Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Buying Collectibles Online

Collectors are a particular lot in that they harbor a rabid interest in objects in which other people may not immediately perceive the value. But, regardless of what those who are not colloectors think, there is a massive market for rare antiques, artwork, comics, stamps, sports memorabilia and items derived from popular culture. Up till now, getting a hold of these items was difficult. Now however, the internet has made it easy to find these items.

There was a time when the only way to purchase collectible comic book items was either at trade shows trade shows, auctions or through mail order catalogues. Obviously, it's a lot more work to visit a trade show than it is to visit a webpage. Using the checkout function of a website is also a lot easier than having to write a check and mail it to a PO box. Clearly, the additional convenience of placing an internet order is a major plus when it comes to finding and placing an order for collectibles on the internet.

As well, the internet has seen prices drop on several rare collectibles. The reason for this is that on the internet searching for and finding the items is not a difficult task. Prior to this, if a rare collectible such as a 1950s comic book was only available through 10 stores in the United States, {most collectors} wouldn't have been aware that the comic book existed unless they went and visited one of the stores. Now, all 10 stores could advertise the comic book on Ebay simultaneously. So, even though the comic is a rare item, the scarcity factor is reduced and this brings the price down.

And speaking of price drops, Ebay's listing fees are pretty small as opposed to placing mail order ads. Instead of paying $500 for a magazine ad, Ebay charges a small listing fee and takes a cut of the sale. This reduction in overhead is another factor that lets the seller lower prices as well. As such, buying online is a much more cost effective option than following the traditional method.

Something to be aware of however: it is difficult to determine the condition of an item if one is buying via the internet. Photographs of what is for sale may not completely depict an accurate representation of the condition. Therefore, it is imperative that you make sure there is a return policy in effect. If the item is not in the condition you were led to believe then you should have the option of having your money refunded.

It is safe to say however, that most collectible dealers are very conscientious and they do not sell merchandise that's not as advertised. Therefore, the majority of online collectible purchases will go smoothly and will meet all expectations.

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