This is a bit of a personal piece, but I wanted to talk to you guys about how I collect, what my buying habits are, my experience with certain types of “dependencies”, and some other stuff very much related to what we publish here at Vita Player, and other stuff that’s closer to my heart.
My collection is mostly made up of portable handheld gaming, with a very recent resurgence in collecting films and music. This can be done quite cheaply, but it can also grow into a black hole for your wallet quite quickly. And as I find myself having heart palpitations while watching an auction on a rare Japanese title I’d like to get for my Gameboy Color, I wonder: how different is this from the thrill you get from gambling in a casino environment? I’d say, not much.
Here are some things I do, though, in order to not blow my mortgage payment on that special edition of Hyperdimension Neptuna Re;Birth 2 for the Vita that I’ve been eyeing for months:
Set Limits That You Can Stick To
This is the key to responsible collecting, but it is much easier said than done. If you are going to take up collecting, it is very important that you are confident in your own ability to exercise self-restraint. If this is something that you struggle with, then you might want to reconsider whether collecting is the right hobby for you.
This is where that experience with gambling and the comparisons come in. I have a very close friend of mine who has an issue with this very matter, and suffers due to his dependency on gambling. As I said before, I don’t think there’s much difference between gambling and collecting when it comes to the set of rules that you must follow in order to not fall pray of your hobby, particularly from a financial point of view. Not long ago, I had a good streak and I scored a very nice package of Pokemon collectibles. Nice!
The funny thing is, if you do it right, it may be that gambling as a hobby and collecting as a hobby can complement each other. But you need to do both responsibly and with limits set. If you do it right, you might find that having a good day in an online casino can give you enough disposable income to get that rare game you wanted. On the other hand, if you have doubles of a valuable game, a sale could give you some cash to invest in spending a couple of hours in an online casino.
It is important that you are able to set yourself limits that you know you can stick to, however. These limits should include self-imposed limits on the amount of time that you spend on an item online casino as well as the amount of money that you are willing to spend on both gambling and collecting. To this end, a tool to help you keep track of your gambling activities will help you to stay on top of everything. Also, you’d be better off not staying up at all hours just to try and snipe an item on eBay at the last minute. The online casino dashboard from PlaynPin is an excellent choice for this, as it makes keeping a tab on all your online gambling activities all but automatic – take a look at their online casino bonuses if you want to save some money.
Thoroughly Research Any Places You’ll Spend Your Money
Just as you need to check out what the situation is like in your home country, you also need to thoroughly research any sellers, marketplaces, casinos and local brick-and-mortar stores that you are considering using before you hand over any money to them. Fortunately, the number of prominent online retailers and gambling establishments operating as scams is very small. However, they do appear now and then, and you should always be aware of the possibility of fraudulent behavior from the casinos.
It shouldn’t take you long to separate out the reputable establishments from those whose reputation is less than stellar. Online forums and other communities are a good place to look, as are review sites. Any established marketplace, seller or casino should already have a number of positive reports from users and the vast majority of the new ones that pop up will be owned by one of the already-established players in the industry.
Don’t Chase Your Losses
This is another common mistake made by gamblers and collectors alike – they chase after their losses, expecting their luck to turn with the next card. Unfortunately, the universe is a cold and empty place and it doesn’t care about your gambling losses. Those who continue to compulsively chase their losses will often just end up multiplying them and making things far worse for themselves. The amount of money I’ve spent on a game that I recently lost an auction on is nuts. Don’t make the same mistake: be patient, and have fun responsibly. Once you have established some ground rules for yourself, you then just need to ensure that you can stick to them.
These are just a few of the rules that I find useful when collecting, gambling or both. I’m not perfect, and some days I’ll make a rash purchase that I’ll regret, just like my friend will be a few dollars down after a stint at the casino. But we grow as humans as we live, and hopefully these tips will help you reign in impulses and enjoy your hobby responsibly.