After some successful repairs on a few “Masters of the Universe” figures, I decided to branch out into other makes and models of vintage toys. I picked this guy up on eBay this last week in this condition. The outfit is in decent condition, with only a few areas in need of stitching. On YouTube, I located a video for restringing Mego figures on RetroBlasting‘s channel. They made an easy-to-follow video that helped me get this guy back in shape.
Well, the short of it… Spider-Man is in one piece again. I lost my original in a move sometime in 1974, as far as I can recollect. The only other Mego I had was a Batman. Perhaps I’ll pick one of those up as well, but I may not stop there 😉
I hear and read those words far too often. Next to the over used “RARE” attached to everything on eBay, the phrase “What’s it worth?” is my number two pet peeve of collecting. Over the years, I have collected, sold, re-bought, flipped, and re-re-bought so many things. People would ask me how much something they had was worth. The worth of an item is an arbitrary thing. It’s based on the individual who is willing to pay for it. Sure, there are other factors such as, how many were produced, how many still exist, and the most important… is it in demand? Just because something is old, or of a certain franchise, isn’t always a guarantee of big money
(I’m looking right at you “Star Wars” seller of “rare” vintage items. By “rare” I mean there are only 500 of them listed on ebay on any given day [I am wearing my sarcasm face while I typed that]. By “vintage”, I am referring to the seller who doesn’t understand the word and uses it for anything older than 5 years.)
It’s worth is what someone is willing to pay for it. Price guides are cool, but the market fluctuates so often that a guide could keep up. Like it or not, things do go down in value. Right now I am fortunate enough to have a decent paying job, in an industry that isn’t showing signs of slowing down. For the foreseeable future I won’t be needing to sell anything that I don’t want to sell, so the “worth” of my collection is much higher to me. If I am faced with having to ever sell again, I’ll figure out the market price and list items accordingly.
So in the end, the questions isn’t “What’s it worth?”, the most important question is, “What’s it worth to you?”. Collect what you like, and share your passion with others 🙂
So picture this… it’s christmas 1977. I am 7 years, 7 months old. My future wife, Misty, is 5 months old. Star Wars is still the number one subject on my mind. It was a dark time in the world of Star Wars. There were many items to read, look at and listen to, but toys were nowhere to be found. The closest thing to toys were models and paper crafting books.
Have you ever noticed the crazy listings on Ebay. For example I found a Luke Skywalker (1978) in HORRIBLE condition. The seller wanted a starting bid of $40 (US). $40? Is all that Yellowing actually Gold?
What a piece of Junk. I wouldn’t even pay point five past $8.99 for this. Now, to be fair, I have seen worse but for far less. This is the kind of thing you find in a rummage bin when every item is less than a dollar. Would I be tickled if I found this for less than a dollar? Oh hell yes. Just ask my wife about my happy dance when I find vintage figures, in any condition, from situations such as a junk pile or box of random nothingness. She’ll tell you, and may even have secret video on her phone to blackmail me with later. Hey, my inner child merges with my outer geek and I gotta dance!
This is a seller that does NOT do market research. They can’t take a moment to look up their item and see what others are selling their similar condition listings for. Are they lazy? Are they just ignorant of how to use Ebay? I have a few theories.
1. Ignorance: This one is simple. Being ignorant isn’t a negative. Ignorance only means that they just don’t know any better. Outcome: The item probably won’t sell.
2. Laziness: They can’t be bothered with researching market values of their toy or collectible. This type of seller chooses to be Ignorant, and that is a very negative thing. Outcome: The item probably won’t sell.
3. Emotionally Attached: This seller either doesn’t really want to sell their item or they are on the fence about letting it go, so they place a higher value on it. It could also be that it is a figure, or whatnot, that they really wanted as a child and never had so it is more difficult to part with. Heck, I’ve been known to do that. Sometimes we must part with certain things because other things like rent and eating are more important, at the time, so I come up with a price that I am willing to part with my treasured piece and then I’ll post it. I’ve always placed a responsible price on my listings and I don’t get too crazy about it, therefore they actually do sell.
Outcome: The item probably will sell if you price responsibly and write a detailed listing about it and it’s history. Your treasure will find a good home (see, I’m still being Illogically Emotional about this one)
4. It’s (Insert Product Line Name Here): How many times have you come across something that is a total piece of shit or the company produced one billion more than they could sell, and the seller charges a high price because it is Star Wars? Honestly most of these items don’t even interest me, what does interest me are the idiots who think that just because a property is popular then everything with that property’s name on it is valuable. Annoying seller, pull your head out of your ass and learn about your item before you embarrass us both. Outcome: The item won’t sell and the seller looks like fool.
5. It’s Old: I don’t know how many times I’ve run into to this type of seller. Just because something is “old” doesn’t automatically mean that it has value. This seller will use words like “Antique” or “Vintage“. Adding those words to anything raises the price in their delusional minds. There was this cat a few weeks ago at a local flea market, here in Southern Oregon, and he had to comic books from the 1970’s laying out. Now these have seen better days, and they weren’t in any type of protection, plus they had some other heavy item on them to keep them from blowing away. I asked “How much?“, he said “I dunno, make me an offer.” So I thought for a second and being fair I said $1. “No way! THOSE are real deal!“, he said. I told him they were only fit for collages and other crafts, then walked off. Oh, and speaking of the word “Vintage“… I don’t really consider anything under 20 years to be vintage. Something from 2006: not vintage, 1999: not vintage, 2011: NOT vintage. Outcome: The item won’t sell and the seller looks like fool.
6. Waiting for the proverbial Sucker:I try not to read into other peoples motivations but… You’ve seen a ton of these shady dark siders, I am sure. They charge insane prices. Why? It could be due to any combination of the aforementioned theories but I think it is more like they are waiting for that “Sucker Born Every Minute”. I’ve viewed so many listings like this over the years that I have become numb to them. They elicit zero emotional response from me any more. I have only so many fucks to give in a day and they don’t merit any of them. Avoid these irresponsible sellers. Laugh at them and move on. One day we may even be able to block certain sellers from our treasure hunt searches on the site. Outcome: The item won’t sell to any of your target collectors so hope for that Grandma buying a ‘RARE” Jar Jar for her Granddaughter’s 5th birthday.
Now none of these even take into account Shipping and Handling charges. Don’t get me started on douche-bags who charge $20 for shipping something that is light enough to be shipped First Class (13 oz and under, at the high end charge of under $5 for an item that goes from coast to coast). Those fucktards are trying to buck the system, rip collectors off and should be banned for fraud.
Well that is all I have, unless you want to read my RANT on people who use the word “RARE” and don’t know what that word actually means. To me “Rare” is defined as – when I run search on Ebay or Etsy, I’ll find maybe one or two of the subject that I am looking for… NOT 10 pages of listings. If you have stuck with me and my horrible writing style this far then you know ALL about that. Then there are the Flea Market and Garage Sale sellers who, more often than not, say “Well, on THE EBAY it costs…“. I drift off that point and my parting jab is “Well, sell it on Ebay then.” This has almost become my default replacement for “Thanks” as I walk away. Perhaps I’ll get into detail about that another time 😉
I was thinking about making a YouTube video to share my thoughts with whomever would listen. I envisioned it in the vein of a RetroBlasting style video, full of great imagery and sardonic wit. Alas, I am not comfortable with making public videos since I am too self critical. That and I couldn’t match their production value by a long shot.
Thanks for reading (putting up with me) and may your toy & collectible hunting always be successful!