Curating a collection is a wonderful thing. It's a great way to become involved with people who hold similar interests to your own while also building something of value that serve as a source of pride. That said, viewing the vast and well-maintained collections of others can be somewhat daunting for an individual just starting out in the world of collecting. Naturally, this poses the question: Where do you start when you want to build a collection? Though the answer will, of course, differ depending on what exactly you intend to be collecting, there are certain tips that will apply to any sort of collector. Take a look at these ideas, and be sure to log on to www.iCollector.com to check out our fantastic collectible auctions:

Space
Though your collection will, in all likelihood, be somewhat small at first, you'll want to make sure that you have the appropriate amount of space for housing and displaying your collectibles. This will be completely contingent on what it is that you intend to collect. If you're looking to begin a collection of art, particularly paintings, then you'll want to ensure you have a room in which you have relative control of the lighting, temperature and humidity. If it's baseball cards or other sporting memorabilia that you're interested in, you'll want a room to serve as a gallery that you can fill with a variety of different shelves, as well as plastic sleeves and books to hold your trading cards.

Learn what to look for
Unfortunately, as the collectibles industry has expanded, so has the number of individuals attempting to sell counterfeit products or reproductions of originals. Though this poses the potential to throw your money away on something that doesn't actually benefit you or the progression of your collection, there are ways to avoid these scams. Learn what to look for by educating yourself thoroughly on the finer, more detailed traits of whatever it is that you intend to collect. Research reproduction within your field of collection and learn about the most frequent occurrences of counterfeiting. As a general rule, understand that if something seems too good to be true, then it likely is. Many fields of collecting have generated enough interest to have guides published on how to spot original or reproduced products. Consider investing in one of these for researching your potential purchases, and always ask potential sellers for a certificate of authenticity, if applicable.

Become part of the community
One of the best ways to quickly learn as much as possible is to immerse yourself in the culture that you're hoping to enter. Collecting is no exception to this rule. Consider finding a local meet​-up group of collectors with similar interests. In order to do this, you'll want to use a social meetings group, such as www.meetup.com. Also, you'll want to develop a sense of what the web presence is like for your field of collecting. Become a regular in the forums and on the message boards in order to  stay up-to-date on the latest news, events and auctions.