Getting what you pay for
There are a number of guidelines that buyers can follow to reduce the risk of getting less than expected from online purchasesbe it from an auction or at a set price. Many of these suggestions also apply to buying at swap meets, diecast shows and automotive events.
|Left: This discontinued Johnny Lightning 1:64-scale Corvette set will bring a nice price in its unopened package.
Right: Know what youre bidding on. This may look like the 1970 release of the Classic Nomad, but its actually a 1993 reissue. The original did not have the Hot Wheels® logo on the rear fender panel.
Narrow your interests. For example, if you are really lit up by movie cars and road racers, fill your shelves with what you love. There are way too many cars out there for you to try to collect them all. Stick with what drives your passion.
|DIECAST FAST FACTS|
|> In 2003, eBay recorded more than 1.3 billion dollars in toy sales.
> More than 430,000 people in the U.S. make a full-time or part-time living selling on eBay.
> At any time, there are over 1.3 million toy listings on eBay.
> Each day, more than 2,100 Hot Wheels® cars are sold on eBay.
Do your homework. A little research is the only true way to determine an item’s worth. “We offer a method by which buyers can find results of recent auctions. This allows them to research what items have sold for and bid accordingly,” says eBay’s Midgal. Value, however, is ultimately determined by what an item is worth to you, so it’s important to know what you’re after, who made it, when it was released and what the production numbers are. A percentage (up or down) of the list price can also help you determine the value of an item. Some of this information is provided in price guides and on Internet forums, and you can check with your hobby shop. Additionally, a number of books that deal with diecast have been published in the past few years.
Get to know your region. The popularity of items and styles varies from area to area. Southern California is fertile ground for ‘rods, lowriders and tuner cars. The Midwest, however, shows a greater affinity for muscle cars and American classics. Sellers out West may place a higher value on a ’67 Impala custom than a bidder from Ohio. An individual’s location often creates a desire for particular types of item.
Always use a secure payment method (such as PayPal) and be aware of any shipping restrictions. Many insurance claims are denied because the shipping company’s liability is limited by the seller’s poor packing job. In that case, it will not pay out on a buyer’s claim for receipt of damaged goods.
Bid with your head as well as your heart. Set an absolute ceiling and don’t sway from that mark. It’s easy to get caught up in “winning” the item during the final few minutes when bidding can be fast and furious. Set a mark and stand on it. What you lose today may be available on another day at a price you’re more comfortable with.
Whether you buy diecast via auction or from an e-tailer, acquire what stirs your inner fire. Thats what makes diecast cars so enjoyable.