An important truth about shipping from thepropstop

It’s expensive. Nuff said

Ok you can go now. Oh…you want more? Well let’s delve into perhaps one of the most important articles I’ve written for a while. 

First up people including myself genuinely believe there is some malarkey going on with various companies and their shipping quotes….but is there. I decided to investigate after the following event. A very nice chap in Hong Kong requested to buy a piece from me and as it has been a couple of years since I sent him something I decided to get him a rock solid price on shipping. 

Most of the time I keep boxes from previous transactions. If I do have to buy them then that’s usually $10. If you go behind your local shoe/clothing/tv store it’s free. I expect box sales at UPS to collapse upon this news.

Secondly size matters as does weight. Look below at the “practice” version of the ups bill. 

The box is an unremarkable but large size for a costume consisting of boots, trousers, top and in this case a shield almost as large as the square of the box, but only a few inches high. 

The post office only allows 108 inches if you measure the four sides and then from bottom of box to top. You add those together and in this case your at 130. That is 22 inches higher than the cheapest way to ship by USPS. So we do fall in ups and fed ex (I believe their highest dimensions are 150) but the way they do it is by weight too. If you see it’s only 31lbs. The upcharge because the larger box size is then taken into account and suddenly you are billed at 111lbs. That is what the u.s post office calls a “balloon charge”. Suddenly your in for a bill of around $950 for shipping that still takes a week. 

Now if you can get your shipment under 108 inches and say 25lbs your looking at around $175 for 5 day shipping from USPS (which strangely enough does use FedEx sometimes as part of the journey) and most importantly like the others can be insured and tracked. (I don’t care what prop you send to who…ALWAYS track it….here me….ALWAYS!!!!)

So hopefully a picture is developing in your head. Yes shipping is bloody expensive. That’s why VIP, propstore and all the others charge you guys so much. There really is no way around it. For a long time people assumed it was weight but it’s also size or both to make that magic number. 

What’s the best way around this. Well there really isn’t one. Bear in mind everything above next time you buy something. It may make you want to look at those hand size pieces again instead if the giant robot costume you crave.

Lastly yes some companies do try to profit from Shipping. Some face been caught with their fingers in the pie. You can always challenge it. It’s interesting to note how many times this results in a reduction. In my opinion no company charging fees for other things should ever make shipping part of the profit….ever! It’s just wrong to nickle and dime people. 

Bear in mind you can see the shipping fee people pay in the box unless typically it’s done by a business. I feel that’s part of hiding the true price. All you need is the size of box and weight and put that in the companies system to check what your price would be. ALWAYS add $10 for tape, gas, boxes etc and if it’s ridiculously higher then you know your paying over the top. Again bear in mind if they are paying someone to pack something doing it right IS very time consuming. Typically a big box for me takes an hour so bear that in mind too. I’m really starting if it’s $40-50 more then your being gouged. 

So I hope that this was eye opening for you all. If I’m doubt you can always check more info on your or other countries websites. 

Don’t ask me about customs. That’s a whole new kettle of fish!

The best of the winter auction 2016 (part 2)

One day to go before the auction begins and here are our favourite items from the second part of our helpful guide.

Auctions begin on the Screenused website and NOT icollector. It’s a new system so please have some patience in case of hiccups. I’m sure if you have any Desi or Jeff will be able to help via email.

From the episode of Banshee “ways to bury a man” Lili Simmons has never looked hotter than in this two piece swimsuit and robe combination.

And in this piece from episode 3 season 2

And this from season 1.

Next up Johnny cab from the movie “Total recall” this preproduction headpiece is the first to ever come to public auction. This would make an excellent tom spina piece to be repaired and painted!

From “Captain Phillips” this beautful wadrobe set was worn by Tim hanks and is a great piece from the first encounter he has with the Pirates.

This time magazine cover was made by the printer for the  production of “Ghostbusters 2” and is a fantastic frame able piece.

From the movie “Smurfs 2” this light up hero prop wand is a stunning piece.

Used by Gargamel it has adjustable light settings in the eyes and mouth.

From the movie The Hunger Games here is Liam Hensworth’s helmet.

One of the early pieces for sale is the immortals mask from “300”. Only 30 of these were made for production and this is a great condition example.

From the “Matrix Reloaded” here is one of the shields from the Neo fight. This one is special because it’s a handheld version used by the Asian attacker pictured below with handle and padding. He eventually ends up pinned to the wall with a Sai which was another version of this rigged to the wall.

And lastly from fox tv’s “Terra Nova” here is a great piece worn by the bases resident police woman. If you want the guns guy on facebooks movie prop forum is selling those too so check that out at your leisure.

We hope you have enjoyed our look at our personal favourite lots. Screenused is a great company run by two great people Jeff and Desi.

Here at the propstop we support them because buying or selling they are top notch guys and we love to shout that out to the the community. Good business should be supported and we are proud to do our bit. 

Nuff said.

