AFA and cloud city

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Guys, I know im new to this board but I thouhgt I may throw a topic to you all. Cloud city currently has 53 Items for sale which Have been AFA graded 10 of those items have acheived an AFA 90 grade and 1 an AFA 95 grade - about a 20% rate. I have submiited 17 figures - 1 has gained an AFA 90 - about 1 6% success rate.

I havent looked at the ratios/chances of this happening by going through the figure archives, but at a glance this looks high to me.

What do you guys think?? Have these thoughts ever crossed your mind??

Dave
 
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Yes. But they have also been answered by Cloud City. Alot of this stuff is high grade anyway. It is true that Cloud City owns stock in AFA or something of the sort, but they have nothing to do with the grading.
 
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Simply check my my thread of AFA and what a crock it is - AFA hascome into the equation.

It stinks. They are both connected and in this thing for money!

Ripping off us collectors!
 
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Originally posted by alasone:
...It stinks. They are both connected and in this thing for money!

Ripping off us collectors...
<font size="2" face="arial">and with cloud city being a business, they should sell everything dirt cheap to give everyone a deal ?

kinda ruins the point of owning a business dont ya think ?

rolleyes.gif
 
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It's a business that wants crushing.

Give the vintage back to it's collectors!
STOP with their FAKE AFA grades giving 90+++
Fake as in AFA are fair and easy to give a 90 grade to Cloud City that they wouldn't think twice about giving us private collectors - those that matter - a measly 80!!!

So they can BOTH make big bucks.
Cos hell, that IS what they are making.

This has to stop.

I've had someone email me today with some suspicions about a very shady AFA deal with Cloud City that he has noticed with a certain 4-LOM. I will keep him nameless as to not involve him.

And I do hope he can churn up this evidence and STOP this madness.

They're ripping off the innocent collectors of the world!!

US!?

You're all either with me or without me.
Either way is fine but remember this:
Don't you want REAL prices for your collectables and not a silly PLOTTED money making deal with the so called big boys in the game.

This ain't right.
Break them NOW!!
 
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You are really making too big a deal about this. If you don't like AFA or Cloud City, don't buy from them. That's what I do.
 
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Originally posted by alasone:
It's a business that wants crushing.

Give the vintage back to it's collectors!
STOP with their FAKE AFA grades giving 90+++
Fake as in AFA are fair and easy to give a 90 grade to Cloud City that they wouldn't think twice about giving us private collectors - those that matter - a measly 80!!!

So they can BOTH make big bucks.
Cos hell, that IS what they are making.

This has to stop.

I've had someone email me today with some suspicions about a very shady AFA deal with Cloud City that he has noticed with a certain 4-LOM. I will keep him nameless as to not involve him.

And I do hope he can churn up this evidence and STOP this madness.

They're ripping off the innocent collectors of the world!!

US!?

You're all either with me or without me.
Either way is fine but remember this:
Don't you want REAL prices for your collectables and not a silly PLOTTED money making deal with the so called big boys in the game.

This ain't right.
Break them NOW!!
<font size="2" face="arial">Are you for real?????
 
G

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JUST TIDIED UP MY ORIGINAL POST AS READING IT BACK IT DIDNT MAKE SENSE!!!


Guys, I know im new to this board but I thought I may throw a topic to you all. Cloud city currently has 53 Items for sale. Of which Have 10 of those items have acheived an AFA 90 grade and 1 an AFA 95 grade - about a 20% rate. I have submiited 17 figures - 1 has gained an AFA 90 - about 1 6% success rate. I consider the standard of my figures to be pretty high.

I havent looked at the ratios/chances of this happening by going through the figure archives, but at a glance this looks like Cloud City is attaining a very high percentage of high grades.

What do you guys think?? Have these thoughts ever crossed your mind??

