Impulse Buy vs. Future Availability

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by sideswipe29, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. sideswipe29

    sideswipe29 Collect what makes you happy

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    I was originally going to put this in the general toy thread but figured it might be more applicable here seeing as how 3rd party companies are setting up pre-orders well in advance for figures.

    Ultimately this dilemma stems from my recent pre-order of Mastermind Creation's Cynicus (AKA Vos from the IDW Comics).
    I'm sure many of you can relate to seeing a figure on pre-order and wanting to bite the bullet right away to ensure that you get your hands on that figure. But at that point, is the pre-order an impulse buy - spending the money now even though the figure will probably be available later on - OR is it ensuring that you get a copy of the figure now because it might have a limited run or it's stock will run out due to popularity? Not to mention that if the figure does sell out and doesn't have a second or third production run you'll be forced to pay a premium for the figure on sites like ebay.

    Where do you draw the line? How do you differentiate between the two?

    For me it's a hard decision - especially when funds are limited. Seeing figures like Kultur or Carnifex go up for pre-order is tempting because there is always that chance that you'll miss out if you wait and have to wait year and years to find a deal on ebay. But you certainly don't want to rush into the purchase just because you assume it won't be available in a few months and spend money you really shouldn't.

    All thoughts and experiences are appreciated. Things like these fascinate me and I love hearing other collectors views.
     
  2. Chucez

    Chucez Well-Known Member

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    i don't know. To me, the pre-orders just help me avoid having to pay scalper prices in the future.

    edit:
    I also want to add that if you can't afford it, it makes no sense to accrue debt just to avoid having to pay scalper prices in the future. If I had invested the amount of money i spent on transformers this year, in all the stocks I decided to put off buying at the beginning of the year, I wouldn't be worrying about my transformers budget right now.
     
  3. peddlerofwine

    peddlerofwine Starscream's Robot Gun

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    I worry about availability more than anything else. I'm lucky that I can afford this hobby. At this point in the game, I'm close to finishing my CHUG (minus Overlord, the DJD and Wing) and MP. I do splurge on cool shit like Diaclone Battles and MMC Obsidian. I tried to get the MMC invisible Mirage, but forgot to check on it when it became available.
     
  4. Slave IV

    Slave IV more wealth than you can imagine!

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    I don't prepay for preorders so basically, it's just holding a figure I want for when it comes out. I'm not into handing out free loans if I don't have to.
     
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  5. boomerdave

    boomerdave Owns three Ditka figures. O_o Veteran

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    Yeah I'm sorta the same way. I use BBTS (yes I know many people have their issues with them) because they let you pre-order and not pay until it comes in. It lets me keep a nice running list of what I want or maybe am just interested in and want to keep tabs on. I can change my mind anytime and cancel it, even after it comes in and I get charged (for a credit) if I want to wait that long.

    Do you NEED to pre-order? Not really anymore but I do feel some things are "get them while they're out or you won't later." We moved recently and I couldn't find one box of transformers. I did find it later but when I went online to see if I could get the ones that were missing, I couldn't find them....not even on Ebay. *shrugs* YMMV
     
  6. foobot333

    foobot333 Well-Known Member

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    tfsource and bbts are pretty good about preordering (with no prepayment). So, I'm glad I use them for my online shopping. If I didn't have those options, I think that having to pay up front for a current work in progress and future product is a waste of money. There are far more important necessities one can purchase with money not tied up in prepaid preorders... Like Pandinus, or marshmallows, or a Maserati.
     
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  7. Transmetal

    Transmetal Well-Known Member

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    Just use BBTS, then no paying in advance, problem solved!
     
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  8. malware5

    malware5 Well-Known Member

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    I only tend to pre-order TT from Japanese e-tailers since they have these insanely low prices on their figures, with third party figures I rarely tend to do so given their availability several months after their release these days and that there is no real saving in doing so. Long story short, when it comes to third party pre-ordering it's only useful to do so if you're 100% certain you won't have the money available at the time of it's release.

