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10 Tips to Collect on a Budget
|Written by Sharon Verbeten|
|Tuesday, 01 September 2009 00:00|
Recessionary times can prompt people to rethink their expenses—and often the first thing to go is discretionary funds. Money once spent on non-essentials like entertainment—whether that is dinners out, movie tickets or another doll for a collection—isn’t quite as plentiful as it was in recent years.
Let’s face it—everyone is feeling the crunch. Barrie Shapiro, owner of The Toy Shoppe in Richmond, Va., says, “I honestly don’t think that there is anyone who has not been affected in some way by the current financial ups and downs. We are finding that our collectors’ ‘needs’ for their teddy and doll hugs are increasing, but with more caution concerning the costs.”
We’ve talked with experts in the industry and come up with a list of 10 things you can do to keep your budget in mind—and still stay active in doll collecting. We hope one or more of these tips will work for you.
1Exercise discipline. This may sound like commonsense, but it’s probably the rule most often forgotten. Whether you’re a new or veteran collector, carefully consider all potential purchases. If you’re used to buying more than one doll or accessory at a shop or store, budget for only one—and make it one you really want. You’ll feel better with that one quality item you can afford rather than three pieces that will put you in the red.
2Sell … to buy. If you really have your eye on a new one-of-a-kind or the latest Robert Tonner model, consider selling an older doll—or one you have less passion for—to buy a new one. Or, better yet, see if you can arrange a barter or swap with another collector. You might trade an Ashton-Drake for an Alexander—or whatever your tastes desire. Everyone gets what they want that way, and it doesn’t cost anything!
3Go backward. Often, a manufacturer’s latest model may be the priciest, most in-demand and hardest to get. Consider buying last year’s model now. You’ll catch up eventually, and maybe the economy will be on an upswing by then. Dotte Kreowski of The Alcove in Shell Beach, Calif., says some dealers may discount last year’s models—which could be especially advantageous for someone just entering the market. “Talk to the dealer,” she encourages. Frank Weinstein of Toni’s Collectibles in Pleasant Hill, Calif., says some of his customers are liquidating older models to purchase a new, more expensive models.
4Buy quality. Kreowski and other dealers are quick to note that in recessionary times, it’s even more important to buy quality dolls that will hold their value—avoiding cheaper mass-produced dolls. “What I’m finding is a lot of people who lost money in the stock market are putting their money in tangible goods” like dolls, Kreowski says. Shapiro adds, “We always recommend a collector seek quality creations and to learn about the artists and manufacturers they are drawn to.” Buying a quality piece, even if ...