Dave
 
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I have zero interest in graded, let alone most carded, figures, but this issue has come up before, in a thread with a similiar title. Cloud City doesn't "own stock" in AFA. Read all about it:

AFA/Cloud City Question
 
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Originally posted by Phillip Johnson:
Are you for real?????
<font size="2" face="arial">couldn't have put it better myself.

if you dont like the prices AFA pieces are going for, dont buy it graded, you can get a similar piece ungraded for tons less.

if you dont like what AFA is doing "grading" figures, don't send anything in, no ones forcing you to.

rolleyes.gif
 
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Dude, just because cloud city sends in 100 figures and you send in say 10. It does not mean ur gunna get the same % 80s, 90s, 95s, etc... your 10 could be absolutly POS compared to their gems
 
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Originally posted by Phillip Johnson:
Are you for real?????
<font size="2" face="arial">Thank you, Phillip, my thoughts exactly.

alasone,

I couldn't care less what my figure graded or what Tom's graded. If I want a figure I'll look for an UNGRADED one that suits my needs. If you own figures that received low grades what does it matter? Unless of course you were hoping to "flip them" and this whole tirade is because *your* money making schemes didn't work...

John

[ 11-28-2003, 03:20 PM: Message edited by: John J. Alvarez ]
 
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This thread is actually pretty ridiculous for a simple reason. 7 of the 10 90s and the 95 were recently purchased (already graded) from Peter Mittag in Germany. He sent his list to many collectors and there are dozens of people who were offered these items. Unless you are trying to accuse Peter Mittag of getting some preferential treatment from AFA, then this is way off base. For the record regarding the other 3 90s, this last submission by Cloud City consisted of 211 figures and only 3 scored 90s with 0 95s. This should help to clear up this thread and also helps to illustrate for others just how tough 90s and 95s are to get. German figures tend to be better condition on averge (perhaps due to better materials) but Peter worked for years to put together a collection of such high quality.

Thanks

Tom
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Originally posted by EddieUtrata:
Cloud City doesn't "own stock" in AFA.
<font size="2" face="arial">To be fair, Eddie, I don't think Tom ever says he doesn't own stock. What he said was:
I will also go on to say that AFA is a privately held corporation which is free to offer shares of stock to anyone who has the money and desire to purchase them. Anyone on these boards is certainly free to contact AFA and inquire about purchasing shares in their company. Whether or not I, Tom Derby, own any shares of stock in AFA is personal information. I feel that this is the same as asking me to post a list of what stocks I hold in investment accounts here for public viewing. If I did own shares of stock in AFA and Cloud City had figures graded, it would be about as much of a conflict of interest as me owning shares of stock in IBM and Cloud City buying an IBM laptop computer.
<font size="2" face="arial">In other words, he won't share his private holdings. I don't altogther blame him. I don't tell people what I have in my stock portfolio. He did, however, go on to say he was not a part owner. I believe unless he owned 51% of the stock in the company, and thus a controlling interest, he would have no sway what-so-ever.


John

[ 11-28-2003, 03:29 PM: Message edited by: John J. Alvarez ]
 
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Basing your percentages of how many figures are getting top grades in this manner really isn't very accurate. Just because Cloud City has a certain % of AFA 90s in its ebay auctions doesn't mean that's the percentage of AFA 90s they've gotten for all their figures. Cloud City handles thousands of carded figures a year, and sell many off ebay. I've yet to see anything that leads me to believe Cloud City is getting preferable AFA grading.

Todd
 
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I have read the other thread and it is very interesting.

I have worked out from the population reports that for star wars vintage vigures (years 78 - 84) the average percentage of figures achiving a "90" grade is 6.65%.

Currently 18.6 % of cloud citys auctions for star wars vintage are graded at 90 (3 times the average)

I regard my collection of being a pretty high standard - and have been happy with the grades my figures recieve. I only brought this topic up as I personally think that cloud city appear to get a very high number of high grade items. From reading previous posts, to be honest, I am certainly not convinced that the two companies are seperate. Cloud city helping AFA move to Michigan seems like a strange thing to do - in my opinion - if either party have nothing to gain. I dont want to try and sully Cloud city or AFA's name - I have bought products from both and been very very happy with the service. If there was a relationship between the two parties I would however probably think more than twice in the future.

My worry is that normal collectors - like myself have items graded lower - so as to create what is an artificially higher market for higher graded figures - sent in from select customers eg cloud city.

To anyone who says "if you dont like it dont buy it" - fair point - and that is maybe the way to go

Kind regards

Dave
 
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It seems my reply has gone unnoticed. Please read above.

