After interviewing dozens of established and successful collectors on the topic of creating world-class collections, I have summarized the seven habits of highly successful collectors:

1. Patience. Effective collectors know the value of patience and, if necessary, can wait months or even years before acquiring a particularly rare and important specimen for their collection.

2. Persistence. Effective collectors have the strength to continually search and crawl until they unearth (sometimes literally) an item to add to their collection.

3. Scholarship. Effective collectors know that knowledge is power in the world of collecting. It provides an advantage that separates the expert collector from the rest of the field. Effective collectors do become experts on the subject of their collection.

4. Comprehension. Effective collectors understand that their collection may never be perfect or complete. The pleasure of collecting is in collecting and studying whatever is fascinating and valuable to you.

5. Conservation. Effective collectors know that it is not what they have, but how well they care for it that matters. Effective collectors think like archivists and care for their treasures like a Brinks guard guards cash coming out of a Las Vegas counting cage.

6. Expert in Internet searches. Effective collectors know the value of the Internet and have learned to tailor search engines to their will. Like Major Nelson pulling Barbara Eden out of the bottle, they know how to use search engines to get the items they want.

7. Fraternity. Effective collectors reach out to other members of the collecting community and share their wisdom and knowledge freely. They understand that sharing their expertise is their own reward and that by contributing to the knowledge base they expand the availability of collectibles and increase the value of their collection.

This is what I have learned from interviewing top collectors as a Webmaster looking for ephemeral material.

Copyright: Marty Weil, 2007

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