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View Full Version : The Star Wars Market, can it hold out?



Banky
06-13-2003, 04:13 PM
I am a long time collecter and have a friend that is a long time dealer(Comic Store owner). We were talking about the vintage line and he believes very soon the bottom will fall out and soon prices will drop bad!
His says the prices you find in Lee's price gudie (The going price guide bible for SW vintage) is to over price. Those price are all made from dealers at toy shows and con. Those prices do not reflect that of things off the net or mostly things on Ebay. With ebay those hard to find figures are not as hard to find anymore. Rare doesn't mean what it once did. He said soon Lee's is going to have to ajust to ebay and other online auctions. This will cause most of the toys in the guide to drop. Looking at ebay he does have a point. Most things never sell at the price Lee's has it listed. And I am sure we all can agree that Lee's is the best vintage SW price guide.
So I would like to hear your thoughts on this?
Can the market hold? Will the vintage line drop? I am not in this for the 'money' of what is worth but I rither see figures I have be HIGH than low. But again, if the market does drop I will be happy! I can get some figures I never could have gotten.

So is he right? He did tell me in 1994-95 that the new Kenner/Hasbro line would hurt vintage! He said who would pay $70 for a loose Falcon when they can get one almost like it for $50 NEW! I thought he had a point but it didn't seem to hurt vintage. Maybe it was little rocky to start with but it pulled out and showed is Vintage is King!

bobafrett
06-13-2003, 04:34 PM
As a collector, I really have nor do I put a value on my collection. I just enjoy collecting, and I love having my bedroom as well as the rest of my apartment filled with my collectibles. I just recently started marking down the irtems I have, but only for insurance purposes for I live in a Garden apartment, and should the sumpump give out, or someone break into my place, I'd want to try to replace the item(s) lost or damaged. I don't know if that is unusual amongst collectors, not to want to have a $ value on their collection, but I don't think it's all that important, I mean I don't intend on selling any of my collectibles. If I see something that I want on eBay, I set an amount that I think is reasonable, and if I get outbid, then oh well!

Banky
06-13-2003, 06:29 PM
So you would not care if, lets say a MOC Jawa with Plastic cap dropped to $50 in the price guide make it easyer to get around the price? I mean it doesn't matter to you if dealers (they go by the guides) place it at 1,000 or 50. If you want one and will to pay 1,000 for it just as good.
I dont care about the value really but if the markets going to drop and I can get it cheap cause of that! WOW! Let it DROP! Then again I will say let the price go up. Then I can use what ever I have more than one of trade/sell for something I need.

El Chuxter
06-13-2003, 06:54 PM
There are some figures, vinyl-cape Jawa among them, who will never drop significantly in price because they really are rare. The jewel of my vintage collection is blue Snaggletooth, but that vinyl-cape Jawa makes him look like a super-duper pegwarmer.

Some of the more common figures (by "common" I mean anything that wasn't shipped only to Brazil or limited to twelve) will likely drop in price due to various reasons, ebay.com being one of them. But in the long run, I think the vintage will hold their value better than the new figures for the same reason all old toys hold their value: they weren't designed to be collected and kept in mint condition, and they weren't.

Banky
06-13-2003, 10:38 PM
Yep the NEW will never been like the old. One, I dont really see kids playing with them like back in the 80s! I mean what boy didn't have Star wars toys. In 20-30years the kids today will want to Harry Pointer.
Also their are to many collectors today on the new stuff. I would be finding things loose would be harder. Take some of the new hard to find stuff, and try to find it loose!

stillakid
06-14-2003, 12:35 AM
I never care about monetary value, except when it is time to buy something. At present, I have about 12 more vintage figures to go plus all the Droids and Ewoks. I wouldn't mind one bit if I could pick those up for far less than they are "valued" at right now. $10 for a 4 inch piece of plastic is a lot of money so $80 or more is downright silly. I don't care how "rare" it is. That $80 bucks could feed a family of 7000 in Bangladesh for 10 years.

bobafrett
06-14-2003, 02:16 AM
Well, another thing you have to look at is when Star Wars originally came out, I'm sure they didn't expect the following it would get, nor the fact that these "toys" would be worth more someday, or the fact that there would be a place to buy/sell them such as eBay. Now you have a movie come out like EP I, and they load the shelves with tons of figures driving down the value. Oh sure, there are the Sio Bibbles who seemed to get limited release, so they might be worth more. Plus EP I was a stinker compared to the OT, but every retailer jumped on the bandwagon over saturating the market with this stuff, and now I barely see anyone bidding on EPI toys on eBay. On the other hand, I have seen vintage figures going for premium prices. I'm not going to pay tons of cash for a little plastic figure, I simply don't have it. On the other hand, I did win the FAO Epic force figures for what I thought was a very reasonable price. I won't sit here and allow some price guide tell me what this figure or that figure is worth. To me, my collection is priceless, not from a $ standpoint, but because I love collecting the peices that I do, and a lot of hard work has gone into not only getting the items in my collection, but also the money I worked so hard for to be able to afford them.

evenflow
06-14-2003, 09:53 AM
I think the market is really dead right now. It has happened before. I remember years ago when the vintage figures were worth nothing and you could pick them up anywhere. I see it happening again. Thats just the way it goes.

Banky
06-14-2003, 10:39 AM
I trying the sell a loose vintage Imperail Shuttle and I use the guides for this. I do HATE selling it but at times you have to. And when I have to I want to make sure I can get the going price. Anyway, Lee's says its around $220 but I looking at ebay I never see it go for more than $150 at the very MOST! So again, the prices, comparied to ebay, are way over priced.

Kidhuman
06-14-2003, 11:34 AM
Ebay has ruined the market on collectibles. people have them and want to sell them for outrageous prices. I, anlong with Bobafrett, have just started caring about value because I am going to insure them. If I have extra cash floating around I will pick up some vintage stuff. If you can hold out and not jump intobidding wars you can get a good deal. I got a vintage playset for 24 dollars(including shipping 2 weeks ago). I don't think it can hold up until 2018 because it will eventually be rehashes and resculpts. I for one have started to cut back because of all the differrent scenes a character is in. Unless the figure looks really cool I don't need 37 Mauls or Jangos. I already have about 19 Lukes from 95 til present. Stop with the overkill on certain characters and it will be better IMO. If I don't see another Luke after the 2 ROTJ ones for another 2-3 years it will be good. There are many characters that could still be made. I was actually shocked to see the Death Stick seller as an upcoming figure. Stuff like that keeps me interested, not rehashes and resculpts and a new weapon or accessory.

