What Should You Collect

What Should You Collect?

a collection of old photos and posters

Collect What You Like

Most collectors would tell you the most important aspect of collecting is to collect what you like. It is your collection, so add those things that are the most satisfying and pleasurable to you.

Availability of Memorabilia You Collect

There are wonderful examples of all types of political campaign memorabilia available today, produced throughout most of our nation's history which offer collectors the opportunity to build fabulous collections.

Here are a few ways to find material for your collection

  • Join the APIC!
  • Attend APIC regional and national shows.
  • Trade and correspond with other collectors.
  • Attend flea markets, antique shows, and estate sales.
  • Advertise in local newspapers and magazines.
  • Advertise in trade publications.
  • Talk with current and retired politicians.
  • Participate in a current political campaign.
  • Subscribe to mail auctions and on-line auctions.
  • Search on-line sources such as eBay.
  • Attend other collector shows such as gun shows, coin & stamp shows .

Value of Memorabilia You Collect

Values of political items fluctuate based on a number of factors. Some things to consider:

  • Many collectors are very condition-conscious, therefore they are oftentimes willing to pay a premium price for items in superb condition.
  • Some items are produced in a region where the quantity created is quite small. With more collectors than there are items to go around, this can create an increase in value for those limited-quantity items.
  • Throughout history, there have been some campaigns for specific candidates where political campaign memorabilia is virtually non-existent. Items for these candidates command premium prices.
  • Specific types of political campaign memorabilia are highly prized by certain collectors. Examples may include political campaign textiles, campaign flags, jugate pinback buttons (those that show both the presidential and vice presidential candidate on one button), 3-dimensional items, china, mechanical items, and very colorful campaign buttons.
  • Note: When rare campaign material is offered at auction, you may see a 'bidding war' where two collectors raise the price of an item far beyond what most collectors might pay.
  • Items created during current political campaigns can often create a flurry of excitement at that moment, causing abnormally high prices. Generally, if a collector has the patience, these items become available at some point in the future for more reasonable prices once the dust settles.
  • There are collectors who believe that political campaign memorabilia can be a good investment. While it may be true that money can be made in the hobby, most collectors would indicate that this is not their number one reason for collecting.

Areas of Specialization

a person holding a tape with text

While the vast majority of collectors are interested in almost all political campaign memorabilia for every political campaign, there are those who have decided to be less of a generalist-type collector and to become more of a specialist in one area. The list of specialty areas is endless, but here some examples:

  • Memorabilia from each presidential campaign
  • Jugates only
  • Pinback buttons only
  • Focus on a single candidate
  • Focus on a single election year (i.e. the election of 1860)
  • Single Political Party (Democrat, Republican, Socialist, etc)
  • Single-day event buttons
  • Coattails
  • Political items with advertising tie-in
  • 3-D items
  • Locals (Governors, Senators, non-presidential)
  • Women’s Suffrage movement
  • Prohibition movement
  • Social causes
  • Civil Rights

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