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  1. #21
    Vortex's Avatar
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    Feb 2002
    Location, location, its all about location

    Vintage price drop...doubt it.

    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.

  2. #22
    Registered Kidhuman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Dr. Ventures Yard Sale

    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.
    thanks Chux Turbo LBC Bobafrett Mtriv73 Rjarvis JF96 JT JMG FB Rogue2 Tycho Slicker Deoxy Caesar JontheJedi JJReason Brandon Solo JMS UK for great deals.
    SSG Pro Football Pick em and Bowl Pick em Champ 2006. 2007 NCAA Bracket Champ
    #24 - Gone but not forgotten

  3. #23
    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.
    Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split. - Robert E. Howard

  4. #24
    Vortex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location, location, its all about location
    1,102'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.

  5. #25
    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.
    Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split. - Robert E. Howard

  6. #26
    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.

  7. #27
    Vortex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location, location, its all about location
    Originally posted by jrosen
    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.

    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.

  8. #28
    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.

  9. #29
    Vortex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location, location, its all about location
    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.

  10. #30
    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.


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