My dad was a collector, and he collected stuff. There is a difference. He collected coins and he had some model trains. I'm not sure what other things could be considered "collections."
As stated earlier, he also collected stuff. Being old enough to have lived through, and more importantly, understood what the Great Depression was all about, he had a good reason to hold on to things.
If I had the means (and the storage space...) I'd collect more things, too. About 25 years ago I started collecting watches, but only non-battery powered watches. I wanted the old wind-ups. Back then they were all over the place and I could pick them up pretty cheap. Those days are gone.
Lately, I've taken an interest in staplers--I have NO idea why. Whenever I see an old metal one at a thrift store, I'll pick it up. Today I went to a thrift store and found an old red Swingline (now I have my Red Swingline, so maybe they'll put me in the basement at work...), and I came across a 1971 Bulova Whale Automatic. The watch cost $55. That's pretty steep for a thrift store purchase.
The stapler was $1.
I came home and checked ebay for prices and I saw a watch similar to the one at the thrift store for $395. I almost jumped in the car and bought it. But I checked other ebay items and they had the exact watch in almost the same condition as the one at the store. I could buy it on ebay for $45.
For now, I think I'll stick with staplers. I don't think in 25 years metal staplers will be hard to find, but you never know...