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Keeping a Collectibles Record

Tips on How to Keep a Record of Your Collectibles

If you have recently decided to start a collection,  then it’s a good idea that you get into the habit of keeping a record of what you have collected as you go along.  There are a number of reasons why you will find you need to do this.  Primarily, because if you’re only even mildly successful with your collection, eventually you’re going to have hundreds, if not thousands, of collectible items.  Possibly more importantly, however, is the fact that the more your collection grows, the more valuable it will likely become.  As a result, the time may well come when you need to consider insuring your collectibles as a “collection”.  That said, keeping tabs on your collectibles can be time consuming.  To help you out, here are a few useful tips on how to go about keeping a record of your collectibles:

1.         Inventory
From the day you decide to start your collection you should create an inventory of all the individual items you have in your collection.  If possible, the inventory should set out:

  1. the day you acquired the item,
  2. where you acquired the item,
  3. whether or not you paid for the item – and, if so, how much,
  4. a brief description of the item,
  5. the name of the manufacturer (if known),
  6. the day on which it was manufactured (if known).

 

You should then catalogue each new collectible in numerical/chronological order.

Ideally you should keep the record of your inventory on your home/office computer.  If you think that you’ll have a problem creating a program that contains all this information, don’t worry too much as you can purchase easy to install software programs that let you do all of the above.  Keep in mind, however, that it is possible to lose information stored in a computer, so make sure you also keep a back-up of the inventory somewhere, e.g. on disk or handwritten notes.

2.         Photographs
If possible you should take a photograph of each new collectible as soon as you get it.  Ideally you’ll use a digital camera to take the photo so that you can store the picture on your computer next to its inventory description.  Keep in mind that a picture speaks a thousand words, so by taking a photograph of the item you are keeping an excellent record of what condition the item was in when you acquired it. 

3.         Catalogue
At some point or another, nearly all of us who collect items like to show them off.  We may do this just to show others what our interest(s) are, or even if we decide at some point to sell the collection.  Forward thinking to the day that you want to display your collectibles should mean that you start to think of how you wish to display them, e.g. by country, manufacturer, year of manufacture, etc.  As soon as you do this you have just created a template for a catalogue and an ideal way to keep a record of your collectibles over time.

Without doubt there are many who do not keep detailed records of their collectibles, preferring instead just to be ad hoc and relaxed about their collection; however, provided that you can get in the right mindset from the day you decided to start collecting your chosen collectible, there really should be no reason why keeping a record of your collectibles should be a time consuming or onerous task.

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