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Old 11-21-2007, 02:28 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,825 posts, read 3,236,693 times
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Default When does collecting start to get out of hand?

I was born in '78, I collect different things I had as a kid......gi joe, transformers, garbage pail kids, sports cards.

On different message boards I go to, I wonder when collecting starts to get out of hand, and starts to get really irrational and crazy.

Do you know anyone with 5,000 action figures, but no car, or doesn't spend much money on him/herself? Or spends more time collecting than with family or friends? Or their collection takes up their entire house, you can't find a place to sit down, etc?

The 80's toy world seems fairly tame.

They aren't that much money. Most people I've met are friendly, real people.

The sports card world gets a little crazier. The amout of things people can collect is much bigger, there's more depth. Grown adults stay up to 1, 2, 3, in the morning during some of the big auctions that run late.

There's also alot of fraud and hassle in it. I wonder sometimes if it's worth it.

Two movies I can think of that showed a collectors crazy side were Trekkies, and Trekkies II. About Star Trek fans.

One woman wore her Star Trek uniform to jury duty. And people that spoke Klingon, some of them took it very far.
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Old 11-21-2007, 04:51 AM
 
2,712 posts, read 5,563,125 times
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We have been thru many collecting crazes over 30+ years. We have found that whenever you start hearing "how much is is worth?" the speculators have hit and the end is near.

Happened with stamps, coins, trains, actions figures, starwars/trek, etc.

A true collector is in it for the love and education. The value is secondary to the love of the collection. So think about those who are only buying and selling and talking about how much what they have is worth or will be worth when the get around to "selling" it.

The true rarities are just that rare. Takes knowledge and love to find them.
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Old 11-21-2007, 07:27 AM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,042 posts, read 6,412,619 times
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The hobby of collecting is out of control only when it gets to this point :

You're sleeping in the garage as your house is too full of collectibles !
Or you're not sleeping due to scary collecting dreams !
You're daydreaming of collecting and running stoplights while driving !
You're being divorced by your spouse of 40 years cuz they can't take it anymore !
You're not eating or paying bills due to all your money is gone to collecting stuff !
You end up in prison because the wild and dangerous animals in your collection got loose and ate up all of your neighbors !!!!!!!

Last edited by Rickers; 11-21-2007 at 07:29 AM.. Reason: Forgot to do the spell check,My collection made me do it !
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Old 11-21-2007, 07:42 AM
 
781 posts, read 2,730,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John23 View Post
I wonder when collecting starts to get out of hand, and starts to get really irrational and crazy.
Is "now" an answer......????
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Old 11-21-2007, 11:40 PM
LM1
 
Location: NEFL/Chi, IL
833 posts, read 48,735 times
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As a substantially reformed "collector", I can say that obsessive collecting has many, many different branches of justification. Some of them aren't particularly "healthy", although many of the traits that are common in obsessive collecting are common to high level investors, CEO's and other very successful people. I mean, lets face it. People like Louis Eliasberg, O.C. Lightner or anyone else who has assembled a freakish collection cannot do so without a healthy dose of a few different personality disorders, starting at OCD and working up from there.

Accrual is a natural human trait. It's our "gatherer" instinct. Since we no longer live in the days of basic sustenance living, we've found various outlets and surrogates for this most natural desire.

It isn't just sports cards... It's anything, really. Ever met a hard core gun guy?
Like, a guy who spends his ever waking moment talking about them, spends every spare cent beyond his basic life expenses on them, owns hundreds and hundreds of them, including multiples of the same makes and models?

Or how about a hard core art collector?
Someone who is willing to spend to the very ends of their financial liquidity- often times sums that represent a lifetime of wages for an ordinary working person- just to own some paint on canvas?

Ever seen how bonkers classic car collectors are?
Man, that's a thing in and of itself.

How about real estate bugs? People who are constantly acquiring real estate upon real estate upon real estate, often times to the detriment of sound financial planning or their own fiscal well being. I personally know a man in his 70's who acquired obscene amounts of real estate over the course of his life, lived to see it all positively explode in value making him an extraordinarily wealthy man "on paper" but he is so obsessed with hording it, he lives a very meager existence on a fixed income because the thought of actually selling any of it is just too hard for him to bear.

People susceptible to obsessive collecting are in an age where collecting is no longer about the thrill of the chase, or the satisfaction that comes from assembling something whole from a series of smaller, diligently obtained parts. They're in an age where "collecting" is simply a matter of having the money to buy what you want and placing your order (ala- the ebay age). To these people, our present age of "whatever you want is a mouse click away" is akin to a bunch of fatties living in a 24 hour bakery. It's no shock that many of them gorge themselves, and wind up worse off for it.

As best I can tell, collecting is harmless as long as it doesn't consume you whole.
If it does, you become monofaceted and unrounded as a person, which is a bad thing. There is just so much more to life than discussing the minutiae of brush strokes, bullets, engine components or baseball cards yet people with otherwise hollow lives use these things to fill the void.

