Pickers

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Lord Shockwave7, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Lord Shockwave7

    Lord Shockwave7 Xbox Live Dictator

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Posts:
    210
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Likes:
    +0
    My dad and his friend started picking and had me and my friend help out. I can generaly see this being my career. It is very profitable and fun. Are there any pickers out there on TFW and if so tell me if you found any TF stuff. We have already found over a 1000$ dollars in profit, and this is something I recomend to anyone with extra money.
     
  2. Brainchild

    Brainchild Dark Flame Master

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Posts:
    5,554
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +1
    I've picked apples before. I don't think I found any TF stuff.
     
  3. Roanstalker

    Roanstalker Great Baan Gaan fan

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Posts:
    12,361
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +11
    What?
     
  4. Lord Shockwave7

    Lord Shockwave7 Xbox Live Dictator

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Posts:
    210
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Likes:
    +0
    When I say pickers I mean this.

    They go out and buy abandoned storage units at an auction. They can see the unit from the outside but cannot go in. The goal is to take a chance on these storage units by buying them in a hope to make a profit by selling the contents. We bought the unit for under 200$ and we found over 1000$ in items in just one unit. I've heard of people finding collectibles and I was wondering if anyone on this site has found any TF stuff if they do pick.
     
  5. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Posts:
    23,507
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Likes:
    +135
    Flipping antiques and storage is probably better as a hobby than as a career, 1000 bucks (even a month) isn't all that much to live on, and though you can have good times, you can also have long dry spells.

    I also wouldn't expect to see a lot of transformers, since by its very nature picking means you never know what to expect.
     
  6. G1_Cindersaur

    G1_Cindersaur Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Posts:
    3,297
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +2
    It's simple...you Buy"pick" items up for cheap...sell them for more $$$ than you spent...keep the difference...rinse, repeat...
     
  7. Lord Shockwave7

    Lord Shockwave7 Xbox Live Dictator

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Posts:
    210
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Likes:
    +0
    Actually, Picking is not a very good hobby. It is really only good as a career. You have to spend money to make money. you are right, 1000$ a month is not good pay. Thats why you buy more than one unit a week. You do take risks but the people around here who pick are pretty loaded. You pretty much gamble on these boxes by seeing if they look good on the outside, then hoping they are good as for as money goes.
     
  8. Death333

    Death333 Otherwise known as Dx3

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Posts:
    2,859
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    212
    Likes:
    +32
    unfortunately this is how I lost all of my original toys, furniture and childhood belongings when I was a kid. My mom's Ex hubby didn't pay the bill during the divorce.... we lost all our shit. No biggie though - 20 some odd years later I have memories and replaced all of my original TF's. Now if only I could track down those little pull-back Voltron Lions.... damn...
     
  9. doomboy536

    doomboy536 Universe Onslaught fanboy

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Posts:
    7,370
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    197
    Likes:
    +25
    Ebay:
    If you're happy doing that then all power to you. I'll take my consistent paycheck from my steady job any day over something so unpredictable as that.
     
  10. AutoBobby

    AutoBobby The Collector

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Posts:
    11,180
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Likes:
    +40
    Have I ever heard of people buying storage units at auction? YUUUUUUUUUUUUP!!!!!!
     
  11. Overhaulimus

    Overhaulimus Sword of Fury!

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Posts:
    2,908
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +3
    I've done it a few times, gotten extremely lucky on each one.

    1st Unit: Had some person's entire vintage Star Wars collection in it. Not just figures, there was promotional items in it that I had never seen before, I got the unit for about $75, I kept items that were priceless to me, and sold the rest, made about $3500 off of just that unit alone.

    2nd Unit: Was slammed full of antique furniture, tools, and a 1968 Dodge Charger 426 Hemi engine. This one was pricey for me, it was $325, but I sold the tools and furniture for $2100, I still have the engine. The person that had stored the engine had drained the fluids from it, had it on an engine stand, and it had been fully rebuilt. I still have the engine, though it's in storage at my cousin's house with my other 2 engines, a 454 and a 472.

