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10 Years, collecting woes and groans during my decade of collecting.

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  • 10 Years, collecting woes and groans during my decade of collecting.

    It's hard to look back sometimes and realize that you own some models that are over 10 years old.

    During my time collecting I've had my ups and downs. But as my collection has grown over time, I have become more dependent on eBay or other sources to find those "hard to find" collectibles.

    This weekend was no different as an eBay seller was selling an entire collection including some Pan Am DC-8's (these have been a nightmare to acquire).

    My biggest hassle has always been the "RARE" or "Limited Edition" and while I agree most of these planes are "rare" or "limited release" this never justifies the hysteria that goes online when planes are offered for auction at astronomical prices. Mostly due to collectors who hold sentimental value at a premium.

    Look I get it, we all need to make money. But latching on to a brand or specific livery to inflate the prices to unbelievable proportions is just unfair to those collectors who are looking for a value when purchasing a plane.

    As many of you know, I have been getting more and more into Pan Am. And as some of you are aware Pan Am models are at a premium. Models ranging from 747's to DC-8's and 707's. This weekend I got to my limit (and even passed this limit) when purchasing a 1:200 scale Pan Am model. And while I won't say the price I spent, it was substantially more than what I am willing to part with for a die-cast model.

    What sometimes leaves me confused or ticked off is the fact that one collector will sell a model for a reasonable price, and others from sellers in China or Europe will sell the same model for an unbelievably high mark-up. So then we hit the dilemma we've all had.

    "Should I sell this for a price I know will sell? Or should I mark this up to what other sellers sell at so I can make some extra cash?"

    I don't blame anyone who's been in that situation, but please remember that when all is said and done, these are all die cast planes with amazing liveries. A piece of metal with decals should not be selling for 400-500 or even 1,000 US Dollars.

    Some prices are so astronomical that I have settled on the fact I will never purchase those models.

    While I'm not pointing the finger to anyone or attempting to change the world. All I'm asking is make it fair? I would never sell a model for more than what I paid, anyone's who's in this hobby to make money taking advantage of the "Supply and demand" model, then you are the reason I wrote this rant.

    Don't add value to something from nothing. I understand that's how money works, but this is die-cast collecting. We are all here to collect, meet amazing people and have fun while collecting...

    I hope all of you have many years of collecting and finding all of the planes you've searched for.

    As for me? I'll keep searching for my Pan Am fleet until it's done...

    Cloud Services Admin/Collector since 2006

  • #2
    I agree 100% with you.

    There are some people who sell these adult toys at reasonable prices, but then you get those who sell them as 'RARE' and inflate the prices beyond belief.
    At times you see these models on e-bay for months on end and they never sell.

    At the end of the day ALL of these are limited releases. Even if a second or third run is made later it will still be limited as this is not like your corn flakes which are produces for years on end. (Now the re-releasing of models is another thing which can divide the collectorate into two warring camps. I fall into the camp of release-away as it would bring more newcomers into the hobby which will drive costs down as more are made).

    I happen to agree with your sentiment that asking inflated pricing makes a collector see red. These are at the end of the day just pieces of metal with fancy printing on them, and in most cases there can be something found to be lacking or wrong in any case.
    Model collecting is not an investment.
    Another view I have: If you are in this hobby to make money then become a dealer and don't give yourself off as a fellow collector, especially if you buy multiple models with the view of selling them (at inflated prices) to your fellow collectors when they are no longer freely available at retail level.

    FireAngelZero, you should also realize that you will get flak from some quarters who holds the capitalistic view of supply and demand dictates prices as sacrosanct. For these people there is no such thing as too high prices. If someone is willing to pay the price, then the price is right. Although this might technically be correct, I feel it is not helpful to the hobby overall as new entrants looks at the prices and say: No way am I getting into a hobby where one model costs a couple of hundred US$.

    As it is prices have climbed steadily over the recent years and I have significantly slowed my collecting spend. Just can't keep up and there are more important things in life.
    Some forums too can take the joy out of our hobby in a single thread. It is not fun when you want to share a newly acquired model (with money you earned) and then have people point out all the flaws and negativity.

    I do hope you one day find and complete your Pan Am fleet.
    Waffle sometimes have great sales and some of his collection sales have many Pan Am models. I am sure you will be successful one day. Then it is on to the next model.
    I will continue to search for one of the models I desire (A BigBird400 SAA 747), but the finances and availability thus far have not co-coincided for me yet.

    Happy collecting and "buy what you like and like what you buy.


    • FireAngelZero
      FireAngelZero commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for your encouragement, and kind words on this matter.

      I wanted to share an interesting find I had this weekend...

      I saw a TWA L1011 Schabak model. The model was a wreck, scratched, landing gears missing, and the paint so worn you could see bare metal around 60% of the model. The seller stated that because this was a "hard to find, limited run model" this was justification enough to sell it for tripe digit prices...

      Sometimes I wonder if the people that sell these models are just throwing arbitrary prices around and wait till someone out there is gullible enough to purchase.

      But I agree on your point "I feel it is not helpful to the hobby overall as new entrants looks at the prices and say: No way am I getting into a hobby where one model costs a couple of hundred US$."

      One of my big hesitations when I moved from 400 scale to 200 scale was the price point. And I'm sure some users here go on eBay and look at the plane they have always wanted to buy to find it's starting bid of $150 with a $300 Buy it now. I wouldn't blame them to stick with 1:400 or 1:500 scale models.

      I hope to hear from other users as well on this.

      But thank you eugenevh, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one that looks at some of these prices with disbelief.

  • #3
    So, the complaint is you don’t like the asking price of a model you want?


    • FireAngelZero
      FireAngelZero commented
      Editing a comment
      Asking price is subjective to anyone but yes in a nutshell you are correct. If someone believes the asking price of a model is determined by some "real-time model price tracking system" which justifies someone selling a model for an obscene price that is my complaint.

      If someone really expects that charging $1,000+ for a die-cast stamped model is "justified" then I would like to know where they find this type of numeric value or if they just shoot out an arbitrary amount and hope it sells.

  • #4
    I am thinning out my collection due to not enough space. (I have a lot more planes that I haven’t recorded in my dima database.)

    I start all my ebay auctions at $15us. Plus shipping. The planes always sell, usually around $20. The highest any of my auctions went to was $95us. I think that was the result of two bidders who didn’t know what they were doing. (The buyer paid.)

    The planes listed by others at high and very high prices often don’t sell.


    • #5
      Comment deleted by user.
      Last edited by Sludge; 12-03-2019, 11:42 AM.


      • #6
        Earlier this year, I listed a 1/400 GJ Pan Am 747sp on ebay at $15us, and the bidding ran up to $60.15.


        • #7
          I not been able to collect for yrs now...


          • #8
            Originally posted by fleetlordatvar View Post
            I not been able to collect for yrs now...
            As a bottom feeder, I occasionally find models for under $10us.

            If you can get to an aviation hobby show, there are often models at very low prices.


            • #9
              Personally, as soon as I see “rare” or “a must have,” I immediately stop looking. Both rarely mean anything other than insipid hype.


              • #10
                Also, “reduced from XXX, now XXX, you will save XXX.”

                Reduced from what? Oh, yeah, the arbitrary price you put on it a few days ago.


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