Well, the results are in, and although less than 10% of you voted in the 48 hours the poll was up, I think we got a pretty good cross-section of the pulse of the collecting community. Here is the results of the poll:
As you can see, the poll broke down like this:
How has the economy changed your collecting habits?
1) Not at all. Now is the best time to buy. (41%)
2) Somewhat. I have limited my purchases. (35%)
3) A lot. I think long and hard before buying a valuable piece. (14%)
4) Completely. I rarely if ever buy new tackle now. (8%)
Based on a sample size of 162 voters, there are really two ways to interpret this poll.
First, I personally was surprised that the largest percentage--nearly half--said the economy did not effect their buying habits. This points to a strong base of collectors who are willing to ride out the storm and bodes quite well for the hobby as a whole.
Second, it was certainly disturbing that nearly one-quarter of collectors polled said the economy had changed their buying habits a lot or completely. This is certainly a warning sign and it would appear likely this number would go up if the economy heads further south. That one out of twelve collectors have nearly abandoned purchases due to the economic climate is certainly cause for concern.
Still, I think the salient feature of this poll is that over 75% of polled collectors have not let the economy significantly effect their hobby. That in itself is a positive sign.
I'd like to thank everyone for taking the time to fill in the poll. For the vast majority of you who didn't, there's always next time.
-- Dr. Todd