Friday, November 24, 2006

Ebay and the erosion of passion

Ken brings up a valid point about collecting and the impact of Ebay. In any collection, the value of an object is determined by three factors; desirability, availability and condition. Items formerly difficult to find are now only a click away on Ebay – which subsequently lowers their value.

And another aspect of collecting disappears -– the thrill of the hunt. It’s not something to be underestimated. While hoarding is a compulsion, collecting is a passion. The search is sometimes the most rewarding part –- and the experience can lead to a greater knowledge and appreciation of the field.

When everything becomes instantly available, objects not only loses some monetary value, but some of emotional value as well. Most collectors have stories about prized objects in their collection; how it took six years to finish the matched set, or how they stumbled across this great find in a flea market. The difficulty (or serendipity) of its acquisition can give the object added emotional value to the collector.

With enough money, you could probably acquire an instant collection of just about anything through Ebay. But would you care?

- Ralph

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