Thursday, June 14, 2012

Flea Markets...

Fuji-san has passed out the first of his bat-arounds for the summer. In which he asks two very simple questions:
Do you ever go to flea markets in search of collectibles? If so, what are some of your favorite flea market purchases?

The simple short answer to said question, part A, is yes. The not-so-simple explanation to part A is:
I really don't have "flea markets" in my hometown. At least not true flea markets. The few that we do have in this area are more like mini-malls for those vendors that can't afford to open a "real" store-front somewhere else in town, or they can get away with no business license by doing this I speculate.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to pick on the little guys here, I applaud anyone that tries to make an honest living. And I also try to support any small businesses that I can when I make purchases around town. Including the comic shop where I but all of my comic related supplies, Zeno's, in Chesapeake. Wayne is a real stand-up guy that watches out for his regular customers, as well as being a super-friendly place to hunt for New and used comics as well as gently used books.

But that does not leave me with many options for flea market finds. Most of my finds come from out of town flea markets when I am on vacation. Like the items I posted about here.

I must say though, for part B, I don't make many purchases at flea markets, they are a lot of fun to browse through, but I rarely find much that peaks my interests or at true flea market pricing. Back in the day, I used to follow NASCAR more regularly and would hunt for some of the rarer die-casts until I realized that the "vendors" would spend Monday thru Friday picking through the shelves at the local toy stores and big box stores, buying up all the good stuff to turn around and triple the price to sell it at the flea markets on the weekends! I just lost interest in supporting the secondary market in that manner.

I really got burned a few years back hunting for the 1:87 scale Hotwheels Batmobile. The local Toy-R-Us would only order 1 case of cars at a time, but by the time I would get there, someone picked the 3 or 4 good cars from the case, leaving the rest to slowly sell over the next 2 months or more. There were only 2  Batmobiles in each case, and I flat refuse to pay $50 or more for a diecast that the toy store sold for less than $5 retail.

Image borrowed from
So I made up my mind then that if I could not get the Batmobile from a retail store, I would not buy any of the cars from that series at all.

I don't necessarily blame the toy store for this, hell, I don't even blame the "pack-searchers" for this. I blame Hotwheels for deliberately limiting the supply of this item to drive up the "collectibilty" of their product. I can honestly say that I've even stopped looking at any Hotwheels stuff since then so they've lost an avid collector most likely for life.

Tahnks for the topic Fuji,
Thanks for reading,
Have a GReat day!


Fuji said...

Great post... although bummer to hear the Hot Wheels story. I wonder how much the Batmobile runs today, because I'm sure like a lot of those collectibles... prices have dropped.

I'd definitely be interested in one of those if they were in the $5 range.

The Baseball Card Snob said...

Sounds like the same nonsense Topps is doing with the SSP cards.