Why human collects things ?

Precious Hi
3 min readAug 16, 2018

Recently, I sorted old stuff from my grandparents and I had some memories coming back. When I was around six years old, I saw my grandparent’s collections for the first time. My grandfather collected turtles and my grandmother dolls. I was fascinated. Not by their enormous collection -I thought it was stupid-, but by their passion for it. When I saw them take these objects with care, clean it every week and sort it by size or rarity, I was attentive with them. They had a story for every object, it weren’t items anymore, they injected their soul into it. From the discovery in a little market stall to the negociation with another collector, it was always an adventure.

Then, at the age of 12, I became also fascinated by something : games. I understood, without reliazing it, their envy to collect things. I wanted to loot rare stuff to show it to my friends, wearing it in the city and waiting questions from strangers to know where I got it. I spent hours and hours playing to have douzen of mounts in World of Warcraft, enjoyed my first knife in Counter Strike : Global Offensive, was excited to have a new skin for my favorite character in League of Legends…

But, while I sorted these old stuff, I asked myself…

Why human collects things ?

I did some researches. It has a lot of different answers to these questions. But in my opinion, two concern most of the people.

Firstly, we want to be in a group. By collecting things, we have a passion, something to share, an experience and knowledge in something. We will always be happy to meet someone with the same envy, share our items and try to help each other growing our collections.

Secondly, we always put value in things we own. It can have an affective value, it was mainly the case for my grandparents, but can also have a speculative value. A study called it : “Endowment Effect”. There is a convincing example in this research on the value we attribue to things we own :

The two scientists did an experiment : they divided a bunch of people in two groups. They gave to the first group a mug and asked them to give the price they were willing to sell it. The second group was asked to give the price they were willing to buy the mug. Without any affection for the mug, the first group still wanted to sell it more expensive than the other group.

Another way to put value in things is by the seller and the marketing around it. I will come back on the example of games and specifically on CS:GO. Value of weapon skins are done firstly by the community who buy it for its appareance, the use in game etc. but mainly by the seller who decides, by adding randomness with more or less pourcentage, the rarity of it.

How ERC721 and collectibles can adapt from this ?

I am the CMO of HiPrecious, High end crypto-collectibles issued on Ethereum. We are facing a drop in the Non Fungible Token market. Our way of thinking is to sell low quantity NFT with a high quality in every domain so every people will find something interresting for its own. We are currently trying to innovate in order to boost our market. As huge fan of games in our team, we maybe need to be inspired from it and add randomness in our business model. And you, what do you think ?

Mathieu, CMO of HiPrecious