Flipping, the un-noble art of buying a limited edition item to immediately sell it for a sizeable profit. And, in my opinion, the scourge of the toy world. Now for argument’s sake Iâ€™m going to draw a line in the sand here. This little rant isnâ€™t about someone offering an old hard-to-find release for market value. No, oddly, and maybe even hypocritically, that Iâ€™m fine with. My gripe is with the sods who buy a release, the dissected companion being a topical example, just to flog it on eBay as soon as they get home.
Now, you can argue that itâ€™s only capitalism. That itâ€™s simply a case of supply and demand. Even entrepreneurial. And Iâ€™ll admit I canâ€™t really contest these points. In financial terms, you got me beat. But, and itâ€™s a J-Lo proportioned but, you canâ€™t argue that itâ€™s cool. That itâ€™s not taking advantage of people.
Yes, I know — if you donâ€™t like it, donâ€™t buy from flippers. I agree and I donâ€™t. These people make their money by ripping collectors off. Thatâ€™s the bottom line. They add nothing to the process, just to their bank accounts. And while I dislike them all, the ones I really take issue with are my fellow collectors.
Make no mistake, toy collectingâ€™s an expensive business. It hammers the wallet, so I understand the temptation. Flip a new release, and with the profits you can get what you really wanted but couldnâ€™t afford. But itâ€™s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If everyone does it, prices are driven higher and higher. Thus exacerbating the issue.
I guess my point is, if you donâ€™t want a toy, donâ€™t buy it. Let someone else who wants it, buy it for the retail cost. Whatâ€™s that? Oh, if you donâ€™t flip it, someone else will. Well yes, thatâ€™s most likely true. But when they do, theyâ€™ll be an arsehole. Do you want to be an arsehole, too?
A lot of this is sour grapes. Having been shafted by price on numerous occasions, Iâ€™ve a chip on my shoulder — a fucking huge one. But Iâ€™ve stuck to my guns. I wonâ€™t flip. Not in a holier-than-thou way. Just that flipping is not what collecting is about. I have a full-time job that pays my bills. So collecting is for fun, not making a profit. Plus, in a â€˜my name is earlâ€™ style, if I screw someone over on a toy, you know my internet connection will go down just before a new release Iâ€™m dying to get drops. Karmaâ€™s a bitch, folks.
Iâ€™m lucky, Iâ€™ve got enough angles now that I can get most things I want at retail without too much hassle. And yes, building those relationships is part and parcel of being a collector. Maybe getting screwed by flippers is too, I donâ€™t know. I donâ€™t have all the answers.
All in all, aside from being cathartic, this is simply a heart-felt plea to look after each other. Itâ€™s hard enough with the eBay pros out there. We needn’t turn on our own. Flipping is neither cool nor clever. And to be honest, if the bubble pops on the toy world, it will be the reason why.