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Post Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 3:42 am 
 

Hello, im new here and to this hobby. I was wondering if someone could point me in some direction as far as how to go about collecting D&D materials. Id dont have lots of money so most things over $100.00 or so are probably out of the question.Anyone got some advice as to what i should start with? And is Ebay pretty much the best place to find stuff or is there other good auction sites aswell? Thanks for taking the time to read this and for info you have .


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:00 am 
 

Howdy -

There are plenty of people on here with loads more experience in collecting than I have, but I thought I'd post and give you my thoughts.

First up, Ebay is probably the best place to look. I've bought 99% of my stuff from there.

Second, try to be patient. When I started collecting everytime I saw a module or rulebook, I'd think if I didn't buy it I'd never see another one. No matter how rare something might be, it WILL appear again.

Third, do some reseach before you bid. Make sure you know what a good price is something you're thinking of buying. The Acaeum will tell you this, but also check ebay's history for past sales. Check out what the price range for an item normally goes for, weigh up how that compares to the condition of the item, decide exactly how badly you want it and bid accordingly.

Fourth, condition is important. When I started collecting I didn't pay too much attention to condition - as long as it was complete without any serious damage, I'd buy it. For some of the items I bought then, I look at now and wish I'd held out for one in better condition. Although you can save money by buying items in fair condition only, I would rather have say five excellent items than 10 in average condition.

Fifth, try and buy in lots. If you decide you want all the original D&D books, wait until a complete set comes up rather than buying the books individually. Having the books in the original box is way cooler than buying the three books separately - I don't know why, but I'm much happier with the stuff I've bought that has been complete than putting it together with separate purchases. Also, as a general rule you'll pay less money in the long run if you buy in lots, rather than individual items.

And lastly, I'll repeat that patience is the best thing you can have when it comes to collecting. Research the price, and then wait until an item comes up that you are 100% happy with. Don't be afraid to pass up on stuff, because I guarantee you'll see it again regularly.

Have fun.

Regards

Mike

  

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Post Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:04 am 
 

Sorry, I forgot to answer your main question. In terms of what to start with, go with the basics - say all the 1st edition AD&D rulebooks, followed by the main modules (classics like the Giants series, Slavers, S-series etc). That should keep you busy for a while. After that, maybe try for a white box set and the original supplements.

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Mike

  


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 8:46 am 
 

Anyone got some advice as to what i should start with?

Ask yourself this:  Why am I collecting?

Many of us here were kids when D&D first came out.  We had many of the original items but they were lost or damaged over time.  We got into this hobby to replace items we previously owned.  That process led us to this site and ebay which opened our eyes to all the other D&D/ TSR items that are available.  (That was my story anyways)

Everybody has their own preference on what they like to collect.

Some will only collect mint items still in shrink wrap.  Some want everything ever made by TSR including action figures and other random toys.  Some focus strictly on the most valuable rare items.  Some focus on just 1st Edition D&D.  Some want at least one of every printing of every item including one in shrinkwrap of each, they also tend to want everything made by non-tsr manufacturers.  These people must have lots of storage space.

Personally, I don't want a collection that takes up too much space.  I limit my collection to only one of each item.  I try to limit the number of box sets I buy.  I like modules and books that are easily lined up on a bookshelf in my study.  I want items that are in at least very good condition and avoid shrinkwrap because I want to be able to filp through my entire collection.  I often buy items in lots that contain many items I already own.  I keep the ones in better condition and sell the inferior ones.  I focus on 1st Edition D&D/AD&D but try to complete module sets that started in 1st Edition but ran into 2nd edition, like the WG series.  I am very patient and never pay above Acaeum price guidelines, regardless of how badly I want something.    

mdr003 gave you some good advice.
Here are some of mine.  

1.  Discipline is the key.  Don't get caught in a "feeding frenzy" and bid higher than you originally intended.  A similar item or lot will appear later.

2.  If you find a buy it now auction that was newly listed that is a real bargain, don't think or email the seller a question, buy it immediately!  Someone else will snatch it up if you don't.  Typically these auctions will say something like, "Here is a HUGE box of old D&D items owned by my son.  They are all carefully package in plastci holders.  Too musch to list.  But here's a picture of it all.  We're moving and need to get rid of all his stuff because he hasn't come to pick it up, as promised.  Buy it now for $50.  See my other auctions as I'm selling his HUGE box of baseball cards and classic comic books too."  

3.  Refresh the newly listed items regularly.  It's like fishing!

4.  Since money is an issue for you, reselling can help to finance the hobby.  Only buy things if you think you could sell them for more.  If you make enough lucrative transactions those $100+ items will become affordable and may actually be great investments for future resale, if bought at the right price.

5.  Narrow your focus to a specific set or series of books or modules, sell everything else tokeep cash flowing in.  

6.  If you have the money, buy all exceptional bargains as they expire.  Resell them and roll the profits into future purchases.

7. Snipers will outbid you, so either begin sniping youself or make sure you bid the highest you would pay from the start.  I do a combination of the two depending on my strategy for the particular item.  Sometimes I bid low then snipe items I'm winning as insurance.  Remember step 1!

8.  Keep reading this forum.  Ask more questions.  You will learn a ton.  

9.  Make friends here and trade with them.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:59 am 
 

Make a list. Get organized. Be patient. Know your limits.

I know most of that is common sense, but it is the reality of rpg collecting. Pick a group/series of items you want to collect and form a list.
STICK to your list.  

