When stepping into a new hobby it is a mixture of excitemnt and fear. You are excited for the new adventure, be is throwing rocks at the neighborhood cats or feeding the local vermin, but at the same time you are afraid of not fitting in with others that are well versed in the hobby. Sure you just picked off that orange tabby from down the street, but the freckled angry kid next to you starts to get made because you used his rock.

Collecting is a hobby which tends to being out the worst in some people. The hobby is full of greedy hoarders who aim to collect as many of an item as possible so others will not get it. Value is all they are after and the fun has left long ago. What's left is a crusty, bitter person surrounded by boxes of autos who sits on a laptop searching ebay to ensure if an item pops up they can snap it up before anyone else does.

Everyday new collectors give up and walk back to knitting with their head down. I mean can you blame them? I have been collecting MMA merch for 4 years, only 1 and a half of those years being serious. I am starting to gain a bit of knowledge on how to spot fakes, resources to do research, and starting to build relationships with retailers. It was not an easy task seeing as MMA fans are a fickle bunch and MMA collectors can be quite difficult.

Now thats not to say all of them are because i have met some awesome people in this hobby who have helped me build my collection from a lone Wanderlei Silva glove to over 15 gloves (two of which are red bolt pride, and 2 others being WEC) 6 event signed posters, and a pile of autographed clothing. Some of this would not be possible if not for some very helpful collectors out there.

Granted a great deal of the sour pusses are ebayers. People who are not real collectors, but use what we love to make a profit. I will never spit on a man for making a dollar, but please have a respect for what you are doing. When a person has no respect for the hobby we see the fake autographs, ™™™™ty items autographed (HATE those cheap ™™™ gloves people try and sell) and snappy answers when a excited collector asks where did a person get such an item.

Please people out there if you get a question, just answer it. No need to show that you are the all mighty collector who knows all and the other person is useless. There is no such thing as a stupid question in collecting if a person does not already know the answer. Try and make this hobby as joyful as it can be and share your items if you have not already. Don't brag, just show a person that you are proud of your item and if they are bitter about you having it and not them than screw it. Be a helpful collector as we all know the sting of that first rip off. That auto you were so proud of only to learn that the ink on the item is more valuable than the item itself. Lets throw out the welcome mat to the newbies and welcome them. Teach them what we learned and most of all make the hobby fun, i mean after all who the hell really likes knitting?