Banky
06-14-2003, 01:38 PM
I am selling for ships,playset just cause I need money. I am not a big buyer off ebay

Anyone collect vintage to old way? Toy shows, comic stores and cons? That is WHEN i loved it! Going around to comic stores and toy shows looking. I loved the HUNT! Ebay makes it to easy. Also i dont trust ebay when I can see or hold it first. But time to time I gotten some things on it but over all I miss the hunt

bobafrett
06-14-2003, 01:59 PM
There used to be a store at a Mall not to far from me called "Starlog" They mostly sold Star Wars and Star Trek collectibles plus other Sci Fi stuff. I liked the store, but they had a case where they had vintage figures and collectibles, mostly Star Wars. They kept the stuff in the case because they wanted some rediculous prices IMO. I would just go there to drool down the front of the case, because as a collector I wanted to have the items, but my cash flow said "no". We just had a toy collectors show a month or so ago, and they had some vintage items there as well as toys you could have purchased up until recently. I liked going, but I kept my money in check, and just went to look, unless I came across a good deal.

Kidhuman
06-14-2003, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by Banky
Anyone collect vintage to old way? Toy shows, comic stores and cons? That is WHEN i loved it! Going around to comic stores and toy shows looking. I loved the HUNT! Ebay makes it to easy. Also i dont trust ebay when I can see or hold it first. But time to time I gotten some things on it but over all I miss the hunt

I collect vintage. I have alot of it. I have about 80 loose figures and some playsets, and beasts. I love the hunt. If they had shows like that near me I would definitly go to them, but I live in a small town with two colleges so there isn't much need for them here. I would travel to some if they were near by. I told my wife if Celebration 3 is close we are going.

Ebay is a gamble. I will read feedback on people. I read 3500+ on one guy before I bid, and the only negatiove he had was shipping charges. Can't complain much on that since his website said 8 dollars flat shipping. If you wanted one item or 100 items it was 8 dollars. I won't bid on an item unless it is near end because of bidding wars and such. Try to keep the price down on it. I want to try and complete my vintage collection but the figures I am missing are the POTF1 and they are expensive loose, let alone carded. I am gonna get some carded figures from the vintage era when my money permits.

There is a place about an hour from me that has a toy museum. I am going there next month. I can not wait to get there.

Banky
06-14-2003, 10:49 PM
I have all the vintage figures loose but I was lucky on some of the key figures. I got them before the market really got high. Around 95 I got the hard to find guys. However I still need to a helmet for my Luke Stromtrooper and a cape for my Lando Gen.
I had a Blue Snaggle as a I kid but in 93 when I started to collect the old stuff I traded it for a loose Speeder and a Han hoth! I was dumb! But I later traded a Vader Carring Case for the other Snaggle. It all comes around.
The most I paid is about $120 for Amanaman. I sold all my lose Batman:TAS figures and used that $100 to get a Double Tip Luke Skywalker. I have all the figures but do not have a Plastic Cap jawa. I don't get in all that yet, I just want the figures, dont care about the different ones. Like Lando with or without teeth.

LusiferSam
06-15-2003, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by bobafrett
There used to be a store at a Mall not to far from me called "Starlog"

They used to a Starlog store at in mall in Minneapolis. My sister and cousins want to go shopping and I got drug a long. I bought a Dagobah playset at a highly inflated price. Don't know what happened to that store, it moved or went out of business.

But I tell the once place the price is not dropping or showing any signs of slowing is in the accessories. A couple years ago I was at a convention and was negotiating with a dealer who wanted 20 bucks for 7 accessories. On e-bay I wachted a similar lot go for over $50 just recently.

Kidhuman
06-15-2003, 03:29 PM
What kind of accessorieas are you talking about? Was it guns and weapons or like the little playsets and stuff?

Bel-Cam Jos
06-15-2003, 07:01 PM
Originally posted by kidhuman
What kind of accessories are you talking about? Was it guns and weapons or like the little playsets and stuff?
Unfortunately, vintage accessories like guns, staffs, capes, etc. are not cheap. Do the math; $20 by 7 = $2.86 each, which is actually a cheap price for guns, as far as I've seen.
As to the question about the thread, SW will always hold out, because it has a nostalgic and monetary history to it. Will you be able to retire after selling your stuff? I don't think it truly ever was that way.

Kidhuman
06-15-2003, 09:41 PM
Originally posted by Bel-Cam Jos
Unfortunately, vintage accessories like guns, staffs, capes, etc. are not cheap. Do the math; $20 by 7 = $2.86 each, which is actually a cheap price for guns, as far as I've seen.



I havent put my vintage collection with their weapons in 15 years probably. If I do and they are missing weapons I will leave em that way. I wont pay that much for em.


Originally posted by Bel-Cam Jos
. Will you be able to retire after selling your stuff? I don't think it truly ever was that way.

Maybe not retire, but take a nice vacation, yes

LusiferSam
06-16-2003, 01:24 AM
Originally posted by kidhuman
What kind of accessorieas are you talking about? Was it guns and weapons or like the little playsets and stuff?

At the time it was a Jedi Luke cape, two Leia blasters, two Han blasters, a Stormtrooper gun and a Yoda snake. The guy wanted $6 for the cape and I said no. I don't remember why I didn't buy the other stuff from him. Although $6 is better then the $15 con some other guy tried pulling on me later that day for the same cape.

Kidhuman
06-16-2003, 11:27 PM
I wouldn't pay 6 dollars for a cape either. My mother in law can sew. Cost about 50 cents for the fabric. I wouldn't pay no more than 50 cents for each gun either.

Vortex
06-17-2003, 07:04 PM
Vintage prices may go down a little, but they will still be up there in the 100's.

