Collector Tales Part 1 - Her Brother's Collection
I’ve been going to my local comic store for about 20 years. While I don’t collect comics anymore, I like to stop in and say hello from time to time. Being a comic store, they also get toys and games from time to time.
It was during one recent visit that the owner, George, called me in back to see a lot of toys he had picked up recently. They were Japanese toys.
This lot had a bunch of different things in it. Soul of Chogokin, vintage Shogun Warriors, Aoshima Gokin, Transformers (both new and reissue) and much more. Quite a unique lot to come into this store. Apparently these were brought in by a woman who had come in occasionally to sell comics. This was her brother’s collection, who died 5 years ago, and they had been sitting in storage ever since. She needed some money and decided to part with it. Each week she would bring in a batch of toys, and George would look them up the best he could, make an offer, and she would take the cash and leave. These were out of his area of expertise, so he asked me to take a look and make sure he had paid an appropriate amount. For the most part, he did.
In an earlier time, I would have been salivating over this find, but fortunately I had these items already, so I was able to advise him on the value of key pieces. George’s shop does not have the clientele for these sorts of things, and he was thinking of selling them on-line, and asked if I would be interested in helping out. I said sure, but the conversation would have to wait until a later date.
I came by again, and some new pieces had been added to the collection, and now it was getting interesting. A vintage Bullmark DaiAppolon gokin and a boxed Shogun Jumbo Gaiking arrived. The woman told George there was more, and my curiosity had been awoken. Was there more vintage goodness to come? George was already feeling tapped by the amount he has had to put out for these, and was anxious to move his existing stock.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get back for a few weeks, and when I returned, there was some bad news. Apparently the woman’s husband came in, and claimed that the collection was HIS, and that his wife was selling items out of storage for cash behind his back. He was destroyed. I think a few of the items were her brothers, but most were his. Fortunately George had only sold a few items from the lot, and George and the guy are now working together to return his collection and for George to get his money back.
I’m fascinated by this for a few reasons. When you are buying an item from an unknown seller, how do you know the items are what they say they are? Is there any way that George could have known? Does George have any obligation to work with the husband to return the items? How would you feel if your significant other began selling your collection behind your back? When I first saw the collection, I was objective in pricing because I already had most of it. But once I got the scent of rarer items, I lost my objectivity, and was already thinking how I could acquire these items for myself.
|Posted 23 May, 2012 - 06:31 by JoshB|