    But on another note the word(s) impulse buy.....these days in the age of online retailing can it be called that? Think about it, impulse is something that you buy suddenly without a lot of thought but when you buy online by the time you've put in your details, paypal or whatever you'd have more than plenty time to think about all the ramifications before you place that order. I feel a true impulse buy would be someone walking in a store turning around seeing something they never intended to get on a shelf he/she likes and buys instantly without any thought whatsoever. That would be a true impulse buy to me and not online impulse buys.
     
  9. boomerdave

    boomerdave Owns three Ditka figures. O_o Veteran

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    I donno....I've bought a lot of shit I wasn't going to from just reading these forums or seeing Sixo or Maz pictures and going "Ya ok lets go to BBTS and pick one up". I'd call that impulse.
     
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  10. Slave IV

    Slave IV more wealth than you can imagine!

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    There are a few figures that I like overall but just think are overpriced for what they are so I impulse buy those when I see a deal for them that seems worth it.
     
  11. the oaf

    the oaf Well-Known Member

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    At the moment I pre-order as much as I can, as I'm UK based and thanks to Brexit we're seeing our currency plummet, so if I wait until a figure's out, I'll probably end up paying a lot more for it.
     
  12. Chrisola

    Chrisola Solid crotch ratchet

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    The 2 main UK shops have good preorder policies, so even if paying up front you can cancel if you need to, which is good.

    I think there are 3 ways to approach..

    Pre order ( minimal deposit or no payment until shipping)
    Pre buying (pay full price up front, wait for release)
    Buy on release

    The trouble with the 3rd option is sometimes the UK sellers have limits on their general stock, so you can miss out, and you usually miss the early bird discount too.

    I tend to pre buy figures I know I want, from a company with a good track record...like MMC. I have with Fans Toys too, but only because of a great early bird discount, as their release schedule is long winded at best!

    Of course, being on the FB groups is a good way to buy on release, people inevitably get figures through that they don't want and so move them on straight away at cost to them...there are even a couple of people selling combiner sets with members pre bought with the shop but not released yet.
     
  13. OptimusNerd

    OptimusNerd Well-Known Member

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    I've adopted a "pre-buy now, think later" policy as we have a retailer here in Australia that reliably sells the bots for 25+% LESS than I can get it anywhere else (shipped in Australia).

    It requires full payment, but the pricing makes it worthwhile, and they have a very generous loyalty program.

    If I change my mind about a figure, I feel pretty confident that I can sell it without any loss.
     
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  14. Starganderfish

    Starganderfish Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much any figure that sells out quickly enough that you'll "miss out" on it, will be enough of a money earner for the manufacturer that they'll do another run. At least for the major players.
    For me it's less about missing out and more about cost savings. Officials can be obtained from JPY sellers for a 30% discount. A few other sellers are able to obtain a limited quantity of 3P figures for a similar discount. In these cases if you don't pre-order early you miss out on the discount (as opposed to missing out on the figure)
    Also, having pre-ordered and pre-paid for a bunch of stuff, I don't have to worry about being able to pay for them later. My wife is pregnant and just lost her job so I've had to stop ordering stuff but thanks to pre-paid per-orders, I'll still have figures arriving for at least a year. I can pay for figures when times are good and still have something to look forward to if money runs short.
     
  15. boomerdave

    boomerdave Owns three Ditka figures. O_o Veteran

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    Not to make a debate out of it but I like not prepaying anything up front. If things go in the toilet I can easily with one click of the mouse save myself from spending any more money on the spot. I still think that's a better way to go but that's my opinion.
     
  16. Thundershot

    Thundershot Ratchet Fanatic

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    With 3P, I've learned to wait on certain things. Like now I know the Lost Realm and Function X will be in steady supply and will almost undoubtedly have a sale eventually. I don't have to worry about missing them. If it's a limited exclusive I want like the Ryo-oh shells, I order asap because they only make 500 of them worldwide and I'm not taking a chance on missing them.

    With TT, I usually use Japanese sites because they're cheaper, but the yen to dollar and higher shipping is making me start to question that...
     
  17. MechaToast

    MechaToast G1? No thanks.

