The best kind of gift is one that speaks directly to the special interests and pet projects of the person receiving the present.
Very often those interests are focused on a collection of items – sometimes fanciful, sometimes useful – that the gift recipient has been gathering together for some years and never gets tired of adding new entries to their treasures.
But when choosing a new addition to someone's prized collection, whether salt-and-pepper sets or antique farm tools, care should be taken to get something the gift recipient would have chosen themselves.
Consider first what kind of collection it is. For instance, if the collector has a large selection of dolls, try to see what types of dolls are prevalent - traditional porcelain dolls, Asian costume dolls or rustic cornhusk figures? The person who collects only one type of doll probably has an affinity for that variety and isn't interested in adding a doll not within the same category.
However, an eclectic collector probably loves a diversity of items and - taking the doll collector again as an example - wouldn't mind showing an ethnic costumed doll next to a rustic, handcrafted figure.
"A great private collection is like a work of art. Go look at what people have put together," contemporary art collector Cliff Einstein told Time magazine. "The great collections come from the stomach, not the head."
If the gift giver's budget is small, hunting for sales or coupons offered by vendors may result in a good find. The San Francisco Music Box Company promotion code offers savings on the company's selection of music boxes, water globes and figures - all popular collection items. A wide range of handcrafted gift items is also available with special savings by using an Americana Mama promotion code.
Or, if getting a treasure to add to someone's collection is really out of reach financially, there may be an accessory item that can be offered that dovetails nicely with the collectibles.
If money is no object, be sure to include any certificate of authenticity or other documentation that verifies the value of a rare collectible or antique item.
Keep in mind that collectors often fall in love with their treasures without regard to how much they cost or what the monetary value is. Wrapping the treasure in beautiful packaging will show that it was chosen and presented with care.
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