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Collecting hero
• Oct 2, 2023

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people were stuck at home without their usual outlets for entertainment – dining, traveling, meeting up with friends and more.

Amid the lockdowns, millions of people around the globe got back into collecting things from their childhood, including comics, cards, sneakers, and toys. While many people see collecting as a fun way to spend money, there are a few, crucial things to consider before getting into any hobby.

There are NO guarantees

Feels obvious, but many see a trend and jump on it without a second thought.

Comic books skyrocketed in 2021 with prices climbing to almost double in some cases. Since then, those prices have come back down to reality. But for many who saw the comic book craze amid the pandemic, they've lost a lot in value on what they purchased.

It's important to know that nothing is guaranteed and collecting does cost money, so there are always risks. The goal is to get ahead of trends, but even so, some collectables like Beanie Babies come and go and leave people wishing they never jumped on the bandwagon.

Also, be wary of speculation. There might be a movie or show coming out and therefore, prices on cards, comics and even toys skyrocket. This won't last. So, keep those things in mind before you break out your wallet.

Do you have the storage?

Depending on what you plan to collect, make sure you can store it properly. If you plan to collect wine, comics, even some toys, you're probably going to want to have climate-controlled storage, whether it's at your house or in a storage unit.

Comics, magazines and of course perishables like wine, often become damaged or ruined if they are kept in the sun or the heat. So, if you're without enough space to store these valuable items, you might just be throwing money away.

The bigger the items (sneakers for example), the harder the collectables will be to store!

Collect what you love

Another generic mention, but something incredibly important. In the 1990's, comic and cards exploded, and millions thought they were collecting for their retirement.

Then the bottom dropped out of the market and people lost almost everything as items became mass produced. Those who loved the hobby, had fun, and could say they at least spent that money on entertainment. Those who weren't fans, really wasted their time trying to get rich quickly.

Make sure you are into what you're collecting and it's not just a case of FOMO aka fear of missing out.

Don't buy junk

To each their own, but part of the psychological benefits of collecting is the instant gratification you get once you have obtained an item you really want. Many experts always recommend fighting the urge to get something inexpensive for that gratification alone.

Only collect if you can afford it

Last but possibly the most important, we talked about FOMO earlier and while friends or family might be buying something and seeing great results, if you don’t have disposable income to use – reconsider this hobby.

This can often lead to the worst-case scenario – buying something that declines in value while you're in debt for that item and can't begin to make the payments or pay it off in full. Remember the whole reason you got into collecting in the first place – to have fun. And being in debt with no way out is absolutely no fun!

For more on personal finance topics

If you have more questions about other personal finance topics that matter to you, visit the Learning Center on TD Bank’s website. You can find out more information about TD Bank's services at

We hope you found this helpful. This article is based on information available in September 2023 and is subject to change. It is provided as a convenience and for general information purposes only. Our content is not intended to provide legal, tax, investment, or financial advice or to indicate that a particular TD Bank or third-party product or service is available or right for you.

For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.

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