We love to collect things. Whether it’s nostalgia for a particular period of time, a habit carried on from childhood or purely as an investment for the future, people build up vast amounts of items. 

The choice of what to collect is limitless. From rocks to coins, stamps to artwork, toys to shoes, a collection can be anything that catches your eye, and the most seemingly unusual thing can turn out to have great value to a fellow collector. Just last month, a collection of Pokemon cards was sold by a Midlands auction house for £25,000. If you are amassing a quantity of potential investments, it’s important you keep them stored and cared for in pristine condition.

Of course, we can’t all afford to build a large collection of diamonds or works of arts. But, if you do want to start a collection, here are some of the most popular choices. 

Stamp collection with magnifying glass, shallow depth of field

Comic Books

Children have been reading and collecting comic books for generations, and the majority of them may not have much individual worth. However, when you do have one that’s rare, vintage or unique in some way, it’s value may be dependent on how well cared for it is. No coffee rings or torn pages please. Comic books are often stored in individual plastic covers and in watertight boxes, laid flat to avoid sagging and bending the spines.


It may seem old fashioned, but stamp collecting remains a very popular pastime. An avid collector enjoys not just the stamps, but the history that comes with them. However, it’s important to care for them. We’ve all heard stories of very old stamps with minor printing issues selling for lots of money, but there are also horror stories of them losing value after being damaged. Stamps need to be carefully stored in dry, dark storage where they are safe from water and light damage. 

Trading Cards

As with the previously mentioned Pokemon cards, trading cards can have immense value to collectors around the world. There are sets of cards for all interests, from cars to sporting heroes, comic characters to Disney. If you have favourite cards you like to look at regularly, you can place them in purpose built sleeves. For large collections, carefully organised storage boxes make a simple way to keep them tidy. 


While most of us enjoy a glass of wine and appreciate a good bottle, some do take it to the next level and build a collection of valuable wines. When you want to start wine collecting, storage is one of the most important things. You can create a wine cellar in your own home by picking a spot that dark and cool most of the time, such as a cellar or cupboard. However, ideally it also needs to be kept at an even temperature if possible, and that’s difficult to do in our modern, centrally heated homes. If you are entering into collecting seriously, you may want to consider an indoor self-storage unit where temperatures fluctuate far less. 

Rare Books

We do love a good story and have bookshelves full in our homes. But collecting valuable and rare books can be an exciting hobby, starting with the fun of hunting down a rare first edition. Your collection doesn’t have to start with a dusty and ancient text squirreled away in a second hand bookshop – a first edition Harry Potter is worth a considerable amount. 

When your collection takes the step from simple hobby to expensive and valuable, or from a single shelf to filling a room, it may be time to consider a self-storage unit. With your own unit, specially designated space for your collection, you have all the room you need to store everything carefully – and expand it as much as you want to. 

When you are planning to build an online business, understanding your marketplace can be key. There’s a number of things to consider to make the most of your e-commerce shop, with the main one being where you decide to sell your items.  

E-shopping Online Business Promotion Shopaholic Concept

Where should you be setting up shop?

There are plenty of online platforms for selling your products, but the best known have to be eBay or Amazon. Are these right for you though?

Both are huge, established marketplaces, which gives you the advantage of a large consumer base. Plus, your buyers already trust the platform and protection it gives them. However, you are competing against large numbers of established sellers, and both Amazon and eBay have higher seller fees than other platforms. 

One of the main differences between the two is that you have a fixed price on Amazon, while you can choose to auction items on eBay, or sell them with a fixed Buy It Now price. Another is the way listings appear on each platform. On Amazon, if you have the same product as other sellers you are often listed on the same product description. The main way to stand out is to keep your prices low enough to be competitive, which could be a problem for small sellers. 

On eBay, you have control over the pictures and wording you use to list your item, so spending time understanding how to make the best use of headlines and keywords can be beneficial. You can also compete more directly with large sellers, as buyers may have other priorities than just cost, such as timeframes – how soon the auction ends – distance and options to collect goods themselves.

woman buying online

Other options for online sellers

Etsy is a fabulous online marketplace for handcrafted and vintage goods. If your products fit into these areas, this could be the best option. Your goods will stand out more than on eBay or Amazon, and buyers come to Etsy specifically for something unique. 

Another growing marketplace can be found on Facebook. However, it has limitations. Firstly, you need to understand the platform. There’s the Marketplace where you can list secondhand items, but you don’t actually sell them. If a buyer wants your goods, they contact you direct to arrange the details. 

Then there’s your Facebook Shop. You need to set up a business page and then learn how to set up the selling element. Then there’s the marketing to bring buyers to your page. And that’s where Facebook can be hard work, as you need to build up engagement with your audience to be found. Starting your e-commerce business on Facebook can be a slow process, especially when you already have an established consumer audience on other platforms. 

Building your own website

Another option for selling is to set up your own website and online shop. You have the immediate advantage of controlling everything yourself – prices, listings, descriptions and costs. You also won’t face immediate competition from other sellers, although you do have to consider that other people may be selling the same items, and today’s savvy buyers always shop about to compare prices.

To make the most of selling on your own site, you need to start with a great website. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune – in fact you can build your own online shop fairly easily. But you do need to understand things like SEO (search engine optimisation) and have an idea of how to market your shop to build up presence. 

With your own shop you are also building up your brand, so if you also have a bricks and mortar shop, this is an obvious choice. Your customers will get to know you through your reliability and reviews, and you appeal to customers who don’t like the big platforms or prefer to support the local and smaller business. 

freelance online seller

A little bit of everything

When you are just starting your online shop, you might want to try everything. List some items on eBay and Amazon – or Etsy if your products fit – and build your own website as well. Then you can monitor and compare sales to see where you make the most profits. 

Once your business takes off, you’ll need more space for your products. Keeping stock safe, organised and undamaged means you need a place for shelving, packing and a desk, with wifi to manage your orders. That’s where we come in. Call Cookes today to see how we help support online retailers to grow on 0121 250 5055.