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View Full Version : Advice on Selling a Massive Star Wars Collection



Scackmgack
05-27-2006, 09:52 PM
Well, my wife and I just moved into a new condo, and right now my Star Wars collection of 600+ figures and Lord knows how many vehicles and playsets (just about everything from POTF2 through ROTS) is sitting in the guest bedroom, individually-bagged in sandwich bags or packed carefully in large cardboard moving boxes respectively, all catalogued.

I am at a loss as to where I am going to put it all. We bought most of our furniture from IKEA, and they have a shelving line (Ivar) that I could use to probably put together adequate shelving into which I could store most everything I have, but it would cost upwards of a thousand dollars just to get all the cabinets and drawers I would need, and I am not even sure that would contain everything. I might still have to put the larger boxes up top and have to worry about sunlight and dust exposure.

I have recently begun collecting and painting a Warhammer 40K army, and I find myself attracted to the allure of a hobby that feels more mature to me, both because I actually have to assemble and paint it myself and because it involves using the pieces as part of a game rather than having them sit in boxes while I get more pieces, and also because unlike with Star Wars collecting, I can get what I want when I want it, whenever I want it, with no early morning toy runs or ordering online with shipping costs and waiting or through EBay and getting ripped off.

So...I am seriously considering calling it quits and selling the entire Star Wars collection. I have to have at least a couple thousand dollars' worth of stuff, if not more...but the final profit is going to depend a LOT on how I sell it.

I am hoping to get some advice from the fellow collectors whose advice has been so helpful in the past.

Now, some details for your consideration: first and foremost, I am an opener. I am fastidious about keeping boxes and directions for vehicles and playsets, but not so much for deluxe figures. That said, most of my figures are in Near Mint condition, with the rest in Good condition and very few Fair. I would pretty much write off the latter group, but there aren't many of them so no big whup.

I keep the figure cards, and for the red card figures I actually cut out the little "file cards" from the back. I kept all the slides from the green card POTF2 figures that came with them, all the CommTECH chips, etc. You get the idea.

My vehicles and playsets are in equally-good condition, with all parts and directions.

I have very little vintage stuff, just an old-school Imperial Shuttle, AT-AT, and Twin-Pod cloud car, all the Mini Rigs including the Droids Side Gunner, and maybe ten figures at best.

I've got one AFA-graded Nien Numb figure, some of the recent ROTS exclusives, the Celebration III Vader, but I think that is it for "special" stuff.

Now, I know that I have two basic options: sell it on EBay or sell it as a collection to a store. It is the latter option that I have more thoughts on.

I've sold collections on EBay piece by piece before, which garnered me the largest profit but which was also a pain in the patookus and took forever. My fear, though, is that if I sell the Star Wars collection as a single unit, I will get very, very ripped off.

So, first concrete question: how do I accurately price my collection?

Second concrete question: does anyone know of a store/place which offers reasonable prices for entire collections?

After that, the floor is open to whatever general guidance anyone can offer.

I haven't decided for sure what I am going to do, but spending $1,000 just to store the stuff is sounding more and more outrageous to me every day, especially when most of the joy of collecting has been ripped out of the hobby by scalpers and bad assortment choices by Hasbro, and when I could sell it all for at least a couple thousand dollars and pay off a credit card and purchase a Space Marine army for WH40K that would keep me modeling and painting for a year. :)

So...any thoughts, gentlemen and ladies?

Kidhuman
05-28-2006, 03:19 AM
If you want to go Ebay, the best thing to do is sell LOTS. Put a mixture of a few good figs and a few bad figs together to "force" the good ones. You would never sell off the bad ones solo for much money.

Vehicles, playsets and such you can do the same with.

JON9000
05-28-2006, 08:58 AM
You could see when a toy fair or convention is coming to town and then rent floor space. You can perhaps get rid of some of your best items there, then move on to ebay to unload the bulk. I am willing to spend a little more at those places, because there is no shipping and I can see the condition of the item directly. I suggest asking $2-$3 for the majority of loose figures.

