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#16276 - 09/15/06 10:42 AM My H-L collecting may be over...
Stainz Offline
Member

Registered: 04/25/02
Posts: 136
Loc: Pinson, AL, USA
We were on vacation... my wife saw me looking at the #673 Hereford 4th Order fresnel lens at the little Hallmark store where I bought my first H-L's. It was nice, but I couldn't see the $154 price. I have four other fresnels - which I like more... and were more appropriately priced, in my opinion. Still, while I was discussing the state of H-L in general with a sales person, they didn't know the Youngers had sold the company, for example, my wife bought the lens in secret.

My last H-L bought was the Sand Is, AL (#297). I think I have ~200 pieces now, inc lightships, H-L's, specials, and GLOW's. They are nice... but some time back, I put some back in their boxes to store, releasing bookshelf space for some of my long boxed books. Recalling this, I commented how nice it was to have the space - and that we really didn't have the money. Additionally, her Harmony Kingdom collection was growing - and all 200+ displayed in an all glass hex case bought from a store dropping the Hummel line. She offered to return it, if possible. They cheerfully gave her card a credit.

Of course, now I find myself rethinking said deed. Do I 'catch up'? So many new H-L's I haven't even seen - Birmingham has no dealers now. My paid-for house is small - and the appliances had to be replaced this year - the septic tank/field lines need work, the garage door needs replacing, etc - then there is the two new cars we bought two years ago (My car was 14.5 yr old... my wife's was a lemon-law replacement.). It seems I don't have the extra bucks anymore... my other hobbies have also waned. Interests change - but seeing those new lights and lenses has planted a seed.

How do others cope with this? Can other hobbies exist with H-L collecting? My room - once a haven for my G-scale trains on those shelves - has been my lighthouse collection display area. I had started to run out of room, thus the book storage. Of course, this big desk and computer could go... maybe a lap top...

Perhaps it is time to quit. How would one price a 'collection'? I would hate to piece it out - anyone want a collection for a fraction of MSRP? What fraction? You'll need a delivery truck...

How do others cope with these discontinuities in the 'force'?

John

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#16277 - 09/15/06 11:08 AM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
rscroope Offline
Saint

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 6801
Loc: Long Island, New York, USA
A real dilema John. You'll always be a Harbour Lights Collector even if you sold them all! You've experienced the chase. I think most of us are faced with space and room concerns. Bill always said he sprinkled them with collecting dust. They are (as we all know) very addictive. As long as you don't forsake some of your real priorities of life, I think they can coexist. eek
Bob
_________________________
LONG ISLAND BOB

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#16278 - 09/15/06 12:00 PM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
Bob M Offline
Saint

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 12331
Loc: North Attleboro, Mass.
A lot of collectors lose interest. Don't feel you are in a small group. Just watch eBay and you'll see what I mean. Some collectors are literally giving their collections away for a fraction of what they paid.

My advice would be to keep your HL's as long as you can, then sell some to thin the collection. Don't give them away for pennies on the dollar. Hold out for a decent price. I noticed the minimum starting bids have increased a little on eBay. Sellers are getting smarter.

There is absolutely no need to buy every new offering if you can't justify your purchases. I buy all of them because I still have the expendable cash. When I retire, that will probably have to change a little.

Remember, if it makes you smile, do it! If you're sad and selling will make you sadder, don't do it.

As far as the new pieces, buy what you like and leave the rest. Maybe sell one or two older pieces and use that money to pay for a new one.

