How to sell your AFA-Graded Toys: Why You Should Not Do It Alone!

Sell Your AFA-Graded Toys at Wheeljack's Lab

When you have AFA-graded toys, you may feel tempted to sell them on your own at sites like eBay. However, many risks are involved with selling your toys that complicate the sales process. There are a fair number of risks involved in the sale of AFA graded toys, including shipping your toys to their new owners.

Wheeljack’s Lab understands the risks involved in selling valuable AFA-graded toys. Our goal is to get you cash for your toys as soon as possible. We also wish to alleviate all challenges involved in the sale of your collectibles. Rather than taking on the risks on your own, contact us today to sell your AFA-graded toys!

What are AFA-graded toys?

Example of AFA grading for 1984 Hasbro Transformers Bluestreak

Since 2005, the Action Figure Authority has been offering its services to grade collectible action figures like Transformers. They offer a standardized scale to figure out the quality of collectible toys, especially those that are still sealed in box. However, loose toys can also receive a grade from the AFA, though they receive a separate level of grading. Overall, AFA graded toys eliminate the guesswork from both consumers and dealers when determining the quality of their collectibles.

The AFA does refuse to grade items with reproductions or missing pieces. So, when you have AFA-graded toys, they have a guarantee to be original and complete.

Most importantly, for collectors of AFA graded toys, the AFA seals all toys that receive a grade in air-tight containers. These cases will preserve the condition of your toys from environmental hazards, such as dust and smoke. Furthermore, these cases have some UV protection, which helps to prevent sun bleaching.

How do the AFA grade toys?

The AFA looks at several factors to rate the condition of your collectibles and toys. Overall, their scales determine what condition your toys are in, especially for mint in box figures. When you submit a boxed toy to them, they will provide subgrades on the box, window, and figure itself. Thus, two sealed Wheeljack figures may receive different scores due to deformations in the window of the box.

When it comes to toys that companies sold as mail-away figures or otherwise sold without a box, the AFA will give these toys separate “Uncirculated” or “Mail Away” designations. These figures will receive a different standard of grading since there is no box for examination.

Finally, the AFA does grade loose toys, but they must be complete. So, when you sell an AFA loose graded figure, you know that your toys have all the accessories in the box with them.

Understanding the AFA grading scales

To either sell or buy AFA-graded toys, you need to understand what the grading tiers represent. There are three major classifications of AFA graded toys, gold silver, and bronze. Within each section, there are even further distinctions.

Furthermore, there are two styles of grading toys, the standard grading scale, and the modern grading scale. Overall, these two scales are the same, however, their style does change. The standard grades, used for toys from the 1960s to the present, starts from 0 and increases every 5 points up until 100. Then, the modern scale, used for toys from 1995 to the present, starts at 0 and moves up a single point up until 7. At 7, the grades begin to increase at a .5 rate. Then, at 9, the modern scale increases at a .25 rate.

AFA Gold

When it comes to the best of the AFA graded toys, the gold tier is the place to look. The classic style of grading categorizes any grade of 90, 95, and 100 at the gold standards. Furthermore, the AFA describes these figures as Near Mint/Mint, Mint, and Gem Mint. On the other hand, the modern grading scale includes toys from 9, 9.25, 9.5, 9.75, and 10 in this category.

Overall, any toy that receives an AFA score in the gold tier will be in the best possible condition. These figures have the least number of flaws, most of which will not be visible to the naked eye.

AFA Silver

The next tier of AFA graded toys is the silver tier. In the classic style, these toys receive scores of 75, 80, and 85. They describe these figures as Excellent Plus/Near Mint, Near Mint, Near Mint Plus. Unlike the Gold tier, the modern scale mirrors the classic grades. On the modern scale, silver toys receive ratings of 7.5, 8, and 8.5.

Toys from the AFA silver tier are still in excellent condition. While there may be visible flaws on the packaging of these toys, none of the flaws would be unexpected from sitting on a store shelf. Thus, the AFA silver tier is still worth selling.

AFA Bronze

All scores below the silver tier fall into the Bronze tier. Thus, the classic grading includes toys from 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, and 70, which is like the modern tier, except for numbers like 7.0. While toys that receive a 60 or 70 are still in excellent condition, everything below them is in very good or worse condition.

In general, the AFA will not offer a grade to any toy that does not receive a 60 at the minimum. However, this tier of toys often has noticeable damage to their packaging or toys. As such, they will sell for the least amount of money.

Researching the value of your AFA graded toys

One of the greatest benefits of AFA grading is that your toys now sport a clear identification label for both yourself and any new owners. With clear and easy identification, the time that you spend researching your toys before selling them becomes significantly reduced. However, be careful, you will now need to research the cost of toys in the grading tier that you have.

