Well I have no idea if I’m the best choice to write this one, about habits, but here we go-
How to reduce or end your collecting habit.
There are a number of reasons you might need to cut back or completely stop a collecting habit-
-Spending too much money
-Spending too much time
-Getting out of hand
-Running out of space
-Lost desire in the habit
-Lack of focus on important things
There are probably others, I’m just naming the things people have told me that I do. Breaking the collecting habit can be tough for many of us. Collecting is an addiction, and since it’s not as glamorous as some of the other addictions, it might be harder for some of us to admit we have a problem. That’s really the first step in breaking a collecting habit, acknowledging that you have an addiction.
You collect too much stuff.
Maybe. First step done. Congrats. I’m going to be breaking it down into categories based on what people might collect. If you have any collecting-breaking success stories of your own, be sure to share them below!
A trick I used on comics a while back. I’d get my weekly pulls and I’d look at what I picked first to read. Whatever ended up on the bottom of the stack to read, I knew those were the titles I had to seriously consider dropping. If you aren’t able to accurately describe what happened in the last comic you got (so the previous Batman when you just picked up the current Batman for example) it might be time to take that off the list.
Pull-lists can be dangerous (Sorry LCSs), because you are handed a stack of your regular books, and it’s sort of expected that you buy them. The owners were nice enough to hold one for you, least you can do is buy it, right? Wrong. Be honest with them, if it’s not a title you want, let them know. If you want to take it off your list, do that. They’ll tell you it might be harder to pick up later if you decide to jump back on, but chances are pretty good if you leave the series, you’ll be alright and won’t look back.
Cutting back on books can be hard though, because you want to remain involved in the series. A different approach would be to wait for the trade paperbacks, once those come out if you HAVE to find out what happens, buy the trade and call it a day. But when the trade does finally come out, you’ll be surprised. You won’t be as invested.
Crossovers are killing comic collectors IMO. Want to know the rest of the story? Check out Action Comics #8, Fatale #3, Civil War 2 #3, #15, and #18, Batman meets Lumberjanes #50, Infinite Hulk-eye #23 and Spider-Man 2099 #233. Ugh, no. Stop that. I made the mistake of getting into the Original Sin run in Marvel. Had me running all over the damn place for different issues to get the complete story. Had no idea what was happening in those series, so I had to work through the backlog for those as well. It’s marketing brilliance, but a nightmare for those of us trying to cut back.
There will always be someone else who gets more comics than you, so don’t feel like your collecting is ok because someone else’s isn’t. Look at your own stacks. Years from now will you care about the 50 different Deadpool runs out there right now? No. (God I hope you won’t.) Besides, comics are averaging $3.99 a pop. Some are at $4.99, twice a month. Average comic readers can be at $20 a week for a handful of books, that’s nearly $1,000 a year. Ooof.
Looking at you, Look Crates. Just cancel it. Cancel it right now. Band-aid style. Those subscription boxes are crack to nerds and geeks. It combines the surprise of a present with the exclusivity of uncommon swag. But it’s never shit you need. You just like opening up a box of stuff you were sent that you don’t know what it is. It’s natural to enjoy that. It might look cool, or be clever, but come on… how many buttons or keychains or statues can you possibly have. Look at the last box you got, did you enjoy every single piece??? If no, cancel the box. Here are some hard truths.
- Won’t sell the items for profit later on
- Won’t wear half that shit
- Wouldn’t justify buying it in person
- Never had an entire box you’ve liked
- $20 a month. $240 a year. That’s a car payment, son.
- Unless it’s a heavily stylized shirt, you’re gonna look a little neckbeardy.
Cancel your monthly boxes right now. Then YouTube someone else unboxing them. Congratulations, you didn’t miss out on anything major. Find something you actually wanted? BOOM. A link to where you can buy PAST LOOT CRATE ITEMS. No need for subscription, buy what you actually want. What a concept!
Amiibo and Funko and the such
I think I’ve found like 3 of these I actually want. But I understand the desire to collect them all.
So there are 23 Funko Pop series. Each series contains HUNDREDS of different Pops and variations. We’re looking at 10s of thousands of Funko Pops. Funko is a private company, as in they don’t have to say shit about their business. They won’t say how many Pops exist in the world right now, and rightly so. It’s a terrifying number. Funko also owns Dorbz, and a handful of other statue companies. Plus, they’re working with Marvel for a subscription box, so that’ll be just great….
As for Amiibo, as of a few months ago they had released 106. 400+ cards, and another 4 waves coming. Nintendo also knows how to shovel out swag for people to buy.
