Vintage: Tips for new vintage collectors.

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Alright guys, I've been reading a number of your post off and on regarding bidding on ebay and what to look for when buying. Are there any tips you can give to a relatively newbie. I have about 6 vinnies and I bought them a while back(when I didn;t know what the hell I was doing(not much has changed)). Finances are not really and issue, of course I don't want to get soaked,but I really want to jump in with the big boys. Any Advice?

[ 02-01-2002: Message edited by: flarida ]
 
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The biggest advice I can give to anyone, is to do your homework. Read every website you can find, and search ebay for current and finished auctions of the items you are looking for. I don't care what anyone says, ebay is a true market value for an item. If an item is so tough to find that it doesn't show up in a search of the past 30 days, then value of the item is up to what someone will pay for it.

It still boggles my mind when I hear about vintage collectors who still don't know obvious aspects of their hobby. Sit down and read through the archives on this site, toysrgus.com and 12back.com . The information is out there just begging to be used.



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Welcome to the wonderful world of vintage IOC!!!!! I think that you will find it extremely rewarding. Let me know what kind of condition you are looking for in carded figures, I might be able to help you out as I am constantly contacting people who are selling their personal collections. As far as advice Flarida said it very well. Everyday I learn something new about vintage collecting. I find that it helps to have a little focus in your collection, espescially at first!! Having a little initial focus will also allow you to learn a little easier about specific product. If you decide to collect carded figures I highly recommend deciding right from the very beginning what kind of shape you want your carded figures. I know I was very loose in the very beginning but I wound up going back and upgrading my collection which was pretty expensive. If you are buying on Ebay the best figures to pick up right now are ESB and POTF. There was a good amount of saturation for those figures so the prices are staying at reasonable levels. High grade Tri-Logo,Jedi,12bks,and 20/21bks are really going through the roof and I have actually been getting better prices at some of the notoriously expensive shops.

Well enough ramblin that is just a little advice I can pass on to you. Best of luck in this endeavor!

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IOC - As another relative newbie, I've got to agree with the advice given above, especially about choosing a focus for your collection. Personally, I'm focusing on a C8.5-C10 loose set, plus loose playsets to put the figs in.

I think you'll find vintage collecting very worthwhile. Spending $20 on a mint Han in Trenchcoat somehow seems more worthwhile than plopping down the same amount of money on a HTF POTF2 or E1 figure.

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IOC-

As someone who started collecting vintage again at the beginning of this year, I know what a daunting task it may look to begin. The keys for me were- 1)FOUCUS - am I collecting loose or carded? I collect loose because of the cost factor, and 2)PATIENCE - if you lose a bid, don't overspend on a common figure just because you want it NOW. Most of the time what you are looking for pops up all the time on e-bay, so if you lose a bid today, there is alway next Tuesday.

I find that collecting vintage is VERY satisfying in a way that POTF2 can never be - these were the toys I played with as a boy and I still love as an adult.

I saw someone pay $20.50 for a loose complete Jawa yesterday. Don't fall into the Dark Side like that "collector" - patience, knowlege and foucus are the key.

Good luck! We look forward to hearing how the collection is progressing!
 
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My 2 cents worth ...

You need to ask yourself what you really want
and what you can really afford or mind spending. If there are certain characters that are your favorite then start with those and always be mindful that if it doesn't go your way today it may tomorrow or at some other future time.

Ebay is an excellent source for vintage toys but it doesn't always offer the best price.
Check out your local area for collectible shops and/or flea markets. Many sellers will allow an item go for less than it is marked as long as you know how to talk to them. Always let the seller know that you are a collector. That gives you an edge. It is hard to turn down a collector rather than someone you seems like they are just in it to make a quick buck. You may also want to put an ad in the local newspaper or put flyers around. Many people have these things in their attic and just want to clean up some space.

Good luck to you.

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"I'm not in this for your revolution and I'm not in it for your sister. I'm in it for the money. I expect to be well paid." Han Solo
 
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I'm not sure if I'm a newbie or not, as most of my vintage loose collection is what I had as a kid, but since a while, I'm practically starting all over, and seriously upgrading everything.

Anyway, between last Fall and last Spring, I collected things here and there, and whatever I liked that I didn't have. Since then, I've decided to collect...planet by planet. So last summer was spent getting everything that had to do with Endor. It was extremely rewarding to complete that. So I think that if you can decide at first what is it you want specifically, and stick to those limits, you'll have the most enjoyable experience.
 
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My advice is to have patience and don't get caught up in auction fever trying to get that figure "at any cost" like some newbies do. If you do you'll find yourself paying 10-25% more than you should have for a figure.

Also, look for sellers with high feedback. This can be an indication not only of honesty, but also experience. An experienced seller is more likely than a newbie to grade the condition of his figures correctly.

You say finances are not a problem, well lucky you!
Still, try not to get carried away bidding on every figure you want all at once (auction fever again), or finances can quickly become a problem, unless of course your last name is Gates.