    3rd Unit: This was my TF payload, I paid $125 for this one, there was 23 boxes of TFs, from 1984 to 2004. I didn't expect to find anything great in it event hough it was mainly all TFs, but when I started moving the boxes out, I unearthed a tote, and inside the tote was a Fortress Maximus, he was very badly yellowed and missing everything, I sold him for $125, so just on Fort Max alone, I made back what I paid. I kept the G1 Prime, G1 Prowl, G1 Jazz, G1 Magnus to replace my reissues on my shelf.

    I also found all of Metroplex's accessories, which I was missing most from my Metroplex. There was very little of G2, a Laser Prime trailer, a G2 Grimlock, and a G2 Jazz. There was some Machine Wars, a fair amount of Beast Wars, all of the Beast Machines line, the majority of the RID line(was missing RID Prime, Megatron, and Scourge), almost all of Armada and Energon.

    I regret selling the Fort Max and most of the other figures, I really regret selling off RID Magnus, because now I want him to go with my RID Prime.

    I honestly do not remember how much I made on all of the G1, Beast Machines, Armada, RID, and Energon figures that I sold, but it was a nice chunk of change.
     
  12. IronicHide

    IronicHide MEME GO HERE

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Posts:
    5,654
    Trophy Points:
    237
    Likes:
    +172
    Great, Overhaulimus, now my chin really hurts from where it hit my desk.
     
  13. Auto Morph

    Auto Morph Gimmick Bot

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Posts:
    8,449
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +0
    :redface2: 
     
  14. Tripredacus

    Tripredacus K-Mart-ian Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2002
    Posts:
    2,342
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +4
    I don't know. I can't specifically agree that it is only good as a profession (I wouldn't be so hasty as to attach the term career to that) and not a hobby. I had done it as a hobby in the past and it was fine. However, I wasn't in it for the money. It was a long time ago, and I'm trying to think about TFs.

    I can't remember finding TF items, I do remember finding a bunch of He-Man and Ninja Turtle items before.
     
  15. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Posts:
    14,695
    News Credits:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +43
    I don't know if they still do it but some airports used to auction off in a similar way lost luggage they couldn't find the owners of. Sure no-one wants dirty underpants, but they can still strike it lucky with digital cameras, watches, mp3 players and whatnot.

    I remember one of those undercover shows revealing these luggage auctions. The presenter bought several suitcases from one and using the items inside managed to reunite most of them with their original owners, proving the airport really hadn't bothered trying hard enough before flogging the cases. Yeah, the owners of the cases had probably already been compensated for the loss by insurance but I'm sure there were many times that people would've liked impossible to replace personal items returned instead, like a wedding ring, childhood teddy or maybe the only surviving photo of a deceased loved one.

    Not exactly the same thing as you're doing with the storage units, but I thought it would still be something interesting that was somewhat related with the unseen auctions. If I had the cash to risk I'd probably buy a few units myself just to see what I found. I doubt I'd try and make a career out of it though.
     
  16. NormanB

    NormanB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    Posts:
    1,739
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    187
    Location:
    State College, PA
    Likes:
    +13
    I used to pick auctions and garage sales as a hobby, specializing in toys, video games, books, and collectibles. Books was by far the most lucrative. I used to make a killing on half.com and amazon as a reseller.
     
  17. IronicHide

    IronicHide MEME GO HERE

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Posts:
    5,654
    Trophy Points:
    237
    Likes:
    +172
    I'm suddenly terrified that every precious thing that I've lost in my life has been hawked between fellow nerds on the internet.

    Please, if you see a stuffed wooly guardsman, his name is Godfrey. Be kind. And that's my copy of Heat on DVD, I think you'll find.
     
  18. Voiceroy

    Voiceroy Trans-fo-mahs!

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Posts:
    3,278
    News Credits:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +15
    This seems more of a topic for non-TF General Discussion because it just seems like there would be very few members here who are also "pickers" with storage units and have finds related to Transformers.

