An Introduction To Collecting Car Brochures Part 3 What To Look For When Buying

An Introduction To Collecting Car Brochures Part 3 What To Look For
When Buying

If you have read the previous articles in​ this series you should now have a​ clear idea of​ what brochures you are trying to​ obtain for your collection.

Now for the fun bit! Starting, maintaining and increasing your collection.

As you are collecting second-hand items, the condition of​ an​ item you are after can vary dramatically. Also, it​ does not help that sellers regularly either omit or​ misdescribe items.

Therefore, it​ is​ paramount that you ask the right questions and look for what the seller hasn’t said as​ much as​ what he has in​ his advert description.

Having been disappointed on more than a​ few occasions when a​ “pristine” item has arrived through my letterbox, I have a​ checklist that I consult before committing to​ buying. The list is​ as​ follows:

1) What is​ the size of​ the item in​ centimetres? Pictures can be deceptive and what looks like a​ 21cm x 29cm item, may be much smaller in​ size.
2) How many pages long is​ it? Beware that on smaller brochures, there can be confusion between seller and buyer with what represents a​ page. My firm only uses the term “pages” for items that are 6 pages long or​ more. Otherwise, we use the term number of​ “sides”. as​ a​ reputable seller, this avoids any confusion and disappointment.
3) What is​ the reference number of​ the brochure? Most manufacturers have a​ code system for their brochures that you will become familiar with very quickly. By keeping a​ note of​ the references, you will avoid duplicates in​ your collection.
4) What is​ the condition of​ the brochure? Amazingly, very few sellers have a​ condition scale attached to​ the advert (we do). One person’s “pristine” may be fit only for the bin in​ other collectors eyes! I therefore ignore vague words like the above and ask direct questions – Has it​ any creases or​ tears and if​ so how many and how bad? Any fading? Any foxing (A term used to​ describe stains, specks, spots and blotches in​ paper)? Any water or​ damp damage?
5) How will the item be delivered to​ you? On auction sites especially, it​ is​ natural to​ go for the cheapest posting method. However, if​ the item is​ being sent for the cost of​ the stamp, can you really expect anything more than for it​ to​ be delivered in​ a​ flimsy envelope? Probably not. The only way that a​ collectable paper item should be sent is​ in​ a​ card-backed envelope preferably marked “do not bend” with the item wrapped in​ plastic to​ prevent water damage and a​ return address inside, just in​ case the postal system loses it. I also insist on a​ proof of​ posting, again just in​ case the item goes missing. For any item over a​ preset limit, in​ my case £30/$60, I offer to​ pay extra for recorded delivery. Better safe than sorry.

If you get a​ satisfactory answer to​ the questions above, you will be as​ certain as​ you can be that you will get the item and that it​ will be of​ a​ standard reflecting the price you have paid. The list sounds a​ bit daunting, but essentially it​ boils down to​ ensuring you know what you are getting and making sure it​ arrives in​ the same condition with which it​ left the seller.

Many is​ the time that I have received a​ sodden envelope that contains a​ perfectly preserved item because I have insisted on it​ being wrapped in​ plastic. if​ the seller says, he does not normally do this, offer to​ pay extra for the service or​ if​ practical, collect the item. if​ your seller cannot or​ will not take this care, may I suggest that you walk away and wait for another to​ turn up.

Please remember that for older brochures especially, a​ bit of​ fading and foxing and the odd crease or​ small tear is​ perfectly acceptable. in​ fact, I prefer an​ item with a​ patina to​ an​ “as new” item as​ it​ seems to​ have more character.

Finally, unless it​ is​ extremely rare, I would avoid buying any incomplete, falling apart or​ badly damaged brochures. On the whole, they have little or​ no value and it​ is​ best to​ wait for a​ better one to​ be offered for sale.

Next week, I will be discussing the correct way to​ store your collection.

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