How to break these habits? Band-aid style, sell all of them. Post them on eBay, CraigsList, Amazon, sell them to Gamestop, whatever it takes. You will lose money. But Beanie Baby logic would prove that you were never going to MAKE money to begin with.
Oh! Speaking of Nintendo nonsense. Walmart is (was) selling NES Classic for $250 on their actual website. MSRP is still $60 though. Nice job Walmart. They’re out of stock as of this writing, but Amazon has said time and again they’re getting more in-stock soon. What do you think the odds are that Walmart will drop their price? Yeahhh…. told you, don’t believe the hype. Short lived.
But yeah, statues. Get rid of them. Keep the few that you really truly enjoy, and give away the rest if you have to, you’ll never have a complete collection. That’s really what it comes down to with those types of collectibles. The thrill of collecting and completionism. But it’s a pipe-dream. The companies can push those out (and variants, and variants of variants) faster than you’re able to collect them.
At $10 a piece for an Amiibo, and 106 Amiibo.. hey look, $1000 again. And that’s assuming you’re getting them at MSRP. It’s a lot of money for something to sit on your shelf. Collect a series, or a show/movie/game you like, but don’t stray beyond that. Nothing good out there. Besides, don’t act like you don’t hide them when your cool friends come over.
Chances are you either have a reasonable amount, or you’re aware of your current situation. This one is tough. People who collect board games aren’t collectors in the “filthy dumpster-diving, pawn shop browsing, CraigsList bartering” collectors category I’d put us regular collectors in. You’re collecting something you can use. You’ll never own as many as some people, but that’s a good thing once again. Collect the games you enjoy. If there are games you’ve never played, crack them out one night and give them a chance. If you’re worried about having too many, send us a message and we’ll get them to the right places. After-school programs, church groups, and other organizations can always use more board games.
But seriously, chances are your board game collection isn’t that bad. Besides, we here have a soft spot for board games, no such thing as too many.
I just sold about 3/4 of mine, in bulk, to a store that buys DVDs. Got ripped off on the price (like 30 cents per dvd, beer money), but I got rid of them. Ripped the ones to a hard drive that I would have watched, and kept maybe a small stack of ones I really enjoy. I’m talking like 300+ DVDs sold. But let’s face it. If I want to watch the movie, I can use the internet to…”find” it.
This one is tough though, due to Blu-Ray looking so so good. I’ll buy those “epic” movies that Blu-Ray does it justice, and comic book movies, and that’s it. Don’t buy TV shows, don’t buy collectors packs, and never never never buy brand new. The used DVD and Blu-Ray market is nuts right now. Hell, most new Blu-Ray movies are released at $15, then jump to $30 on the weekend, only to drop to $10 at most used movie stores the next week. You’re never going to watch the special features except one time, you don’t need the fancy steel case, and you don’t need the directors unrated extended cut if you already have the other version. Redbox it and rip it, just like Mama taught you.
Oh, and for fucks sake, throw out the cardboard sleeves. I honestly couldn’t find a picture online, and I throw mine away, but you know what I’m talking about. Get rid of them. Collectible nonsense.
In short, what’s your favorite movie? Great. Do you own it on DVD? Great! Then why do you also own all those other crap movies you’ll never watch. Really? Gridiron Gang? The first season of Boardwalk Empire? You got Netflix and Hulu, get rid of your junk.
(I say this as someone who owns all of The Sopranos on DVD. Why? WHY!?)
If you have something else you collect, get them all together and put them on a table, or the floor, all in a pile. Look at them. If you find that you have a positive reaction to some, you can remember when you got it, or it makes you happy, keep them. The rest of the stuff? Get rid of it. Trust me, you will never own “the complete _____” of something. And if you do, you won’t be content with it. Trust me on this one.
You won’t re-read that book, (I mean, if it has sentimental value, or you find inspiration from it, keep it), otherwise, donate it to the many libraries we have in and around the Gem City. Have you seen the new Dayton Metro libraries? Good lord, those are aaaaallll legit, so so pretty. And the Downtown one? Get right out, gorgeous. Seriously, swing into a library. Grab a few books to read, and be happy Downtown Dayton has got some big things going on.
But really, throwing out bags of trash, and getting rid of boxes feels so damn good. Plus, less to clean and less to move later on. Just gotta look at what you collect, figure out what’s really important, and get rid of the rest. You’ll have some cash in your pocket, some extra closet space, and you’ll feel better about how your place looks!!
Oh. I forgot about video games?
Yeeeaaahhh. No clue how to get myself out of this downward spiral of video game collecting, let alone how to help ya’ll. You’re on your own with that one. In the meantime, say goodbye to your collecting habits.