It all comes down to six of one and a half-dozen of another.

smile Bob smile

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#16279 - 09/15/06 01:45 PM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
kikigl Offline
Member

Registered: 08/21/99
Posts: 862
Loc: St. Petersburg, Fl., USA
I would feel very bad if I had to get rid of my Harbour Lights. I live in a condo and I don't have much storage room for the boxes. I have just started to get rid of the styrofoam so I can fold the boxes so they won't take up so much room. I may have to make some changes later. When I first started to collect, I wanted every one I saw. I was going to just collect Maine and Florida but I got really carried away. If I had it to do again, I think I would just collect the ones I have seen.(real ones) If I run out of space, I may have to sell some of the ones that I
don't like as much as others.
_________________________
Kay

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#16280 - 09/15/06 05:11 PM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
catzb1 Offline
Wacko

Registered: 11/24/02
Posts: 227
Loc: Middleburg, Fl 32068
John,

I can really understand where you are coming from. I have lost interest on occasion and have sold some early pieces. Then 6 months or so later, I regret the decision and I am back in the hunt again. I have done this a few times already.. I started to think about what else could be done with the money (like selling my collecion of Harbour Lights would really make a dent in that Tuscan farmhouse we want to retire to in about 15 years!). But, HL have become part of me and I will continue to collect. It may take years and I may never get the whole collection, but I am okay with that now. Just buy what you can when you can and enjoy what you have!

Cathy

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#16281 - 09/15/06 09:38 PM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
flacoastie Online
Saint

Registered: 10/02/01
Posts: 6095
Loc: Ocala, FL 34471
John - Do what you have to do, but, remember that selling your collection now in haste and then rebuying the same collection later on will be a costly learning experience. You don't have to own them all so decide on what areas you want to own(geographical, lights visited, lights that you like, etc) and concentrate on them. Thin your existing collection down to your field of interest by selling what doesn't fit your area and use that money to build your area up.

I retired last year and had to make a decision about continuing to collect or giving them up completely. I had enough retirement money to live comforably but could not support or justify buying HLs with my retirement income. Amy, my wife, felt the same way about the collection stopping if retirement money had to be used. I had them all up to that point and would have to go either cold turkey on stopping or continue on buying them all. I am not a person of reason when I collect. I found a part time job and now am enjoying my new purchases even more when I think that I am working for my lighthouses and other interests(Gator/Browns sports memorabilla) and it is not costing my retirement income a bit. You might want to consider getting a Saturday only partime job at a grocery store bagging. That's what I do 3 days a week and the rewards of meeting people while bagging is a plus to the salary.

The above is only a suggestion and what solved my problem may not be the answer to yours. You, and only you, will have to make your decision. Whatever you decide, please make sure you let us know.
_________________________
Rich

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#16282 - 09/16/06 06:15 PM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
5lights Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 04/26/06
Posts: 2415
Loc: Winneconne, Wisconsin
I have only been collecting for about 2 years. I have one curio filled with HLs. There have been times when I thought about selling some to make room for more or just keeping Great lakes lights and ones that I have seen.
But then I know deep down that I don't want to part with any of them. Each one has something special about it. And I know me...I would just start all over again. Of course, costing me more than the first time.
So until I really no longer want them or desperate times call for desperate measures...they stay where they are.
To make room for my new purchases...I am contemplating putting some away and doing a rotation type thing. Put certain ones out for awhile-the others away and switch periodically.
I agree that only you and you alone will know when it is time to get rid of them!! Good Luck and please let us know how it turns out!
_________________________
Debbie

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#16283 - 09/16/06 08:11 PM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
Webmaster Offline
Saint

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 13047
Loc: Arizona
You are getting some good advice here. It doesn't sound from your post that selling is a necessary issue.

Selling a 'collection' will never pay you the most. People who are looking to buy already have some pieces and they are looking to add a few at a time or fill in missing pieces.

Only rarely does someone come roaring into the collection and want to immediately acquire one of each.

In selling currently available pieces, you'll be competiting with dealers. Selling the rarest and most valuable in your collection will really take the value out of what you have accumulated leaving the chaff.

Don't feel obligated to buy every new piece. You can already see that even recently retired pieces are still available. You can drop out for a few years and pick back up again.

If you want a change, try putting some more of your collection back in boxes and display fewer pieces for a while. Then, switch out what pieces are on display. You may be surprised how the change in what's on view will be a refreshing change to you, your better half and regular visitors to your home.

