Can you make money by just simply collecting things? If you asked me this question in the past then I would say no. But now that I have been in the buy and sell business for some years now, then my answer is an astounding YES!
I don’t consider myself as a sentimental person and when I was younger, I don’t recall keeping anything just for the sake of keeping or collecting. Some of my friends keep receipts, photographs, and anything else that reminds them of a fond memory. I really don’t keep anything LOL!
I usually throw things out or donate things to relatives, friends, neighbors, or to charity if I’m not using them anymore.
However, once I started working, I got so fond of buying clothes (especially jackets) and I think I overdid it LOL! I shopped non-stop on thrift stores until my apartment could not accommodate my junk anymore and that’s when I started letting stuff go by selling them online.
Over the years of buying and selling, I have observed that some stuff that I have let go in the past has appreciated so much in value to the point that I now regret selling them hahaha! To whoever bought those stuff then you just got so lucky!!!
When I realized that some stuff DO appreciate in value over time, I’m now very careful in letting them go.
Having said that, my fondness for clothes turned me into an avid collector of a variety of things.
Photo by Karen Vardazaryan on Unsplash
What Do I Collect
Now that I am in the buy and sell business of second-hand clothing and accessories, I do collect the following:
Vintage Jean-Paul Gaultier Clothes and Bags
I do hoard almost all the Vintage Jean-Paul Gaultier pieces that I can get my hands on. I only keep the ones that are in their best condition though and I do sell the ones that are not in their best shape. I usually sell them first to my friends before I post them online.
Vintage Yves-Saint Laurent Accessories
Once in a blue moon, I get so lucky that I get to buy vintage YSL accessories very cheaply. I do hoard them as well especially the ones that are created by Robert Goosens.
Antique Japanese Porcelains
Aside from fashion items, I also do hoard a lot of antique Japanese porcelains. To be honest, they’re not really that expensive compared to Chinese antiques and the main reason why I buy them is to display them in my future house hahaha!
I have sold some of my vintage porcelains but I’m holding on to the antiques.
By the way just to avoid confusion, vintage means 21 – 99 years old, and an antique means 100 years old and up.
Other Vintage Fashion Items and Art
I also collect other vintage fashion pieces from other designers and also other artworks like painting, sketches, figurines, etc. I don’t have any pieces from famous artists though (yet!).
Photo by Peter Muegypha on Unsplash
What Can You Collect
I collect fashion pieces because it’s the most accessible to me (again, because my business is buying and selling second-hand clothing), and as well as I’m fond of looking at them and scrutinizing the details and I also enjoy feeling in awe with the craftsmanship.
It may not be your thing so start with something that you do enjoy.
Some people collect:
- NBA Cards
- Baseball Cards
- Vintage memorabilia
- Pieces of jewelry
- Music-related items
- Old Cameras
- Rare plants
- Vintage cars (If you’re uber-rich)
How to Make Money by Collecting Things
Here are some tips on how you can make money by collecting things:
DYOR – Do Your Own Research
Just like trading and investing crypto, you also have to DYOR if you want to make money from your collection. Once you have identified what you want to collect then spend some time researching online. You have to find out the following:
- Are there collectors for these items? Is there an existing market?
- What kind of pieces commands the most value?
- How to maintain the items in their best conditions?
- How do you know if what you have is the authentic one?
- Where can you sell it?
- How much will it sell for? Will it appreciate in value over time?
Join Online Forums/ Facebook Groups
One of the easiest ways to learn more about the items that you’re collecting is by joining relevant forums and other online groups such as Facebook.
Most enthusiasts share their knowledge about the items that they’re collecting but of course, always double-check information online by looking for other relevant supporting websites.
Sign up to Online Marketplaces
A lot of my collection was bought from sellers from Instagram, eBay, Carousell, and Shopee (very few on this one). If you don’t have an account on those websites yet, then I suggest that you do create one so you can always search for the items that you are intending to collect. All of those websites also have apps on both Android and IOS.
Visit Physical Stores
I often go to thrift stores to scour for items to sell and also to find garments that I can add to my collection. Depending on where you are located and what you are collecting, you can also visit flea markets, antique shops, and garage sales.
I go to antique shops not to buy because the prices at those shops are quite expensive for me. I go there to see the actual antiques so I could see up close some items. It’s part of my personal DYOR activity to learn more about the porcelains and other similar art pieces that I’m collecting.
If you’re in the Philippines, there are antique shops in SM Megamall and Shangri-La Plaza. Of course, there are also smaller antique shops in various places in Metro Manila.
If you’re also fond of collecting Japanese Porcelains, you might find the Japanese Surplus shops to be very interesting as they have a plethora of items that are being sold very cheaply.
Know Where to Sell
The easiest place to sell your collection is via online buy and sell websites but keep in mind that you will encounter a lot of low-ballers because not everyone knows the right value of the item that you are selling. And even if they know, they will, of course, try to buy it from you for as cheap as possible.
The best place to sell your collection to maximize profit is of course the auction houses. People who buy stuff at auction houses are the ones who know the real value of these items thus, they’re willing to pay more just to acquire these.
Personally, I have not sold anything yet on any auction houses because I’m not ready to let go of my collection yet. I did, however, contacted one of the auction houses here in the Philippines for my porcelain collection but I did not bother to proceed because I realized that I want to keep all of them for now.
Not every vintage piece is worth keeping especially if those things have been mass-produced in the past. unless of course, there are only a few remaining pieces in their best conditions. So always keep yourself updated regarding the status of the market.
One thing that you can easily do to keep on learning is to follow all relevant social media accounts. In my case, since I am collecting a lot of vintages and antique porcelains and as well as vintage fashion pieces, I am following the Instagram accounts of various auction houses such as Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and other smaller auction houses.
I’m also following other relevant IG accounts such as museums, etc.
Photo by Nikola Đuza on Unsplash
Before You Start Collecting (for Profit) Anything
Before you start collecting anything, please consider the following:
Do you have enough space in your house where you can safely store your collection? They do eat up a lot of space especially if you’re collecting bulky pieces such as porcelains.
Collecting anything does incur a cost. Upkeeping can be expensive especially if you’re collecting painting. Do consider your budget for upkeeping before you decide on what to collect.
The Reality of Collecting for Profit
This is not a get-rich-quick scheme, collecting things for profit will take some time and it will all depend on how fast you can learn the ins and outs of your chosen item/s to collect.
Not all items are also expensive and not every vintage items appreciate in value over time. Prices do fluctuate depending on a variety of factors and you can easily learn this as you go along.
And lastly, also bear in mind that not all collectible items are authentic. I have mentioned this a while ago but I’d like to mention this again before I end this post. Be sure to do your own diligence and always DYOR.
There are also available authentication services depending on the item that you’re collecting. Most are paid services though. To save some money, you can start by authenticating it yourself or by seeking help from relevant online forums and groups.
I never thought that I will enjoy collecting art and fashion pieces and aside from the appreciation in their monetary value, I honestly do enjoy doing this. For me, it’s like a treasure hunt game of some sort. I find joy in finding valuable pieces in thrift stores and in online marketplaces.
I actually enjoy the process of looking for a valuable item than the process of selling them.How to Make Money by Collecting Things Click To Tweet
How about you? Do you collect anything? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below?
David @ Filled With Money says
So many side hustle opportunities!! I’ve always just wanted to go to an estate sale and buy and sell that on Amazon for a profit. I never considered collecting things to create additional income sources.. I am adding this to the list of potential side hustles to increase my yearly income.
Thrifty Hustler says
Thanks David for dropping by.