How To Sell Action Figures for Cash?
If you stumbled upon this page you’re probably interested in turning your old toy collection into cash! We, at Wheeljack’s Lab, are here to aid you in this process. For over 20 years we’ve been buying He-Man, Star Wars, Transformers, M.A.S.K., G.I. Joe, Thundercats, and numerous other action figure brands. Here we will show you how to sell old toys for cash and how to calculate the value of your vintage toys!
Who Owned the Toys?
This is much easier if you are the original owner of the toys. It’s nearly impossible with large collections if you are not the original owner. Especially if the collection has multiple different toy lines! In this situation, you would want to stop reading this and send us an email so we can give you more guidance.
Identify and Organize Your Collection
It’s pertinent that you are extremely careful when handling the toys as you may not know which items are valuable. Looks can sometimes be deceiving when it comes to old toys! Just because it’s smaller and made of plastic doesn’t mean it’s not more valuable than a larger toy. We recommend starting with the items that you know and organize the collection into groups based on brand. Some toy brands are easier to tell apart from others. Just do your best to get them sorted. Generally speaking, if you are the original owner of the collection it’s much easier.
Evaluate What Your Vintage Toys are Worth
A big question is- how do you price your old toys? Ultimately the best way to do this is by searching for a similar item that was sold recently. We have found eBay to be the easiest place to find a comparable price! On eBay you can look at active listings or sold listings- never use the active listings as sellers can ask anything they’d like for their items and never get it. But if you look at the sold listings you will see items and what they sold for- essentially the key to getting an accurate sold price.
When looking at the sold prices don’t just look at the highest sold price because there are reasons the same toy may have sold for only $15 or $25, but also sell for $75 or $100. While the same toy may appear mostly identical to yours it could have been in a better condition or been complete (with parts). Like anything else in the world, people will pay more for nicer products. So at this point look at your toy and evaluate it- does it look heavily played with/a lot of wear? Does it comes with all the parts/is it complete? Does it come with the box? And is that box sealed? Is it faded? Is it dirty? These are all factors that play a role and can affect the price of your old toy, some more substantial than others. Evaluating your old toy’s condition may be hard, but you can get a general idea of what it is worth!
How Clean is Your Collection?
Unfortunately, some collections get the short end of the stick. Collections that have been infested with mice, bugs, pet hair/dander, dust, etc. are collections that most people don’t want. Have your old toys been sitting in an open box? If so they are most likely covered in dust. Were they in a high heat storage area? High heat can change the properties of plastic causing them to become brittle. Low humidity can also cause issues. Did they sit near sunlight while in storage? If so they are probably faded because sunlight breaks down the plastic and caused discoloration. Are they coming from a smoker’s home? If so the toys will be discolored and that again is negative. There are ways to go about fixing the discoloring or fading- check out our how-to guide. These are all questions you need to ask yourself regarding your old toy collection.
How to Sell Vintage Toys Intro
The answer- A lot of people do! So we will just cover some alternatives options for you. There are numerous ways to find people and places that buy old collectible toys. In our opinion, the best way to sell your old toys is by taking the route that works the best for you! The biggest factors you need to consider are: how much time are you willing to dedicate to working on this (day, week, month, etc.) and how much time are you wanting to spend completing the sale of each item?
How to Sell Vintage Toys
We laid out some options for you with the pros and cons to each:
- Pros: they are also easy and most often local
- Cons: you can’t get full value for your item(s), generally because they have a selective audience; they aren’t experts and will often throw out a low number so they don’t lose money when they go to sell
Online Toy Dealer / Wheeljack’s lab
- Pros: The time you spend is minimal, the turnaround time is fast (we, at Wheeljack’s Lab, take less than a week to complete a purchase), you do background checks with the Better Business Bureau, there are no fees (we pay for customers to ship their items to us)
- Cons: you are unable to get full value
Local Toy Dealer
- Pros: again the time you spend is minimal, turnaround time is fast, you can background check with the Better Business Bureau, there are no fees and they are local
- Cons: you can’t get full value- often because they have you as a captive audience they won’t offer a high percentage (like a pawn shop you will get low ball prices). For example, if you show up with 10 boxes of toys you will not be going to get anywhere near what you should because they know you will not spend the time to box them back up
Online Auctions eBay
- Pros: large client base, good prices
- Cons: slow, very time consuming, high fees, you won’t know for sure how the bidding will go, fraud concerns, it’s difficult to use, you have to accept returns, you will also need to run to post office daily to ship items
Local Auction Service
- Pros: they are easy and, usually, local
- Cons: the turnaround time is very slow, fees are higher, sale prices are unknown because it all varies based on who shows up that day, most often the results are poor unless you have a large collection and are working with a specialist
Online Swap Pages Facebook and Craigslist
- Pros: large client base, decent prices, zero fees, easy to use
- Cons: slow, very time consuming, serious fraud concerns, absolutely no customer support, rural (limiting sale success), privacy concerns, and a lot of communication with what we call tire-kickers (people looking but have zero intentions of purchasing)
How to Sell Vintage Toys for Cash to Wheeljack’s Lab
If you haven’t done this process before, it will be time-consuming, to say the least. Cleaning, staging, lighting, naming, and then matching everything up. If you have a collection or an old box of toys that you are looking to sell give us a call at 888-946-2895 or send a message and we will take care of everything for you.
We are a reputable vintage toy buyer. Wheeljack’s Lab has been buying and selling vintage toys for over 20 years. We aren’t disappearing anytime soon. My family has been in this area for 3 generations. We offer immediate communications, immediate payment, and prepaid shipping. If the collection warrants, we will even pick up your collection! Toy quotes are given the same day. We will be certain to give your old toys new homes with people who greatly appreciate them as you did!
Author: Chris Ingledue
Bio: I’m the founder and owner of Wheeljack’s Lab. My vision has always been to reunite customers with their favorite childhood toys, triggering fond memories, and reigniting their imaginations. Every day I work in the “lab” where it’s Christmas 365 days a year; scouring the internet – like we did the Sears Catalog of yesteryear – for the next great treasure, awaiting the arrival of the postman as if he was Santa Claus himself and helping collectors worldwide with their own versions of Christmas. Every day is an absolute joy!
How to Sell Old Toys For Cash
Below are some sample collections that dealers, as well as collectors, are looking for!