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Buying/Selling/Trading/Auction - PART I GENERAL For Toy-related Newsgroups Frequently Asked Questions & Posting Guide Developed and Maintained by Eric G. Myers & Scott J. Gordon Version 2.0 - 6/98 This document may be reproduced in whole or in part as long as no modifications are made and the maintainer information and all acknowledgments are kept in tact as appropriate. For corrections, additions or questions, please contact [email protected].
FAQ Index | General | Buying | Selling | Trading | Auctions


Q1.1: Are my toys, action figures, etc. worth anything? A1.1: The best answer is: "Maybe." Some toys are worth several hundred dollars because of their vintage, rarity or collectibility. Other toys may be worth less than the original retail price. And the vast majority of toys currently being bought and sold are actually worth the suggested retail price. The only way to find out if you have trash or treasure is to do some research (see Q below). Q1.2: What are my toys worth? A1.2: The standard logic applies here. Ultimately, there are only two factors that determine how much a toy (or other item) is truly worth. The first factor is how much someone is willing to pay you for that item. The second factor is how much money someone would have to offer you to get you to sell that item. There are price guides that may or may not be helpful. (See Q1.4 below) Q1.3: What is the best way to determine values/prices for my toys? A1.3: The best way to determine the going price for a specific item on this newsgroup is to look at other people's ads and see what they are asking for the same item. This may take some patience since not all toys are advertised with the same frequency. If you want to sell your item more quickly, you might try pricing it below the other ads you see. If you are more patient, you might ask more. If you are really in doubt, you might try posting a nicely worded question describing the item in sufficient detail (both the specifics of the item and its condition) to the appropriate newsgroup. If you are asking about an item that is currently shipping, in production or in stores, don't be surprised if you receive an answer along the lines of "It's worth what you paid for it: Retail Price!" (see Q1.9: below on the Scalpers vs. The Price Police controversy). A little bit of extra research might be in order, especially if your items are vintage. Look at the ads in your favorite toy magazine and see what other dealers are asking for the item. Go to local toy shows and cruise the dealer tables to get a sense of the range of prices. Also, you might want to check to see if the item is actually *selling* at that price rather than just sitting there. A combination of research and patience will be to your advantage. Q1.4: Are there any price guides that I should look at? A1.4: There are several price guides available (even some on-line). These may vary considerably in their estimation of an item's worth. The prices quoted in these guides may be considerably different than the going rate for the same items on Usenet newsgroups. In addition, many guide prices are culled from dealers who have a vested interest in keeping values high. It is also important to note that distribution of items often varies by region. An item that is scarce in Podunk, may be plentiful in Poughkeepsie. Thus, that item may sell for more in Podunk even though it is easily found elsewhere. It can be very situational. The prices listed in price guide are usually for Mint condition items with Mint packaging (i.e., card, box, etc). If the item you have is loose, or has worn or damaged packaging, you can expect a considerably lower value. Do not expect a dealer to pay you guide price for your toys. In most cases, a dealer will pay considerably less (though perhaps more than retail) for newer toys. In addition, most toys sold on this newsgroup sell for well below the guide price (except perhaps on items already priced at suggested retail). Here are a few resources for you to consult: ACTION FIGURE NEWS & TOY REVIEW 556 Monroe Turnpike Monroe, CT 06468 Sample copies are available for $6.35. Subscriptions are $21.95/six issues and $39.95/a year for 12 issues. BECKETT'S HOT TOYS 15850 Dallas Parkway Dallas, TX 75248 URL: http://www.beckett.com Subscriptions are $34.95 per year for 12 issues. TOMART'S ACTION FIGURE DIGEST 3300 Encrete Lane Dayton, OH 45439-1944 URL: http://www.tomart.com E-mail: [email protected] Sample copies are available for $8.00. Subscriptions are $30.00/year for six issues. TOYFARE: THE GUIDE TO COLLECTIBLE TOYS Toyfare Subscription Department P.O. Box 658 Yorktown Heights, NY 10598 $29.95/year for twelve issues. TOY SHOP Circulation Dept. ABAMJR 700 E. State ST. Iola, WA 54990-0001 Phone 715-445-2214 Fax: 715-445-4087 Credit card orders: 800-258-0929 One year subscription (26 issues) for $26.95 in the US (second class delivery). There's also a whole bunch of different rates for different delivery methods and delivery rates to foreign countries. WHITE'S GUIDE TO COLLECTING FIGURES Collecting Figure Subscriptions P.O. Box K-46 Richmond, VA 23288 $4.95 per issue US, $5.95 per issue Canada, $5-$10 per back issue. Subscriptions are $34.95 for 12 issue, $18.95 for 6 issue. Q1.5: What do all those abbreviations stand for (e.g., MOC, FS, WTB, WTT, MIB, NRFB, etc)? A1.5: AUC - Auction FS - For Sale FT - For Trade MIB - Mint-in-box From the rec.arts.sf.starwars.collecting FAQ: "A toy is MIB if the toy inside is mint. MIB says that the box is, well, a box. MIB says nothing about box condition, an important aspect of value." MIMB - Mint-in-mint-box From the rec.arts.sf.starwars.collecting FAQ: "A toy is MIMB if the toy inside is mint and the box that the toy is in is in mint condition. Both the box and the toy that is inside it must be in mint condition in order to fall under this category. MOC - Mint-on-card From the rec.arts.sf.starwars.collecting FAQ: "This means the figure is in original unopened package. If there is any way the figure could be removed or has been