I'm gonna take a bit of a different approach to putting together your collection, though. I was a "casual" collector as the items I was interested in (1st ed. AD&D/Basic D&D), so I would buy the items new and usually play them once and then put them away. So some of my stuff was in better condition than others.

I decided that since not all of my stuff was mint, I did not need to purchase everthing in mint condition. And that is probably a departure from many of the fellas on this forum. I would pick a "needed" item in good/excellent condition - no writing, separated sheets, etc. My goal was to fill up my collection list and then cull out items as I find good deals on higher quality copies. This method helps remove the desparation bid on items. Since I already have a copy of said item, I am less likely to overbid on said item. It is my own form of reverse psychology :?

Many times I have resold an item (after getting a higher quality item) and actually made a profit or at the worst broke even. My strategy includes buying a "lot" or "bundle" of items that contains a specific piece I am looking for, then resell the rest indidually - you will almost always make profit plus gain your item!

I know you said money was a factor, so the culling technique may be cumbersome, and you may not want to be seller. All well and fine, but the technique does work quite well. The key is not to get caught up in bidding frenzy - happens often when dealing with "lot" items, as there are plenty of pure resellers out there.


A couple things to watch out for on ebay. Guys with low or no feedback; don't take a chance. There a plenty of crooks who will sell/buy a couple a cheap items on ebay just to garner a couple pos. feedback responses, then put up some "rare" item or bundle knowing full well it will go for big bucks. The twist is that they either don't even own said item or it is crap. They can pull scans from just about anywhere to falsify their auction. Beware. 8O

One man's mint is anothers piece of crap. :!:  Don't buy anything without a full description and picture. I have seen plenty of resellers list their item as excellent/near mint and it is actually junk - writing, separated pages, etc.  If it says "great condition considering it is 20 years old", it is probably trashed.

I hope this helps. Read the other strings on this site, as the fellas have lots of good advice and anecdotes. :D


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

Everything Pacesetter at http://pacesettergames.blog.com/

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Post Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 11:10 am 
 

BBarsh echoes my philosophy. I do not need "mint" items, but some collectors do. My collection needs to be readable/useable , so I usually go for good/excellent condition. I usually end up selling/trading the better quality items. It's like owning a car. Do you want a pristine, undriven investment that you can look at, or do you want to be able to drive it? Personal preference.
Start with the "common" items and leave the rares for later. You may find that once you have the commons, you are satisfied and don't want to invest in serious collecting.
Unless your wife is blond. Then you have no choice but to become a fanatic.


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 1:31 pm 
 

You've gotten lots of great advice so far.
8)

My additional advice would be as follows:

* Prepare before bidding.  Make a list of the items you need, and the maximum you are willing to pay for them.  Check the Acaeum values (which may currently be below the market); then go to eBay and search the completed items, highest price descending, for each item you are looking for.  Compare your "willing" prices to the "realistic" ones, and you'll soon have a prioritized list of items that you can hunt for now and others that you should probably hold off on, unless you see a bargain.  This level of knowledge is crucial for price control and so that you don't get more (or less) than you bargained for.

* Make yourself familiar with eBay policies if you haven't already.  Pay attention to shipping costs, countries of origin, feedback histories, conditions and clarity of descriptions, the whole bit.

* Outside of eBay, this is a crucial step that most people overlook, that I used to great effect when I was getting back into the hobby:  Find someone that you can trust, who is also getting ready to go on a major buying spree.  Talk to one another and compare want lists, and watch out for each other.  Don't bid against each other; focus on cheap lots.  When you win, keep what you need, set aside what the other person needs, and sell the rest.  Whether or not you keep track of the financial aspect is up to you; but even if the person is in another state, this can be a huge benefit, especially if you are both also checking your local hobby stores for used items.  Doing this, I was able to build up a collection of a couple hundred titles with a net profit overall, in just under a year.  Time-intensive, but hey, my collection was free!
:)

Good luck.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 11:53 pm 
 

Thanks for the advice guys , sounds great and really helpfull.I think for now im going to try to get all original AD&D HB's and just go from there . Im sure this will be a long process for me cause i dont have a large cashflow and i jusr bought a new car last week.But i think itll be more fun to do it over time than to get it all over night anyhow.I was bidding on a fighting wheel on ebay though , but im sure ill lose cause im not willing to pay anywhere near the listed value for it ...:p . Again thanks for all your input.


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2004 12:34 pm 
 

Also, 1 thing I didn't see mentioned.  Check your local hobby shops and used book stores.  I have found many good finds scrounging through the used piles.  Lots of hobby shops are just looking to get rid of old stock or allow customers to trade in items for store credit and used book stores often don't know what they have.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 7:50 pm 
 

Probably the most inexpensive place to buy stuff is Used bookstores.  Most of my 1100+ piece collection came from Used Book Stores and ads placed in the local Bargain Finder.  Only recently am I looking on Ebay for the elusive items.  I even found a copy of the Jade Hare at a bookstore and a huge amount of MINT items at a store that specilaizes in selling old and new Dinky toys (Fancy that) :!:

Good Luck :D


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 7:16 am 
 

Sigh, no chance of finding much D&D over here in Oz.
I know of only 2 second hand book stores in Sydney that have D&D stuff and one of them sells stuff at *ridiculous* prices.

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 9:09 am 
 

I found a run of Australian Realms Magazine 1-28 when I was down under a couple years back. Other than that it was pretty slim pickings, and the used items had pretty hefty price tags.

Brett certainly seems to find quite a few gems though...

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