Reasons I feel this will happen:

Currently there is/was a massive demand for old Star Wars figures in the early to mid 90's. The real fans like us who want to have missed childhood items for our own private collections are going nuts hunting and buying up old things. We have spured the current lee's price through the roof with our "need to have it" attitudes and "no price is too great" thinking. And once we have these items in our possession we probably aren't going to re-sell them anytime soon, unless we hit a major financial crisis.

Once flash in the pan collectors fade off, the quick buck folks who are buying and selling just to make a fast buck or two are gone, and the demand cools off a little like it did in the mid 80's the prices will still be high, but may come down a little bit. The "rare" or mint items we all are currently looking and hunting for will all be in private collections and most of those hard core collectors will be unwilling to sell off memories unless the price is right...which is usually higher than listed price. The demand might be less than it is now, but there are always collectors out there looking, and there will be people getting into this hobby after Ep III or beyond.

I remember going with my mom to all those antique doll shows in the 80's and early 90's, sitting in the booth or just wandering around and there were a lot of old star wars items floating around and I remember that even then the prices were high. I wanted a 12" boba fett so bad, but even then collectors wanted 75 dollars or 50 for one in a box, and 40 for a loose and in good shape. And this was in the time where the demand was little to non existant.

As for Ebay messing with or being the future base for pricing is a stupid idea. Ebay is nothing more than an on line auction house, not a dealership or shop that mainly deals in toys or the toy industry. Auctions are not a good judge to find a mean price for anything.

As with any auction, if you know the collector value, you can get a good deal if others don't know the collector value, and you can get hosed if other collectors know the going rate and have deep pockets and just want it. Ebay is nothing more than a crap shoot, and sometimes a game of luck.

Besides no one could accuratly find a middle ground pricing with all the various grades of items floating in an out of the system. There no standards for grading and classifying collectable items. I've bought items on line that were claimed to be c-8 or c-9, but in reality they should have been c-6 or c-5. The images of the items didn't show the extent of the damage.

I've see incomplete damaged star wars, transformers, or any other hot collectable going for more than what it should. I could say the same for obscure architecture books I've had an interest in buying. Where I've been the only one bidding and then out of the blue on the last day 5 other people want it and the price is 5 times more than what it normally should be. There's no way to know if there isn't price setting or inflating by the seller. They can jack the prices by having two differnt computers with differnt IP address...home and work...or friends bid the price higher to lure you into paying extra. There's no good way on Ebay to grade or value items. If we did us Ebay as a standard, we'd all be paying more for junk.

Ebay is fly by night folks looking to make big bucks or some thing of a profit off of junk and soak us collectors. I still scratch my head when I listen to folks bellyache about paying too much for gotta have items. At least with comic shops or toy dealers, Lee's is a benchmark dealers use to stay constant since its an average price from the various shows. If a comic shop get in a vintage figure in a box or loose, he checks the prices and adjust accordingly to the wear and tear on it. Rarely do they go above lee's listed price unless its perfect in every way, and a good collector will know his pieces and about running price.

I don't think the vintage star wars collectables will come down greatly in price. The hard core collectors will keep the prices up and keep using lee's as a reference. I have bought and found better deals at antique toy shows and comic shops than I have on ebay because Lee's is a collectors industry standard. Not to mention I have my lot (vintage and new) insured with some of the dolls my mom gave to me for safe keeping and storage, and my insurance company wants a printed industry source when I submit my information, photos and written listing. If I was to submit and Ebay listing, they would probably laugh at me.

Kidhuman
06-17-2003, 08:15 PM
TJ,

How did you go about getting your vintage sollection insured. I talked to some people and they said they were two ways of doing it. One is for the value of it, and one was a lump sum. If you don't mind me asking how much did it cost and with what company? Thanks.


Ebay is the biggest crap shoot out there. I know exactly what you are talking about with the last day and minute buyers sending prices thru the roof. I have been outbid on merchandise by astronomical figures. I remember I bid on a vintage Yoda carded(ESB) with 5 minutes left. I bid 45 and it sold for close to 175. I was leading up until 2 minutes left. I want it but am not willing to pay that much for a figure, well only one and I will get it only because I really really want it, and that is Boba Fett carded. I don't really care if it is ESB ROTJ or whatever.

bigbarada
06-18-2003, 12:17 AM
Everyday I hope to see the bottom drop out of the vintage Star Wars market. I would love to get ahold of any of the "last 17" figures for under $5 apiece. I would love to see a vintage Shuttle, Skiff and A-Wing selling on ebay for $20 each!

I don't care about the market "value" of the toys, I just want to own the toys.

Vortex
06-18-2003, 12:52 AM
BigB...you're still around!!! I thought you took leave of us a while back. Anyways its good to hear from you again.

Anyways, if you want a vintage shuttle my local comic shop has one for 399.99...the guy who sold it, never took the thing outta the box, just packed it away all those years ago...I'll keep ya posted if it ever hits 20 bucks though.

But its good to see your still floating around.

bigbarada
06-18-2003, 01:17 AM
Yeah, I had to sacrifice my internet connection to afford a car a couple months back. Right now, I am on my brother's computer, but I will try to visit here regularly again (the key-word being "try").

If that Shuttle ever drops below the $20 mark let me know.;)

jrosen
06-23-2003, 09:58 PM
Will the vintage line drop? Let's talk about it.

First, it's not hard to figure out the prices. Price guides are a joke. You can look at the Beanie Baby and or Pokimon craze to realize that. The price guides wouldn't lower the prices of the items because that would me less people would be buying the magazine. Nobody wants to collect and see in print that their collection is decreasing in value. Many people kept holding onto their collections because they wouldn't sell for less the what it they believed it was worth.

Let me tell you something. It doesn't take a ph.d economist to realize that the true value is its market price, meaning eBay, not what some books says.

So back to the original question, will the vintage line's bottom fall out. I think that right now prices are low but steady because more people have less disposable income then they did a few years back. Also more people are willing to part with their collection so they can have some cash on hand. Will this cause the vintage line to go farther down. Probably not. Most people now that sell on eBay tend to buy too. This keeps the market going. If everyone decided that today I don't want to be in the Star Wars market, then yes supply will drown out demand and the prices will fall out.

