Doll collecting can be overwhelming, can’t it? Since I took it up again, I have made several unwise purchases which I regretted later, nothing major on their own but if you let them mount up, that’s precious funds wasted that could have got you something really good. This is potentially seriously depressing.
If you have enough money, you could just go for a “buy anything you take a fancy to” approach and there’s nothing wrong with this. But most of us need to at least try to start prioritising. Over the course of the last few months, I have tried to let my interests and enthusiasms find their own level and I think I might have figured some stuff out. Here are my self-enforced guidelines:
1. When buying from eBay, I do not bid on anything on first viewing of the listing – this might sound obvious to old eBay hands, but its something I’ve had to learn. I’ve only bid on something at first viewing and not regretted it on one occasion – most if the time its a mistake. I mention eBay, but actually I try to apply this rule to any Internet shopping.
2. Sometimes, you just have to let it go. Bidding wars are for idiots (this is my boyfriend’s rule, solemnly passed down to me, and it’s a good one)
3. Beware import taxes (another of my boyf’s)
4. Sometimes I have bought “in bulk” (three or four dolls at once) whilst looking for a bargain. But it always makes me feel bad and start thinking about giving up collecting for a few days, so I try to avoid it.
5. I try to buy within my particular areas of interest and I try not to let myself develop too many at the same time, its depressing to feel like I am buying indiscriminately. I currently have about six wide areas of interest around dolls and I only allow myself to stray outside of these when I find something really special. I can think of at least five more areas of interest I could foster with no effort, if I wanted to. Maybe when I have finished with my current projects, it’ll be time to move on to these (by then I might be obsessing about playing the cello, or collecting china, or making children’s clothes, who knows? Anything is possible).
6. I try to buy only what I really like. If I really hate something in a set but need it to complete that set, I think carefully before I make a decision on it. Buying from a sense of obligation to a set of criteria can lead to madness, poverty and possibly extreme misfortune – remember the story about the compulsive shopper who was crushed to death when a load of her unwanted purchases fell off the wardrobe onto her?
7. Finally – I never trust a dog with orange eyebrows (OK, that isn’t really one of mine, but its great advice, don’t you think?)