Ah yes, today we’re painting the roses red, and talking about painting ourself a different shade as a collector and including the title “Trader.” Now, there’s way more to talk about concerning trading then could be handled in a simple column. This is good, since such an asterisk equals my job security and prevents King Baltar from shouting “OFF WITH HIS HEAD!!”
First and foremost, I’d like to remind everyone that tonight, January the 27th, in the year 2012, there is a Walt Disney WORLD sponsored trading event. This will take place in Fantasia G Ballroom. Please note this is a change from the original location in Fantasia J. If you plan on attending this event, my Bride and I would love for you to come say hello. We’ll be there early and will be setting up a table. Just look for the non-official trading box!
To the main event: I’m sure I won’t hit every angle, since these are generalizations, just as I’m sure I didn’t hit on every type of collector. In fact, this article will focus heavily on people I’ve discovered at trade events, rather then those who might be left working online. However, some of these personalities can be seen in both circumstances, and I want to tackle not just who you might be as a trader, but the people you might come across, both GOOD & BAD. Again, many of these will overlap, and you’ll see me referencing different categories within the description as well as from my article earlier this week. So, without further delay, let’s talk about what you’re likely to see.
- The Moderate. You like Vinylmation, but you’re not a fanatic (Perhaps an Intellectual or you’re just too poor). You have your simple collection of Traders you carry in your backpack. You figure that until you can get rid of these extras, why spend more? You can get decently far with this mindset, especially if you’re able to make events. What?!?!? Events?!?!? Online Trade Groups?!?!? So now you’re not stuck trading at your local Disney store for those same three Cutester Too Kids! I remember discovering that Disney held trade events just last January. We made the drive with our box of simple and moderate traders (Cutesters Too and Park 3, mainly). We met some awesome people. We even were able to combine multiples to come home with some retired figures and chasers. Then we got back and discovered VinylmationsTraders.com (now .net – the official trading partner of our Kingdom)… and we used that as a tool as well. The most important thing I can say about this category is that you’ll need patience. You’ll probably go through several rejected offers to get the one you’re after. Just don’t lose heart, eventually you’ll get someone willing to make the deal!!
- The iHaveEverything Guy. Many times I’ve stumbled across someone at a trade event or online that has one of the commons we’re looking for, something as generic as the Alice in Wonderland Oyster. When asked what they are looking for they simply respond: “Pongo.” Now, I mean no ill will when talking about this Trader since, before we became a Pokemon Trainer, we sorta fell into this category ourselves (at least as far as what we WANTED). However, you can approach being in this category a different way (which is what we did, but i’ll discuss that later), I simply want to let traders like the Moderate know what to expect and not to lose heart if this is your first interaction. This person may be hoping that the right combo of everything he has will result in finding that last Holy Grail of his.
- The Puritan. Yes, I’m saying it again. You’ll only trade for the Original Mold. Just be kind to the newbies. Many favorites will always land on the Original Mold, and new collectors will always be interested in them. They don’t know anything about the backlash, the feelings of betrayal, or the boycott. Just enjoy the hobby in a form of nostalgia, and rejoice in those little prizes that still come through, like Silly Symphony.
The Shark. This is not to be confused with Newbie. Some people don’t know what a reasonable trade offer looks like. However, there are those out there that will take advantage of you at every turn. They prey off your fears and your lack of knowledge. They’ll undervalue your vinyls, but over value the same ones if they’re making an offer. It’s sad that I felt the need to include this category, but keeping a 100% “happy” outlook on traders wouldn’t be fair to those learning. Some of these people know that traders will be generous with kids, so they’ll send their kids to do the dirty work. Take a look around you, it’s often easy to see where they are coming from.
- The YingYang Trader. They focus on values. You’ll trade this combo for this combo and that makes it an even exchange. You’ll often use eBay as your value guide. You study Dollars and Sense on this site religiously. As a general rule, my wife and I takes this approach, particularly when it comes to online trading (since you have the addition of shipping costs). However, some people might be much more steadfast in their approach, especially if your trading arsenal lies in the style of the Moderate.
- Golem. You see the Vinylmation and it becomes your Precious. It must be yours. I knew someone who offered her Park 2 Pongo Chaser for a Disney Afternoon Goof Troop set after that tragic night. Did the person taking her up on that offer get the better end of the deal? Yes. Did she care? No. She got the one she HAD TO HAVE. She new the values, and she knew the ease she could accomplish her trade with that figure.
- Father Christmas. You love trading. It’s a joy to help people get what they want. There is lovely couple (the Wynns) that we met our first trade event.They had a ton to trade, and really set the groundwork for who we would became as traders. They didn’t need much (already had it all), but they traded with us anyway. They figured, if we can make a fair trade, it doesn’t matter. If I have Yellow Bubbles or Smores, what’s the difference, it’ll help someone else out. We started buying in bulk, and at one point had over 600 traders. We now take the same approach, and try to help bring joy to people. We traded a little girl her Tiger Kid (something we already couldn’t get rid of and had way too many) for one of our “better” traders at that time (Blue Candy, I think) because she had really, REALLY wanted it. She was so happy, she asked her mom to take a picture of her with my wife so she could have something to remember the nice lady who gave her the one she had so desperately wanted. Taking our cue from the Wynns has been one of the best choices we’ve ever made. We’ve left trades events with less diversity and an army of America Sings, lost out on my grail (Magical Stars) because we helped someone with getting a Disney Afternoon they really wanted, but it is truly worth it. We’ve had other people help us out because they know we help people, we’ve had countless parents thank us so much for making their kids day or trip… and THAT is what Disney Magic is about. If you’re a Pokemon Trainer, the likelihood of you getting something you need is higher then if you’re an Intellectual, but the joy of helping someone out is absolutely worth it.Though sometimes you still have to make a choice: over mail, we often say no cause we can’t afford to lose the extra money, or other times it’s just too much of a loss for us. However, I’d encourage every trader to dip your toes into this category, especially if you’re trading in person. Lose some “value” but make a child’s day. It’ll do wonders for your soul.
So, I ask again: Who are you?
I hope to see some of you at the Trade event tonight!
and as always… may the bloxing be ever in your favor!