How To Find and Buy Collectible Toys

One popular category of collectibles is children's toys.  Whether you are looking for toys from your youth, or building a collection of toys from today, you have to be careful about where you buy your items.  Here are some tips about where to look, and how to ensure your items are authentic.

  1. If you haven't decided what you want to collect, give it some thought.  Think back to your childhood to a particular toy or brand you remember fondly.  If you have children, you can choose something they seem fond of, or look through the stores to see what is popular.
  2. Once you have chosen a particular toy, do an Internet search and see what is out there.  Search for sites dedicated to the toy, and find other collectors.  You should also go to your local library and see if they have books on the topic of collecting.  You want to be very knowledgeable about what you are collecting before you buy your first item.
  3. When you find others who are collecting the same items, send them a friendly email to see if they have any tips to offer you, or any resources they would be willing to share.  They may not be willing to share their secrets, but it never hurts to ask.
  4. After researching your product, also research the way to care for your collection.  Spending money on a collectible will be a waste of time if you can't care for it properly.  You want to be sure you keep the collection in top shape so it retains value.
  5. Now that you know what you are looking for, you can begin building your collection.  Scour auction sites like eBay, and local antique stores for hard to find items.  Get up early on the weekends so you can visit flea markets and yard sales.  You may be surprised what you will find.
  6. For online purchases, remember to use your best judgment.  Pay for items with a credit card or through Paypal if at all possible.  This will give you some recourse if the item comes to you in bad shape or it is completely different from what you thought you were purchasing.  Take some time to compare prices.
  7. For items like autographs or rare memorabilia, ask if the item has a Certificate of Authenticity (COA). These are supposed to verify that the item is authentic.  If a deal seems too good to be true, it very well may be, even with a COA.
  8. Don't be afraid to haggle with a merchant or to ask in depth questions about the item you are buying.  A reputable merchant will be happy to answer your questions.  The authenticity of the item is important, and anyone doing business with you should be happy to put your mind at ease.
  9. When dealing with a merchant or an online resource, don't forget to check with the Better Business Bureau. If complaints about them have been filed, you can find this information online or by phone.
  10. As you build your collection, keep an inventory of what you have purchased, where you purchased it, and the amount you paid for it.  It is a good idea to add the value of your collection to your homeowner or renter insurance. 


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