Keep us informed.
_________________________
Webmaster@LighthouseKeepers.com

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#16284 - 09/17/06 01:37 AM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
beachcomber Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 2904
Loc: Houston, TX, USA
Displaying part of your collection at a time is really good advice. Sometimes we have so much that we are unable to fully appreciate each and every light. That would also allow you to display your books again. I don't have curio cabinets, but I display my lights along with books and travel mementoes - of course, I don't own every HL either. It makes for an interesting display and visitors always "ohhh"" and "ahhh" over all my things - HL and otherwise.
_________________________
beachcomber

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#16285 - 09/18/06 09:49 AM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
Bob M Offline
Saint

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 12331
Loc: North Attleboro, Mass.
Quote:
It makes for an interesting display and visitors always "ohhh"" and "ahhh" over all my things - HL and otherwise.
I do rotate my displays every once in awhile, but I'm not getting and "ohhh's and ahhh's". I'm afraid I'm the only one among my family and friends that actually shares a sincere interest in collecting and displaying HL's.

I enjoy the hobby so I guess that's all that matters.

smile Bob smile

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#16286 - 09/19/06 12:06 PM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
mombo Offline
Saint

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 7087
Loc: Phoenix, NY
Recently I "lost" one of my display areas. At long last (8 years later) my daughter decided that it was time to take her wedding gift from her husband home to Boston. It was a 40's era china cabinet that had been "stored" in my entrance area. The thing is a bear, light wood and very well made. The top, which had three shelves with sliding glass doors I had filled with HL's. The bottom and drawer I had filled with other stuff, mostly extra LH photos and other photo albums.

Good thing she gave me advance notice so I could locate all the HL boxes. Then I had to make room for the other stuff. Rather than replace the cabinet I just plunked another item in the space that was sort of floating around the house forever, an old piano bench would be my guess.

Do I really miss seeing those particular HL's? No. Do I like having one less piece of furniture to clean? Definitely!

So in this case I didn't really get rid of any HL's, just packed some away. Since I have all my boxes and inserts I was able to do that without too much trouble. (But I am still looking for a little more room for the photo albums...)

The funny part of this story is this. My daughter and her husband are no longer together. She is going out with one of his long time friends. He was along when she came out to retrieve the wedding gift. Her apartment in Boston is on the third floor. I said to the boyfriend it was quite the deal. Jack buys the thing and you get to move it. He laughed and told me that when they got it back to Boston maybe he'd call up Jack to get it up the three floors. Apparently the boyfriend and Jack are still friends....

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#16287 - 09/19/06 08:19 PM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
Danny Offline
Wacko

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 141
Loc: Wichita, KS
From time to time, I seriously think about GIVING the whole kit and kaboodle of them away, just to reclaim my living space! All---every last one of them---are boxed and sitting either in the basement or my bedroom. When the time comes, whatever or however I turn loose of them, the person who acquires them will have to drive a truck to my house and load them all, with nothing remaining! I don't have the time or energy to "de-accession" them one by one, pack them for shipping, and wait for the inevitable claims of non-receipt or damage. However they would go, and whoever would get them, it will be done in one fell swoop. If I were to sell the whole batch, there would either be an agreement that they are taken "as-is" (which just happens to be in perfect condition) or else we block out two or three days and inspect every single one of them as they go into the truck. Unfortunately, I am the sort of collector who cannot moderate, cut back, or be content with gaping holes in the collection [except, of course, LE Hatteras no. 1 and Coquille, which are...like, so totally out of my budget, you know?]. At any rate, when I am ready to make the big decision, I'll post it here first!

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#16288 - 09/19/06 11:26 PM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
Lighthouse Loon Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 07/21/06
Posts: 7143
Loc: Barnegat Bay
I don't collect every HL. I collect lighthouses from several areas I'm interested in.

