Trading of Collectibles: An Alternate Career

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‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’.  We have to plan early to make it big. So the parents and the teachers always ask us what we want be in life. The options are not so many but surprisingly only a few.  Most parents want us to be a doctor or an engineer or a scientist or may be an actor. So it means that almost all the students of our age would fight for the same career options. Is not this funny and irony of our education system?  It reminds us of the famous song-‘All in all it’s just another brick in the wall’.

One may love science or literature or sports. Let it take him/her where it thinks one is suitable for. But that may be the one of the primary career options. This option would help the person to settle in the economic mainstream of the society and to serve the country in a better and formal way. But apart from these mainstream jobs, cannot we do anything else which is much closer to our hearts? We need to think out of the box and to do something uncommon as an alternative career option.

Such an alternate career option can ultimately be a primary profession or one can take it as a supportive or additional job. But we must plan for such an alternate career option. Most of us have different sorts of hobbies. If we can take our hobby as a career option, then it is sure to succeed. One may take singing, drama or photography as an alternate occupation.  As everybody has different hobby so there will be diverse choices. One such choice is trading of collectibles.

Since childhood, many of us are very much fond of philately i.e. collection of postal stamps and numismatics i.e. collection of coins and currencies. Many young people have the hobby of collecting conventional items like postal stamps, coins, autographs and currencies. Some people also collect odd items like small stones, seashells or pebbles from different beaches of the whole world. Some of them even spend huge amount of money to have in their possession rare coins, cute glass bottles, exclusive paperweights, paper-knives, erasers, book-marks, old artifacts, ethnic and junk jewellery etc. Unusual and weird items like dices, corks, keys, spoons, boarding passes and even toothbrushes are collected. They might even reuse some less significant items to create various exclusive decorative memorabilia or decorating showpieces. Rare and antique items are more vigilantly preserved along with some details of history.

Though one can start collecting these items as a passionate hobby but these collected items specially the currencies, stamps, memorabilia or antique pieces have immense value.  These items are on sale across the world.  These items are marketed through postal or private networks, through newspapers or specialized magazines, shops or though websites. The collectors can take their hobby of collecting to a serious professional level so that they can start a new online business of such collectible items. What better could it be if such an online business related to somebody’s childhood passion be an alternative career option for him or her?

Young collectors may keep studying for their primary career and at the same time build up further on their hobby to start a business platform as soon as they become adult and confident enough to build a career out of their passion. Somebody’s childhood obsession or pastime could thus be a great supportive or alternate career choice. Being an entrepreneur in such a unique field is a matter of great pride.

Definitely it needs detailed plan and hard work. Collectors have to collect more unique, rare and antique items because primarily these items have tremendous demand from all corners of the world. One needs to do research thoroughly and have to make a survey to understand the market demand of the items.  Minute historical, cultural, geographical and aesthetic attributes of these collectibles determine the market value. Besides collecting such items, it is also necessary to research and note down some historical and traditional significance.  As this hobby of collection needs tremendous travelling, research and meeting various people, one has to concentrate only on a few specialized fields.

Since online business needs an online platform, entrepreneurs have to learn e-commerce, website designing and application development to do it more independently. All the logistical and legal support and the online trade license could be taken from professional experts. As part of the plan, to make an early market niche, entrepreneurs can start a video blog on collecting as a hobby. This would help them to have contact with like- minded people and to gather more knowledge. Though online marketing does not require much fund but initial set up may be funded by taking some loan from a reputed bank.

Great Chinese philosopher Confucius said, ‘Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life’. As this alternate career choice is just an expansion and embellishment of one’s hobby so there is no extra burden to learn or to work. One can easily devote time and effort as the person is passionate about the work. So it is highly recommendable and satisfying to have such an alternate career out of one’s passion.

Author- SUVANWITA DAS

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