Hi everyone. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and today is the start of 2015…so what better way to look forward than look back on the year.
Over the last few days I asked members of the Movie Prop Forum site to post the answers to three simple questions. Of the 600 members, I received 51 votes….which if I have to be honest I kind of expected. The site typically has about 50 active members who do all the talking so how can I expect those who are silent to vote.
Here are the results.
First up I asked “Who is your favorite prop seller of 2014”
Number 4 was a five way tie with 1 vote each for Screenbid, Hollywood History, The Prop Gallery, Movie prop warehouse, & The Golden Closet. Many of these are smaller dealers who may only sell a few items a week, BUT, I think as people could only vote once they did so on the company who they did more business with.
Number 3 is VIP auctions…who funnily enough I did the most transactions myself with this year. I found their service as usual to be quick, efficient and friendly. Prices were kind of all over the place (its an auction format) and shipping was fair and could be combined to great effect. The only thing VIP still has issues with are prices being run up and walked away from. Although they have promised with ebay to address this I still see the same problems happening. Last week many items from Hercules were relisted so the problem still prevails. If the items are being not paid for….you can bet your dollar that items are being run up which you may have won.
Number 2 is Screenused with 8 votes and 21% of the vote. Comments from Monkey 82 included “Screenused always has a fun catalog & site to check out and find stuff. The crew is always professional and helpful. Gotten a few items from their sites this year.” The only issue I have with Screenused is that the site has suffered with the addition of the auction. The best items are being withheld for that, and then if they don’t sell are listed on the site after. I understand that this is beneficial to the bidders who want to spread out the payment but it has made many people go from checking the site dailiy to a lot less. Whytestarline said “For a company with two employee’s, Desi and Jeff get it done and without error.” I completely agree…the only reason they aren’t number 1 is…..
The Juggernaut that is The Propstore with 22 votes (58%) of the vote. With a huge auction under there belt this year…more followers on facebook than any other company by a mile, and some of the best employees not called Jeff and Desi its easy to see why they run away with this years top honor. No other company systematically has new items to buy 5 times a week, a warehouse of items to buy if you visit and a long payment plan if you don’t have the dough. Comments follow….
“Propstore had the Rush and Pacific Rim online auctions along with their first live auction which was incredibly well put together and executed, plus their usual year round selection and great service” Martlist
No one beats them in terms of both quality and quantity of items. They are the number one dealer, and I imagine will be for some time. Whytestarline
But of course with the poll and only 10 spots I do apologise to David at Propmasters for leaving him out. An oversight on my part which shouldn’t denigrate the wonderful work he does with his business. Other people rightly stood up for The Prop Gallery and Hollywood History that just because they hadn’t done much business with perhaps the people who voted are still are bringing good items to the hobby.
Question two asked was “What’s your favorite forum to get prop and costume info from?”
Yes I did include thepropstop (following a rule that those who ask for a vote rarely get voted on) but I wasn’t surprised to see the RPF getting 2 votes, followed by 36 for the MPF. I’m in good company though because apparently no one voted for The original prop blog which personally I always read….Colin Cantwell wouldn’t have been found if not for Jason, so personally I think this one wasn’t really on the nose. I know for a fact people are looking at that blog but there you go. Come to think of it I get 400 hits a day on the propstop wordpress page but Ill leave it alone till next year.
Question three was favourite employees and yet again the vote was split pretty much 50/50 with Propstore and Screenused. Again im hardly surprised….but it was good to see Shelly from VIP getting a vote, Wes at Hollywood History getting 2 votes and GC and Propgallery getting a vote each. Premiereprops at 0 though. I did get a nice email from a gentleman who got his prop he bid on in less than two weeks so kudos to them for that. Keep it up!
So then what were my awards for the best auction this year. Well for me there were a multitude to chose from. Certainly the best overall event was a tie between Propstores October sale and the Profiles event. Good prices were obtained from both but the reason Propstore won was that the Profiles event for Narnia/Expendables etc became a bit of a dud for me, and include an item I supposedly won on the day not registering on profiles end…well….that kinda caused me to be a bit jaded with the whole thing.
Unfortunately Propstore did kind of drop the ball with the “Pacific Rim auction” that promised so much and delivered very little in affordable items….certainly many people I spoke to were very upset that the bidding on the exo suits went very over the top….and of course there were never going to be enough pieces like that to go around. The other items were all background pieces, large furniture etc which all in all kind of explained why the full list of items to sell wasn’t sent out earlier.
VIP had a good year with their Robocop sale, followed by Hercules and now tv fans are being tempted with rooms and rooms of “How I met your mother stuff”….which I know most members of our forums probably are not that interested in.
Screenused had a terrific end to the year with a great last auction which is good because the one earlier in the year was a bit of a disappointment with some low sell thrus overall as I addressed at the time.
Premiereprops continued their tradition of weekly sales and monthly events some of which had stunning pieces, BUT sometimes had clearly storebought items masquerading as items from Lords of the Rings, Harry Potter and Jaws?!?!? I think that they still need to do due diligence on some of these pieces overall, and definitely need to leave the comics, autographs, posters and animation out of their regular sales that can STILL go on for 10-11 hours. Its just too long. Also relisting the same items month after month doesn’t work. If they don’t sell then bundle them, or put them on ebay. Nuff said.
Another icollector auctioneer Horrordomain had some interesting items up this year but the quality can go up as well as down, and relisting items 3-5 months in a row just like PP doesnt’ work. I think Davids heart is in the right place though and I do like listening in to his sales. Im sure people would learn a lot from his insight so perhaps chatting more about the propworld during the auction would be of interest to some. He certainly has a lot to say.
So there you have it. A brief run down of my thoughts of the year. I will cover some of the best props to come out this year in the next few days so see you then.