Here’s a great lesson for collectors new and old. “Gotta-Have-It-Now” is a sickness. It goes around like the yearly flu and even I, a collector of 20 years, have caught the bug from time to time. One story I have of it comes from August of 2012. The big box stores like your Walmarts & Targets started “clearancing” out the Hot Wheels Color Shifters, like they do every year to Hot Wheels lines that have been discontinued (NOTE: Color Shifters have since came back). Well in September of 2012, the Mini Cooper above started appearing on sites like eBay and The Toy Peddler. The demand for these was very high as it was deemed a rare piece from a discontinued line. Being an avid Mini Cooper collector (you’ll see a lot of this casting on here), I kept a close eye around the web for any kind of listings regarding these.
Being what I deem as an experienced collector, I saw that the initial listings that were selling for in the neighborhood of $100 were collectors with the extreme case of “gotta-have-it-nows”…willing to shell out any amount of money to obtain a potentially rare piece. Occasionally, these collectors do strike oil by being the first ones to buy these first-to-market cars that become rare. MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, additional quantities are delivered through a variety of avenues, and supply eventually exceeds demand.
What are these “additional avenues” I speak of? Well they are anything other than your big box stores. They are hobby shops, local grocery chains, or “overstock stores” like Big Lots and Tuesday Morning…shoot, sometimes larger retailers like Toys R Us and/or Kmart will continue to carry a line after Walmart/Target drop it.
Back to the Mini Cooper featured below. I patiently continued to watch secondary market prices fall as a few more became available. $100 to $75 to $50 to $35 to $20…this is where I caught the bug. $20 shipped. It wasn’t long after I bit on the Mini that Big Lots Stores nationwide got a Shipment of Color Shifters, collectors rushed out to buy them (myself included), loading the secondary market dropping the price to what is now around the original retail price of $3.
While I’m glad I wasn’t the collector that bought this Mini for $100, it is proof that even though I consider myself more immune to the bug than others, we are all susceptible to come down with a case of the “gotta-have-it-nows”!