I’ll confess, I don’t usually buy magazines like Better Homes & Gardens (at least not new ones!) because I always feel like, “A-duh, I know this already!” and, “As if my house could both look like that and be livable,” *snort* But sometimes, the pretty covers beckon…
In this case, it’s the 2009 “Best Of” Better Homes & Gardens Creative Collection: 100 Ideas Flea Market Style. I’ll admit, I’m am a girlie girl who can be suckered by the eclectic chic of shabby white painted furniture & eye-popping pastels. So sue me.
But what really made me bite and pay the $5.99 cover price at the grocery store was not the wait in line, not the fact that I could rationalize the purchase because “I’m a blogger”, but because of the intriguing, bright pink screaming, cover text: What’s Hot! Top 10 Collectibles.
I was so curious because for years I’ve watched and wondered about these lists — and the people who make them. Surely they are skewed by personal tastes and tailored data bases. I mean, if people could really predict “what’s hot” then we’d not only have a better economy but bypass all those talent shows, right?
TIAS, Kovels, eBay, they all proffer lists of “top search categories” and “top sales categories” — but come on, they are all different. And do you know why? Because of what each offers in terms of content. If you have more sales lists, articles, &/or appraisals for category X, Y & Z than other sites, well, that’s who is coming to you via searches — and what they’ll find to buy. Heck, just putting up those lists skews the searches because those words are all search engine fodder.
The fact is, no one knows what’s really hot in collectibles. The giant area of antiques and collectibles is as vast & diverse as we are — “we” being consumers, blog readers, people without the internet (the horror!)… people in general. And if we know anything about people we know that we are a fickle bunch. Out with the pet rocks, in with the Rubik’s cube; out with The Masters, in with the folk art. We even say we hate Barbie because she’s offensive to our feminist sensibilities and therefore bad for our daughters, but then we buy her by the millions. So what can these experts know about us and our future buying habits that we don’t know ourselves?
Not much. At least not much past what the columnists, writers and editors like. In this case, the publication’s Top Ten list is as follows:
Hens on Nests
Bakelite Kitchen Utensils
Vintage Home Magazines
Naturally, collectors of these items are as thrilled as I am to see vintage & retro games, political buttons, old sewing notions and vintage magazines on the list; we do so enjoy being “right” and “cool”. But those who do not see their passion presented will not just pout but point to their collecting groups, big auction prices, and whatever else they can to prove the list makers are waaay off the mark.
Fear not, dear collectors, these are only the publication’s fancies. Maybe being off the hot list means you’ll have less paddles raised at your next auction. And perhaps such articles will entice new collectors into our hobby. We do so love the company.
So while the question of just what is hot in collecting really has no definitive answer, one thing is for certain: We will continue to collect, hoard, decorate, display and buy, buy, buy.
Even publications we know we don’t need.
Because we have to. We’re collectors.
Our tastes may change — our pockets may only contain change — but the pursuit of our hobby will not change. Unless it’s to become more enthralled and obsessed.
Come back on Sunday, when I’ll share more of the magazine’s insights and insides!