I addition, Cloud City was unable to list all the figures together on Wednesday night and over 100 more start tonight with I believe, 1 90 included. I believe this puts us way under average as far as percentages of 90s and 95s go.

Tom
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Originally posted by alasone:

You're all either with me or without me.
Either way is fine but remember this:
Don't you want REAL prices for your collectables and not a silly PLOTTED money making deal with the so called big boys in the game.

This ain't right.
Break them NOW!!
<font size="2" face="arial">I'm with ya! It's all a HUGE CONSPIRACY and i've done a considerable amount of investigating on this and this is what i've been able to come up with: The Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people, under the supervision of the reverse vampires, are forcing our parents to go to bed early and to buy AFA figures in a fiendish plot to eliminate the meal of dinner and create an artifically inflated MOC market just to keep those pesky small timers away from this particular market thereby allowing me (a self-described "big boy") to spend more money than i have to because i love flaunting my fat chequebook! Who's with me! Down with everything! Let's get blotto!

[ 11-28-2003, 04:32 PM: Message edited by: Tattoo Shane ]
 
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I know I'm gonna get a bashing for this.....

What AFA, Cloud City, and Brian's Toys are going to do this hobby is destroy the competition, hence fair pricing.
Hear me out before you guys crucify me, OK?
AFA has introduced a service for "not as knowledgeable" collectors to better grade, and understand a fair price for a carded figure. So, in effect, knowledge of the hobby has just been undermined. Has it not? Not many real die hard vintage collectors actually use AFA services.
On the subject of Cloud City and other dealers. They do run a business, and are entitled to turn a profit. However, look at the prices that are being offered to collectors. Prices have jumped up at least 5% or so since last year. These prices have been inflated by big time dealers. Albeit, it's their right.
CC, Brian's Toys, and AFA are becoming conglomerates in the SW hobby. Unfortunately, the same things that Home Depot and Staples have done to the smaller Hardware Store and office supply companies across the nation. Now, I don't think the proprietors of these establishments are sitting up at night plotting evil ways to control the SW hobby, I just think it's an unfortunate inevitability. But, who knows, I could be wrong.
One thing I would like to add. I have noticed that many of the negative posts about CC come from newbies. Older collectors are very quick to defend CC, and put down newbies for their opinions. As a fairly new collector, the feelings that I first perceived of larger dealers were echoed by other newbies.
Like many have stated before. If you don't like Cloud City, don't buy from them. How very true.
I just feel that alot of older collectors let their personal feelings for Tom rush to his aide in defense. Can't blame a guy for sticking up for his friend. But try to understand why many, and even more people are starting to feel this way.
Just my 2 cents......
sobriety sucks
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How can you fault the seller? I mean the consumer is the one who wants to purchase from CC or Brian's. If people were not interested in graded figures, then AFA would have no business. But there is demand.

You can't blame somebody for selling something at a high price if people are purchasing it. You can't blame AFA for your problems with the SW industry. Prices rise with demand. If demand drops prices will fall.
 
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Originally posted by alasone:
It's a business that wants crushing.

<snip usless rant>

You're all either with me or without me.
Either way is fine but remember this:
Don't you want REAL prices for your collectables and not a silly PLOTTED money making deal with the so called big boys in the game.

This ain't right.
Break them NOW!!
<font size="2" face="arial">I'd just as soon be without you then. I could care less about AFA grading.I collect figures not grading labels. Although "I" personally will not be dealing with Cloud City any time in the future in any capacity apart from clearing up the ballance of my last (and final) payment plan with them. TOM does get more high grade items in than any other source, that explains why he has so many AFA90's etc. Graded or ungraded Cloud City does provide quality items. Usually at fair prices.

As far as CC owning stock in AFA, as long as the graders do not know whos figure is whos when they're grading it, and CC has no influence over this, I see no conflict of interest in them making a profit on the success of AFA.

Cheers
Joseph
 
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Perception is everything. I don't really care one way or the other how AFA and Cloud City are connected because I don't collect AFA, but if I did I would be suspicious regarding the move from Michigan to Atlanta, Tom owns stock in AFA, most people associate Tom with being the owner of Cloud City even though we now know he doesn't, and didn't the guy who runs AFA used to work for CC?

