display logo’d golf balls from different golf courses I have played. Looking forward to adding to my collection this Spring!

  19. jsbrendog says:

    bottle caps from all the obscure/rare beers I drink, which I then turn into magnets. I may look like an alcoholic but I swear I’m not ha

  20. bloodbath says:

    I am a collector of many things: American Indian and African dolls none taller than 6″; small unique objects d’art and rocks from each state/country I have visited; bottle corks; and olive oil carafes. They are all displayed on specially built surfaces in my home. I enjoy reliving the occasion that I first saw each object.

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