Monday, April 2, 2007

Closet Collectors vs. Club Membership

A new thread over on Joe's Special Topics Board brings up an intriguiing question: how many collectors are member of clubs, and vice versa, how many closet collectors are there?

An interesting question. Here is my response:

"I do think for every member in a club there are ten members who are not. Part of it is that a lot of closet collectors don't want to acknowledge they are "serious" about collecting by joining a club. They are probably every bit as dedicated as many members, but don't see themselves as such. To a lot of non-members, clubs like the NFLCC are for people whose entire existence revolves around collecting tackle. The truth, of course, is that the NFLCC has many, many different kinds of members (some who haven't purchased a lure in 10 years). But not knowing this, I think it can be intimidating to join a club like the NFLCC for non-members.

I think Lang's has 3X as many people on their mailing list as the NFLCC has members. Now, if 15,000 people participate (or have participated) in the most elite auction of tackle in the world, but only 1/3 (or less) are NFLCC members, it tells us that there are lots and lots of closet collectors, some with DEEEEEEPPP pockets."

Additonally, I think some collectors reach a point where they just lose interest in a club because their collecting interests are so specialized. They keep up with club goings-on and have friends copy them articles they find of use, but don't reup membership as it is a low priority for them,

--Dr. Todd

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