Some larger areas like the Gulf Coast. Some smaller areas like the San Francisco Bay area and Boston Harbor.

Plus the lighthouses of New Jersey, Long Island, the Delmarva, and some from Lake Superior. To name a few others.

Keeps my collection managable. For now!!!
_________________________
Stan M
New Jersey Lighthouse Lovers
------------------------------------
Harry Wishlist: Tinicum Rear Range, Miah Maull Shoal, Finns Point, Bergen Point, Cross Ledge, Old Ambrose Lightstation, Romer Shoal, Barnegat Lightship, Liberty Lightship.

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#16289 - 09/20/06 02:59 AM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
beachcomber Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/01
Posts: 2904
Loc: Houston, TX, USA
Hey, Danny! Nice to hear from you! You don't seriously think there is someone out there who is going to buy your entire collection in one fell swoop?! Nah, you wouldn't think that! wink Still hanging around in the library?
_________________________
beachcomber

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#16290 - 09/20/06 09:39 AM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
Cyndi Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 08/13/06
Posts: 966
Loc: Brownsville, TN
I started out just collecting California and Maine lights along eith the collector society pieces. Then Florida and North Corolina was added. Then I started collecting the Christmas and event pieces. I have a few still in boxes, waiting for the shelves I am going to add to my curios. My collection is not as large as most of yours and I have not run out of room yet. I have never thought of ever getting rid of any of my lights. If any thing I have worried about what my children will do with my percious collection after I am gone. My family is not as fond of them as I am.
_________________________
Cyndi

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#16291 - 09/20/06 11:23 AM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
Bob M Offline
Saint

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 12331
Loc: North Attleboro, Mass.
What was the line from that song, "It's your thing, do what you want to do..."?

I think the people who frequent the CF come from all parts of the country, different walks of life, and probably one of the few things they have in common is their interests in HL's, and lighthouses in general.

I truly believe the smarter people are those who kept the size of their collections manageable and didn't take on the challenge of "getting them all".

Many old-time collectors have chosen to sell off what HL's they have because of now being on fixed incomes and deciding a definite down sizing is necessary. Some people just cannot keep up economically or physically. HL's are expensive on fixed incomes.

Taking care of your displays can be physically challenging in your "golden years". After all, those glass curios need to be dusted and cleaned every once in awhile.

Like you, Cyndi, my family doesn't show the interest that I do in my HL collection. I've basically gone by the regular collecting stage. At one time I had them all minus the original HL102 (thin tower). I even managed to have two HL111's in the collection, but eventually let them go to other collectors. I didn't feel that need to have a complete collection anymore once doing it was just buying each new LE as they came out.

Now I try to wheel and deal by buying and selling what I can. Unfortunately, I do more buying than selling. I'm a believer. I feel there will always be a group of HL collectors looking for pieces in the future. Hopefully, I'll be around with that particular HL when someone comes looking for one.

smile Bob smile

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#16292 - 09/20/06 09:20 PM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
Cyndi Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 08/13/06
Posts: 966
Loc: Brownsville, TN
I did get a little crazy when I first started collecting and was trying to get them all, one state at a time. Now I have faced reality and realized I could not afford to buy every single lighthouse. I still get a little crazy every once in a while, I just bought five this month. But I have settled down and not let myself get to out of control. My family deals with my collection a little better if they don't see the big brown truck pulling up to the house everyday. My husband will have to retire from the Fire Dept. in thirteen years and I hope to retire then also so we can do more traveling. I know I will have to cut back on my buying. I would like to visit more lighthouses and that takes money too.
_________________________
Cyndi

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#16293 - 09/21/06 10:57 AM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
Cana Fan Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 09/25/00
Posts: 1146
Loc: Palatine, Il.
From Bob M.
Quote:
I truly believe the smarter people are those who kept the size of their collections manageable and didn't take on the challenge of "getting them all".
Bob, what are you trying to say....about yourself? laugh

