Author Topic: Selling Collections  (Read 4086 times)

Offline Scott

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Selling Collections
« on: August 2, 2004, 01:03 PM »
So we're in the process of redoing our basement and I have to take down a lot of my collection so we can peel wallpaper off and paint.  While doing so I've been bagging a couple of hundred Simpsons, Marvel and LOTR figures and thinking of what I could do if I sold some of this stuff and pare down the space this stuff takes up.  Make my wife happy and I could buy an iPod or new TV or something with the proceeds...

Then the though enters my mind that I did this a couple of times in my youth and I've regretted it ever since then.  All of the time, money and fun I've had completing a collection to a point where I'm happy would be gone.  

I'm at the point where I might do the same with Prequel stuff for SW too and just focus on the OT...dunno there yet.  This sort of ties into to what Brian was asking last week about intending things to go as far as they did

I've noticed people (Adam and Cory and others) that have sold stuff in the past, any regrets, anyone thought of doing the same...

Offline Brian

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Re: Selling Collections
« Reply #1 on: August 2, 2004, 01:20 PM »
Great topic Scott.  Yeah, this is something I think about once in awhile too.  It kind of goes hand in hand anymore with me when thinking about what I'd like to continue to collect.  It does take up a lot of space (and money), and to be honest, my wife would probably prefer I don't collect anything outside of Star Wars.  We've been discussing it lately, and I'm trying to figure out what I'd like to pare down.

I've been down that road too, the same as you Scott, when thinking about if I wanted to go OT-only.  I was close to thinking I could do it for awhile, but once the Episode III hype starts up again, I start to reconsider.  I've also thought about just "thinning out the ranks" and keeping main characters (definitive version if possible), as well as some strong supporting characters.  I guess kind of approaching it the way the vintage OT line was when I was a kid.  There was 77-85 figures or so covering all three movies, over a span of 9-10ish years.  Granted, times have changed, and also, the "central" characters change somewhat from movie to move in the prequels too.  But, I do often think about paring this area down.  The ships especially take up a lot of room, although I do like some of them.

I think about both aspects of this a lot, and actually a thought posted by Jeff in another thread got me to thinking about it more.  He was talking about how at one point he was buying things that he just thought "looked cool", instead of what he really liked and enjoyed collecting.  I'll admit, there are things I look at in my collection where I think "you know, I really didn't need this".  I either bought it because of a drought of finds and finally seeing something new, while having a bout of "completism" coming over me, or something along those lines.  I guess nostalgia and the love of Star Wars is what got me into this in the first place, and I never probably would have collected these other lines if it wasn't for that.

Right now, I'm considering giving up Marvel Legends/Minimtes.  Its going to be tough, but I know I need to start somewhere.  My wife really wants me to, and I can see her points when we do talk about this.  I think we've come to the compromise that I can continue with Spidey-related stuff, so I might go that route and get more specific with that collection.  I could honestly be happy with my LOTR collection with 4 more figures.  I just wanted the main core really, because I knew I didn't have the money or space to support more.  I have Legolas, Gimli, Gandalf, Pippin, and Gollum...and would like to add Aragorn, Frodo, Sam, and Merry.  I could be happy having those sit on a shelf.  The prequel Star Wars stuff I'm undecided on too.  It has crossed my mind before, but I'm worried about having "seller's remorse" like you mentioned Scott.  Nice topic though, it makes me feel better to know that the thought has at least crossed other people's minds here now and then.  Original Trilogy Star Wars stuff is the one area I can say that I've always been interested in, and would like to continue in until the end.  The other lines interest me too, and if we had more money and space, I'd be further into those as well...but we just don't, and it has come up in thought more lately that the money could be used elsewhere (when we were looking at TVs/furniture for our basement family room this weekend).  Anyways, again, nice topic.

Offline jadesfire

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Re: Selling Collections
« Reply #2 on: August 2, 2004, 02:32 PM »
Ooohh...great topic.

