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  • Pamela Froman

Crazy Collectibles and Estate Sales Finds

With everybody staying at home, it's the best time to gain a new hobby. Why not consider collecting? Collecting is the perfect way to show off your favorite passions and is works seamlessly regardless of your age or expertise. Start collecting – give it a go!

The first step is to decide what you want to collect. Consider your interests. Do you like history? Maybe old stamps or coins would work for you. Does reading pique your interest? Collect books! Do you enjoy traveling? Maps are a great way to show your appreciation. Other things you can collect are autographs, watches, wines, art, hats, figurines, cups, shot glasses, key-chains, and postcards.

Nature-based collections can also be beautiful. Consider collecting seashells, rocks, fresh flowers, acorns, or leaves. As well, if you inherit a collection from a friend or family member, you can always grow and expand it.

Now its time to focus your collection and narrow it down. Saying you're just collecting books is too vague; instead, consider collecting only used books or first editions. When collecting sports cards, only get cards from a certain sport or team. Learn the history of your collection by talking to people who share your interests – especially in online forums. They can share what pieces they have and what you should look to buy. Then you can keep an eye out for what becomes available.

There are certain spots on the Web that are a great way to add to your collection. For amazing deals, online auction websites work seamlessly. You can find jewelry, clothes, books, or even a car, house, or piece of land at bargain prices on these bidding websites.

eBay is perfect to look for pieces. You can pay outright, or place bids slowly to try to get the best deal. Craigslist is a great option as well. Search by your location, with the added benefit that you get to see the item in person before buying. www.ebay.com

The nonprofit Goodwill features a bidding website called ShopGoodwill. The site features an impressive variety of all sorts of products. Not only can you buy a rare item, but you will be helping people with disabilities. www.shopgoodwill.com

UBid carries leftover stock from big names that are deeply discounted. You can find a great deal. There are products in categories like fashion, collectibles, sunglasses, electronics, and sports memorabilia. www.ubidholdings.com

Webstore is an auction site that is supported by donations and advertisements. The site's online auctions are highly rated for rare and collectible merchandise and state-of-the-art electronics. You can find cameras, art, music, sports memorabilia, real estate, bullion, books and magazines, clothing, DVDs and movies, jewelry, pottery, and more. www.webstore.com

Finally, check online to see if there will be any collector shows happening in your area. These shows let introduces you to like-minded people who collect too.

Buying items in person is another option. Attending flea markets, antique stores and thrift stores are all fun places to visit. On weekends, there are garage and estate sales. Also, check online to see if there will be any local collector shows in your area. Collector shows allow you to meet people within your collection community, and even get a new piece! Here's a tip: When shopping at antique or thrift stores, go through every item. The treasure will often be found within the garbage. And with garage and estate sales go early, as the best pieces get snapped up right away. Plus, if you come back on Sunday, the owners of the sale may drop their prices.

When you build your collection, start inexpensively, and then work your way up. Personal value is what's important. You can begin by picking up a few pieces each year. Adding to your collection while traveling is a great way to start, and celebrates the memories from your trip. As well, collecting from experiences don't cost money. Consider matchbooks from restaurants, coasters from bars, seashells from the beach, or rocks from hikes.

Always be informed when adding to your collection. This way, you can talk about your items when showing off your stash. Also, stock up on extras when you can. You can use duplicates to trade with like-minded collectors. If you have old pieces that you no longer care about, make room for new stuff buy selling online, or take your castoffs to a pawnshop for appraisal.

The best part about creating collections is displaying them. Curio cabinets feature glass doors, so you can easily exhibit your assortment of items. Try to tell a story by showcasing your favorites. For example, if you collect books, try sorting your books based on color or size, for a lovely aesthetic. If your collection is made up of small items, like baseball cards or stamps, try putting them into binders. There is plastic sheeting that makes it easy to organize and store your pieces.

You can also hang up your treasured collectibles. Shadowboxes or floating shelves are the perfect way to go.

Some people collect very weird or vintage items. Here are a few:

North Carolina dermatologist Manfred S. Rothstein owns 675 back scratchers from 71 different countries. Feeling dirty? Carol Vaugn, from Birmingham, UK, has an impressive collection of more than 5,000 bars of soap from all over the world which she's been collecting since 1991.