removed, then it's *not* MOC. MOC says nothing about the condition of the card, which is the most important factor in the value of carded figures." MOMC - Mint-on-mint-card From the rec.arts.sf.starwars.collecting FAQ: "This means the figure is in an original, unopened, mint condition package. Both the card and the figure inside must be in mint condition to fall under this category." NRFB/P - Never-removed-from-box/package TT - To Trade WTB - Wanted to buy WTD - Wanted WTT - Wanted to Trade Q1.6: What is the C1 - C10 system of grading and how does it work? A1.6: From the rec.arts.sf.starwars.collecting FAQ: "This scale is usually used to grade carded figures and boxed toys. It was designed to be more specific and quantitative than a scale based on individual terms. C-10 is absolutely mint, perfect, free of defects. C-1 is totally beat up. What goes in between is highly subjective. No matter what anyone tells you, there is no absolute meaning to this scale, and each collector uses their own relative grading. It is best to continue to buy from dealers you trust after you get a feel for their grading scale from some of their samples. When buying carded or packaged items, always ask for a description of all defects in addition to this C-1 to C-10 scale grading. Some typical defects in carded figures and boxed toys include (but are not limited to): yellowed bubble, edge wear, creasing, bends, card is not flat, bubble is crushed, bubble has ding, bubble has dent (bigger than a ding), tears on card, bubble separated from card over a small section, card colors are faded, cellophane ripped, price tag still in place, sticker tear (from removing price tag), card is punched. The prices listed in price guides for carded figures are for C-10 samples. The price drops dramatically (sometimes to about the same price as a loose mint figure) if there are significant defects." For a more in depth look at grading carded action figures, try this new guide:
Grading Guide for Carded Action Figures
Q1.7: What does it mean when a card is punched? A1.7: From the rec.arts.sf.starwars.collecting FAQ: "It means the piece of cardboard for the rack hole is missing from the card." Q1.8: What is the best way to store carded figures? A1.8: From the rec.arts.sf.starwars.collecting FAQ: "Your best bet to avoid yellowing and other damage is to store your carded figures in comic bags with a comic backing board. Place the board behind the card inside the bag and then seal the bag with tape along the bag (taping the bag to itself). Comic boxes make convenient storage units for carded figures stored in these comic bags. Sealing carded figures in comic bags reduces damage due to light, temperature, humidity, etc." Q1.9: What is the deal with these never ending "Scalpers vs. The Price Police" threads/flamewars? A1.9: This has been one of the most contentious debates on the rec.toys.* newsgroups. There are basically two camps here. The term "Scalper" has been used to describe those people who sell currently available toys at prices above retail price (sometimes at several times the retail cost). The "Price Police" refers to those people who follow-up ads or otherwise post in regard to the sale prices, false information, or any number of other things that they perceive as wrong, unfair, etc. Which side is right? Neither. And Both. An individual has the right to sell their items for whatever price they want. In addition, anything an individual posts is subject to comment....including prices. However, neither side has the moral high ground or the right to be abusive to anyone else. It is doubtful that you will be able to add any new insight to this debate that hasn't already been discussed ad nauseam. It's also doubtful that you will be able to convert anyone to your point of view. However, if you still feel the need to contribute your collected wisdom to this tiresome subject, please do so with respect and without the abusive language or hostility that have been a hallmark of past eruptions of this debate. Foul language and angry rhetoric will only get your argument ignored and/or marginalized by the audience you are trying to speak to. Q1.10: I have figure X and it is on the wrong card? Is this worth big bucks? A1.10: These "error figures" have been frequently sighted by many people. To date, they have generated little collector interest in general. These errors can be quite common in some lines of toys (e.g., Iron Man, ST: Voyager Janeway w/ Torres trading card, etc.). Some collectors really value these mistakes. Others feel that error figures are actually less desirable because the package and figure are not truly "mint." The bottom line returns to the standard logic: Its worth what someone will pay you for it or what you are willing to sell it for. Q1.11: What are the steps of contact for a good Internet transaction? A1.11: Frequent contact by both parties is essential in successfully completing a transaction. This may take some time since contact needs to be made at certain stages and not everyone checks their e-mail daily. Various other things can delay a transaction, but contact should be made by both parties to assure a smooth completion. The general points of contact are as follows: The Buyer should e-mail or otherwise contact the seller: 1. To indicate initial interest 2. As often as necessary to nail down the details of the deal. 3. When payment has been sent. 4. When goods have been received. The seller should e-mail or otherwise contact the buyer: 1. To acknowledge initial interest and indicate if the goods are still available. 2. As often as necessary to nail down the details of the deal. 3. When payment has been received. 4. When payment has cleared (if applicable). 5. When goods have been sent. Both seller and buyer should contact the other party if there are any delays on their part (e.g., going out of town, illness, etc.). A little contact goes a long way to reassuring both parties that they are not being mistreated.
FAQ Index | General | Buying | Selling | Trading | Auctions

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