How to Start a Sports Memorabilia Collection
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and sports memorabilia collections don’t just happen overnight. Although building up a more extensive collection can take years of dedication and a significant chunk of change, it’s easy to build a solid foundation for the collection when you’re starting out. Your first jersey, a signed gear, or a photograph can be a great standalone piece. Or, you can think of it as the start of your own premium display of items. Here’s how you can bring your personal collection to the next level after starting from scratch.
Think About Your Investment
Even if you have some memorabilia you want to turn into a more organized, well displayed collection, you’re still looking at an investment of time and finances to make it happen. Set attainable goals for the items you want to add or the changes you want to make, and factor in a budget of at least a few hundred dollars to really bring your memorabilia collection to life.
Start with One Team or Player
Your entire future collection doesn’t need to revolve around one team or player, but when you’re starting out, it’s good to have a theme. That way, as your collection grows, it will feel more cohesive, and make for an even better display in your home or office. We know a lot of Philly sports fans who add almost everything from a Philly team to their hometown pride collection, but keep in mind that their collections are already pretty established. So for example, when you’re just starting out, focus on Eagles memorabilia, then branch out to the Sixers, Phillies, Flyers, or the Union. Your collection will seem more put together to outside eyes, and it’ll give you more options to keep things organized for a great looking display.
Take Advantage of Freebees
When planning your game attendance for each season, look for games where there will be discounted or even free items that you can start collecting. Bobblehead night is a favorite for baseball teams, and there are plenty of opportunities to get free t-shirts and baseball caps. Although these may not always be the most valuable or rare memorabilia, you never know what something might be worth down the line. To increase the value and significance of your memorabilia, look for signing events for that team so you can take the memorabilia with you to get autographed, or get a photo with a player and the item.
Speaking of Signing Events…
Go to them! Dynasty Sports has a huge number of events with both current and former players throughout the year. Ticket prices vary depending on the player and the size of the event and being able to attend at least one is an awesome experience for any sports fan.
Looking For Deals on Vintage Memorabilia
This is what many memorabilia collectors are constantly working to do: find vintage or rare memorabilia for a good price, and preferably without having to travel far. Keep in mind that buying vintage memorabilia online can be very risky, and it’s definitely best to see the item in person before buying, unless you know the seller or they have an outstanding reputation. If you want to shop online, try Facebook Marketplace over Craigslist. Being able to see the person selling the item can help prevent scams, which are all too common when shopping for memorabilia on Craigslist. If you have the time and drive, go to antique stores to see what you can find. Going outside of a metropolitan area may result in getting better prices. These stores often have vintage posters or magazines in addition to gear and photographs. Getting a couple of solid vintage items, such as a ticket stub from a historically or personally significant game or magazine with a team on the cover, is the perfect way to honor your favorite team’s legacy in your collection.
Make Sure Your Display Is On-Point from The Beginning
Take advice from the experts: not putting care into your display will make your memorabilia lose its value, both to you, and potentially the monetary value of the items themselves if you do not take care of them. Here are some simple ways to take care of your memorabilia so it looks better and lasts more than a lifetime.
- At the beginning, start small and with the basics, but keeping expansion in mind. For example, for your first display unit or shelf, get something that you know you can match to another piece of furniture, or even something you could incorporate into another piece of furniture. For example, a small glass paneled display cabinet that could eventually sit on a small bookshelf or be hung on the wall.
- For any hanging shelves or display units, take every precaution when hanging something heavy on your wall. Follow the instructions that come with the display on how to hang it and go the extra mile by making sure everything is secure before you stand back and admire your work.
- Don’t hang posters or photos with thumb tacks or tape on the wall. Everything should be put in a frame with matting so there is space between the paper and the frame. You don’t want your paper memorabilia to potentially get stuck in a frame that fits snugly against the memorabilia. Although we recommend custom framing, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to keep posters, photographs, and tickets looking great while lasting forever.
- If you don’t plan on wearing your jersey, put it in a frame. There are frames specially shaped and made to display sports jerseys, and it’s better to display it than keep it crammed in a space at the back of your closet or in a drawer. Plus, think about how you would react if you accidentally got rid of it – the stuff of nightmares.
- Have a designated shelf or other space to display all your memorabilia in one place. We recommend getting a bookcase or other shelving unit with glass doors for the best display, and to avoid accumulating dust.
- Speaking of dust, dust often and carefully, especially if your memorabilia is just sitting on a shelf.
Once you get past the basics of setting up your display, you can take it to the next level by customizing it with your team colors and really making it part of your space. And remember, Dynasty Sports and Custom Framing is your premier source for authentic hand signed memorabilia, licensed sports products and autograph signings. And when you need your prized item or items custom framed we have you covered. We can customize any item to fit your needs at very affordable prices. We also offer unique custom framing kitsfeaturing all major sports teams. Be a fan, celebrate your favorite team or player and allow Dynasty Sports to be your ultimate sports memorabilia destination.