Good luck, and have fun!

[This message has been edited by mousedroid (edited 09-14-2000).]
 
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My thoughts if you're just getting into collecting loose figures, would be to start off buying finding a huge lot (or maybe a couple of medium lots) on eBay. I started both my vintage and POTF2 collections that way. For vintage, one week I won a lot of 32 figs for $120, a lot of 25 for $110, and my friend gave me 20 figs for $80. Sure there were a few duplicates, but it was a hell of start for little money! Then, you just fill in the gaps at your own pace.

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"Yeah, but droids don't pull peoples' arms out of their sockets when they lose an auction by being outbid at the last second. Shaven Wookiees are known to do that."
 
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Wow, Thanks for the open arms guys...i half anticipated two responses utoh new competition...and hey sucker wanna buy a used bridge
. Flarida, Ziz,Palleon,Musasa,Jei Junior(who won't win this weeks contest)(inside joke)
Vader 12, wyoda, mousedroid, Pod racer and shavenwookie than k oyu all.

My primary goal was to colllect Carded figures and start with the main characters from each Movie. Is this wise? I'm not to much of a loose collector(god knows I would lose everything the figures came with )I know that with this in mind I going to put down a good chunk of change,but so what my kids can work there first year of college.


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With my Jedi powers, I have forseen...a city in the clouds- no, no, I have forseen - a victory celebration! My arms raised in joyous moment to bask in my glory!!!

IOC will become one of the enlightened - SUNDAY!!! Heeee heee heeee haaaa haaaa haaaa....


(Into the madness of the night, Jedi-Junior departs...)
 
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I would agree with your decision on collecting carded figures! I find half the excitement in getting the new cards is the photo on the cards. The cardbacks also rocked, who didn't use the cardbacks as checklists back then!
If I can be of any assistance let me know.

Getting all the main movie characters on the card is definately the most expensive way to go.


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[This message has been edited by Pellaeon (edited 09-14-2000).]
 
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Welcome to the joy of collecting Vinty IOC!!


I have to agree with Pellaeon, it is an expensive venture to find the main characters from each movie, but it is very worthwhile. I really can't explain it, but imagine holding a carded Darth Vader or Princess Leia in your hands as opposed to, say, 8D8.....they are just worlds apart (well, at least for me).





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Ziz

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The easiest way to keep all the "stuff" with your loose figures is the half-sized ziplock snack bags. They're about 3"x6", perfect size for pretty much any figure, vintage or current. Put all the weapons/accessories in there, squeeze out as much air as possible and zip it up. (You won't be able to fit really large weapons, like Boushh's gun, but something like that is so unique, it's hard to lose or forget which figure it goes to.) If you really want to get organized, you can fold the bag back on itself until the figure is almost shrink-wrapped, then just scotch-tape the bag to itself. I've had mine stored like that for years, and even though there was a post a few weeks ago about not doing this, I didn't notice a problem when I took the figures out about 6 months or so ago.

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Ziz

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by vader12:
Many sellers will allow an item go for less than it is marked as long as you know how to talk to them. Always let the seller know that you are a collector. That gives you an edge. It is hard to turn down a collector rather than someone you seems like they are just in it to make a quick buck.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sometimes, yeah. Other times, it works against you. If a dealer sees that you're really hot on a certain figure (and the figures don't have prices on them for whatever reason), he may jack up the price on you hoping you're one of those "sell your soul to the devil" collectors that has to have everything now.

I've noticed better deals by being half-interested...passing interest kind of attitude..."Oh, you've got Star Wars figures? I remember them..." If you're buying at a collector store or a toy/sci-fi convention, it also depends on how the seller/dealer has them displayed - is each figure sealed in a plastic bag with a neat nametag and price or are they just piled in a dirty Rubbermaid container with a sign made from a ripped piece of cardboard "Star Wars figures, ask for price"

I have a complete set of loose vintage figures, all purchased the first time they were available (only thing I'm missing is a Blue Snag, but that's a whole different issue), so I only give the figures for sale a passing glance anyway. Point being, if you act like the whole idea of the purchase was a last minute, "Why the hell not, it'd be cute to have" kind of thing, more often than not, you can get away cheap.

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"How much stuff do you need to be happy?" "I don't know...how much stuff is there?"

[This message has been edited by Ziz (edited 09-14-2000).]
 
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I'm also entertaining thoughts of completing my loose vintage collection, though I haven't bought much for it lately, and I'm horribly out of the know. A very good friend recently gave me his old figures, most of which had ALL accessories and are in near perfect condition. This got me thinking I can build a near-complete (if not complete) collection.

There are some great tips being discussed here. Thanks for the input.
 
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Infamy, my hat's off to you. Going carded is a bit too rich for my blood right now, but it really seperates the men from the boys, so to speak. And the vinty cardbacks really do rock!

So go for it. Don't test the water with your toe, jump right in!!!!
 
