The Psychology of Collecting: 7 Common Things People Collect and Why
Did you know that Michael Jackson collected life-sized dolls? He and millions of others enjoyed building a collection.
Collecting is more than a hobby, it’s part of our human psychology.
The reasons for collecting vary from coping with stress to genuine enjoyment. It can be a small basement hobby or an overindulged compulsion. Before you start a collection, understand your reasons for wanting to.
To understand more about the psychology of collecting items, keep reading. Plus, find out the seven most popular collectible items.
Why Do We Love Collecting?
Historians believe that collecting is an evolutionary trait. Early man would collect resources to impress a mate.
Some psychologists believe it’s a response to our mortality. Even though we all must die, our collections can live on for us.
Other common reasons are for the challenge of finding rare models to add to our collections. There’s a sense of fun and adventure in tracking down collectibles.
We collect things to show loyalty to a brand. In some cases, collecting becomes harmful. Hoarders can start as collectors, but the compulsion takes over their lives.
If you’re drawn to the excitement and challenge of collecting, choose your items wisely. It’s ideal to choose things that increase in value over time. Keep reading for some examples of items you could collect.
Back before giant retail box stores and fast fashion existed, people would mend their clothes at home. That meant sewing on buttons when they fell off.
It was common for households to have a collection of buttons for sewing. Whether it was a child’s school uniform or a husband’s work uniform, buttons came in handy. Having a variety was important to suit various garments.
Today, people collect buttons for fun. Some collect antique buttons from different eras in history. Others collect any button they find because it makes them feel nostalgic.
You can even shop for custom buttons to add to your collection. If you’re looking for an affordable item to start collecting, buttons check the box.
2. Vinyl Records
Everything trendy will, one day, be back in style. Vinyl records are proof of that.
Vinyl records came out in the late 1940s and were an immediate hit. You could listen to music on demand if you had a record player. Kids, teens, and adults all wanted their favorite tunes on vinyl.
Today, vinyl records are a huge collectible commodity. Just like the teenagers of the ’70s, teenagers today enjoy playing records. Present day musicians come out with digital copies as well as old-fashioned vinyl.
Because of the trend in collecting them, new vinyl can get very expensive. But, oldies and secondhand vinyl can be cheap.
Do you have a box under your bed of childhood pictures, crafts, and toys? As humans, we love owning pieces of history, whether it’s our own or from generations past.
That’s why the collection of antiques is so popular. And, very lucrative.
Those who collect antique furniture often take it quite seriously. They learn about different interior design trends through the ages and popular designers. They also learn to spot fakes and identify authentic pieces.
It’s important to have a safe space to store antique collections. For many, damage or recent wear devalues the item.
4. Luxury Jewelry
Who doesn’t love a stunning pair of diamond earrings? Kept in good condition, they make perfect heirlooms to hand down through generations.
Many shoppers see luxury jewelry as an investment. You could wear it on special occasions or keep it in a security box.
You could collect new pieces as you have the funds to. Or, you could hunt for vintage designer jewelry.
Antique fairs, flea markets, and vintage clothing stores all have jewelry for sale. Keep an eye out for estate sales. When wealthy families sell their estates, sometimes their jewelry is also for sale.
It’s true, some things do get better with age. Wine is one of those things which makes collecting them so enjoyable.
Go to the vintage section of any wine store and you’ll find very expensive bottles. For a high price, you can drink the greatest wine you’ve ever tasted.
You can even contribute to your collection from scratch. Make and bottle your own wines and store them in a wine cellar. Every decade, open a bottle and experience it.
Or, build your collection out of rare and limited-edition bottles from history. The same applies to collecting whiskey or bourbon. These collections are fun to build, and fun to sample.
Ask any Dodger’s fan to throw away his first jersey and you’ll get a hard no. Being loyal to a sports team or brand means collecting their memorabilia.
You can find an endless supply of new memorabilia. Coke produces brand new bottles every day. You can get the current player’s jerseys.
For a high-value collection, look for vintage memorabilia. Especially from brands that no longer produce merchandise. Since there’s a finite number of items left, there’s high competition for them.
Compare a Barbie doll made today to a doll made in the 1950s. They’re shockingly different. Toy brands today don’t make dolls like they used to.
People love collecting toys because it brings them back to their childhood. They have memories of playing with them, so the collection brings them joy.
For some people, the idea of throwing out their Beanie Babies is impossible. So, they become a collector, waiting for the day that their stuffies are worth a fortune.
Whether you collect antique dolls or toys from your childhood, both make for an enjoyable collection.
Ready to Start Collecting Items for Your Hobby?
Collections are points of pride for more collectors. They do the research and learn the knowledge to be an expert on their items.
They can also spend way too much money and put their future at risk.
As you dive into the world of collecting items, use caution. Budget your money and learn how to earn perks on the money you spend.
As a bit of a side note if you find that collecting has become an unhealthy obsession. There is always help available from New York city therapists.