Often people ask us what antiques they can collect on a small budget. There are dozens of classes of antiques that aren’t very expensive to collect, but the most important thing is to collect the items you love. Here are a few ideas:
- Ephemera (paper items): Old advertising, envelopes, souvenir programs, train schedules, brochures, event programs, checks, bills, deeds, indentures
- Political collectibles, such as buttons, pins and flyers
- Diecast miniature cars
- Vintage jewelry, accessories
- Stamps, coins and paper money, particularly non-U.S.
- Fast food giveaways like McDonald’s Happy Meal toys (free with food, and many become valuable)
- Record albums (45 rpm and 33 rpm). Often available at Goodwill.
- First edition books (also available at Goodwill, generally easy to spot)
- Travel souvenirs such as shot glasses, charms, or spoons
There are exceptions in all of the above categories but you could build an entire collection without having to spend more than $20 an item.
Below is a picture of some of our paper and ephemera items, that include a 19th century theatre handbill (sold), 19th century portraits, letters, checks, and even a House of Representatives ID card. All unique items available at a reasonable price.