Mike

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#16294 - 09/21/06 05:40 PM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
Bob M Offline
Saint

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 12331
Loc: North Attleboro, Mass.
You got me on that one, Mike!

smile Bob smile

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#16295 - 09/21/06 05:58 PM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
kikigl Offline
Member

Registered: 08/21/99
Posts: 862
Loc: St. Petersburg, Fl., USA
My children and grandchildren are not as interested as I am at this point, at least.
I think if they don't want them I will just leave them to the library back in my home town in Maine, along with my lighthouse albums. It's a thought anyway.
_________________________
Kay

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#16296 - 09/21/06 06:27 PM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
Danny Offline
Wacko

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 141
Loc: Wichita, KS
Hi Grace...Yup, I'm still skulking around the stacks, doing various research projects. I "tune in" to the Forum far more than I---what some would questionably say---contribute. About someone's doing a blanket purchase of the collection, I haven't any idea. I just don't want to put myself through the exhausting process of trying to sell it off piecemeal and being left with any number of stragglers that weren't as popular. Now, if I GAVE the thing away en masse, do you suppose there would be any takers? As I said, I'm not to that point just yet, but, being a resolute old bachelor with no progeny (do I hear a collective sigh of relief?) to take the collection on, I would feel obligated to dispatch the HLs somewhere before I am carted off to "Peaceful Glades" or whatever funny farm they ship me to.

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#16297 - 09/21/06 07:16 PM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
WackoPaul Offline
Saint

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 8949
Loc: Indy
Danny if you get to the point of ready to give it away, you should check with either a school system to see if they would want it or maybe a historical society..

There are several restored lighthouses that have societies taking care of them that probably would pay the shipping and handling costs, to be able to use them in displays and the like..
_________________________
Onward to The Land of the Midnight Sun!

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#16298 - 09/21/06 08:18 PM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
Danny Offline
Wacko

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 141
Loc: Wichita, KS
Maybe if Gallagher is still around by that time, he could substitute them for watermelons?! Okay...that's my outrage for the day.

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#16299 - 09/21/06 08:22 PM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
Bob Ott Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 03/03/02
Posts: 3102
Loc: Piscataway, NJ. USA
Well Folks,

Y'all have made some very valid points. Why do we collect them like we do? What should we do with them after we are confined to the funny farm? (Would we even care at that point?) What happens to them after we hopefully say "Howdy" to St. Peter?

It appears that most of us are related to folks who don't give a tinker's damn about what becomes of our prized lighthouse collection. Would they end up in the closest landfill?

I totally agree with Danny -- selling our lighthouses piecemeal would be a definite pain in the proverbial butt. Besides, handling it that way would probably cause me to cry myself to sleep every day one of my little treasures left the fold.

However, some of them I would be more than happy to trash -- for instance the Mahota Pagoda. I wonder whoever came up with that monstrosity in the first place.

Paul has some thought provoking ideas. But who would be interested? A school? A lighthouse group? A museum? I once thought that I would have my collection buried with me. But then again, Digger might just drop by some evening, dig everything up, put the lighthouses in a truck, take off, and forget to throw me back in the hole.

Who knows? mad

I guess in the meantime I'll just keep collecting.

bobo

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#16300 - 09/22/06 12:23 AM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
flacoastie Online
Saint

Registered: 10/02/01
Posts: 6095
Loc: Ocala, FL 34471
There is an old retired Coastie down here in Florida that would be willing to give a nice home to a Cape Hatteras I if anyone is willing to agree to the adoption. This is addressed to anyone that is thinking about giving up the ghost or abandoning their collection. I'll even pay for the shipping charges.
_________________________
Rich

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#16301 - 09/22/06 12:51 AM Re: My H-L collecting may be over...
SThompson Offline


Registered: 03/27/99
Posts: 2156
Loc: "The Hammock Coast"
My collection is here to bring me happiness in the present! That's all, nothing more!

imho

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