That said...seasoned collectors have been through all of the stages of collecting, and they've made every collecting mistake that can be made. So...if you're reading this, and would like to know some of the typical mistakes of beginning doll collectors, here are the Top 10 Mistakes of Doll Collecting Newbies.
1. Wanting It All
If you're new to collecting, you're probably like a kid in a candy store--there are so many dolls, and they're all asking you to take them home! Dolls at the local doll store, dolls at shows, dolls on eBay--they all seem to have your name on them. Whatever you do, don't give in to all of your doll urges. Before you know it, you'll end up broke and out of space--before you even know what you're really doing! So, slow down, and realize you can't (and shouldn't!) have it all in the beginning of your collecting life.
2. Collecting Alone
In today's modern Internet collecting world, its easy to collect in a vacuum, buying and selling dolls through eBay, and through mail order. Well...I can't think of a more boring way to collect than alone. Having friends who also collect can not only be fun, but informative. If you have a local doll club, join it (or start your own!). If you don't have a local doll club, you can find one on the Internet, or you can frequent a busy doll Forum (like the ones we have on this site!) where doll collectors discuss everything doll. You can also find doll collecting friends at doll shows and conventions. Trust me, its nice to know some people who don't think your doll collecting is just an eccentric pastime.
3. Collecting Solely on eBay
If you only collect dolls through eBay, you're missing SO much. You'll never fall in love with and discover new types of dolls unless you see them in person--at doll shows, doll shops, doll auctions and doll conventions. Sure, eBay is fun and convenient, but there is nothing like actually seeing dolls in person and/or handling them. A picture on eBay can only teach you so much about a doll.....seeing it in person will teach you ten times as much.
4. Buying Cheap
There is nothing wrong with buying dolls on a budget. But....if you buy 5 $10 dolls, you could have afforded one $50 doll. If you buy 5 fifty dollar dolls, you could have afforded one $250 doll. And so on. I know its hard to not go for volume when you're starting out as a collector, but if you control the volume and save your funds for slightly better dolls, you'll end up with a better and more valuable collection in the long run. And, if you DO find yourself with many dolls of lesser-value in the long run, consider "trading up" where you sell earlier doll acquisitions to acquire better ones later on.
5. Failing to Focus Your Collection
This is a bit like wanting it all, but different (trust me, you can be really, really focused--ONLY collecting Liddle Kiddles, for instance--and then want every Liddle Kiddle in sight, right away). If you just collect dolls in general, and you don't focus, you may end up with a broad but somewhat boring collection. Not too mention that if you collect too broadly, you may simply end up with many lower or medium-level dolls, never really getting to rarer or unusual ones. Oh...and, if you don' t focus, you can say goodbye to your display space before you know it. Focusing your collection is smart--you can learn one area of dolls in depth, which will help you make smarter purchases, and help you put together a more cohesive collection. Oh....and there is no rule that says you can't focus on a different area once you're sufficiently finished with the first!
6. Narrowing Your Focus TOO Much
Yes....I realize I am now contradicting myself. But....if you DO put total doll blinders on, and only collect, um, say again Liddle Kiddles, you'll never learn anything about any other type of doll. For all you know, you're true "soul mate" in dolls might be Klumpe and Roldan dolls. But, if you don't at least notice what else is out there, you'll never know. Even if you focus on one area of collecting, continue to read books and magazine articles about other dolls, and don't completely ignore other dolls at doll shows and shops.
Don't Miss The Last Four Mistakes in Part II of this Article!