Pamela Danziger worked for 5 years at The Franklin Mint as Director of Competitor Analysis and has ever since been interested in what people collect. Since 1992 she has been running a research agency interested in collectibles which did regular surveys of the American public. She published Why People Buy Things They Don’t Need in 2004 and it has some fascinating stats we wanted to share here.
Collecting, for example, is a passion for over 40 percent of U.S. households, or roughly 43 million homes. As birds of a feather flock together, so do collectors, with an average of 1.7 million collectors per collecting household. That makes 73 million Americans passionately driven to collect.
The most popular collectibles include:
- Coins, collected by an estimated 27 million Americans
- Figurines and sculpture, 20 million
- Trading cards, 18 million
- Memorabilia, 16 million
- Dolls,16 million
- Christmas items, 15 million
- Plush/bean toys, 14 million
- Crystal figurines, 12 million
- Die-cast cars and models, 12 million
- Art prints and lithographs, 10 million
- Miniatures, 10 million
The typical collecting household maintains more than three separate collections. Out of the 43 million collecting households, an estimated 70 percent purchased one or more items for their collection in the past year.
Those are some staggering numbers! We are currently doing our own research and plan to report on those shortly.