I sold my vintage collection and sometimes I wish I wouldn't have.  At that time (1995) there was no Phantom Menace on the horizon and I just couldn't justify hanging on to this stuff anymore when we could use the cash for a used truck.  Besides, it was all packed away with not much hope of ever being displayed.
With that being said, I have scaled back my on my collection (sold off my Lego's, vehicles and action fleet line) with no regrets since I used the money to pick up some higher end collectible.  I've made myself display everything I collect (at least most of it because some of the newer figures are so much better that the old ones go in the "never-to-be-seen-again" container) so it also helps hold me back when I see new stuff that I automatically pick up to buy and then have to think it through on where I am actually going to put it!!

It's a tough call and it's going to get even harder when ROTS hits and I have to pre-plan my buying.


 
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Offline Rob

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Re: Selling Collections
« Reply #3 on: August 2, 2004, 03:14 PM »
I met a guy on Rebelscum who was selling his entire collection for $1.00 per figure.  He was nice enough to let my friend and I stop by before the garage sale.  I bought 100 figures from him the first night (mostly clones and stormies), the 12" speederbike with scout trooper for 10$, some vehicles for $3.00 each, the Famba for $3.00, and on and on.

Then, after the garage sale he called us up and said that he was selling the leftovers for a quarter a figure.

I bought another 120 figures from him (mostly battle droids and jawas and fleet troopers other army builders)

He did it because he was out of space.  And the bottom line is that he didn't want to - I got the impression that he was regretting it as we sat at his dining room table picking through the stuff.  I hope it worked out well for him, but I knew right then that I couldn't do it.

Offline Pistol Pete

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Re: Selling Collections
« Reply #4 on: August 2, 2004, 03:18 PM »
I sold all of my 4" stuff a few years ago after I had opened the first Wave of Attack of the Clones crap that came out.  The statues and action features and bendy weapons and the lame ass sculpting finally got to me.  These new vOTC has me thinking of buying them and only them but everything else I dumped on eBay and got back pennies on the dollar

That's the thing, you could sell it but you'll be out tons of money in doing so
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Offline Jim

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Re: Selling Collections
« Reply #5 on: August 2, 2004, 06:15 PM »
With over a 1000 figures sitting around, I sometimes think what the hell am I doing.  I have thought about sticking strickly with the OT, but part of me says no. Time will tell, but I really have lost all interest in the PT at this point. But like so many, I am sure that ROTS will offer alot of OT stuff (Chewie, Tarkin, Stormtroopers).  I could sit in therapy for hours debating this ::)

Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Selling Collections
« Reply #6 on: August 2, 2004, 06:49 PM »
I'll be heading to NYFA shortly, so I will be thinning my ranks.

I know I'll end up regretting it, but I can always buy the stuff I sold back for pennies on the dollar on ebay, since I'll only be selling POTF2 stuff.

Sometimes, you have to sell it. :(
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Offline Holographic Elvis

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Re: Selling Collections
« Reply #7 on: August 2, 2004, 11:21 PM »
Nice topic.

For me, I've never regretted selling off a collection.  I sold off my SW stuff just before the value of stuff really started to fall.  I got pretty good money for most of it.  Same for my vintage stuff.  I just decided that I didn't want to collect the stuff anymore despite my life-long love for the SW universe.  I still have a few Vader items and random loose figs, but my collection is long gone.  

My Simpsons collection started to get out of hand (simply too many figs and playsets) so I sold off everything I had (most every piece including exclusives up through the first 5 or 6 series.)  I got $600 for all of it and everything was loose.  Again, I don't regret it.

I've stuck to collecting SportsPicks, being the sports fan that I am.  I collect those loose as well and sometimes when I start to run out of space, I sell off a few figs here and there.  

Offline jkno

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Re: Selling Collections
« Reply #8 on: August 3, 2004, 05:07 AM »
Nice topic indeed!!

Since I collect only from 2001 (before that I couldn't afford buying SW stuff - I also live in Romania which was under the Communists >:( since December 1998 - so no SW toys) and since I collect mostly Action Fleet and MicroMachines my collection is not that big. I don't want to sell it but have an evaluation of it. Even so, I think there is no space to display my collection properly, maybe when moving to the new house there will be.

Offline Morgbug

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Re: Selling Collections
« Reply #9 on: August 3, 2004, 02:58 PM »
Hmm, interesting and timely.