Drink up! David Andreani from Pesaro, Italy has collected coca-cola cans since he was 15. His variety includes special editions and commemorative cans from almost every country.

It's all in the hair. John Reznikoff owns the most bizarre, yet the most expansive collection of celebrity locks in the world. The collection includes Edgar Allan Poe, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Marilyn Monroe, and Ludwig van Beethoven.

McDonald's franchise owner Mike Fountaine has a mind-blowing collection of 75,000 pieces of McDonald's memorabilia. The collection includes 1,000 McDonald's cups, uniforms, 11,700 lapel pins, old displays, and nearly every Happy Meal toy the chain has produced as well as the famous Ronald McDonald mascot.

Carsten Tews from Germany is truly connected. He has a collection of 1,563 different mobile phones.


As well, Lisa Courtney from the UK must love anime, and her 16,000 Pokémon memorabilia items prove it.

And this collection is super sweet! Sucrologist Phil Miller collects sugar packets and sugar cube wrappers. He's been collecting since 1978 and started with the Presidents of the United States sugar packets.

If you're famous, Paul Schmelzer probably has your moniker. He collects autographs from celebrities; artists, politicians, writers, and movie stars. But their not their autographs that he has – rather, he has them write his own name. The entire collection features over 70 autographs – including one by Dan Castellaneta, the voice behind Homer Simpson.

There are plenty of unique doll collections. Bettina Dorfman's barbie doll collection is reportedly worth over $150,000. She owns 6025 Barbies. Tampa resident Robyn Amato has a collection of over 3,000 Raggedy Ann dolls. Deb Hoffmann's Winnie the Pooh (and his friends) collection consists of 10,002 items. Malin Fritzell has been collecting paper dolls since the 1960s and has grown her collection to 4720 dolls! Jackie Miley's teddy bear collection consists of 7,106 unique teddy bears and Sherry Groom owns an amazing 3,500 troll dolls.

Finally, spice-obsessed Vic Clinco owns a jaw-dropping collection of 6,000 bottles of hot sauce. Included in his collection is a rare bottle of Blair's 16 Million Reserve, the hottest hot sauce on the planet.

What are some of the 2020 antique and vintage trends? Here's what's in!

Chinoiserie is a classy term for "Asian-style," that shows up year after year on "hot trend" lists. It features an endless array of objects like furniture, wall art, and rugs. Farm tables are another favorite. Don't be turned of by chipping, worn spots, dents, or scratches, because they add to the "character" and "charm" of the piece. The trend for decorating with vintage at Christmas will continue. People can't get enough of plaid thermoses, Buddy L trucks, bottle brush trees, Santa-anything, Putz houses, and Shiny Brites. With vintage Christmas decorations, nostalgia often comes into play because memories of holidays and the emotions attached to them are often very strong. Antique ironstone is a staple. Its simplicity of form, gleaming surface, and ability to serve as a backdrop to so many other collectibles, make it almost indispensable. Look for flawless serving pieces in interesting patterns. As well, antique art is right on-trend.

Shopping estate sales is like searching for buried treasure. Sometimes it's as easy as knowing what to look for – and being in the right place at the right time. Here are a few finds that you should snap up.

While most coins are relatively worthless, some can be a great addition to your collection if you stumble across the right ones. Look for mercury dimes, which are 10 cent pieces made in the US between 1917 and 1945. You can also score big with sports memorabilia. There is everything such as baseball cards, autographed uniforms, vintage programs, and signed balls. Estate sales offer thousands of pounds of costume jewelry. Turquoise is popular and easy to find, especially vintage pieces. While rummaging through a box of clothes at an estate sale, look for belts from high-end designers or ones made from lizard, crocodile or ostrich skin. First Edition Books are a perfect way to add to your stock. They also can be worth lots of money, so always browse the bookshelves. Also, vintage records, especially those in mint condition are a hot commodity. Star Wars and Legos Collectibles are also a pretty big deal. You can often find Star Wars collectibles at estate sales and always look out for Legos. Plus, you can double your fun if you find toys from the LEGO Star Wars line.

It's time to collect...look out for your next great find!


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