That seemed to be the thinking as the internet and e-bay made collecting so much easier. Just a couple of clicks and you could find those hard to find bottles, so why would you need to join a mini bottle club. The answer is simple.....Connections. The best way to find bottles is though other collectors, only a small portion of which sell on e-bay. But through clubs you create a network of collectors to buy, sell and (the greatest invention of all) TRADE with. I have bought and sold on e-bay, but I have found the best deals I get are with my trading partners that I met through the bottle clubs I have joined. Each club offers different things and many collectors (real bottle maniacs) belong to more than one club. Here is a run down on some of the clubs (at least the ones with websites) in no particular order.
The mini Bottle club is located in England. They hold meetings a couple times a year at various locations throughout England. They offer a bi-monthly newsletter that looks like a book (over 50 pages). They also have the option to get an auction list and participate in club auctions. They are one of the 2 largest Mini bottle clubs and quite a number of the members collect Scotch Whisky so if collecting Scotch is your interest this is a good club to join. Annual dues run 21 pounds for the UK, 24 pounds for Europe and 27 pounds for the rest of the world. Clinking on logo above will take you to their website which has information on the club and a small amount of info for the collector.
The New Zealand Miniature Bottle Club (formerly the Port Nicholson Miniature Bottle Club) is located in New Zealand. They hold monthly meetings and have a weekend affair for the annual general meeting. They have a quarterly newsletter with color pictures (20 pages). They offer club bottles for sale at a discount to members (the club has quite an inventory of bottles too). The ability to put your collection on the website and to list an ad of bottles you are looking for on the website to members. Dues are NZ$20 for New Zealand, A$22 for Australia, $10 for U.S. for the e-mail version of the newsletter. Clicking in the logo above will take you to their very extensive website. In addition to info about the club and members there is a large amount of information for collectors and the website is updated on a regular basis.
The Midwest Miniature Bottle Collectors' is the largest Mini Bottle Club in the United States. They hold an annual meeting at their Miniature Bottle Show in St. Louis (the largest Bottle show of it's kind). They have a quarterly newsletter (between 18 and 20 pages). They offer a free ad in the newsletter and on the website for collectors looking to buy or sell (or trade) bottles to members. The website has a members only area that contains pictures from previous shows and a directory of members. Dues are $16 per year. Clicking on the logo above will take you to their website that has some useful information for collectors.
The Northwest Miniature Bottle Club is located in the Northwest corner of the United States. They hold monthly meetings at members homes (except for July) and an annual bottle fair at the August meeting. They have a monthly newsletter (between 6 and 8 pages). The club has figural bottles for sale to club members and members also have the ability to put collection pictures on the website. The website has a members only area that contains a members directory, an archive of club newsletters, an archive of other mini bottle newsletters and bottle articles, an online raffle and periodically other online contests. Dues are $10 per year. Clicking on the logo above will take you to their website that has useful information for collectors (club members and non members alike) (you need to register at website (for free) to gain access to parts of the website). Website updated on a regular basis.