From a hobby into a money-making business

KOTA KINABALU: Started from the hobby of collecting old stamps, now a 62-year-old pensioner earns about RM80,000 a year selling old items which he has been collecting since he was a primary schoolboy.

The collector, who only wants to be known as Chong said what he is earning now, is equivalent to the a year’s salary drawn by a bank manager.

“It was just a hobby at first, but when I came out to the working world, I knew it has the chance to be a good business one day,” he said.

Chong said he only started to become a serious collector when he took over a close friend’s shop in Wisma Merdeka about six years ago.

Before he took over the business, he is only a stamp collector, but now, he is collecting various stuffs – from old bank notes, vintage cameras, old pots, and even vintage radios to record players.

His interest to collect old stuff grew into a larger scale now.

He never doubted his passion but Chong who used to work as insurance agent said he never have a second thought when he took over the shop.

“I was assured about the returns when I took up this business,“ he told New Sabah Times in an interview at his shop, Ocean Art Gallery.

Chong said he has seen his friends running the business for many years and although his friend is no longer operating the shop, he is still an active collector and do his business from home.

“I am confident in this business, it is easy and leisure business for me,” he said.

How does a collector actually earn through collecting, when asked. He giggled and said that if a collector just buys and collects old stuff, that person will run out of business in no time.

He explained that a collector don’t just collect stuff, they do trading too. “If there is an interested buyer, we will sell our collection,” he said.

“Of course we do feel sentimental when it is time to part with our collected items,” he added.

Chong who has been collecting stamps for more than 40 years now said though he invested his time, passion, and love into his stamps’ collection, he would still choose to let go when an interested party offers the best deal.

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