Just how do you decide which of all things Apple you want to collect? If you are like me there are dozens of different directions I can go at anytime. Do you simply want to buy what you like? What about products you first used when you got turned on to Apple in the beginning? Or, how about all things Apple with their vintage multi-colored logo?
At the risk of taking the fun out of buying cool Apple stuff to add to our collection, there are a few suggestions to consider first, otherwise we run the risk of aimlessly bouncing from one cool thing to the next, and while that may not be all bad, the problems with this approach are- 1) we’ll end up with a hodgepodge of Apple stuff, 2) we’ll have a fortune tied up with no clear direction of our collection, 3) we’ll never be able to buy them all, and 4) we’ll miss important items because we weren’t focused.
One way to develop my direction options is with some general eBay searches. I can sit here for hours scrolling down all the thousands of Apple things people load up to sell. Searches like “Apple,” Vintage Apple,” Rare Apple” and broad terms like this are a great place to start to narrow things down a little.
The other reason I like high-level general searches is they’re helpful to find things you might not have seen or even known about. Then, as you find items that strike your fancy tag them, either as a “Watch” or “Wish List.” Now let some time pass and then go back to these lists. This more methodical approach helps reduce the tendency of impulse buys and veering off your collection path.
For me I like the older Apple collectables- the early generations of machines, early Apple colored logo memorabilia, Steve Jobs stuff, early Apple history documents, retro Apple logo’d clothes and things like this. I have consciously decided not to collect the tons of other good stuff that draws my attention, things I would love to get, but I’ve learned and now try to be more disciplined in my approach.
Having the discipline to not want all these other cool Apple things is tough. I know. Take iPods for example, there all the models and hard-drive sizes, then as the years progressed the different colors and special editions came out. Once you get passed the price tags of the earliest ones, one can easily make this Apple product a total collection focus. Or consider the iMac machines, which I love. Start with the model Steve introduced upon his return to Apple- the Bondi blue (May 1998) on up to the Dalmatian/Flower Power and the other delicious flavors. Then you must decide how far in this direction you want to go. What about the iMac Flat panel desk lamp (there are 3 models) or white iMac G5 models introduced in 2004 do you add them too? Or how about the classic Apple Mugs? Lots of folks love them. They aren’t expensive and are easy to display. Now, Apple posters, on the other hand, are super cool, but can be difficult to display, and if you want to frame them, like I do, it can cost you a fortune to do it right. Mouse pads? Watches? Stickers? Software? Steve Jobs magazine interviews or features. Note pads? PowerBooks? Honestly, the list is endless.
Once you zero in one what rocks your boat, it is good to drill down a little deeper before you just start buying. There are some other things to think about for a moment. Aside from the money you are willing to spend/invest in this fun hobby, where do you plan on displaying all these cool new/old Apple devices and/or memorabilia? Have you thought about that yet? I really didn’t either. A little forethought here will go a long way. The other question that most collectors don’t consider is this- when the time comes to sell your collection, how much time and energy do you want to invest to divest yourself of this collection? Yes, I can attest as a collector of other “things” there will come a day when you will want to sell (need the space, the money or simply want to go a different direction). You can either find someone who wants them and give them away, sell them or throw them away (horrific plan).
One more word of advice: buy the best condition and most sought after items from within the direction you’ve picked. These items will retain their value better than items with problems you bought cheap.
These are all considerations better thought about before the boxes of all things Apple start showing up at your door.