People ask me all the time where I find the items for my collection.
It’s pretty simple, in most cases. I scour antique shops and shows. I visit flea markets. I keep in touch with other collectors that I think will someday want to sell their collections and let them know I’m interested. I advertise in antique and collectible publications. I search online sites.
But at election time, it’s a whole new ballgame. Campaign headquarters open in many towns and a stop at these sites can lead to many collectibles, from paper items to buttons. There are other campaign-related sites where items can be found as well.
I’m fortunate in that I work in the media and sometimes have access to campaign sites that others do not. Monday night, I was in Boca Raton, Fla., for the third and final presidential debate. Outside the media center, groups were allowed to set up canopies and make their cases for their causes and candidates. Most had something to give away.
The groups at this event included Planned Parenthood, The Tea Party, C-Span, National Organization of Women and many other groups.
A very nice Women for Romney pin was available at the Mitt Romney booth. With Romney courting the women’s vote, the pin is a great collectible that speaks to an important issue in this campaign.
The National Organization of Women booth had two pins available for anyone who wanted them, although they limited everyone to one of each. The best of the two was a button that said Florida NOW for Obama. It’s a pin that collectors want because it’s for a specific candidate, from a specific group and from an individual state. I would have loved to grab a handful of those for trading with other collectors.
Finally, as a memento of the debate itself, small tins of mints were available to buy. Collectors won’t covet them since they aren’t candidate specific, but it’s a nice item to have to remember the night that helped decide the 2012 election.