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Fri Aug 31 2012 12:05:12

Antiques Friday: CollectorsQuest and Plenty of Eye-Candy

By: Julia Wilkinson

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Did you know which presidential campaign gave us political buttons as we know them today? It was the campaign of 1896 and the contest between William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan. This is one of many factoids I learned at the new site CollectorsQuest, today's Antiques Friday (hashtag #ABAntiquesFri on Twitter) feature. CollectorsQuest is an online community and  marketplace for collectors founded by Elizabeth Kressel, and which now has a strategic marketing partnership with A+E Networks, highlighting items from some of its most popular television series such as "“Pawn Stars”" and “"American Pickers."

CollectorsQuest is a visual feast for the eyes, with an emphasis on images of collectibles, and the collections they're a part of. I think its strength is in emphasizing the sharing of the personal collections of people, which have strong emotional ties for many. The main page of the site features many bold photos of items "now on Display," and on top there is a scrollable set of shots from the A+E TV shows, as well as highlighted niches such as political buttons and the "Video Spotlight: Museum of UnCut Funk."

One of the things I found charming about the site was that on the Management Team page, each person is represented by a photo of a collectible (presumably, the things that person collects). If CollectorsQuest has an overriding strength, it's in harnessing the emotional ties and enthusiasms of collectors, and making showcasing their beloved pieces easy with an uploading and description process that is intuitive and fast. (I was even inspired to dust off and photograph my Breyer horses collection! You can see some of 'em in the photo below on the upper left corner).

The site also features a blog, with a team of nine bloggers at this writing, with a range of specialties from records and cd's, to sports memorabilia and militaria. I found plenty of meaty articles to sink my teeth into, such as Tom Peeling's piece about the collectibles that can be found all over political conventions, including on the floor.

More challenging for the site will be building a robust collectibles marketplace to compete with the likes of goliath eBay. It does have quite a few categories, however, all populated with items -- some more than others; Advertising and Signs boasted ten pages of listings, whereas Antiquities featured only two pages. (Fees are a flat rate in packages ranging from $2.5 for one listing, $20 for 10, $150 for 100, and $250 for unlimited listings.

But still, if the personal touches and emotional connections the site fosters can spur more collectors to showcase, and ultimately set up shop, here, the site could bring to the collectibles world something folks have lately complained eBay has lost - the fun factor.

Have you checked out CollectorsQuest? What do you collect? Would you be enticed to photograph and share your collections there? Post a comment here!

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by: LSP This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 3 10:49:43 2012

Just checked out CollectorsQuest. I love it! I've been collecting interesting vintage items for 35 years. I mostly collect dolls and dollhouse furnishings from the 1920's to the 1950's. But I have some of just about everything vintage. I would definitely share pictures of my collectibles on this website.

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