In my opinion, collecting is fine when it's "something you do".
It's very, very bad when it becomes "who you are".

Last edited by LM1; 11-21-2007 at 11:51 PM..
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Old 11-22-2007, 09:13 PM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
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just because you collect it, does not make it a collectible.
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Old 11-23-2007, 05:29 PM
 
468 posts, read 1,113,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenMachine View Post
just because you collect it, does not make it a collectible.
Very true. I was spending money I didn't have on baseball cards. Horrible addiction.
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Old 11-23-2007, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,825 posts, read 3,236,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LM1 View Post

People susceptible to obsessive collecting are in an age where collecting is no longer about the thrill of the chase, or the satisfaction that comes from assembling something whole from a series of smaller, diligently obtained parts. They're in an age where "collecting" is simply a matter of having the money to buy what you want and placing your order (ala- the ebay age). To these people, our present age of "whatever you want is a mouse click away" is akin to a bunch of fatties living in a 24 hour bakery. It's no shock that many of them gorge themselves, and wind up worse off for it.

As best I can tell, collecting is harmless as long as it doesn't consume you whole.
If it does, you become monofaceted and unrounded as a person, which is a bad thing. There is just so much more to life than discussing the minutiae of brush strokes, bullets, engine components or baseball cards yet people with otherwise hollow lives use these things to fill the void.

In my opinion, collecting is fine when it's "something you do".
It's very, very bad when it becomes "who you are".
Very well put.

"40 year old virgin" is another movie that came to mind....kind of sad, he had 2,000 action figures in his living room, all hermetically sealed, telling a guy, "don't touch them, they lose their value if you handle them too much." And yet he's a mess with women.

There was a line in the movie about..."you're as sealed up as those action figures" which is definitely true for some collectors, so sealed up, they can't see out of it. Better than being into other things, but with so many things to spend your time on, is it worth it.

The condition aspect of collecting gets me as very, very irrational, bordering on sheer craziness.

In art, cars, old barbies, hot wheels, coins, whatever it is.

Something is worth $500 in "near mint" and $8,000 in "mint, uncirculated". And to the naked eye, it's basically the same thing. What's the point of spending so much, when the difference is so little (other than bragging rights, ego, self satisfaction, competitive spirits). I know people want the best, nothing wrong with that.

Do you think it gets crazy when you're spending alot of money on X, and you can't tell the difference between X, and Y which is 20% of its cost?

In coins, stamps, comics, trading cards, toys, professional grading has exploded in the last 10-15 years, everybody wants the "10's", whatever the holder says is the best. Then everybody jumps into a thread, analyzing the minutiae under a microscope, and of course, no one can actually agree that it's a 10. The "10" is one of two in the world worth $3,000. There are 400 "8's", and they're worth $40.

I started getting into the professional graded game, but then got out. The enjoyment factor because of a number on a holder just wasn't there for me.

I think collecting can be harmless. Its something structured, it gives you a goal or something to do, a set to build. Financially you can do ok.

I think it's very, very bad when it becomes your only, or your primary experience of life. Collecting 24/7, ignoring everything else...
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Old 11-24-2007, 07:27 AM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,042 posts, read 6,412,619 times
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I heard there were several fellows in Utah who collect women !
That's gotta be an expensive hobby !
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Old 11-25-2007, 12:00 AM
LM1
 
Location: NEFL/Chi, IL
833 posts, read 48,735 times
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The "slabbing" and "grading" craze originated with coins, back in the days before the internet.
Given the extreme swings in price that could occur with minute (and often times, entirely subjective) variances in grade, coin collectors needed a neutral, reliable way to "commoditize" the grading structure so long distance transactions could be completed without any troubles arising from different grading sensibilities on either the buyers or sellers end- back in the days before pictures could be seen over the internet.

Someone had the bright idea- "Hey, why don't we hire panels of coin experts, seal the coins in little tamper-proof cases, and assign them a neutral, 3rd party grade for a fee?"

Humans bizarre desire to own "the best" came into play and sure enough, freakish swings in price occurred for nominal variances in grade that were totally subjective and invisible to the naked eye. Grading companies became king and everyone willingly became their subjects.

Many times, people have had a coin "graded", been unhappy with the grade, cracked it out of the slab and sent it back in, only to get the grade they desired the second time around- from the same grading company that had graded that very coin "lower" the first time. Everyone saw it coming for sports cards- actually, thank god it came after ebay really killed the card market. Had it happened during the sports card heyday- back in the days when there was a card shop in every strip mall and people still paid "book value" because they didn't know any better- I shutter to think the prices people would've paid...


3rd party grading a dangerous system that is absolutely RIPE for abuse and exploitation (any time you're relying on the "integrity" of unknown people who operate behind closed doors when large sums of money are reliant on their totally abstract and unaccountable decision, someones gunna cheat- in a big way), but as things stand, it's the standard.
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