Trek Collector's eBay War Stories Thread

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Vger23, Apr 15, 2020.

  1. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I’ve been a casual collector for a long time. I have some Trek books and toys going back to the 70’s when I was but a very wee lad. One of the things I enjoy doing nowadays is frequenting eBay to look for unique items or just things that I’d love to own.

    I’d be interested in starting a thread on eBay Trek collecting. Great finds, frustrations, observations, glorious victories, crushing defeats….all that good stuff.

    It can’t be a “Hey, I’m selling this plaster casting of Walter Koenig’s head…go check it out” thread, because I think that is against the rules. This is more just about telling war stories about collecting Trek merchandise on eBay or anything else that enters your mind about the art and science of the collecting experience.

    For fun, let’s head each post with a category description:

    “WIN”- Beating someone in a tight bidding war, or getting a great deal.

    “LOSS”- Losing a tough one on a key object

    “CAVEAT EMPTOR”- Totally got screwed on something

    “FRUSTRATION” – eBaying trend that irritates you

    “EUREKA”- Finding a rare treasure or something you needed to complete a collection, etc.

    “OTHER”- Damn you, don’t put me in a box, Vger23…I want to talk about stuff my own way!

    Pictures are encouraged, but not required! Have some fun....I really want to hear about your experiences!
     
  2. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So, I’ll get us started to set the tone…

    CAVEAT EMPTOR

    About 14 years ago or so, I was eyeballing a Star Trek- The Motion Picture theatrical poster (27x40) signed by the entire cast, and Roddenberry. The seller claimed to have a collection of them acquired at some event, and would post them for auction regularly. I almost always got out-bid at the last second. They would generally go for around $200.

    Anyway, after several weeks of relentlessly hunting this sucker down, I finally won one for about that amount. In anticipation of its arrival, I went out and bought a nice frame, and was really looking forward to displaying it in my apartment (pre-wife days hahaha).

    The poster arrived and I gladly opened it up, carefully examining its beauty. It was exactly as described, and the signatures all looked legit and written in nice marker. Unfortunately, then my inspection turned up the horrifying reveal: In the bottom right corner of the poster was the text "www.zipzapposters.com"

    Needless to say, this tipped me off to what I should have otherwise guessed if I hadn’t been drunk with desire on getting this item: IT’S A FAAAAAAAKE!

    I mean, Roddenberry passed away in 1991, which was LONG before the existence of anything even remotely resembling “zipzapposters” would have been in existence. There's no way he could have signed this poster.

    So, lesson learned- I never EVER buy “autographed merchandise” off eBay now. Ever.
     
  3. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    WIN

    And I JUST NOW (moments ago) scored a Diamond Select "USS Enterprise- HD Version" (and the one without the ugly rust ring, to boot) at a great bargain in an auction. I have the 40th Anniversary version, which is very nice, but it doesn't have the grid lines (which I'm kind of ambivalent about), the electronics inexplicably stopped working, and the stand broke.

    So, yeah....I'm pretty happy about that.
     
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  4. BillJ

    BillJ Former Democrat Premium Member

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    Covington, Ky. USA
    I've never actually bid for anything, I usually do the 'Buy It Now'. Though my purchases have been limited mainly to comic books like the original DC Comics TNG mini-series.
     
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  5. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I like "Buy It Now" more often as well, but every once in a while there is an item that I really want, but all the "Buy It Now" prices are in the "seller is smoking crack" range. So I wait patiently and strike at just the right time.

    For example, the Diamond Select HD USS Enterprise generally goes for $65-75 plus some foolish amount for shipping (around $10). The bid I just won was for $45 and $8 shipping. So in that case, I was able to save some good coin.

    I have a box filled with DC Comics. Not a full run (I'm missing probably about 1/5 of the 1983-88 run), but all books I've owned since they were first released. I should go back and read them sometime. There were some great story lines there. It might also be a cool project to see if I can fill in the missing gaps.
     
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  6. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sounds like you could get your money back through eBay, and report the seller

    My stand broke as well! The DS 1701 is the only stand that ever broke!

    I got most of my (almost complete) phaser collection on eBay. Sometimes I was the only bidder cause they had a spelling mistake, and I searched for those ;)
     
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  7. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's a damn good tip!