Further, I really haven't noticed too many more people deciding that they want to go into the market. It's a risky, expensive, time consuming, and massive, meaning it takes lots of physical space, hobby. Not to say that it's not an enjoyable hobby, but when did most people start. Years ago? I would tend to say that.

With a small amount of new buyers, collectors tend to sell and trade with themselves. This also makes it hard for an item to completely fall out of the market and thus drop the overall supply. Supply seems to change based on the fact that buyers tend to evaluate their collection and part with pieces to gain new ones. For this reason, I believe the market prices found on eBay are true prices and will not drop unexpectedly in the future.

Vortex
06-24-2003, 12:16 AM
Originally posted by jrosen
[B
Let me tell you something. It doesn't take a ph.d economist to realize that the true value is its market price, meaning eBay, not what some books says.

[/B]

Come on...seriously. Think about it.

Ebay = AUCTION house. Auction is the key word there. There's a reserve price which is usually more than what the item is worth.

Lee's Guide or other source = Toy industry and hard core collectors. The standard for all comic shops, and toy dealers.


Ebay = NO standards from AUCTION to AUCTION. Morons bid like wild fire on SPECULATION and their drab hope they will land a huge score. No set standards, no truthfulness in descriptions and there's really no way of knowing that the item you bidding on won't get switched with a lower grade item if the sellers price isn't high enough. There's no way of really knowing the photo is the exact thing you're gonna get. Look how badly people rely on "feedback" and push it. They have to inforce and sell themselves as "good" sellers since there are so many shoddy dealers and sellers on the board. If they were so good, why do they jack up the reserve price so high?

Collectors Guides = Traders STANDARDS. An Average for a MINT condition item. Price is adjusted accordingly due to wear and tear. At least you know what the max price will be for a mint carded and mint loose. At any comic shop, toy/antique show you at least get to see the stuff 1st hand and handle it. You know what your getting. You don't get hassled about feedback and don't have to watch inflated prices. You can at least deal one on one and talk the seller down, instead of throwing extra money at it and fight 10 other people for it like on Ebay.

Any true collector worth his salt, will know his goods, and won't pay top dollar for incomplete or beat up items. As for ebay I've seen dolts bid big bucks for damaged items with missing parts, and seem to have no problem paying top dollar for junk.

At least with a collectors guide its an agreed upon value. A standard by which to judge an item and value it.

Market Price on Ebay...what a joke, I had to laugh. Ebay mark up is ungodly huge for junk and there's plenty of suckers out there that eat it up and won't take the time to physically hunt the stuff out.

Ebay is a joke and a stain on the collecting world.

jrosen
06-24-2003, 08:40 AM
Those suckers are the aggregate demand for the product. Their utility is based on their preferences. If they feel that the price matches their inharent value of the item, they will purchase it. I can give you the name of a couple of econ books on auctions and preferences that expain this very well.

The reserve prices are the seller's lowest value of their goods. If they set the reserve at such a way that nobody would buy it, then it's determined that the seller's value is higher than the aggregate demand for the product. Thus, the item won't sell and the seller will not profit from the auction.

Ebay's vast amount of buyers and seller's lead into a general equilibrium of supply and demand. To believe that eBay is not the correct source of prices, but a book who's prices seem to be decided completely from thin air is ignorant.

Those collector guides do not drop their prices very often. Check out the beenie baby and pokimon trade magazines. It was proven, and written about in both the NY Times and USAToday that the magazines had determined that when the prices were altered in a negative way, people would stop purchasing either magazine.

Vortex
06-24-2003, 09:45 AM
:rolleyes: That's fine, you buy into the hype about Ebay and how it is now the standard for economics and trade of secondary goods these days.

Its nothing more than a auction house. I can't stress that enough. You ever been to real auction?

The reserve price I may not have been clear on, but I've seen plenty of loose and carded figures "reserved priced" above and beyond your foolish toy price mags.

When you reference beanies and pokemon...those two collectables are not even in the same catagory as vintage star wars. A) they are too new. B) Star wars toys have been around quite a bit longer and there has been a demand even after the heyday was over. C) The vintage star wars market is for real collectors, not fly by night soccer moms and kids. D) Star Wars is going through its second phase or wind. Something we will won't see with pokeman and beanies until 20 years later, but I doubt we will. Both of your examples are nothing more than a monsterous fad and one that was spun out of control due to our societies current state of quick profit thinking and gotta have it at any price demand. Two very bad comparisons. That would be like me compairing tin toys and bisque dolls to star wars or cabbage patch kids. Two totally different fields.

I don't care about pop-culture or professional ideals on ebay or what's written in some current econ books. Have you ever noticed that most time econ prediction, and econ outlooks never come to be? That's because they are nothing more that a guess and prediction...just like some price guides. Ebay hasn't been around long enough to determine the long term effects on auctioned goods, vs. traded goods.

As a seller and buyer myself, I will stick to what is listed in the price guides, as will my connections that sell and buy collections at toy shows and comic shops.

I am quite content to be fair and adjust my prices by something that is an average from others in the toy market and field. I'll gladly let everyone on ebay slit their own throats and pay top dollar for junk when I know I can get the same item or better much less through normal, accepted, means in the toy business.

Granted Lee's claims to be nothing more than a reference and has a disclaimer, but at least its a printed estimate from toy shows, not acutions, or constantly escallating and declining prices on a website. Its taken from people who buy and sell toys for a living at shops and toy shows, not Mr. streetsweeper trying to get triple for something he has no understanding in or care in.

A fool and his money are soon parted...and ebay is living proof of that. I've been in the toy trade since I was little and still am to a degree, the star wars demand will fall off again and once again it will fall back into the collectors world (antique toy shows, and toy shows) and the vintage and new items will be sold and bought by some guides standards once all the auctions fall or disapear from ebay.

Old Fossil
06-24-2003, 11:53 AM
One could compare Star Wars figure collecting to coin collecting.

With coins, there are basically two printed guides to values. One is the annual Red Book; the other are the monthly trade newspapers, like Coin World. The Red Book sets standards for grading, and gives its book value for coins based on factors such as grade, number minted, historical demand, etc.

The monthly periodicals like Coin World offer more current book values, based on the month-to-month fluctuations in consumer demand, price of silver and gold, etc.