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    I pre-ordered both the figures you mentioned because I trust MMC and I want these figures sooner rather than later. However, I ordinarily wait for reviews before ordering. I may WANT a figure but won't blindly throw money at it until someone has it in-hand and gives a thorough going over.

    If the pre-order window is still open after reviews start popping up, I'll pre-order... but it's really only a couple weeks before release at that point. Alternatively, if I want a figure and think list price is too high, I'll wait until just after release for cheap ebay prices. I recently picked up three $100 figures from for $85 each.

    I have a few dozen 3rd-party figures at this point and the only one that required follow-up due to an issue was Toy World's well documented Burden, which TFSource was utterly useless in correcting and I dealt with Toy World direct once their service site opened. Maybe I've been lucky to this point, but I know some people don't like ordering from China out of fear they won't have a distributor to contact should there be an issue with the toy. So far, I haven't had any issues on that front.

    Getting back to Kultur and Carnifex in particular, I think Carnifex will enjoy the kind of availability Feral Rex enjoys (i.e. long-term). Kultur is harder to tell, but I believe he'll be widely available in the months ahead, after the initial (apparently) limited release.
     
  18. StrangePlanet

    StrangePlanet G1

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    It's rare I pre-order any 3P Transforming toys.

    I'd rather see a review or two to see how it came out. What's the articulation like? How'd the paint turn out? How's the build quality?
    These things matter to me, and they matter whether or not I'll buy your product. Heck, I wanna see much simpler toys like Marvel Legends in hand before I buy them for the same reasons. There's all the prelim stuff and then there's the final production piece, and these things cost a hundred dollars.

    I wanna buy that MMC Kultur too, but I need to see the final. So I guess I'll have to wait to see if they do a second run. Or maybe I'll never get one at all. Oh well.
     
  19. luckyman76

    luckyman76 Well-Known Member

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    I was late to the party which was a good thing. Setting aside all of the research you need to do, I never pre-order by rule. I would at a few places for rare exclusive pieces or insane deals but it almost never worth it. Supply has never been a problem I could not solve and I have price shopped all over the globe to get the best prices. Preordering would have been far more expensive overall. If you want to do preorder I suggest in bulk from premiumcollectibles.au or tfsexpress for great deals. Be prepared to wait a long time and things change. Ultimately, I don't do it because I want to find something, pay for it, and receive it immediately.
     
  20. Rewbot12

    Rewbot12 Well-Known Member

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    Even with some research and experience, 3P in general tends to be difficult to predict. The same goes for official products. It all boils down to supply and demand.

    Here are some observations of mine

    Some of Fansproject's stuff are readily available like the Function X series, Intimidator, the G3 Trailer and the City Commander armor set for example, whereas the Colossus upgrade kit appears in Ebay from time to time and there's the tendency it would be the set intended for the United Bruticus (G1 accurate colors and contains Swindle, Blastoff and everything else) whereas the ROTF set (which is divided by two sets) is pretty rare nowadays. I bought mine (second hand, but well cared for) a few years back, which was bundled with ROTF Bruticus.

    Perfect Effect's Scouting Force/Reflector, if available, tends to be command high prices.

    Toyworld's Throttlebots, despite being released quite a long time ago, seem to be in ample supply, explaining the fair prices in several places, including Robot Kingdom.

    Aranea/Blackarachnia, which I'm still looking for, rarely appears in Ebay and if she does, she's expensive as eff. Every online store that had her available is out of stock. Arcee can still be found in different places, but the pink one is harder to find.

    I do recall several people selling their Movie, CHUG, etc. collections to invest on MP. There are other factors to consider, and what I often see is "need money for x or so".

    Deciding to pre-order or waiting for a sale can be a gamble. Metroplex is now pretty damn expensive and I regret not having purchased him during release. That experience alone warranted me to pre-order Fort Max from HLJ. One another note, I Pre-ordered MP Road Rage from HLJ only to find out a few months later that she was included in their sale.

    I haven't ordered Dia-Battles because he's pretty costly and I'm hoping he'll be included in a sale.