    I'm a total phaser whore. My collection is:

    Diamond Select:
    TOS black handle phaser
    TWOK phaser
    TSFS phaser

    Playmates:
    TOS phaser
    Pike's Laser Pistol
    Star Trek Insurrection type II PHASER
    TNG type I phaser
    Kelvinverse phaser

    Galoob:
    TNG type I phaser

    Wand Company:
    TOS phaser (this one is absolutely gorgeous)
     
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  8. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    PM:
    TOS phaser II, 2x WOK phaser II, TFF/TUC phaser, 2x TNG phaser I, TNG phaser II, INS phaser, ST09 phaser.
    Also TOS tricorder & communicator, TMP communicator, Klingon Daqtagh, TNG tricorder, Ent-D, Type 6 shuttle, Voyager, Kelvinprise, Innerspace sets (Ent-D, BoP, Apollo CSM & LM), several action figures.

    AA/DST:
    TOS phaser (black handle), TMP phaser, TNG Klingon disruptor. Also the broken-stand 1701 and the amazing Ent-E.

    Others:
    TNG phaser I keychain (more accurate size!), 2x TNG mini tricorder, STTE TOS communicator (for like $5!), many Micro Machines and Eaglemoss ships.
     
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  9. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I have lots of action figures, phasers and tricorders. Though they are played with and not mint.

    Next on the list is Abrams Trek phaser and tricorder.
     
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  10. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Damn, I forgot to mention the Playmates TFF-TUC Phaser, as well as a resin metal prop of the same. I also have the Playmares TMP phaser.

    I'd LOVE to find a bargain on the DS TMP phaser. I have the TWOK version, but the TMP version is more rare and the eBay prices are pretty obscene.
     
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  11. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I found it at the 2014 Destination convention for 30-40 Euros. The WOK is similar to the one from Playmates that I already had, but the TMP one has the more colorful lights, so I got that one.
     
  12. Sakonna

    Sakonna Commodore Commodore

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    My mom has been busily selling much of my childhood Trek merchandise on eBay for years, I wonder if anyone on this board is the current owner of my old stuff. :bolian:

    A few months back I dug my collection of 80's/90's DC Trek comics out of my parents basement (not everything is up for eBay sale :bolian:). So far I've only reread issue #2 from the original mini-series (the delightfully insane Christmas issue), but I've been meaning to use some quarantine time to reread some of the others...

    I was flipping thru some of the issues of the first regular TNG run, after the mini-series, and I'd totally forgotten how they established their own running crew characters in the TOS and TNG comic series. Which, IIRC, vanished abruptly without explanation about 10, 15 issues in, when the tie-in products were suddenly banned from having ongoing characters of their own invention.
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Former Democrat Premium Member

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    Richard Arnold.
     
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  14. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    FRUSTRATION

    I can't stand searching on "Star Trek" on eBay and navigating through pages and pages from the same seller of either individual trading cards OR these 35mm prints from TOS. I mean, I know it's a free marketplace, but it's practically spam. One seller selling 87 individual trading cards for $0.99 each. Really bro?

    I also get annoyed with people who have no idea what the value of an item is. Like the seller who puts up something like a used Playmates action figure with a pitch like this:

    Star Track Commander Ryker Doll
    VERY RARE!!!!!
    1994
    Used- not in box
    Minor wear
    I know Star Track fans will love this one. I found this in my garage when I was cleaning it out! I think one of my son's weird friends must have left it here years ago. Anyway. Bid now on this highly collectible item!
    Bidding starts at $325!!!


    (And, of course, you can find the same Cmdr Riker action figure about 20 other times, new, going for $7.99 "buy it now")
    :thumbdown::barf:



    I think it was a ComiCon exclusive (the TWOK one was more widely manufactured). You definitely "bought low" on that one! When I see it now, it's anywhere between $150 and 200 USD. I'd love to own one....but that's more expensive than my Wand Company TOS phaser was....and there's no way it's worth that to me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
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  15. CommanderTrip

    CommanderTrip Captain Captain

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    CAVEAT EMPTOR

    The first thing I ever bought off ebay was a Trek TNG Playmates Tricorder new in the box. I remember mailing a check from MA to someone in Maine, praying to god that this worked, and then a week or two later *bam* I had my coveted TNG tricorder. It all started waaaay back in 2001.

    Since then, I have dabbled and dibbled. I own a Samsung 4k 3D-TV, and I am a huge 3D movie enthusiast, and ebay is usually where I am able to pick up my 3D blurays now (aside from preordering new 3D releases overseas not released in america like Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame in 3D and Star Wars TLJ and TROS in 3D)

    Most recently, I decided to take the plunge and go all in on a few playmates ships that I have gazed at over the years. I grabbed a borg cube and DS9 new in the box from a flea market a few months ago, and since then I have been keeping an eye out for some other Trek related ships I was never able to get. (managed to complete the entire Voyager figure line from this same flea market seller, but that's a story for the playmates thread lol)

    When I was a kid, I discovered way too late that playmates made a USS Voyager, and it was impossible to find (except on ebay.) My parents bought one for me (used out of the box, but had the ship, stand, great condition) and I have treasured it to this day. It sits with the playmates DS9, the Defiant, the DST HMS Bounty, and the Enterprises by DST (from NX-01 all the way to the 1701-E) and it looks awesome.