I've been selling off my old toys from childhood, which at this point would constitute 'collections'.  Vintage 12" GI Joe, vintage red line hot wheels and some other lines I played with quite a bit as a kid.  Do I regret it?  In some respects, mostly nostaligic in nature, yes I do.  I played for hours and hours with GI Joe's, they were my childhood toy love.  The hot wheels are great and that they are in decent condition is miraculous - we had a gravel driveway and a hose nearby, plenty of sand and mud puddles.  I am selling memories, or more realistically I'm selling the triggers for those memories.  I'll probably keep a hot wheel or two just for that reason, but pretty much the rest is gone.  

Unlike modern toys, these have brought in a pile of money.  Enough to pay for a vintage loose SW figure collection and put nearly $2000 in  the bank.  How much are the triggers of a memory worth?  Not nearly that much.  Be gone childhood toys.  

With respect to modern toys, others have pointed it out already: it's a money losing proposition.  With Star Wars, like Brian my first and foremost, I try to not be in a hurry to get stuff, but fail often.  It would be so much easier to buy stuff 3 months down the road for cheap, especially since I open.  

I am scaling back on other stuff though, mostly because of the same reasons as others: space.  I will be offloading about 75% of my McFarlane stuff in the coming weeks, keeping only what I really want to hang on to and most of that will be the loose stuff.  Variants are a nice thing and kind of cool, but I only plan on keeping the uniform I prefer for each player, with a few select duplicates.  On the bright side, I should generate some decent cash, mostly because these are predominantly goalies and there are lots of other freaks like me that collect goalies.  I'll lose money ultimately, simply because half of what I'll sell is loose and also because so much was obtained in trade and I'll never recover customs fees or shipping costs.  But looking up at 28 or so goalies right now I see 10 I want to keep, so should be roughly 18 variants out the door as well.  

I've adapted pretty well to collecting in the last year or two.  I always intended to get all the modern SW figs, though I admit, I never expected to own 500+ of them :o  It all started with an orange carded Vader and just kept going (hell, there were only 12 at one point).  As soon as I got past the value aspect of collecting, everything worked out much, much better.  

Being one of those multiple line guys, like Scott, I've managed better than I could have hoped.  I stayed out of LOTR until recently (sheepishly admitting I started this line early, then jumped out quickly) and still don't have what I want from it, but no hurry.  Some time after the extended version comes out, I expect loose versions to be more readily and cheaply available.  Simpsons was an exercise in self control - lots of super cool things (and lots of huh? too) but I am all but done with them, Scott sending me the last two Homer figures I need (I do have the extra figures from the THOHs and a couple of extras, no thanks to Scott :-*).  Batman has been predominantly relegated to toys for my daughter's enjoyment.  Marvel Legends/SPiderman legends etc. are mine, and I've been selective from the start, but even now I'm thinking of unloading the chase pieces here too.  At least those that are not unique.  I may end up opening Red Skull and Goliath, simply because I have them nowhere else, but doombot, gold ironman?  Why am I worrying about these, they really are not particularly relevant.  

Something I see happening, whether it's Star Wars, McFarlane or otherwise is that the market is saturated.  So very much to buy, all of it competing for $$$.  Too many chase figures and too much of the stuff on store shelves being bought solely to resell.  That's hard on collectors as a whole.  Scott for example has all of his stuff loose that I've seen.  Why should he struggle to get a clear Vision or chase Phoenix?  They certainly aren't worth $50+ and he'll immediately kill most of the value by opening them.  No, this is looking to me to be a whole lot like the card and comic scene of the late 80's/early 90's when the bottom fell out.  Oh sure, new hot stuff will always come along and the market may regenerate itself, but it feels ready for a collapse.  

How's that for going tangential?
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Offline Rob L

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Re: Selling Collections
« Reply #10 on: August 3, 2004, 03:45 PM »
I’m thinking about offloading my modern figures, or at least the PT stuff.  I saw the VOTC line and realised that I want my MOMCs to have a photo background.  It might sound silly but there’s a room in my house that has a green wall, a red wall and a blue wall: it’s just too much.  Plus there’s no room for the upcoming ROTS figures.

So I’ve been thinking of slimming down to just the VOTC, some OT POTJ, Saga and OTC cards, and a selection of Vintage figures.  I was looking at my 2 vintage Palitoys yesterday when it hit me that after 20+ years they still look better than most of my prequel figures.  So I have dreams of a wall of photo-cards and I’m right on the point where I’m going to do it.

