The opinion of scalpers on this site is very clear. They are a menace to us all. Somewhere along the line ebay got mixed up in all this, specifically people who sell on ebay. Now I know that there are scalpers on ebay, just as they are everywhere. Still, there are some who are not scalpers and who honestly donít care about getting rich. More so than not these people are very similar to you and me. Obviously their intent is to sell, and the reason to sell something is to make money, but the intent to make money doesnít make them a scalper. Iím not going to dive into the bottomless pit, and discuss the definition of a scalper.
I have read many posts hear about a ďcollecting communityĒ, one where everyone helps fellow collectors. Thatís great, and it works sometimes. I have done some favors for people I donít even know on this site, and asked nothing in return. I am but a small fry when it comes to this community. Others help out tons and still ask nothing in return. I think that is fabulous. Is ebay really that different? To me, ebay can be the same.
I go shopping quite a bit, probably a bit too much. I have found everything I desire with great ease. I have also found things I know others have trouble finding. I in turn pick these things up in hopes of helping someone out, in a trade or for money. How I do this is up to me. Sure I can post it on SSG and help out another forumnite, but that doesnít really gain me anything. Since I need nothing new, a trade would just be a waste of my time. So, why not ebay? I put it on ebay to a sea of users. Most people have heard of ebay, and most people look there for things they cannot find. So, obviously these people are in the market for such items. So, when I put an item on ebay (hard to find or not) I am actually helping out a fellow collector who couldnít find this item. I never put a starting price over a dollar, so Iím not trying to scalp someone. So, then it is up to the buyers to pay what they think it is worth. Most of the time that is never much over what I paid for it (especially when you mix in ebay fees). Never the less, I am happy if I break even. I ask you how is that bad? I have sold something to someone who wanted it, a collector for sure. A collector like you or me who couldnít find something so he looked to ebay.
People complain that they canít find things, and they look for someone to blame. Sure scalpers hurt, and Hasbro doesnít seem to help much, but I personally have never had a problem finding anything. So, when someone complains I am understanding, but thatís it. Still, I donít know these people from Adam, and I donít know their collecting habits. I am at the stores 3-6 times a week. While this guy could be at home eating Cheetos and watching re-runs of Chips. So, I have little desire to help out someone I donít know when Iím busting my butt finding these things. Especially when there is nothing in it for me. So, ebay is a good answer. Ebay pays for my trouble of going and finding these things. So, if I make a buck or two Iím in the black. If not, then itís my lose. I do not see a problem with this, and I donít care who does.
Iím hope Iím not coming off as some holier than thou collector, because I am not. I have been at this since the beginning (the beginning is in 1978 when they came out, and when I got my first one), so I do know a thing or two. I also know a thing or two about collectables in general and their value. Most people on SSG say they donít care about the value of their figures. Well, Iíd say that is great, but the rest of the world does. Just like some people care about the value of their house property, their car, or their mutual fund. To some, these things are an investment. Sure youíre probably not going to move to Easy St selling your collection on Star Wars stuff. Still, you could make a tidy sum on your collection when you add it up. Some time this month my collection should be complete with every 3-ĺ figure from 1978-2002 and every vehicle and playsets since 1996. Not to mention a large amount of vintage ships. Whatís this worth? Well itís priceless to me; it has been a part of my life for as long as Iíve been alive. What is it worth on the market? Who knows, probably enough to buy a new car (at least a good used one). Would I ever sell my collection? Most likely not. Still, if I had to I could and that is what an investment is.