Where do I find a price guide for rare models?

Discussion in 'PLASTIC' started by THE DC, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. THE DC

    THE DC Highly Esteemed Member

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    Where do I find a price guide for rare models?

    I have a Polar Lights C-57D saucer from Forbidden Planet. Its unbuilt and all parts appear in the bags. Its big, 1/72 scale, about 30" in diameter. It has a clear dome to permit either painting it opaque or leaving the interior visible (it has a control section, crew quarters, and even a little Robby the Robot in scale).

    How do I determine a value for this? Most of the old sites seem gone or unvisited since I last built a plastic kit.
  2. Revell-Fan

    Revell-Fan Co-Administrator Administrator Moderator

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    Price guides are essentially worthless. The value of an item is determined by supply and demand. Both factors are subject to fluctuations which may vary a lot, especially by special interest items. Take collector's dolls, cups or plates for example. If you don't have a really old one from a well-known brand (vintage / from the last century) all things are worth today only a fraction of what was paid then. The easiest way to guesstimate the value of an item is to go to ebay and take a look at the sold items and the prices that were paid. That will give you a hint on the "real" value as of today. Do not look at the prices of ongoing auctions, they tell you only what someone wants to have. If he / she gets the desired price is another issue. If there is no-one paying that price your offer is pointless.

    Of course, if you have a really rare item that is not found on ebay at all, the procedure above is futile. Unfortunately. I'll have to make up my mind on what to do in such a case. Maybe looking for similar items would be a start. :)

    There are whole collector's universes that have collapsed during the last decade because interest is fading, and I am afraid plamos are about to see the same fate soon. There are less and less people interested in model building, meaning the number of the ones willing to pay collector's prices is shrinking. Trends might be resurrected but as with all things to come it is impossible to predict the future.

    I am an avid action figure collector (mostly Star Wars and Stan Winston creations from NECA). I remember the action figure digest guides from the late 1990s. Every price guide has one major disadvantage: Once published they are already outdated because they reflect the moment the info was collected, even if was six+ months ago. In addition, mostly it remains uncertain how the price info was determined. The only good thing is you may keep it as a check list to see any gap in your collection. Back in the late 1990s you could get original Vintage Kenner figures for pennies of a dollar. It was then when people realized that the figures became more and more scarce, especially carded ones, which turned them into collector's items. The prices went through the roof around the 2000s (and I am glad I got all Vintage figures I wanted at that time ;) ) and led to the situation we have today. However, most colectors are in their 40s+ now. They are the core of the collector base that knows to cherish these things and they are the ones who might pay premium prices for certain items (vinyl Jawa, blue Boba, rocket firing Boba, blue Snaggletooth, the last 19). However, this generation is an "endangered species". No-one lives forever and once the generation that grew up with Kenner toys vanishes the number of buyers will decrease, too. That in turn will inevidently lead to a price decline, the collector's market will collapse. Sure, it is "Star Wars", and that will be with us forever, and right you are. Nevertheless, what do you think, how many people who are growing up in the age of smartphones and online media will be interested in some old and dated action figures? They will most certainly call it rubbish and move on. Thankfully I won't be around any more when that happens. ;)

    (EDIT: I have edited the post when I came back from work, so if you have already read it please do it again. Thanks. :) )
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
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  3. Revell-Fan

    Revell-Fan Co-Administrator Administrator Moderator

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  4. Gandolf50

    Gandolf50 Researcher of obscure between war vehicles... Moderator

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    Just see what they are trying to be sold for... then check and see if any have already been sold...

    Polar-Lights C-57D

    Just a less verbose post of @Revell-Fan Post;) Jumped right in the read it...oppps
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
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  5. paper hollywood

    paper hollywood Member

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    Having been in the business of buying and selling old or used items for over a decade I rather agree with Revell-Fan. Price guides are for suckers pretty much-- as price guides-- though they are useful as catalogs of vintage items. My price reference bible is eBay. Do a search of the item, then check the "sold items" under "show only" then at the page top set it to sort "highest first". If there is a range of sale prices, you can bet that the best going price is someplace in the middle.

    With every collectible or used item there are different values, due not only to buyer demand, but to where and how it is sold. The lowest might be a garage sale. Next would be swap meets and flea markets. Then maybe Craigslist. Next might be eBay or Amazon. Next would be in a specialty shop or show focused at a narrow market.

    If you're just an individual without any established sales outlet, you generally can't sell for more than a very deep discount price or wholesale.
  6. micahrogers

    micahrogers ...And the Wife...

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    This kit is currently selling on Amazon for between $120 and $140 USD... which is about what it sold for when new for the big 1/72nd kit.
  7. THE DC

    THE DC Highly Esteemed Member

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  8. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    I still have one 1/8 Jaguar XKE by Monogram for sale. I purchased them for around $35 dollars each when I read the Monogram factory burned down, and their molds were destroyed as the firemen used salt water to water down the plant. I visited all the model shops in the local area, and purchased all the dusty, with plastic still on models I could find. Within weeks, I sold two models for $175 dollars, and held onto the other two. Two years ago, I sold one for $300 dollars, to a friend, who begged me for it for 20 years. He has 3 real Jaguar XKE's. I have one left, partially built, but one of the bumpers has disappeared. Oh that has me so pissed (when I think about it every 6 or 8 months). There is money to be made, finding the person who wants it the most can be difficult, finding the person with the most cash may not be the person who wants it the most. :)
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  9. Gandolf50

    Gandolf50 Researcher of obscure between war vehicles... Moderator

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    Yep... My AMT Shelby Cobra is still sitting on the shelf... I keep saying, One of these days, I'll build it!

    I have my Metal Body Classic Car collection, and I have NO desire to sell any of them! They are my favorite cars ...1957 Nomad 1955 T-Bird...1940 Ford Pickup... 1942 Indian...etc you get the idea etc... all in the boxes, never opened!
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
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