I reckon I could get an average of £4 a figure so that would leave me with around  £1200 to spend on vintage.  Let’s say C9 late ESB, ROTJ and Tri-logo Palitoys average out at £40 a pop, well that would give me 30 vintage, the 12 VOTCs, and a few other OT characters. To my mind that would make a much better display than having “wallpaper” where you can’t see your figures for the sea of red, blue and green.

Now, how much will it hurt?  This is a tough question.  Last year I offloaded 200 loose modern figures and I didn’t miss them…still don’t.  But back them I knew I still had my MOMCs, and this time I won’t have that psychological cushion.  All that time and effort wasted.  And the money: selling modern MOCs involves dropping serious cash.

Ack, talked myself out of it now ;)
« Last Edit: August 3, 2004, 03:48 PM by Rob L »
Palitoy...it ain't yellow :)

Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Selling Collections
« Reply #11 on: August 3, 2004, 04:31 PM »
Quote
No, this is looking to me to be a whole lot like the card and comic scene of the late 80's/early 90's when the bottom fell out.  Oh sure, new hot stuff will always come along and the market may regenerate itself, but it feels ready for a collapse.  

I hear that. The patience of collectors can only be pushed so far. Eventually, they'll get tired of shortpacks, variants, and chases, no to mention rising prices ($13 for Alien and Predator figures?  Eeeesh.)

Add to it people like us who have rooms full of stuff: you just run out of room. That's probably a good time to stop. Or at least cut way back.
« Last Edit: August 3, 2004, 04:32 PM by Clark Griswold »
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Offline Scott

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Re: Selling Collections
« Reply #12 on: August 3, 2004, 04:37 PM »
So how does this continual buying of "Stuff" happen, you think we all some slight for of OCD or is it not realizing the immensity of the beast or is it just looking for a pastime?

I'm pretty sure I'll eventually sell:

The Simpsons
Non-Avenger and SpiderMan Marvel
SW Unleashed and 12" and Vehicles

Leaving:

Kubricks
LOTR (which I am essentially done buying, might pick up a few here and there)
SW 3-3/4"
Avenger and Spidey Marvel

I've also thought of trimming:

Army Building
Prequels

Out of the 3-3/4" bloated ranks, but haven't given in to that yet.  I can remember a time not even too long ago at my Townhouse when I had 2 shelves of figures...now there is 4 bookcases :-[

Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Selling Collections
« Reply #13 on: August 3, 2004, 06:22 PM »
Quote
So how does this continual buying of "Stuff" happen, you think we all some slight for of OCD or is it not realizing the immensity of the beast or is it just looking for a pastime?

I think it's more of a habit. I've been hunting for stuff nearly daily since 1997 when I got my driver's license, so that's seven years of that.

Plus, when I find new stuff, I don't tend to think of the hundreds of figures I have already. Like today, I bought Boba Fett on an OTC card, even though I have the one from Saga on card already. I just think 'there's room enough for this much more...' when in fact there isn't.

I might sell my POTF2 Falcon to get the new one. I know some carded figures are going to get the ax.
I might sell some carded LOTR, though that may be a while yet.
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Offline Jedi Idej

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Re: Selling Collections
« Reply #14 on: August 3, 2004, 07:30 PM »
Over the past 4 years I've gotten rid of maybe 80%-90% of the non-SW toys I had. (The percentage depends on my recollection.) The only regrets I have are: 1) buying them in the first place.  2) getting rid of half of those before my nephews were old enough to rummage through and pick out what they wanted.

I also got rid of most of the micromachine and action fleet playsets (I kept the ships and figurines, though). There was initial separation anxiety and bouts of longing, but the meds have helped ease me out of the funk.  ;)

The 3-3/4" are another matter. Even though I'm not spasmatic about the line anymore, I don't foresee letting go even the most dog-ugly figures. Most are in ziplock baggies in boxes, anyway, so space isn't an issue.

For me it comes down to the "cost" of storing these -- minimal space in a closet -- versus the effort of scratching out minimal sales. Even if I gave away the unchosen to save myself from the hassle of selling them, there's always the spectre of nostalgia hitting me between the eyes a few years from now.