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I think that most everyone that participates in these forums would say they prefer getting carded as opposed to loose. However,
there are three factors to consider when doing this. Most importantly, of course, if cost. Cost goes through the roof on some carded figures. The other factor to realize is how much enjoyment can you really get out of a carded figure. You can't hold it and put it in dioramas or relive past childhood memories as much. Lastly, storage of the carded figures can be a pain too. You don't want to just throw them in a box or paint your walls with them unless you have the luxury of a separate "Star Wars" room (I want one of those).

Don't get me wrong I would certainly prefer carded but there is something missing as opposed to loose. I myself have mostly loose but that is because my spending account for carded is a bit low.

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"I'm not in this for your revolution and I'm not in it for your sister. I'm in it for the money. I expect to be well paid." Han Solo
 
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Hey IOC,

I, too, am just starting to collect carded vintage SW. I am thinking that I am going for C9 to C9.5 on their first card (the 1212backs, the 8 20 backs, the 21 back Fett, the 31 backs, 32 back Yoda, the 41 backs, etc). I know that it will be expensive, but it is a life-time goal, nothing that I will be completed this week.

For those that collect carded vintage, how accurate is the list of the vintage figures that was posted in the Power of the Jedi thread (on order of release, and original cardbacks)? Thanks.

Good Luck IOC and please don't bid against me over at Ebay.


JediSeely

[This message has been edited by jediseely (edited 09-15-2000).]
 
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Welcome to the club, IOC...it is always good to see refreshing new faces in the ever growing number of vintage carded collectors..!!! As for my input on the topic, I really don't have anything to add...being a carded vintage collector for going on 8 years now, I have seen numerous trends come and go and as you progress, you will begin to see the cycles of popularity of the various carded figures. I will say that a true definition of what you will be going after is a must and Pellaeon said this best. I guess my only real input is don't buy doubles. Shop and search for the figure you want in the condition you want and settle for nothing less. This will keep you from having to upgrade later.

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Thanks for all the advice guys and Jediseeley stay out of my way.


Packrat I know your a notorious if not infamous(no pun intended) collector. I f I can accumalate half of what you have in 8 years I think I would be a very satisfied collector.

Palleon I'll take you up on your offer you sent me via mail nowI understand you have quite a nose for SW vintage.

vader12 Your words mirrored my thoughts exactly. I thought abut the playability and what I would really get out of it. I'm going for carded for two reasons
1. These items gave me so much pleasure as a child to be able to showcase them in perfect condition would be a gentle reminder of my childhood.
2. As a collector just owning even a few carded pieces would greatly increase the depth of my collection.


mousedroid I have noticed the Fad in collectibles for some years. With SW its "go get Ree yees or you got have the death star droid... Amanaman thats where your money should be spent. I try to avoid that and collect what I like. With newer collections 1995-I've been a completionist. I can honestly say my budget will not allow me to be a completist in the vintage market...plus now I have to go up against the likes of Palleon, packrat and You. How will i ever survive.


2.

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I prefer to buy in person. There is an awesome store in Wheaton Maryland. The (Toy Exchange) Anyone coming to Washington DC for a vacation out to check this store out. Got a lot of stuff!!! Mints Good Prices. Right of of Metro-rail(subway) Wheaton. Check it out!!
 
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While the Toy Exchange can have some good deals, by the way I live in that area of MD, you have to really watch what you buy there!!!! If you are a knowledgeable collector you are safe, but there is no price differences in beat up stuff and the good condition stuff. All the prices are kinda high with very few exceptions. Also there is resealed stuff there not marked as resealed with equally high prices! All I can say is buyer beware. There is a great selection of stuff there if you are not picky with condition or price.

By the way welcome to the Vintage section PMACWASHDC, nice to have another DC Metro area Vintage collector!

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[This message has been edited by Pellaeon (edited 09-26-2000).]
 
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Hey Infamy....give me an update on how the carded collection goes. Like to hear how you are progressing....

Packrat
 
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All I ever wanted when I started collecting(8 years ago), was a set of figures (only now they've got to be complete figures) and a couple of carded examples (now becoming an obsession, 15 and rising).

If you dont buy the best you can afford early on, you'll only regret it later and have to go back and get a better version. Can be very expensive, because you can never get a perfect C10 loose figure unless you open it up yourself.

Now that is expensive...

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Just a few tips: Always check the history of the seller. If the seller has a history of ripping people off, I'll never buy from him no matter how good a deal it sounds like. Also keep in mind postage. Lots of people overlook this. I always compare prices to what I can get at a local store. If I can get a loose vintage say...Chewbacca for $10(maybe+tax) at a local store(which I can actually hold in my hands), I'd never buy a Chewbacca on EBay for $8.00 +$2.00S+H +.32stamp =Total:$10.32 (which I've never seen this item in person yet). Also, keep accessories in mind, there are always good deals on accessories on EBay. It may be better to buy a fig. w/out the accessories(If its a good deal) then try to look for a lot of accessories cheap.
 
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