Toy Collecting on a Budget

If you are not wealthy or an influencer who constantly gets donations to share via video but you love toys and want to start a collection all your own, here’s how I go about it…

First I check out local second hand shops, antique malls, yard sales, and swap meets. While I browse for pieces that I want, I also keep an eye out on items that I can trade or flip. Some say it’s an addiction, but I really enjoy the hunt.

When I find something that I can sell I’ll clean it up and, depending on its age, it will be posted on Ebay or Etsy. What does selling have to do with collecting? Everything! Well, to me. When I find things that I don’t want to keep I can, with a little work, turn them into something I do want. OK, sometimes it’s a lot of work but it can be really satisfying. You just have to be up on your shipping game because there is nothing worse than shipping something to another collector in a rubbish box that has little or no packing. Sometimes it feels like you are just making nickel and dimes, here and there, but it all adds up of time.

Tip: Buying in bulk can be beneficial.

If you see an Ebay listing for a case full of Star Wars figures from the late 70’s / early 80’s for $240 shipped, and they have most accessories then you are looking at $10 per figure. With a bit of gumption you can make over $300. Back when I was making a living selling toys and other items online, this was my bread and butter. Now I only do something like this if I see something in the lot that I really want.

So now you have some extra money to purchase something that you actually want to have in your collection. First thing to do is figure out if this thing dictates some sort of theme or focus. My collecting is based on things I had when I was a kid, things I wanted, or things I think are pretty cool now as an adult. Collect what you enjoy, never collect things as an investment. If you want to invest your money, seek out a professional and get into the stock market.

I also like to use an upgrade option. You can either find a replacement item for what you want to upgrade or you can liquidate that item and be patient, your replacement item will come along. In many cases my upgrades cost around what I flipped the old item for.

That’s about it. It’s a slog, skating uphill on ice, but it’s worth it. While I do have some connection to some of these items, I am willing to part with them and begin again. That seems to be my cycle, either I grow tired of what I am doing and sell everything or I need to make a living off of my things due to unforeseen circumstances. It’s all part of some sort of process.

What do I get from these items? When I look at these toys in my collection, read a classic comic, or watch and old show, I am transported back in time. Or I recall when somebody who is no longer here gifted me a thing. It’s all about the memories, and those are priceless.