I started going to estate sales a few years ago and began collecting vintage cigarette cases. The ones I have are in good shape and some have art deco and art nouveau designs. According to my ebay searches they are worth several times what I paid (which was ten dollars or less.) I think fifteen is the most I’ve paid. There are some very interesting ones on ebay, some listed up to a hundred dollars or more, but I have to remember this is a hobby, not a business – just buy bargains. There are several good antique stores West Michigan but I have seen very few of these and they were priced at ebay levels or higher, so that’s out. This means estate sales and the odd garage sale.
Auctions are another avenue for collectors, and fun, but they are usually an all-day affair and there is no telling when an auctioneer will get to the table that has the item you want. You have to wait for the really big ticket items to be sold first and sometimes there are thousands of items spread out. That said, you never know just what kind of things you might find at an auction including musical instruments, quality art, or that thing you have been thinking about and now here it is and maybe cheap.
Michigan is really in the deep freeze right now and trout season opens the end of April so hobbies, like collecting, is one way to get out, move around, and get some exercise. I’m still working part-time, but not a lot, and I read way to much if that’s possible, so having a hobby to get through a Michigan winter really helps.