Turbowars
05-28-2006, 10:15 AM
Since it's a loose collection there's only going to be a few figures that will be worth much. I'd do what Kidhuman said and go with e-bay and sell figures is small lots or themes.

plasticfetish
05-28-2006, 01:34 PM
If you sell on eBay, you're more than likely going to get next to nothing for your collection. You will have to sell things off in lots, and right now (not hard to believe) there's no shortage of Star wars stuff going for cheap on eBay.

If you're just itching to clear the stuff out, I'd say go for it, otherwise you might think about holding onto it all for a little while longer.

Kidhuman
05-28-2006, 02:52 PM
Another thing you can do is offer it up here. Some people need to fill in holes in their collections, so it could help them out.

Scackmgack
05-29-2006, 10:28 PM
Thanks for the advice, all. I still have a lot to think about. I LOVE my Star Wars collection - I just wish I had the room I used to have to display them.

My parents offered to store the collection in their attic but the temperature is 110 degrees in the summer and minus-twenty in the winter. Not the most optimum conditions, though I did appreciate their offer and said so.

What kills me is that someday I am going to have a house with a finished basement in which I could make dioramas for all my stuff (something for which my new Warhammer 40k hobby will put me in good stead for per modelling environments for games). I would hate to have to part with everything just because I don't have the space right now.

Storage is really expensive, though.

plasticfetish
05-29-2006, 11:10 PM
You know, for pretty much the same reason I've thinned my collection out a bit from time to time. I've lost interest in some things or decided that I don't have enough room to store other things. The good thing is, if you get rid of something, chances are great that you can find it again... but take that into consideration before you start selling things off. If there's anything that's rare or was important at some point (really important) then you might want to just hold on to it.

Banthaholic
05-29-2006, 11:19 PM
The past 4 years my collection has been boxed up and unable to be enjoyed. Didn't have the room I'm glad I didn't sell anything off, because having the room to enjoy it made the time with it boxed up worth it. It was crazy I had stuff in every closet in the house, and it was chaos, but in the end worth it.

As Plasticfetish suggested if you do sell off anything think twice about the rare stuff. Not because of the value as much as it would suck to pay alot if 3years form now you decide another go at it. If room is a big thing maybe just keep the figures and sell vehicles or prioritize stuff you know you don't want first and see what happens. If you do sell, sell in lots big enough that you don't have to send 600 figures to 600 different addresses, you'd be going crazy with the ebay fees, stops at the post office and the time involved.

Turbowars
05-29-2006, 11:22 PM
The way I look at it, if you are even thinking about selling your whole collection you probably are growing out of it and should get rid of it. Sometime I wish I never got involved. I have so much $ invested and it's really get stupid to by everything. Last year I stopped buy every figure in a wave and just get the ones I want. I have taught myself that I don't need it all, most but not all.:)

Break up your collection into small lots and thow them up on e-bay with a reserve. Just test the water and see what happens. You call also look up completed auctions and see what people are buying. Also don't list your items when they will close in the middle of the night or real early morning. You want as many people watching as possible.

2-1B
05-29-2006, 11:44 PM
I'm looking at parting with my loose collection as well, not looking to make back more than a few pennies (if that) for every dollar I spent. I was thinking of offering up loose figures at a rate of 1 dollar each or 6 for $5 but I'm not sure if anyone would even go for that ? :confused: I know the army builders would be gobbled up but I doubt anybody else is looking for the more specific characters. Unless I could find a customizer who wants to get a bunch of fodder for a song? :confused:

Turbowars
05-29-2006, 11:58 PM
If that's all you are looking for in return I think you should start an auction at what you want and them see what happens. You can't go wrong as long as it cheap.

bobafrett
05-30-2006, 09:26 AM
I wish I could sell some of my collection, but everytime I entertain the thought of parting with certain sections of it, I just cannot bring myself to do it. Some of it I have fond memories of how I got that certain figure, or some of my collection was donated to me by friends who parted ways with there small collection, and still others were given to me as gifts.

JON9000
05-30-2006, 03:01 PM
I've been selling some items on ebay recently because I have stuff lying around that I just haven't used in years. Getting rid of collectible card game singles is fun, if you have any valuable ones. They can shipped in plain envelopes. Who knew all those dual lands from 1994 would ever be worth something?

