Opinion Page

In my humble opinion, tips for the new, upcoming collector.

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   Phone collecting has become a very popular and enjoyable hobby for many. The number of phone collectors seems to grow daily. Many of these collectors have a specific interest in their collection being original although to others it doesn't matter.

     If you are interested in phone collecting as a hobby, you should first decide if original in lieu of reproduction is important to you. If originality is important, be aware and informed of what you buy. There are many reproduction phones/phone parts out there. Phone parts are usually manufactured to meet specific needs of collectors and "hard to find" parts at a reasonable cost. Phone collectors are happy and thankful to be able to find these needed parts.

     In my opinion, there is a big difference between reproduction  and counterfeit. A counterfeit part or phone is one sold without the seller disclosing it is a reproduction. When the buyer is informed an item is a repro, then it is truly a reproduction. Bottom line is disclosure.

     Sadly, there are people out there who, either unknowingly or knowingly, sell counterfeit parts/phones by not identifying them as reproductions to the uninformed or novice. I see this all too often on internet auctions. Sometimes these parts or entire phones sell for a lot of money (even higher that an original) and the purchaser may not know for years that they purchased a counterfeit part and they could have owned an original for less.

Some hints on buying:

  1. If the seller doesn't identify an item as "original" or "NOS" be careful. Remember that most sellers, when selling an original want the best price and therefore will most likely state it is original. If they didn't, ask them if it is original or a reproduction. They MAY tell you the truth.

  2. Ask advice from an experienced collector. Most collectors I know of are more than willing to help. Have pictures ready to show.

  3. There are some very informative phone collector books and guides available. The minimal investment is well worth it.