So every now and then we look at the year in props and wardrobe and this 2018 is no different in that many things happened in 12 short months.
Let’s take a look at the highlights and where applicable the lowlights with some great quotes made by prop luminaries over the past 12 months.
Where applicable I’ve added some comments
“The big auction companies are going to start to fight for their slice of the pie.”
To be honest that’s pretty obvious with Profiles in history already advertising for items for next year…and Propstore already has a ghost in the Shell part 2, an action figure auction, spitting image and much more. I predict the following. An auction nearly every month with about a week between them to give you time to make another payment plan. I’m starting to think this may not be good in some ways for prices going forward but who knows.
“Purely based on weekly sales Vip auctions is currently owning the space.”
Profiles took a hit selling modern era props in December. You can try and argue that with me but don’t bother. Proof is in the pudding with so many unsold lots and opening bid items.
Propstore has great sales with ghost in the Shell getting a $24,000 bid for a geisha costume and high bids on The Major character pieces. The Warcraft auction was also a huge success but a majority of good pieces all sold to one person which was a major bummer to collectors just wanting one piece.
Bottom line with between 250-400 pieces a week Vip auction has continued to get some hot properties like Creed, House if Cards, Tomb Raider, The Librarians And with Ash vs Evil dead getting INSANE prices on chainsaws $5-13,000k, and the $5k-30,000 Necronomicons being massive sellers including the best part that you may complain about shipping prices but you also aren’t paying 15-28% fees in the shape of premiums….well they really are consistently on fellow collectors lips when I talk to them.
“If your at the bottom as a dealer it’s because of the following reasons still: authenticity/shipping/customer service”
No explanation necessary. Insert culprits here.
“How many times do we have to say it….if it looks too good to be true…get a second opinion at least”
Marvel, Star Wars and other Hot properties (insert DC here) Remember that just because you want something does not preclude asking questions, due diligence, and ignoring advice from seasoned veterans telling you better. Almost all the newbies fall for this. I’ll leave you a quote from one of the top guys who used to work in Marvels prop archive department who basically told me “we don’t bother going after the fake stuff…it’s not ours. You better believe if it was missing (not on purpose) we knew it was missing”
“This will be the year many people realize they have too much in their huge collections and rapidly find out that they overpaid and can’t get rid of it now without taking a bath”
Im seeing this every now and then and it’s getting worse. Collections are becoming like mini museums across the world and the places to resell are becoming more picky to take stuff (unless it’s guaranteed large price) and eBay is great for buyers but selling unless your one of the big guys is getting tough as stuff gets far too hard to find. Don’t even add the huge amounts of fakes, items not spelt right and crazy prices on items sold the week before by VIP or Premiere.
“The proliferation of Facebook prop pages.”
Far too many! Someone falls away from the group opens another page. Then another…another…another…..ad infinity. Then interesting articles get lost by pointless repartition of articles sometimes reposted up to 3 times…facebooks awful system of showing posts and finally the annoyance of posts disappearing either by deletion or some other form of deletion. Facebook sucks.
Let’s all just agree to go the movie prop group and use that. It has 25k plus members and no matter if you think that numbers off it’s more than the splinter groups of 25-500-1200 or 2000 that others have. Just quit the complaining, take some criticism and get along.
Yeah I know. Not gonna happen but I like to dream.
“Buying items from vip auctions one week or premiereprops only to list it the next week for three times more”
eBay is filling up with this stuff and Advertising it on the forums is crazy. We all know what you paid? Go out there and find new stuff just stop bidding the actual people up who actually WANT to own it not for resale. It’s just not cricket.
(Having said that if you want to own a piece of the lot and sell the rest…that’s totally logical to resell the parts you don’t want)
“Please stop complaining About shipping”
Basically we know some places have fees to pack. That’s perfectly ok as long as they show this upfront. In fact it’s really ok if that packing means the stuff isn’t broken by throwing in an old Home Depot box with no packaging. Nuff said.
On subject of overcharging for shipping a few dollars here and there for tape, boxes and time is perfectly fine too. To do a great job sometime I pack for 30 mins to 2 hours.
Also tell us when you got it and liked the packing. It makes us happy.
But yeah don’t overcharge for shipping if your actually making a mint from it. If your a victim of that complain away!
Do not ever pack to allow this.
“Don’t be dim. Realize there are a lot less of us out there than we think”
Well it finally happened. Having access to various sites it’s become very apparent that there are less of us out there than we think. Get this about 1,000-1500 regularly buying stuff.
When you take those numbers down to regular daily and weekly buyers it shrinks FAR more.
People spending over $50,000? Same names come up again and again.
After years of tabulating auctions and websites and seeing 10 people bid on premiereprops on a Friday, 150 at a decent internet auction and 500-600 at a big one the fact is this. There aren’t as many of us as we thought. In fact worryingly it proves my theory that basically if we could all play nice we would be paying ALOT less for this stuff.
Is this why props are at critical mass?
Is this when payment plans have reached the top of the hill and stuff is only selling 50% -60% sell thru at auction as an average.
Is this why Propstore and Profiles have moved into Disneyania, posters and action figures? Is it to diverse for more money or because the core business has plateaued.
Certainly we lost Screenused this year a truly respected company and I’m sure nobody saw that coming. Something is definitely affecting the market.
My theory is that there is a limited amount of players and certainly limited above $500. That whole pool that people used to sell too has been sucked up and they are now in payment plans for 4 months on $2500 props that may not net that ever again when they are resold. They are effectively removed from the market whilst on one or two of those plans or their credit cards are paid back.
This has had a knock on effect with auctions because you need two bidders to make an auction take off. The more people on payment plans they are then taken out of the auction.
We have seen that recently with profiles having so much unsold even with three months of solid auctions in front of it there was still money thrown at the opening bid but no further action.
So these are my theories and thoughts. Hope they inspire thoughts and feelings if your own. Whilst I’m not worried about the hobby I do feel this could be a tipping point approaching in way things are done. Certainly perceived. Let’s see how 2019 changes things and I hope for now keeps us able to do what we love to do.
Doesn’t it just feel sometimes your the only one in the room?