Most coin dealers go by the monthly guides for basing their prices. However, what both those guides offer are only estimated base values. A silver dollar in "Fine" condition might list for $10 in the Red Book and $19 in the most recent Coin World; but coin shops mark up their selling price considerably from those, because usually they would have bought that same silver dollar the month before for the current book value of around $19. They have to make a profit.

What you read in Lee's is also an estimate, not what a toy will actually sell for. Auctions may more accurately reflect what a Star Wars figure will sell for, at least at that particular moment in time (I have been watching online auctions for vintage Star Wars figures closely the past few months, and very few NICE carded ROTJ figures go for less than $50). Lee's, like the coin periodicals, gives dealers a standard to go by, and I suspect is of more practical use to them than to the buyer. As tjovonovich indicates, CAVEAT EMPTOR; buyers should educate themselves about the market before making impulse purchases, unless they have money to burn.

LusiferSam
06-24-2003, 12:33 PM
I've always viewed a price guide (any kind of price) as a kind of thermometer. It's a rough estimation of the price your going to pay. Exact? No, but you'll be in the ballpark. But I as I said any number of times, the true value of an item is what you're willing to pay.

jrosen
06-25-2003, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by tjovonovich
:Its nothing more than a auction house. I can't stress that enough. You ever been to real auction?

The reserve price I may not have been clear on, but I've seen plenty of loose and carded figures "reserved priced" above and beyond your foolish toy price mags.

When you reference beanies and pokemon...those two collectables are not even in the same catagory as vintage star wars. A) they are too new. B) Star wars toys have been around quite a bit longer and there has been a demand even after the heyday was over. C) The vintage star wars market is for real collectors, not fly by night soccer moms and kids. D) Star Wars is going through its second phase or wind. Something we will won't see with pokeman and beanies until 20 years later, but I doubt we will. Both of your examples are nothing more than a monsterous fad and one that was spun out of control due to our societies current state of quick profit thinking and gotta have it at any price demand. Two very bad comparisons. That would be like me compairing tin toys and bisque dolls to star wars or cabbage patch kids. Two totally different fields.

I don't care about pop-culture or professional ideals on ebay or what's written in some current econ books. Have you ever noticed that most time econ prediction, and econ outlooks never come to be? That's because they are nothing more that a guess and prediction...just like some price guides. Ebay hasn't been around long enough to determine the long term effects on auctioned goods, vs. traded goods.

As a seller and buyer myself, I will stick to what is listed in the price guides, as will my connections that sell and buy collections at toy shows and comic shops.

I am quite content to be fair and adjust my prices by something that is an average from others in the toy market and field. I'll gladly let everyone on ebay slit their own throats and pay top dollar for junk when I know I can get the same item or better much less through normal, accepted, means in the toy business.

Granted Lee's claims to be nothing more than a reference and has a disclaimer, but at least its a printed estimate from toy shows, not acutions, or constantly escallating and declining prices on a website. Its taken from people who buy and sell toys for a living at shops and toy shows, not Mr. streetsweeper trying to get triple for something he has no understanding in or care in.

A fool and his money are soon parted...and ebay is living proof of that. I've been in the toy trade since I was little and still am to a degree, the star wars demand will fall off again and once again it will fall back into the collectors world (antique toy shows, and toy shows) and the vintage and new items will be sold and bought by some guides standards once all the auctions fall or disapear from ebay.

As I read your quote, I just have to ask...Have you ever took a macroeconomics course in college? Further, did you pass it? I mean come on. If people are setting prices at triple their value then nobody should buy it. That's common sense. Believe what you want and set your prices lower to meet your standard of what it's worth. It's not my money that you are wasting by offering an item below it's market value.

Firms that do business with brick and mortar collector shops do look into what the value of an item is. If they tried to sell something for more then what it can be purchased on eBay, then nobody will buy it. If they try to sell something that is lower then the cost of eBay, then their profits will go down.

Vortex
06-25-2003, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by jrosen
As I read your quote, I just have to ask...Have you ever took a macroeconomics course in college? Further, did you pass it?

Yes, both Macro and Micro and for the record I got A's in both classes. Also took stats and Business Calc and got B+'s in those classes from the University of Minnesota if you want to compare degrees. Majored in Architecture w/ a minor in Cultural Studies and Comparitive Literature. Hmmm...oh yea deans list 2 Semesters, and finished college in 4.25 years. Class of 98 if you must know.

I ask you if you are just staring to take those classes, since you seem to have a blind faith in what you read in those econ books...and if so I do have some old econ books myself that deal with internet business. One views business on the internet as "never going to happen" and the other deals with the internet as the "death of shopping malls and retail stores"...hmmm seems to me even econ professionals can't get it right and make good predictions.



Originally posted by jrosen
I mean come on. If people are setting prices at triple their value then nobody should buy it. That's common sense.

Ahhh that's the fundament ideal isn't it...but on ebay it doesn't hold true now does it. You have limited supplies and a wild demand now don't you? Mix that in with a limited specailzed market (us as collectors and profiteers) and things just don't go according to projected supply and demand now do they. Also with the vintage market there's such a range of bad and good, you can't apply a "typical" approach to it.

Example: I was bidding on day on a Transformers gen. 1 figure...jetfire...he was incomplete, worn, slightly abused, but hey I have buyers myself and might look good in my collection if they pass it up. Bidding started low, then with a day to go the price was up over 150 dollars. By close the price tag was near 200. Granted its not vintage star wars, but it helps point out the fact that people are paying well over any sane amount for damaged incomplete goods. On the other hand, I've seen vintage carded in good condition go for well below for what I would have paid, and they got a good deal. But more often than not, I see inflated prices.

