Friday, 16 September 2016

How to Be a Disney Collector on a Budget

Many moons ago in a Disney collection or quarterly haul (my memory doesn't serve me well) I'd mentioned maybe I could do a post all about how I still manage to actively buy and collect Disney merchandise despite being pretty financially to say.
It could be said that many Disney fans you see sharing collections are pretty well off, or so it seems, as they take multiple Disney holidays a year and buy every single Tsum Tsum/Pin/mug that comes out, but the majority of us aren't made of money. You don't have to have a great paying job or have no bills to be able to still enjoy your passion.
Here are a few tips I have to buy merch on a budget!

No Expectations
Don't go out shopping looking for a specific thing, you will rarely find it. Just take what you can get on the day. I can't really say much more on this point but serious, don't go into a store with high expectations as you'll usually leave disheartened. Expect nothing and anything more will be a bonus ;) 

I think the best and most common way to find Disney (or other fandom) bargains is by purchasing them second hand. From charity shops to antique shops, you can find awesome homeware, clothing, media and more. I personally don't buy clothing secondhand, but to be honest I don't buy much clothing anyway. When you think 'pre-loved' you often think worse for wear or not in good knick but if you have the right eye, I promise you'll come across some diamonds in the rough. The items I collect most and therefore buy most are DVDs and books and I have been very lucky to have gotten some fabulous scores! My favorite places to find them are CeX, Granger Games and any Charity shops that stock that kind of thing.
Tips - Always flick through books and check discs of DVDs for damage. 
        - Find out what days the store puts out new stock and pop in on those days 
        - For places like CeX, start at one end of the shelves and work your way along each shelf to spot the Disney logo! 

Disney often puts on a 'buy one get one free' offer at least once a year, mainly on it's animated classics, which can be found all over the place (including most supermarkets), however ,you can almost always find some sort of special offers elsewhere. The likes of HMV always has the 2 for £10 or 5 for £20 deal and other stores do similar things so keep and eye for those and shop around instead of grabbing the first one and missing out on double the items for your money. This may sound DVD, book and CD focused, but it can easily relate to many other collectibles too! 

Never spend more you can afford. This goes for life in general but is particularly important when collecting something that is special to you. How many times have you spent too much money in the Disney store? Or blown all your spending money within the first couple days at Disneyland? Exactly! It's easy to do. So whether you are shopping online, popping into the shopping mall or going on a Disney trip - set yourself a limit!!
Tips - On a Disney holiday, only take a limited amount of cash into the parks each day. If at the end of the trip you have money left over, then go buy that one thing that has been grabbing your eye all week. 
        - For a shopping trip or 2nd hand store hunt, decide on a figure and don't go above it. For each CeX trip I allow myself £5 and if I find stuff that exceeds that amount, I put some back! 
        - Conversely, you could just set yourself an overall limit per month. That way it stops you being tempted with online shopping, which is even easier to spend money on. 

Don't Compete
If this is something you can't relate to, then that's brilliant because man, it can be frustrating. I mentioned a point in a recent post (Things I Hate About People) that 'one uppers' annoy me. Life isn't a competition and that means with your collections too. If you are buying and collecting pieces just to compete with other people and prove you can buy more than them, sorry to say but you are wasting your time and money. Collect for the joy of finding rare items, collect for the fun of the hunt and collect because you use/enjoy etc the items you work hard to find. 

Shop Around
If there is a particular thing you are looking for and you know you need that exact thing, price compare! Type it in online and find everywhere that sells it, then purchase it from where it is cheapest. It's that simple. 

Yeah, that is pretty much how and what I do to build my Disney collection. We rent a house and have all of the bills that come along with that. We have a pet who needs to be fed, insured and get new toys... ;) Once all that is taken care of it doesn't leave much spare for anything else but I do save the little bits for whenever a DVD, book or the like crosses my path.
I hope these tips are helpful to someone else out there who doesn't own a money tree! (And if you do have one, don't take this as a dig - this poor person is just bitter I don't know where to buy the seeds :P )


  1. I love this post, I've accumulated many disney items over the years, both new and second hand, I find that now for Christmas/Birthday presents people tend to buy me something Disney related which is great because I get to add to my collection without spending any money myself! When I was in Disneyland in July the only thing I bought was a tsum tsum and a bowl for my cat because I knew I couldn't afford to buy much else at that time and wasn't about to get in debt just for some new merch, luckily I'm back next week and have more to spend this time! I definitely agree with you that its frustrating when people try to compete with you and think they are better because they have more stuff when its not about that at all!

    1. Thank you!
      Oh goodness, how didn't I think to include that?! Yes - gifts 100%. Most people get me Disney gifts now. Apart from DVDs because even I don't know what I all have without taking a list with me haha.
      That is very good self control! I only get to go once every few years so for my birthday etc that year I just get money for spending money. I personally collect because it's so exhilarating to find rarer items and because it makes my house happier!


  2. This is great! Second hand stores are awesome for dvds and books! I love collecting Disney dvds but that's pretty much all I collect when it comes to Disney.

    Renee | Life After Lux

    1. Thank you! Definitely! I bet you have way more and bigger ones over there too!


  3. Great post! Myself and my children are Disney mad so always looking for a way to get things without it costing a small fortune x

    1. Oh I can imagine! Car boots are always fab for bargain toys and stuff ;)


  4. Great advice and points here Danielle! I used to go to our local charity shops and found a lot of Disney DVDs which were all in good condition, but I haven't been out looking for any more since so I must do that soon as you're very right, pre-loved items are mostly great and come in at a much more affordable price! The offers on things like the Disney website, like you mentioned, are great come Christmas time too. Brilliant post! - Tasha

    1. Thanks Tasha! It's getting harder now it's rarer ones that I need but I still try! It's a shame I couldn't include DMR as they closed this month for good! :(


  5. These are such great tips which apply to all kinds of collecting. Thanks for sharing! | Amy x


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