Now on the other hand there has been ZERO evidence that Cloud City gets preferential treatment in the grading dept. I personally don't think so and I would hope that the grader of the carded figure has no way of knowing who owns the figure he's grading much in the same way that the respected coin grading companies work.

Perception is everything and that's why you usually see newbies ripping on Cloud City and AFA. Once they get the scoop here at Rebelscum they usually change their minds.

Dan
 
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By the way, I wasn't bashing Cloud Cityor AFA. If either one of them had something I wanted at any time, I'd do business with em.
 
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What the hell is "Collectible Investment Brokerage Inc"...I'm out of it for a while and look what I missed.

Jim
 
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Originally posted by John J. Alvarez:
Unless of course you were hoping to "flip them" and this whole tirade is because *your* money making schemes didn't work...
<font size="2" face="arial">Man, I cannot believe how close to home I hit.
wink.gif


How do these sound?
It's too easy and it DOES practically double the price of your carded figures.
<font size="2" face="arial">
It's easy and simply double your money!
<font size="2" face="arial">
If you receive an AFA 85 I GUARTANTEE you will get more than double that what it would nomally sell for!? It's strange but true.
<font size="2" face="arial">
Anyway, I don't want to pass off as some sort of spokesperson for the company I just think whoever it is thought of the grading service and the standards set therein. Is a genius!
<font size="2" face="arial">
My Yoda which I've owned for the past 12 years got an AFA 85 I was happy as a pig in ****!
I can confidently sell that for about £200! But would I is another matter...
Let me end this by saying this:
If any one of you wanted to offer me anything for my Yoda AFA 85 how much would you offer????

Let's make it a test.
<font size="2" face="arial">
Here's a tip. Buy three of them as I have done recently. Send all three off to them at the standard rate. Get your 90 grade 2 months later and then simply sell them up on ebay and prove to these people what this discussion is all about.
<font size="2" face="arial">
I simply said at the beginning of all this. Not my opinion but FACT.
AFA graded figures fetch more than ungraded...
It's simple.
<font size="2" face="arial">
I promise I won't sell the Lobot and make a profit. Yet...
<font size="2" face="arial">Talk about changing a tune.
wink.gif
I guess when you're looking to profit and your dreams don't come true it sucks. Don't blame the players though, blame yourself for trying to "double your money" so fast.
wink.gif


John
 
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I didnt mean to open a hornets nest here and I can see from the past threads that this topic has been discussed in detail - so I apologise for dragging up an old topic. I accept Toms reasons above for the high number of AFA 90's he is selling at the moment. It certainly explains the high proportion. My main concern was that the market was being artificially manipulated to favour the big players. From the posts - past and present - this does not seem to be the case.

The whole AFA/Cloud City "thing" - especially the "relocation" certainly gives some ammunition for the conspiracy theorist though!!

Laters all
 
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Originally posted by John J. Alvarez:
Talk about changing a tune.
wink.gif
I guess when you're looking to profit and your dreams don't come true it sucks. Don't blame the players though, blame yourself for trying to "double your money" so fast.
<font size="2" face="arial">Busted.

Wow John, you are quite the detective! You should work for Johnny Cochrane and start pulling in the big bucks! Forget selling theatre tickets to little old ladies...
smile.gif


-chris
 
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Originally posted by Chris Georgoulias:
Busted.

Wow John, you are quite the detective!
<font size="2" face="arial">Usually I can be quite the detective but I had a little help with this one. An anonymous source deserves the credit. They thought I might get a laugh out of reading it, I just decided to run with it.
grin.gif


Thanx again source.
wink.gif


John
 
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am i the only one that started feel noshis after reading what alasone was saying about AFA and how he makes nearly twice as much as he would without the afa sticker on it? makes me sick to the stumach how he flips his mind on afa like that just because you cant make a quick buck
mad.gif


[ 11-28-2003, 08:01 PM: Message edited by: 13abZ ]
 
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Originally posted by -Dane-:
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="arial">Originally posted by Phillip Johnson:
Are you for real?????
<font size="2" face="arial">couldn't have put it better myself.

if you dont like the prices AFA pieces are going for, dont buy it graded, you can get a similar piece ungraded for tons less.

if you dont like what AFA is doing "grading" figures, don't send anything in, no ones forcing you to.

rolleyes.gif
</font>[/QUOTE]<font size="2" face="arial">The problem is that there would be A LOT MORE cheap ungraded figures if it were not for AFA and Cloud City. Therefore even if I don't buy graded figures I will still be paying a higher price because there are less ungraded figures available on the market....therefore the argument "Just don't buy from CloudCity or don't buy AFA'ed figures" is pretty stupid IMO.

