The Best Way to Sell Toys (Action Figures)
Do you have an old toy collection you’d like to turn into cash? If you have a few old action figures that are doing little more than collecting dust, we can help you free space and earn cash by selling your old toys. Here at Wheeljack’s Lab, we buy everything from G.I. Joe figures to Thundercats so you can earn money with your vintage action figures instead of just throwing them away.
So, what’s the best way to sell action figures that you no longer need? Start by learning the origin of the toys, which we discuss in the next section.
Who Owned the Action Figure First?
First thing’s first: who was the original owner of the vintage toy? This is an important step in the process of selling your action figures online. If that’s you, you can go ahead and proceed to the next step, but if it isn’t, you may have to work a bit harder.
Start by finding the brands for all of your old toys. This is a process that’s generally easier for smaller collections. Larger collections, on the other hand, can be next to impossible to authenticate, which is especially true if you have multiple toy lines all in a single collection. If you have a mixed collection, email us now to get help. We can tell you exactly what you need to do to.
Organize Your Action Figures
Next on the list is to organize your action figures carefully. Be careful with handling the toys to avoid devaluing them. At this stage, you might not know which of the action figures are considered valuable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the process started by at least separating them by brand. If you still aren’t sure, just start by going with what you know. Use the knowledge you do have to separate the toys as best as you can.
Evaluate What Your Action Figures are Worth
So, now that you’ve organized the old toys, you might be thinking, “What’s the best way to sell action figures? What do I have to do next?”
The very next thing on your list should be to estimate the value of your toys. You can do this by using comparable pricing you find online. Simply search for a comparable toy that was sold recently by looking for sold listings. Never use active listings since they only reflect the asking price, not what people are actually willing to pay.
Don’t assume your end buyer is going to pay the highest sales price you find online. There are a lot of factors that go into what people are ultimately willing to pay. Things like the condition of the toy, missing parts, or even the presence of the original box can determine the final price. Do what you can to estimate this as you prepare to sell your toys.
Important Things to Consider About the Condition of Your Action Figures
The best way to earn more from your action figures is to make sure they are kept in great condition. You’ll be surprised to learn what kinds of things can devalue your vintage toys.
The more obvious factors are rodent bites, pet scratches, and discoloration. But did you know smoking inside could also devalue your old toys?
Subtle things like the exposure of the plastic to the sun or whether or not the toy has been around cigar or cigarette smoke can all play a significant role in whether or not you’ll get the price you’re asking for.
Here are some key factors to consider about the condition of your action figures:
- Was the toy exposed to high heat?
- Has the plastic degraded?
- Was the box ever opened?
- Is the toy dusty or dirty?
- Have mice, bugs, or pets bitten or scratched the toys?
- Has the toy been exposed to smoke?
- Are the toys discolored in any way?
- Has the toy become sticky or brittle?
- Has the humidity changed the properties of the original plastics?
Any of the above factors can degrade the quality of the action figure. If fading or yellowing is one of your issues, we have just the thing to help. Click here to check out our free guide to fixing yellowing or fading toys.
Best Ways to Sell Action Figures?
Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ways to sell your old toys for quick cash to the most interested people. Keep in mind that not all of these methods are going to work out for you. Choose the path that fits best with your end goals and your schedule.
Sell to a Local Auction Service
One way is to sell toys is to go to your local auction service. This is a simple option for those who just want to unload their old toys. The downside to this is the slow turnaround times and higher fees, plus results are generally poor without the help of a qualified specialist.
Sell to an Online Toy Dealer
Another easy route is to sell to an online toy dealer like Wheeljack’s Lab. The pros of selling online are the fast turnaround times, the ease of dealing with one person, and free service (we even pay shipping), plus the added confidence of working with a company verified by the Better Business Bureau. The downside to this method is that you can’t receive the full value.
Sell to a Pawnshop
Selling your old action figures to a pawnshop is another popular route since it is local and in most situations, are very easy to use. The downside is that pawnshop workers aren’t generally experts in the field. Therefore they don’t offer much for the old toys since they don’t likely know much about them. This lowball strategy helps them to protect their profit margins because if they offer you next to nothing, they can’t lose in the end.
Sell to a Local Toy Dealer
There are a lot of advantages to working with a local toy dealer, including fast turnaround times, no fees, and the convenience of selling locally. However, local dealers have one major disadvantage, and that’s that they operate like pawnshops when it comes to offering you a price. If you arrive with five large boxes of toys and you’re ready to sell, you’re likely to get lowballed while you’re physically in front of them.
Sell to an Online Auction (e.g., eBay)
One of the most popular options for sellers is online auctions like eBay, which have a large client base and have prices that are generally reasonable. Unfortunately, like the other services, there are disadvantages too, including high fees, fraud concerns, and a time-consuming sales process where you must also accept returns. You’ll also have the burden of shipping all of the items yourself. If you have 100 toys you will have 100 shipments.
Sell to an Online Swap Market (e.g., Craigslist and Facebook)
Much like the other options, there are pros and cons to online swap pages. The pros are the decent price points, the low fees, and the ease of use, plus they have a large client base of people actively looking for toys. However, the cons are the slow process and the serious fraud and privacy concerns. There’s also no customer support and, you’ll receive dozens of messages from “tire-kickers,” which is the affectionate name I give people who message sellers with no intention to buy.
And there you have it. Those are the best ways to sell action figures. The method you ultimately choose will be based on your goals, your availability, and how much work you’d like to do to sell your vintage toys.
Wheeljack’s Lab Best Way to Sell Toys for Cash
If you have an old collection you’d like to sell, and you want the least amount of hassle and fees possible, selling to Wheeljack’s Lab is probably your best fit. We’ve been buying and selling vintage toys for over 20 years, and have three decades of experience rehoming old toys to new families.
We have zero fees, respond quickly, and we’ll even pay your shipping! Just call us at 888-946-2895 or send a message, and you can get started today!
Author: Chris Ingledue
Bio: Hi, I’m Chris, the owner and founder of Wheeljack’s Lab, where we buy and sell vintage toys to the people who love them as much as we do! Every day, I get to wake up and spend time in the “lab,” where I discover new treasures and help excited buyers track down their next favorite childhood collectible. I love what I do, and I’m looking forward to working with you too! Click here to send me a message to tell me about your collectibles today!
Some of the Collections We’re Looking For