Collecting 101: Follow Your Passion

Thinking of starting a collection, but not sure how to begin? Antiques expert Terry Kovel offers these simple tips:

Say you want to furnish your house. Go to antique and home shows, museums, the library, and friends' houses. Look around and be conscious of your opinions.

"Sooner or later some things are going to attract you." Magazines know this well, which is why they've divided the world, she says. Keep asking yourself: "What's comfortable for my nest?"

Next, set a budget.

Then approach some people in the know. Dealers love to tell you what's good and what's bad. Ask them questions, she advises. Research and get second opinions.

It's also important to consider how much space you have. Toy are popular among collectors because they take up little space. For example, people have been amassing enormous collections of Beanie Babies - some even up to 118 and counting. Whether or not the toys will be valuable in the future - and make the Kovels' prestigious list - remains to be seen.

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