    About 2 weeks ago, I found another Voyager new in the box at a reasonable price (not $500) and decided to go for it. I also saw a klingon attack cruiser new in the box for cheap from the same seller, and decided to double down. I should have checked his feedback first, he had a few negative ratings, but he seemed like a decent seller.

    I was so wrong.

    I paid, the seller printed a shipping label, and it never went beyond that. The seller was very slow to respond to messages. First, he claimed after I messaged him 3x over several days that he was having a paypal issue and my items would ship the following Monday. Then Monday came and went and nothing happened. No shipping updates, no communication from the seller, nada. So, I submitted a request to ebay for a full refund. Now here is where it gets interesting. He refunded the Klingon ship (about $20) but not Voyager (which is more than $100) and then apologized, stating it was a paypal issue, and now shipping issues due to COVID-19. I asked him if his shipping was affected by COVID, then why was he sending out items left and right since I had won my auction and paid him? Ebay says the seller has until tomorrow to respond, but I anticipate I will literally have to claw my money back from this fellow.

    EUREKA

    A very unpleasant experience. But after about a week I realized something was up, and I was able to snag another Voyager new in the box from a different seller for about $20 more than what I paid the first seller. I left a very positive feedback for this seller as he helped me obtain something I never thought I would own (new in the box that is). I don't think I will ever take this out of the box, maybe save it for my kids or nieces/nephews when they get older. But it feels great to own, and the artwork on the box is amazing to look at. I love how it's a very subtle homage to Voyager's opening credits.

    I have more stories, but I will save those for another time. All this working from home allows me only so much time for Trek talk :rommie:
     
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  16. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    EUREKA

    One of my favorite childhood memories (early teens) was my dad taking me to dinner and opening night for Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. I have always been a sucker for movie promotional memorabilia (posters, theater displays, etc), and I remember that night seeing a medium-sized cardboard stand-up promoting the movie at the concessions counter. I looked for it for literally decades, but it seemed like it was nowhere to be found. Even now, I can't find a picture of one anywhere. I'm imagining it's extremely rare

    Then, one day, probably about 5 years ago, I found it on eBay. It was packaged with some other theater display stuff (including some ST:FC stuff) from a person who used to own a movie theater, and I didn't even care. It was very reasonably priced, and I bought it immediately.

    Since then, I was able to have William Shatner sign the piece (saw him at his first appearance at the Star Trek Tour in Ticonderoga NY), and it is now the most treasured piece in my entire collection.

    EDIT: In fact, it was pretty cool. He was impressed with it and asked me "Where would you like me to sign it?" I said, "Hey, it's your movie....you can sign it anywhere you like!" and he laughed and said "I suppose that's true...! How about right here?" Great memory!

    I'll have to get some pics on here soon.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
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  17. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    EUREKA

    I think I found the exact type of rotary switch used in the "The Cage" communicators. I've seen a lot of replicas of this communicator, but the rotary switch is never a close match.

    I compared the photos of the switch to the photos of the prop and it looked like an exact match. So I snapped it up.
     
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  18. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's how I found the best deals with no one else bidding, phasers offered as "Star Track Laser Pistol" or "Star Wars Toy Gun" and stuff like that. ;)

    I remember it as an Entertainment Earth exclusive. The only one I could never find for a good price is the newest one from SFS. Too bad the DST Romulan disruptor was cancelled, I always liked it.

    I would at least take out the batteries, though they're probably mummified by now anyway XD
     
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  19. CommanderTrip

    CommanderTrip Captain Captain

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    That was my biggest fear when buying any of these old playmate Trek ships. I checked as soon as it arrived, and whomever owned it before me already removed the batteries and saved me the trouble :beer:

    I learned about the unfortunate consequence of old batteries in Trek memorabilia long ago. I picked up a borg cube in the box for $10 at a fleamarket. When I got home and put it together, I opened the battery compartment and found the batteries had leaked/exploded. I was quite disappointed but the seller took pity on my younger self and gave me my $10 back. Chivalry was alive and kicking in the 90s/early 2000s.
     
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  20. Vger23

    Vger23 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Here are the pictures related to my "Eureka" post above.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Absolutely priceless