Another thing I would like to toss into your econ machine is a shill.
You ever heard of one? Well with auctions in general you sometimes have a plant that working with the seller that intentionally boost the bidding price of an item to extreme levels just to test the waters and fleece the unspecting bidder. Now I ask you, if there is a shill at an auction and the price is intentionally boosted due to this, should this be a fair means to judge the going rate for some unspecified item? And with Ebay there's no way you or anyone can guarentee that there isn't a shill out there. All the seller needs in a differnt IP address computer and the seller, or a partner, can seek out max bids and increase bidding in their favor deliberatly pushing any supply and demand curve out of its normal state. If some one wants to buy a loose ewok for 3 dollars on a bid, but puts his max bid at 9, and no one bids on it for a while, the guy thinks he's getting a good deal at its lowest price. Well the shill jumps in and bids 6 with no intention of really buying the item, and then ebay bumps your bid to 8 since it hasn't hit your max price yet. The shill might try it again, might not, but they have just taken you for 5 more dollars when in fact the initial demand was only there at 3. So I ask again...is this fair or a good way to judge market value?


Originally posted by jrosen
Believe what you want and set your prices lower to meet your standard of what it's worth. It's not my money that you are wasting by offering an item below it's market value.

Thank you I will stick my accepted standards and not fleece my fellow collectors. I've been buying and selling for quite a few years not, and max profit margin isn't my #1 concern. Besides market value varies so much you will never hit max market value anyways.

Besides I have yet to waste my money as you call it. Just because I don't sell at inflated rates doesn't mean I'm wasting my money. For the record, all of my items were bought well below any ebay price tag and below lee's guides averages. And from my econ classes I do know that I sell for more...and thank you. Have you passed that test yet in your course?


Originally posted by jrosen
Firms that do business with brick and mortar collector shops do look into what the value of an item is. If they tried to sell something for more then what it can be purchased on eBay, then nobody will buy it. If they try to sell something that is lower then the cost of eBay, then their profits will go down.

Yea but at the same time, comic shops, toy dealers, etc. buy collections well below the listed price, sometimes only offer half its listed price or 3/4 of its listed price and turn around and resell it near its max price depending on its grade or quality. And to them any profit on those items is a good profit since its not their bread and butter and they know they will never get max market value for an item or buy it from some one at its lowest price. Sort of like the stock market.

You try and get max price for your good and keep thinking you're getting deals on ebay and I'll keep putting black number in my log books of sales. I have yet to use a red pen to denote a loss.

So let me ask you this, since you ask about my schooling. You ever sit at a toy show and sell? Do you deal with comic shop owners and do you know your value of your items you buying or selling? Do you deal and haggle or just point to your price tag. Or are you the type to reply with "How much you got" after being asked "how much"?

jrosen
06-25-2003, 05:23 PM
This is getting old. You must be an Arizona State Grad.

On your shill bidding strategy. If you bid 9, you value it at 9. No matter what happens. It's worth 9 to you. Now if someone bid the auction up past 9 then you don't buy it. If your value was really 3, but you bid 9, then you are fault for winning the auction.

Further, how many auctions do you believe a shill was used. I would say less then 1%. A majority of the sellers on eBay sell for a living. They would not risk losing their livilihood, and a jail sentence, for fraud.

The fact that you don't want to "fleece" your customers is meaningless. All you are doing is selling your product at a too low of a price. The fact that you don't want to maximize your profit is crazy. Why would you sell something in the first place? Send the item to me, I'll give you a dollar.

I don't sit with comic book guys. I don't sit at toy shows. I do economic regressions dealing with supply and demand. Mainly cost regression analysis. So yes, I research eBay. And no, I am not in the market myself. Conflict of interest.

Vortex
06-25-2003, 06:25 PM
Originally posted by jrosen
This is getting old. You must be an Arizona State Grad.



Its apparent you don't know how to read either.

Yes its getting old, you just stick to auction house ebay and it's full time sellers, and most important feedback ratings, and I'll doing my thing.

I make enough money as a profession where the added sales are just extra pockey money. I'll gladly sell for 10-30 dollars less if it means I keep valued constant clients and 10 bucks is a good marketing price by world of mouth in the industry if it means more clients. Its the old homage about sometimes you need to spend money to make money. I'll take a little less for more business later.

Greed is an ugly thing. Turns you into a monster when you start to focus on the size of your wallet, and it only hurts you in the long run.

" The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any -price,
peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of
soft living, and the get rich-quick theory of life. What counts in the great battle of life is not wealth, beauty or even intelligence, but
character, courage perseverance and self-reliance. "

President Teddy Roosevelt

Thanks for the debate, and see ya later. Hope you finally learn to read and it might help when looking at charts and graphs.

Kidhuman
06-25-2003, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by jrosen
Further, how many auctions do you believe a shill was used. I would say less then 1%. A majority of the sellers on eBay sell for a living. They would not risk losing their livilihood, and a jail sentence, for fraud.


I would actually say more around 10%. I have seen auctions jump up out of nowhere with no rhyme or reason to it. People I know have done it with stuff they were selling. It wasn't toys, but they were doing it none the less. Ebay is a crap shoot. You might get lucky with some stuff and very unlucky with others. I was selling some comics about a year ago. There was a lot of Spiderman comics I had for sale, abut 120 of them. About 2 days before it ended, I looked at the price befor eI went to sleep. It was at 40 dollars. I thought well it could possibly get up to 100 by the end of the auction. The next morning it was over 200 dollars. People will pay anything if they want something bad enough. ANd there is always those 10%, yes 10% of the people who will have friends raise the price of an auction.

Bel-Cam Jos
06-26-2003, 05:36 PM
Keep your personal attacks out of this, people. Address the issue, not the person.

No, not everyone understands economics, and common sense does not appear to exist much anymore. The old adage that "something is only worth as much as someone else is willing to pay for it" is true. My Star Wars collection is "worth" nothing, because I'm not looking to sell it. However, if someone offered me $5 for it, in their minds, that's its value. Is it worth more? Probably. Common sense would say that. What're you gonna do...

Whew! Who'd have thought a discussion on boring, old econ would bring Forumites to violence! ;) Well, cartoon violence... :p

Banky
06-29-2003, 11:17 AM
My Star Wars collection is "worth" nothing, because I'm not looking to sell it.

