To start a Matchbox vehicle collection, learn to specialise and familiarise yourself with the market. Develop at least a basic understanding of rarity, value, and condition. Of course, it is also important to have fun with the collection and sometimes that means figuring things out as you go.
Specialise Your Matchbox Vehicle Collection
As a global phenomenon, Matchbox vehicles are for sale in stores around the world. They are inexpensive and abundant in type, colour, and series. It is impractical to collect every Matchbox vehicle ever released, so most collectors specialise in a particular colour, type, or series. Now is the ideal time to choose a specialisation, whether it is collecting vehicles with interesting manufacturer defects or limiting your sights to blue Hot Wheels cars.
Find a Matchbox Vehicle Seller
If you are collecting a certain series or type of Matchbox vehicle, become familiar with the market. Some Matchbox vehicles are custom promotional products and therefore only given to a relatively small group of people. Other Matchbox vehicles are old and usually in the hands of other collectors. You need an outlet where all kinds of people come together to sell Matchbox vehicles, making eBay an ideal choice.
Understand Rarity and Value of Matchbox Vehicles
Before spending a small fortune on Matchbox vehicles, learn about fair pricing. In general, old Matchbox cars are rarer, and rarity increases the vehicle's value. However, value is also determined by the market; if no one expresses interest in a vehicle, then the market is likely small to virtually nonexistent. It does not matter if the vehicle is extremely rare, it won't sell for much, if at all, when it is not in demand. Use this knowledge to your advantage when buying Matchbox vehicles for your collection.
Learn About Matchbox Vehicle Condition
The condition of a Matchbox vehicle also affects its value. For example, a mint or near-mint condition vehicle is worth more than the same vehicle in poor condition. In terms of Matchbox car collections, mint generally means having no faded paint, scratches, or missing parts. Sometimes Matchbox vehicles are in such bad condition that collectors call them "beaters". Beaters are often used in refurbishing projects, or sometimes people collect them because they have character. In general, however, beaters have little to no value because of their condition.
Store and Display Your Matchbox Vehicle Collection
Fortunately, Matchbox car collections are not as bulky and difficult to store as some other collectors' items. Storage and display remains a solution to solve for every beginner, however. You can store them in Matchbox carrying cases or place them on shelves. If you are not picky with what cars are added to the collection, space can become a premium, no matter how creative you become with storage.