I agree with the person who said that people like Tom Derby do more harm than good to the hobby. They are only in it for the MONEY, they will do anything in their power to artificially increase the prices of these figures so that they can also increase their profit.

We should open our eyes to what is happening here, those people created a pretty good money making scheme and because of that we are having to spend a lot in stuff that wouldn't cost so much if their price were not artificially inflated by a label or the word of some divine authority. The hobby aspect of it is dying, greed seems to be the main factor here....

Just look at the prices on eBay of other vintage toy lines like Super Powers, Thundercats, He-Man and etc and you will see what we really should be paying for vintage carded action figures if it were not for people like Tom Derby or his company twin brother AFA.

I am pretty much thinking of stop collecting Star Wars since the above mentioned people are absolutely and completely ruining what would be a lovely hobby.

Robo_sapiens a.k.a. BAD GUY
mad.gif



Stop being brainwashed........FREE YOUR MIND!!

[ 11-28-2003, 08:25 PM: Message edited by: Robo_sapiens ]
 
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TOM DERBY IS THE CITIZEN KANE OF STAR WARS COLLECTING....

Look at this collectinvest crap. what is this?
The name of the company says it all, they are not in it for the collector, even if you couldn't care less about star wars figure you give them the money, they will invest your money by buying figures and then they will sell for a HIGHER price later and share the profit.
This my friends, is the kind of practice that these people are bringing to our hobby.

Imagine how can a collector compete with a group of investors for a piece that is being offered on ebay for example. The collector has no chance unless he is someone like SLT or whatever. The difference is that the collector wants the piece for his collection while the investor are only buying it to sell for a higher price later......
that's SCALPING in my opinion.
 
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Originally posted by Robo_sapiens:

I agree with the person who said that people like Tom Derby do more harm than good to the hobby. They are only in it for the MONEY, they will do anything in their power to artificially increase the prices of these figures so that they can also increase their profit.
<font size="2" face="arial">I'm not going to totally unload on you here (although I think this paragraph of your post may face some people's wrath) because I can see your side of it in a twisted sort of way - but companies like Cloud City and others are, in my opinion, necessary evils. Tom does alot to bring buyers and sellers together through non-ebay means and he has also brought some nice finds to market. He's also the broker of choice for many collectors when they're looking to "cash out" of that high priced investment. And Tom usually delivers. Of course he's in it for the money - he's not some "Joe Ebayer" who lists auctions in his spare time. If I thought I could make a living doing what he does I certainly would since I absolutely love Star Wars and collectibles of all kinds in general.

The AFA thing has, and always will bother me. I know Tom has sidestepped the issues before and, like John A. I can't really blame him for his own personal investments whatever they may be. I blame AFA if in fact any part of Cloud City was allowed to purchase any part of AFA. I guess, and this is me personally, if it were me I'd do anything I could to avoid the look of impropriety. This insn't like buying a computer from IBM, it's a different kind of influence, more like the influence that a Wal-Mart can have over a vendor. And for the record, Tom doesn't run Cloud City, at least according to the Georgia Secretary of State, Jayna Derby does.

Anyway, what do I know
wink.gif
? I'm the guy that can't get anything sold on ebay as of late so my financial perspective on Star Wars collectibles may be a bit skewed right now
grin.gif
.

[ 11-29-2003, 07:46 AM: Message edited by: Darthbryan ]
 
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Originally posted by Robo_sapiens:

I agree with the person who said that people like Tom Derby do more harm than good to the hobby. They are only in it for the MONEY, they will do anything in their power to artificially increase the prices of these figures so that they can also increase their profit.

We should open our eyes to what is happening here, those people created a pretty good money making scheme and because of that we are having to spend a lot in stuff that wouldn't cost so much if their price were not artificially inflated by a label or the word of some divine authority. The hobby aspect of it is dying, greed seems to be the main factor here....