Can you really say that? I don't want to sell my collection but if some rich fool called me up and said "I dont want to look around, I'll give you $5million right now for all you got" I would SELL IT! Its 5 Million! I know, that would never happen. But you have to admit you would sell itfor a right price. That right price cause he 'out of the ball park' of the asking price. Maybe $5 million is to small for you. What if he said $100, or $500 million. I am sure if he keep going up you would crack. We all have a price we would take. And why not! With 5million you can get a better collection! So what's the lowest you would take? What if he said 100 thousand, or 50 thousand. Find that lowest number and then you know what your collection with worth.
Please dont tell me, "I wouldn't take 5 million or 100million! I love my collection to much" cause no one can believe that.

Kidhuman
06-29-2003, 03:14 PM
I know for one I would sell my collection for 100,00 and go by a whole new collection. It all depends on the right price. Everyone has their price, it all depends on if someone wants to give it to you.

Exhaust Port
06-30-2003, 03:21 PM
Example: I was bidding on day on a Transformers gen. 1 figure...jetfire...he was incomplete, worn, slightly abused, but hey I have buyers myself and might look good in my collection if they pass it up. Bidding started low, then with a day to go the price was up over 150 dollars. By close the price tag was near 200. Granted its not vintage star wars, but it helps point out the fact that people are paying well over any sane amount for damaged incomplete goods. On the other hand, I've seen vintage carded in good condition go for well below for what I would have paid, and they got a good deal. But more often than not, I see inflated prices.

Jetfire, of all the toys to pick, is not a good benchmark to judge future Star Wars interest. Jetfire is that rare breed of a perfect cross-over toy, it's both a hugh draw to Transformer fans and even more so to the Macross/Robotech fans. Original Bandai Valkyries (and Jetfire can be considered one of them) have always brought in extremely high prices. First they had to be imported which SW toys aren't. We can go down to the local toy store and buy these. Heck, now we can buy a full case of them online if we want. Jetfire was the only domestic available Macross toy. MIB Valkyries have gone for over $1000 in some cases. When you consider the possiblities, buying a beat up Jetfire for $200 is a steal.

Star Wars has very little to do with a lot of the successful aftermarket toys such as Macross and vintage GI Joe. Star Wars has been considered a "collectible" since almost day one, meaning that a lot of people have bought their toys with the expectation that it will be a collectible. Look at these boards. How many people here have a sizable collection of SW toys both in and out of the box? Plus, look at the numbers of toys made? Tens of thousands of a each figure or other toy. Then there are those rare cases of limited figures but who bought those? Collectors. This means that they'll be pampered and protected so their numbers will probably not get much smaller.

Any inflated prices we see now can't last forever. The fan/collector base can only get smaller with time. This will lead to a lot of people selling what they have hoping to recoup their investment flooding the market. Those that stay in it will most likely have what they want already or be able to buy remaining pieces from the exiting SW collector.

Ten years after the last movie who will be left? Not much will be made regarding SW. A lot more fans will stop collecting that those that will start. Prices will fall because of 2 reasons: 1. Less collectors means less demand. 2. The fact that so many people collected means a lot of collectible grade toys.

If you want collectibles that can weather the toy market and time you have to find a genre that carries over for generations and is timeless. Baseball cards and Comics. There has will always be baseball and comic heros never have to die. Movies come and go and so do the interest in their toys.

stillakid
06-30-2003, 05:00 PM
I have a question that perhaps someone here can answer: When Hasbro releases a new version (or just the old sculpt in a new box) of a vehicle that was originally part of the Kenner line (ie, Shuttle, AT AT, Skiff, etc), does the Vintage price typically hold steady or has it dropped upon the new release?

Just like Barada, I'm not in it for the value...I just want the toys. So when I paid $150 to a comic book shop guy a few years back for a vintage AT AT, it was worth it to me...at the time. Had I known that a couple years later a similar version of the toy would be released, I most likely wouldn't have bought the vintage despite the relatively minor alterations.

But, with items like the Skiff and the A Wing, not in a million years would I pay anyone some inflated price for the vintage version when pretty much the exact same thing can be had for around $20 or so.

The figures are different in that most of the sculpts are radically different from the vintage models, although, again, something like Amanaman is close enough to the original that the inflated vintage value doesn't seem to make such a purchase worth it.

Kidhuman
06-30-2003, 05:12 PM
I guess the rarity of a vintage Amanaman is what makes the value of it go up. Since it was HTF, people have upped the price of it when the new lines started coming out. I never had one and was esctatic when the POTJ version came out. It was a long wait for me to get this figure. I had hunted for him when I was a kid and never found him. I, like you will not pay an inflated price for an original if there is anew one out. I like you again, never had an AT-AT as a kid, so when the new one came out, I jumped on it(Well actually got it on clearance at TRU a few months after it came out for like 30 dollars as opposed to 70). If something is high priced I tend to pass on it to get alot more of the little things first and then I will go back and buy the larger, more expensive things(ie. playsets and vehicles) unless it is something I always wanted. The same thing when SLave1 was released in AOTC, I went and got one because I never had one as a kid.

So I guess to answer your original question if a re-release of a vintage figure in the new lines makes a price go down I would say no. Those were put out back then, and now are considered vintage. They will never make a lightsaber that slides out of the arm again.(although I really like the feature.) Those will IMO, always have more value than a newer figure of the same thing.

Vortex
06-30-2003, 05:15 PM
Well leaving jetfire aside...since he's a crossover. I can use the same example for any of the tapes...ravage, rumble, etc. Any of the Prediking robots, dinobots, and some of the cars and jets. There are times when damaged goods fetch a high price on ebay then boxed mint items do, depending on when and how they show up for auction. It's sometimes rare, but it does happen. Another oddity was with electronic stratego. I wanted this item and I watched an auction for a while to see what was happening and what condition things were typically in. This one that I was watching was missing two bombs, damaged box, no instructions and had some major wear and tear. It was only one of two currently on ebay and other was missing almost everything and didn't work well. The bidding for the better of the items was over 60 dollars on the next to last day of bidding. Just before this auction was over a full, complete working game, with instructions, and good box shows up on auction. This one went for 35 dollars when it was all said and done and there weren't a lot of bids on it only a few from other auction even bothered to take a chance on this one. I'm sure everyone here has seen something similar...good stuff goes for less than damaged stuff. I do understand that when your looking for averages and typicals there are examples you toss out since they don't fit the normal mode of operation, but is there any way to actually find a "typical" on ebay?