The best of the Winter auction (part 1)

It’s Christmas and thus auction season. Because the items in the auction don’t have screencaps I decided to cap the best ones so you can see them in the film. 

Let’s start with 

This is such a cool piece. The sword of Sinbad! Currently a steal at $125! This is so cool I might have to bid on it.

Next up Dr Quinn…medicine woman. At its height this thing was HUGE! A bona fide tv phenomenon.

This original key prop was used by one of the main characters in many stories by Joe Lando.

The following piece is a cool Tarrantino piece of set dressing. 

From the movie From Dusk till Dawn one of the shields from outside the nightclub. I believe this is one of the first of these to become available.

Another popular item in the sale are matrix props. Choose from a shield or this great sword. 

Want a sword from Spartacus. SU can help. Another stupidly cheap piece worthy of attention!

Next “the wind And the lion” from 1975!

I love this next piece. Scudders police ID from “walk amongst the tombstones” is a beautifully made prop. A great Liam Neeson piece. 

If your a predator fan then this ADI piece is a must have from The Wolf Predator.

That’s it for part 1. Part 2 tomorrow.

Remember you can prebid now or watch live Saturday on

David Brandon presents his next “Propdomain” auction October 1st on

Although screenused has now made an exodus from Icollector This series of auctions always delights David’s faithful with creatures, body parts, and creative items born from visual fx houses in the Los Angeles area. 

Look out for a large selection of witch items tomorrow from “The last witch hunter” with Vin Diesel as well as props and makeup fx from a slew of other productions. 

I think David would be open to saying he is not perfect on all his descriptions as he says he is a prop liquidator but careful inspection of items has always revealed some real gems in amongst the cut off ears and creature tails.
Check out the auction starting tomorrow 

Propstop Review: The Propstore of London October 2017 auction catalog

So I’m going to Seperate this review into two pieces. First up to review the work Donne on cataloging, creating and producing this latest in a series of beautifully made auction books.

Second up, a few thoughts about  our current market and although my own they encompass a huge degree of comments made to me these last few years that cannot be ignored. Indeed if your thinking it then chances are that your fellow collectors may well be doing that too.
So it’s just awesome again. Beautiful paper, clear closeup pictures taken from just the right angle, great descriptives and amazing website exclusives like the videos that take you deeper into the item. I even feel more comfortable with many of the estimates for once.

I think apart from the actual content (i.e. You may or may not like a particular film or item) this book is about as good as you could reasonably ever expect. It’s just a beautiful keepsake. Which is good because sadly most of us are never going to own the things we are being guided to buy.

It’s not Propstores fault. Problem is as sellers we all seek the best selling price. It’s typically what makes selling something you like easier. They are a business and one cannot fault a business for that much as faulting an individual for it is bloody stupid too.

The worst feeling is seeing your item that you sold for a pittance end up in an auction three months later as you were told “it’s my Grail”. Ask yourself how many times you have seen that happen. Worse…when your $500 sale ends up going for $10,000 because you were trusting to be nice. That just hardens us all as sellers.

The trouble as I see it is auctions are becoming too much about the fees. Take nearly any current auction as an example. You have you $1000 item, then your fees that now include taxes, premium, shipping and before you know it your paying $1400 or more importing something from England. Add on credit card fees or money change fees well it’s getting to the point that when you come to resell the items it’s painfully obvious that a lot of people are overpaying in their initial rush to be first to market.

The rush by companies recently to take the good stuff and hold it for their main auctions has become all to obvious. Rember waking up for screenused.coms daily listings that included top tier items. Me too. Even propstores daily items have suffered. Just open the latest catalogue and those daily items are dwarfed by it.

So as usual I’m stuck in the middle between the Rock and hard place. As a buyer and seller I hit these conflicts all the time. The conversation that may be initiated by the above comments should be open and directed at dealers but as buyers we are responsible for our actions too. When dealers do the wrong thing we should be able to call it out or discuss it, but wether we want to admit it or not there will always be a divide in this hobby between those who have money and those who don’t.

It’s not attractive to be jealous that you or I can’t afford the batpod but it’s ok to feel that way. Your only human after all.

I want all those people who can’t though to remember that all dealers obtain these items from similar places that we do. Each other, crew members, studio sales, etc. so if you want to own something great find something to trade…there are ways to your ultimate goal that do not mean spending every penny you have…just a bit of it. I do realise a batpod trade is a bit of a stretch but we all have our rosebud sled.

The market is very sludgy right now. There are a lot of buyers but a lot of them have payment plans and bigger eyes than wallets so remember this. I especially implore those who wish to jump into the market in a more “dealer” like way. It’s not easy. It’s not simple. It is in fact incredibly hard to run a business so unless you want to be like the owner of all those eBay graveyards of ex VIP/premiereprops lots that will never sell, think again. Too many speculators have been put out to dry thinking they know it all after reading a few blogs and thinking they know it all.

Thank you to Steven and Brandon for providing our review copy of the catalog.