Collecting can trigger irrational buying

Collecting things can trigger psychological purchases

Certain personality types are susceptible to spending

I used to work for a publishing house and never realized that one of the strategies of publisher’s is to get people to build their “collection”.

My old boss was a genius.  He re-published the classics, which were in the “public domain”. That means you don’t have to pay for the content, and anyone can freely reprint those works.  It’s based on a time horizon. In general, works published after 1977 will not fall into the public domain until 70 years after the death of the author, or, for corporate works, anonymous works, or works for hire, 95 years from the date of publication or 120 years from the date of creation, whichever expires first. He would slap a nice new cover design on an old book. Make it cheap enough. Then people were hooked.  He also knew that many people didn’t even read the books.  They just liked to see a uniform collection on their bookshelves.  This concept blew my mind and had me searching for chinks in my own armor.

It can last a lifetime

When I was growing up, 7-11 used to include a baseball player cup when you purchased a large slurpee.  We used to beg my Dad to go there whenever we were out driving on a hot Summer night.

Here is one of the cups I remember having, and it served as a razor and comb holder in our medicine cabinet for many years afterward. (I think it was a duplicate, so I gave it up)  My wife has a rule for me. “No drunk ebay surfing”. lol.

They do the same thing with mini-helmets or full size baseball helmets.  I remember thinking how wealthy my backstreet neighbor was because he owned various full size team helmets when we used to play wiffle ball in the streets.  I remember thinking to myself. “Someday, I’m gonna have every single helmet.”

It’s part of the puzzle of psychology that drives us toward financial gain. (or ruin)  It can manifest itself in a number of ways or material things.  Houses, cars, baseball cards, whatever.

It’s a constant battle for me sometimes, but awareness is really the key to defeating this.  It popped up in more recent popular culture when Owen Wilson discusses the futility in owning a “nostalgia shop”  in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” movie.  Again, it blew my mind, because it helped me view things slightly differently.

As far as investing in collectibles, I no longer want the entire series. I just want the Jordan rookie card.  Everything else is garbage and is simply taking up too much space in my life.  Both physically and mentally.

Purging in the New Year is a popular resolution.  Purging old ideas should also be at the top of our list.

Does anything you collect hold you back?



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