    And I wouldn't suggest attempting it as a career -- certainly not in this precarious U.S. economy. Here's why:

    1. You must be financially secure and have ample savings as well.
    2. You must have a sizable cash surplus. Not just "extra money", as you put it, but you must have sizable savings to fall back on during periods of low sales volume. Moreover, you must have steady cash income flow from product sales or else you risk falling behind financially and unable to continue buying at auctions.
    3. You must be able to flip product into profit with a quick turnaround time.
    4. You must have ample storage for inventory -- and for collectible merch, climate-controlled storage is a MUST.
    5. You must have the resources to flip product quickly, and the internet is not always the best option.

    And in picking storage units, there's a fairly high risk of low return on your investment. Have you watched "Storage Wars" or "Auction Hunters"? They focus on showing you the good ones where they made sizable profit, and avoid showing you the crap ones where they either barely broke even or wasted their money completely. I spoke with a friend recently who's a storage unit picker, and he says that 7 out of 10 units he buys have only marginal profit. He says he prays for days he shows up for auctions against just a few people, or ones who seem to be limited on cash. And he also told me that if he can't turn at least $800 a week in profit, he can't stay in business.

    And if you've watched "American Pickers" (which I really love because my wife and I come from a long line of bargain hunters), you'll note that they know their client base very well -- what will sell on a quick turnaround and what won't, and they don't seem to go for the storage auctions because of the risks involved. They also own an antique shop and have international clients. But they have additional expenses involved with a lot of travel. And rarely do they show the actual sale of product they picked at a bargain -- the ones they've showed seemed a little staged to me (like the follow-up ep with the "Liquor Store" sign). So what you're actually seeing in terms of "profit" is what they hope to make off the sale. They don't tell us how long on average an item sits unsold in their store, and that's something that's really important to keep in mind for someone looking to be a picker as a career.

    I've been known to "pick" collectible and vintage items at thrift stores, flea markets and yard sales and resell them at a profit. But it's no way to make a living -- the income isn't consistent and the U.S. market hasn't been very favorable for profiting from the sale of collectibles. Comic shops and antique stores keep closing, and remember all those "help you sell it on ebay" stores that were popping up everywhere? Wonder where they all went to?

    I guess the best profit I ever managed on a flea market Transformers "pick" was back in the late 90s in Florida. I purchased a sizable lot of G1 toys (some still with the original boxes) for about $40. Originally, I'd planned to keep them for myself. But the next year, my roommates bailed on me for summer jobs and were supposed to have sent the rent to hold their place until they returned for the fall semester at college. Two months later, they still hadn't sent any money, so I went to a local vintage toy shop and sold that same lot for $500 and was able to keep from being evicted.

    I noticed you said you "used to make a killing". I never tried selling media through half.com, but amazon sucks trying to sell books, CDs and DVDs because you're competing with dealers who buy remainder product in bulk and sell them dirt cheap. After amazon takes their unnecessarily high fees (which can cost you up to 25% of your sale, plus junk fees), it's nigh-impossible to make any profit off books, CDs or DVDs. I still have several boxes of unsold inventory in my garage I couldn't move through amazon because I couldn't make any real profit off them.
     
  19. G1_Cindersaur

    G1_Cindersaur Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Posts:
    3,297
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +2
    just thought i would chime in with my :2c: 

    half.com according to my friend who whores everything on ebay is a great site to offload used books, cds,etc.

    you have set shipping rates that allow you to clear a little on shipping and your listings typically on half.com will earn you profit..not tons but profit...

    i have had my friend tell me there are times he will clear more money on half.com than selling on ebay at times...
     
  20. Voiceroy

    Voiceroy Trans-fo-mahs!

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Posts:
    3,278
    News Credits:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +15
    Thanks! That's very helpful to know. I just need to make marginal profit on the boxes of media stuff I have in bulk, so I'll definitely look into listing them on half. Very much appreciated, Cindersaur.

    I've also been curious to hear user experiences with sites like yardsellr.com, crave.com and blujay.com. But that's a topic for another thread...
     

Share This Page