11.16.2010

Plastic Scale Models: Revell, AMT, etc.

Every season it surprises me how many brand new models I see at garage sales.  It must be one of those gifts that are given by relatives and shoved into the closet.  This is good news for you because most of the models that you find at garage sales are basically brand new in the box.  I have bought and sold dozens of models and when you see them sitting there new in the box, don't hesitate to snap them up at a dollar a piece.  Larger models will sell for a little bit more, sometimes up to $5.  If I pay for a $5 model, it needs to be complete in the box (make sure it has instructions!), the box needs to be in good condition and the parts still need to be attached to the plastic frame.  Some models will sell better than others, and you may end up with a couple that are not even worth it to sell once you factor in the shipping.  For these I will wait until I have a few and list them as a lot, or wait and sell them at your own garage sale, or craigslist.

No! Do not buy.
Often times there will be paints included or sold as another lot, do yourself a favor and avoid these.  Although they are expensive in the store, they just don't sell that well on ebay, and most likely the person buying your model already has a whole bunch of paints.  There certainly are exceptions to this rule, and some vintage paints are worth good money, just be sure you know what you're doing before you end up needing a Haz-Mat team to come clean out your garage from all the old chemicals that are worth less than the glass jar they are kept in.

Pocher models... Cha-Ching!
As with any product, there are a few model makers who produce nothing but the best.  If you ever see models by a company named Pocher at a price of less than a couple hundred dollars, grab it.  Pocher models are typically 1/8 scale and have thousands of pieces.  They regularly sell on ebay for four figures, even after they have been constructed.  Other high end model brand is Hasegawa, Doyusha, and Tamiya.  Typically, the larger the model, the more money it brings. 

I recently bought this model on the right for $1.  It is 1:25 scale.  The smaller models are hit or miss, but almost always worth gambling a dollar on, especially when they are in such good condition, and completely new.  Again, be sure to look for the instructions, decals, and check all the loose part trees for missing pieces. Final price on this model was $13.25, certainly worth the 20 minutes of work spent on this item.  Keep in mind that these models sell for about $25 new in the store.
What kind of models have you had luck flipping?  Tell us about it!

11.11.2010

Credit Card Terminals


Once in a while, you will come across credit card terminals.  There are probably thousands of different models out there, and there are millions of people who have started a home business and failed.  I have purchased several credit card readers, and they were all good buys.  I have always paid a dollar or two, and the worst one I sold went for $20. 

Obviously the newer and small the machine, the more it is worth.  I sold an Omni 3750 exactly like the one pictured on the left for $37, which although is a far cry from the $125 that Amazon is asking, was still a great return on a $1 buy.  For the most part, it is hard to go wrong spending a dollar on ant modern user-interactive electronics, so don't be afraid to make that gamble.  You can always donate it to goodwill and take the tax write-off. 

The next latest and greatest thing for processing credit cards is the wireless terminal.  These sell for upwards of $500, even on ebay.  I highly doubt you'll find one in a pile of junk at a garage sale, but they are certainly out there. With the economy in shambles and businesses closing their doors, there is opportunity everywhere to find deals on this sort of thing.  Another trend on ebay is to sell these c.c. readers in lots of 8-10.  There is only a small discount for buying these in bulk, and it is a great way to dump 10 at a time and have a nice quick auction for $500 or so. 

Happy hunting!

Fantasy Boardgames (or anything with dragons!)

This colorful plastic platforms will jump out at you when you see them
Its just another lousy plastic dragon without this card
I learned awhile ago that almost anything with dragons or large-breasted women in armor on the box sells quite well, with the exception of actual dungeons & dragons games.  This is the second Heroscape set that I've sold, I paid $5 for the first one, and $5 for this one.  The first netted about $40, this lot sold for $33, but I also sold a single dragon out of this lot for $10.  This game has extra figures that are sold separately, they can fetch $20 or more for the right figure.  If you see the figures separately, remember that for this game, every figure has its own information card that goes with it.  Without the card, forget it and move on.

Whenever you come across this stuff, you should start to have some alarm bells going off.  It is highly unlikely that this is the only game this kid owned.  At this point I am asking if there are any more games like this for sale.  How about legos?  Other board games?  Video Games?  Chances are the kid had all three of these hot selling items

Other fantasy games to look out for are:

Heroquest:

Buy these for a dollar or two without regard for condition.  Mint unopened value is about $100, but even if you are missing a few pieces it will still fetch $30.  If you are paying more than a couple bucks, be sure all the pieces are there and the box is in good condition.  There are a couple manuals and decks of cards.  If you open it up and stuff is clearly missing, haggle for a better price.


 Crossbows and Catapults
My brother and I had this set as kids and we loved it.  The cool thing about it was the stuff that you could shoot at each other.  They went everywhere and go lost real easily.  For that reason, a nice complete set will sell for $70 and up.  If it is only a few pieces and it is missing the box, don't even bother, it's not worth the time.  There were several different kits and add-ons that came with this set, the bigger the set, the more money.  Don't expect to get $70 for the tiny add on, unless it is really rare!

 Battle Masters
Same as above with this one, it is all about condition.  Mint, unopened will sell for $80 or more, if it has all the pieces and has the box, instructions, and giant plastic mat, you can expect about $30.  The price killer on this one is the size of the box.  This thing costs like $15 to ship!  If you live in a big city, definitely go for craigslist on this one.



 Dark Tower
This is the Mac-Daddy of garage sale fantasy game scores!  If you even see the empty box, grab it.  There are plenty of web pages dedicated to this game if you want more information.  The important thing to remember is that a mint copy of this game will sell for $300-$400.  The price goes down with condition, but even a broken tower will sell for $50.  I had a copy of this game as a kid, and I have only seen one other copy in the wild.  I bought it for $4 and I didn't dare haggle over the price!  This is also a big box, and there is a cardboard insert that keeps the top of the box elevated to accommodate the tower.  If they are asking a lot for it, check the condition.  There are a lot of cardboard pieces, plastic pieces, and a good sized full color manual that goes with this game. 

I know there are a ton more fantasy games out there, and we haven't even begun to talk about cards.  Keep your eyes open and don't be afraid to gamble a couple of bucks on any cool looking board game.  Many of the games you find will be worth $10, which makes them impossible to sell on ebay due to shipping fees.  Just save them up and sell them for $5 each at your own garage sale or on craigslist.  The few winners will more than make up for the break-even deals you find.

Have you had any luck selling unique board games?  Tell us about it!