As for baseball cards and comics...we could debate this all our lives. Those markets and demand have just as much with highs and lows as star wars...sometimes if not more.

I remember how hyped baseball cards were in late 80's and how it came crashing down like the beanie babies did in the early and mid 90's. The debates about Fleer vs Topps vs Upper Deck. I remember old men and kids in Target and toy shows buying boxes of unopened cards, sitting in the isles rubbing the backs and tops trying to use their "tricks" as to who or what was in a specific pack. I also remember that certain brands held a higher price over others, didn't matter who was on it, and the value of the cards was determined by looking at them through magnifying glasses for the slightest corner bend, tear, crease, gum mark etc. I remember how frantic that hobby was too and how people walked around shows and comic shops with that large topps purple bible under their arm for quick price reference. Now look at that hobby or collectable. It has a much smaller audience than it did a few years back. Granted there will always be specific cards worth big bucks, but the rest can go for pennies if they aren't a big name.

Same can be said with comics. There's only a few lines, a few issues that command big bucks, but the other titles are pretty dormant unless youre a hard core fan.

The whole collecting world is a large crap shoot. Sometimes you get lucky with a line or happen to be in it when its hot...other times you get get left holding the bag. It all depends what you're into.

Exhaust Port
07-01-2003, 10:47 AM
I guess the point I was trying to make with comics and baseball cards is that both of those have an on going interest. Baseball teams will always get new players and those new players spur interest in future cards. Who will be the next Sammy Sosa? And that interest in future cards maintains an interest in past cards and stabilizes their value. If you're a fan of current and future Red Sox teams, most likely you'll be interested in past teams and puchase those player cards.

Star Wars has also been under the influence of it's own pop culture and the movies. Even between the OT and PT there was a constant level of interest as those that grew up with SW maintained their interest. We were at that age that doing so fit into our lives. Also the promise of the future movies helped maintain that interest.

Now that the SW movie releases are soon going to be over forever there will be a lot less fans sticking around after the fact. It was a good ride while it lasted. Also the average age of a SW fan doesn't leave a lot of fans in a position to maintain this type of hobby. In a decade a lot of people will have other responsibilities that will keep them from purchasing toys from a 10 year old movie series.

Pop culture collectibles very rarely do well in the long run as the pop runs out. Those that I know of that do succeed are still supported by modern interest. Coca Cola is a good example. If no one had ever drank a Coke or grew up with it do you think anyone would be buying the stuff?

Vortex
07-01-2003, 11:47 AM
[QUOTE=Exhaust Port]

Now that the SW movie releases are soon going to be over forever there will be a lot less fans sticking around after the fact. It was a good ride while it lasted. Also the average age of a SW fan doesn't leave a lot of fans in a position to maintain this type of hobby. In a decade a lot of people will have other responsibilities that will keep them from purchasing toys from a 10 year old movie series.
QUOTE]



I bet a lot of folks were saying the same thing about us. When Star Wars popped back up, the bulk of us were in college. Who would have guess that a bunch of broke college kids would collect action figures and childrens play toys? Where were our priorities? With classes, professions on the line, love lives, heavy drinking and leading the wild life, who would have guessed that 20 years after the fact all these college kids and older kids would be so feaverish about the star wars toys again.

Who's to say the cycle might not return in 10-15 years? The movies are already a cult favorite and with parents and kids sharing the same hobby...who's to say it won't or can't come back? Granted there won't be another set of new movies, but who's to say they won't ever hit the big screen again?

Again, with baseball cards, star wars, coke items, transformers, junk in general, it all depends on what your into and how much you like something.

If we could guess the popularity of something and when it would come back or figure out the real demand, we would have made our millions in the stock market already.

stillakid
07-01-2003, 11:55 AM
Star Wars has also been under the influence of it's own pop culture and the movies. Even between the OT and PT there was a constant level of interest as those that grew up with SW maintained their interest. We were at that age that doing so fit into our lives. Also the promise of the future movies helped maintain that interest.

Now that the SW movie releases are soon going to be over forever there will be a lot less fans sticking around after the fact. It was a good ride while it lasted. Also the average age of a SW fan doesn't leave a lot of fans in a position to maintain this type of hobby. In a decade a lot of people will have other responsibilities that will keep them from purchasing toys from a 10 year old movie series.


I think it's safe to assume that in a decade, the market will be entirely "vintage." Meaning, that within 12 to 24 months after Episode III vanishes from theatres (okay, maybe 36 months on the outside), Hasbro will shut it down. Just look at the retail reaction to the lull now. Imagine how little they'll care with no films to prod the customer base on.

The books have their audience, but certainly not enough to stimulate enough of a market to justify making toys. A cartoon series, like Clone Wars, might keep some interest alive, but even that has a limited shelf life. Look at the Smurfs.

So, I think that we'll see history repeat itself. As the new films wane into memory, fewer people will purchase the last toys out of the factory. Just like the POTF coin line, these last Star Wars toys will have more inherent value because of their rarity. Of course, as stated by many above, a thing is really only as valuable as a person is willing to pay, so even if, say, the Tonnika Sisters Two Pack (hypothetical) does finally wind up on shelfs in 2008 and only a relative handful of die-hard collectors buys it, who will be hanging around in the years after that to buy them secondhand at exhorbitant prices with no future movie to jumpstart interest?

Exhaust Port
07-01-2003, 12:52 PM
I guess all we can do is enjoy it while it lasts.

Kidhuman
07-01-2003, 06:24 PM
Thats all we can do EP, all we can do.

LusiferSam
07-01-2003, 11:09 PM
I have a question that perhaps someone here can answer: When Hasbro releases a new version (or just the old sculpt in a new box) of a vehicle that was originally part of the Kenner line (ie, Shuttle, AT AT, Skiff, etc), does the Vintage price typically hold steady or has it dropped upon the new release?

My experience is the price does drop when Hasbro releases a new version of a classic vehicle. I saw it happen with the A-wing and Skiff, don't know about the Shuttle or AT-AT. Best example I have is the TIE Interceptor. Before the POTJ version I couldn't touch one min of $80. After, I got one for around $40. But this drop is not permanent. I've also seen prices start climbing again.