I'm having trouble saying goodbye to Star Wars stuff, but I just put my first piece up yesterday- a couple of loose POTF2 sandtroopers. I don't know whether they will sell or not, but I had three loose back when it was the only one available. now with so many variations available, I don't have any worries about dumping them.

Jargo
05-30-2006, 08:11 PM
I would say anything you get above postage is profit. At least that's how I think about selling my collection. if I only get a few dollars in my pocket after selling it It's a bonus. it's just hunks of useless plastic to me now. don't really want to send any more to the local dump. but would like to see the stuff go to homes that want it. The main thing is to just get rid. clean out the loft and take the weight off the ceiling beams. just a load of second hand plastic. although I do have a boxed shuttle. i probably wouldn't just give that away.

suggestions for you? small lots. mix of cool and 'meh' figures. decent length listing. make the ebay pages simple and brief. clear.

selling the whole collection you'll get peanuts for most of it. the market is saturated with this stuff now. selling smaller lots entices more people to bid. especially those who seek only certain items and those with low budget.

the third option you have is one I considered and that's giving away the toys to a childrens home. or some such hostel. let kids without much of a life benefit from some cool toys.

Deoxyribonucleic
06-07-2006, 01:40 PM
what I ended up doing for the space issue was open most everything except some choice items I like, threw away all boxes, directions etc cuz really if you think about it, what the heck are you going to do with that stuff. If you sell it, most people don't care about that crap...most and it really isn't worth anything so I recycled all of it. I bought two very nice shelving units from Ikea (spending about $160 on both) and then built my own two inch wide shelves that go along my walls in different configurations and lengths and they work PERFECT for displaying loose figures and I spend about 20 dollars on all that plus paint. I saved so much space mostly though by throwing away all the boxes, cardbacks, bubble etc...I just think it was more a "disease" thing that I kept them than for any other reason and I definitely shook that disease and enjoy my collection immensely and don't feel that I'll ever have to sell it for space reasons. If you love your collection, I wouldn't sell it, I think you might regret it later. Take some time and think things through, become creative, yet not costly with how you display things, it can work and look great an be inexpensive all at the same time.

Here's a pic of a small part of it. The four 2 foot shelves work great and I still have four more to put in that same area, two more up top, and two more below. The shelf off to the right is eight feet long and is situated exactly in the middle of that particular wall with more room on either side for more shelving. I made it 3 inches deep and can do some pretty cool diorama type scenes with depth on those. The two inch ones though usually can hold only one figure in depth, but I like the differences in the way they can be displayed.

http://www.filelodge.com/files/room12/303789/shelving.jpg

I dunno, I'd just think long and hard before selling your things!! Just my 2 cents, good luck with whatever you decide to do! :)

plasticfetish
06-07-2006, 02:32 PM
That looks really nice... especially with the red wall. (Love Ikea for stuff like that. They don't have one here, not 'til next year anyway.) When it comes to boxes and stuff, that's pretty much what I did also. I may keep samples of packaged figured... one or two of a card style, or one boxed item from each movie, but that's it.

-----

So, I was being coy earlier when I said to hold onto things for a little while longer, because now there is another option to eBay...

You might take a look at Steve's new partner site, zobid.com (http://www.zobid.com/) as an option. (Now that he's announced it, I can say something. ;))

Deoxyribonucleic
06-07-2006, 03:36 PM
Actually, those are the shelves I made, here's a pic of one of my sets of Ikea shelves...$80. Above it is another one of the shelves I made. :)

http://www.filelodge.com/files/room12/303789/DSC00072.JPG

Thanks for the compliment on the red walls...makes everything show up real well. :)

Basically just wanted to show some of my inexpensive space saving techniques so maybe you can get some ideas so you don't have to sell your collection Skackmgack :)

Jargo
06-07-2006, 03:48 PM
unless it's throne room amidala or zutton or royal guards....

plasticfetish
06-07-2006, 03:53 PM
Ahhh, yeah... those ones. Those are nice. I've tried those big floating shelves that they have also. (Maybe I'll take a pic later.)

Right on for making your own shelves. For a long time I'd had some plexi shelves that I'd made. I likey plexiglass. The Container Store has some cool ones (plexi shelves) actually.

Kidhuman
06-07-2006, 05:00 PM
Very nice set up Ox. Just like PF stated, the red background makes it look rgeat