Just look at the prices on eBay of other vintage toy lines like Super Powers, Thundercats, He-Man and etc and you will see what we really should be paying for vintage carded action figures if it were not for people like Tom Derby or his company twin brother AFA.

Stop being brainwashed........FREE YOUR MIND!!
<font size="2" face="arial">You have got to be kidding me. This could well be one of the weakest arguements i've read in a long time.

First off, in respect to Tom, how can you say he's ruining the hobby when he has helped turn up numerous prototype items, provides one of the only authentication services out there, and helps collectors broker their high end collectibles? There are a helluva lot more dealers than Tom out there who charge more for their figures and guess what, they're only in it for the money too. That's why they're DEALERS. Without dealers how on earth do you ever expect to further your collection? You're going to take your ball and go home over a fact of hobby life?

Secondly, there are still tonnes of high-end carded figures out there that haven't been graded and guess what, the AFA craze has made them more affordable. It's been said numerous times, if you don't want to buy AFA stuff or from certain dealers, don't. There are a lot of other avenues open to you.

Thirdly, the prices for many of the other lines you mentioned are lower for a lot of reasons. The most glaring one is the fact that Star Wars, as a property, is far larger than anything else mentioned, it has a greater fan base, and has been around longer and as such there are more people interested in collecting it. You can't honestly tell me there are just as many people out there collecting Thundercats as there are SW can you?

There are plenty of other toy lines that you didn't mention that go for insane amounts of money. You wanna blame Tom on the high prices found in the Japanese Robot or Transformer genres. Give me a break.

Now, i'm definately not an AFA supporter, they do nothing for me and i do believe they've created an artificially inflated market but it's a market you don't have to participate in if you don't want to. I do consider Tom Derby a friend but i certainly haven't spent gobs of money with him and i'm certainly not defending him because i know him, i just think your statements were totally out of whack with reality. Seriously, have a look at the bigger picture before you start spouting off about things you have yet to fully consider.
 
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To Tom Derby is this statement correct 'Tom doesn't run AFA, at least according to the Georgia Secretary of State, Jayna Derby does.'
 
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Originally posted by alasone:
It's a business that wants crushing.

Give the vintage back to it's collectors!
STOP with their FAKE AFA grades giving 90+++
Fake as in AFA are fair and easy to give a 90 grade to Cloud City that they wouldn't think twice about giving us private collectors - those that matter - a measly 80!!!

So they can BOTH make big bucks.
Cos hell, that IS what they are making.

This has to stop.

I've had someone email me today with some suspicions about a very shady AFA deal with Cloud City that he has noticed with a certain 4-LOM. I will keep him nameless as to not involve him.

And I do hope he can churn up this evidence and STOP this madness.

They're ripping off the innocent collectors of the world!!

US!?

You're all either with me or without me.
Either way is fine but remember this:
Don't you want REAL prices for your collectables and not a silly PLOTTED money making deal with the so called big boys in the game.

This ain't right.
Break them NOW!!
<font size="2" face="arial">I am 100% with you........I want REAL prices for my collectables
 
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Originally posted by Robo_sapiens:

Look at this collectinvest crap. what is this?
The name of the company says it all, they are not in it for the collector, even if you couldn't care less about star wars figure you give them the money, they will invest your money by buying figures and then they will sell for a HIGHER price later and share the profit.
<font size="2" face="arial">Have you even looked at the website? They offer authentication, appraisals, brokerage and escrow...services which seem pretty helpful to collectors to me. Seriuously, get off your high horse.
 
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Originally posted by castlediamond:
To Tom Derby is this statement correct 'Tom doesn't run Cloud City, at least according to the Georgia Secretary of State, Jayna Derby does.'
<font size="2" face="arial">You can go here and make your own judgement:
http://www.sos.state.ga.us/corporations/corpsearch.htm

Click on the "officers" link over to the far right and you'll see Jayna Derby listed as CEO, CFO, and Secretary.

This is public record. All states have this search function, and for LLC's you can actually usually print the Articles of Organization. Simply use a google search like "your-state-here + secretary of state + official" and you can find it. Click on the type of business (i.e. corporation, LLC) and you can do a search and find out basic information.

[ 11-29-2003, 07:45 AM: Message edited by: Darthbryan ]
 
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