Researching the selling price of your AFA-graded toys may require a significant amount of time. While you may find other toys like yours recently listed and sold online, you may not find many with AFA grading. Likewise, you will need to closely examine the condition of these sold toys.

Why you should not sell your AFA-graded toys directly on sites like eBay

While the promise of making a profit from your AFA graded toys is tempting, several hidden financial pitfalls will cut into your sales. When you sell your AFA-graded toys on your own, you take on all the fees and all the risks from the transactions. These risks are even greater if this is your first venture into selling your toys.

eBay and PayPal percentages

While it is possible to sell your AFA-graded toys for a fortune on sites like eBay or trade forums like Facebook, you will not receive the full price of your sale. When it comes to auction sites, they will charge you a hefty fee for using their services. If this is your first sale on the site, you may be in luck to have those fees removed. However, the more you sell on sites like eBay, the more fees that you will encounter, like insertion fees.

These fees can take over 10% of the sale away from you. So, if you had sold your AFA-graded toys for over a thousand dollars, over a hundred of those dollars must be set aside for fees. Moreover, eBay will issue a charge for these fees after the sale, and not take them out of the sale itself. So, you should take care to set aside that money and not spend it.

Even if you use a trading forum, which charges no fees on its own, the transaction service that you use to exchange the funds will charge fees. PayPal, credit card services, and other financial transactions will ask for a fee to use their services.

So, the only means you may have to avoid any fees will be cash or checks through personal trades. However, these types of transactions come with their risks.

Shipping costs

When you are selling your toys through eBay or another online forum, you must be prepared to ship your AFA-graded toys out to their new homes. Since big sellers on eBay have offered free shipping on their products, some buyers may pass over your listings if you do not pay for the shipping costs or include them in the price of the sale. eBay will not offer free shipping on your behalf, so you must pay for the shipping yourself.

Worse, since your AFA graded toys are in sealed packaging, you will want to keep them well packaged so that they still are pristine during transport. If you are not familiar with shipping products, you will risk causing damage to the toy as it is in transit. Trust us, shipping services will not be kind to your shipment, so you must take steps to keep the package as safe as possible. Bubble wrap, foam, and sturdy boxes are expenses that you must plan for.

Risks of fraud or worse

As much as we would love to tell you that every buyer will be honest and that you have no need to worry about your sales, that is not realistic. When you set out to sell your toys through eBay and other sites, you will inevitably meet issues with fraudulent activity.

Even though eBay has rules in place to help protect you against the consequences of fraud, if you find a fraudulent seller, you will have wasted your time and effort with the sale. Also, since you must accept returns on your eBay sales, another avenue will be possible through fraudulent returns.

Even worse, if you choose to increase your chances of sales through trade forums and meet-ups, your risks exponentially increase. Each possibility for the seller to learn details or even meet up with you will place your personal information, or even your person, in danger.

So, you must consider these risks when you decide to sell your toys.

Time is money

The final hidden financial pitfall is the passage of time itself. You might have an AFA graded toy that is worth thousands of dollars; however, you might not instantly find the buyer with the money to buy your toy. So, you are likely to wait for an indefinite amount of time to find the right buyer who will pay your asking price.

Beyond having to wait for the right buyer, you will also be charged fees for relisting your product repeatedly to get noticed. Thus, your time will cut into the profits of your sale.

Avoid the hassle and sell your AFA graded toys to Wheeljack’s Lab!

Rather than take on all the financial risks on your own, sell your AFA graded toys to Wheeljack’s Lab and receive the cash fast! Contact us today to get your sale started. We respond within 24 hours with an offer. Once we have agreed on the sale of your toys, we will send you a check within a week’s time! Unlike eBay or other auctions, we will not charge you any fees for the sale. Even better, we will cover your shipping costs.

We have been in operation for over two decades and have the experience and knowledge to get you the best price for your AFA graded toys. While we do not offer any grading services, nor do we have affiliation with the AFA, we know how to get you the best price for your collectibles! All it takes is a single e-mail to get your sale started today.

About the author

Author: Chris Ingledue 


Bio: I am the founder and owner of Wheeljack’s Lab pop Culture and Toy Shop. My vision has always been to reunite customers with their favorite childhood toys and pop culture, triggering fond memories, and reigniting their imaginations. Every day, I work in the “lab” where it’s Christmas 365 days a year. I scour the internet, like when we had the Sears Catalog of yesteryear, for the next great treasure. Then, I await the arrival of the postman as if he were Santa Claus himself and helping collectors worldwide with their own versions of Christmas. Every day as a vintage toy buyer is an absolute joy!

Wheeljack’s Lab buys your AFA-Graded Toys for the best price!

When you have a valuable collectible like an AFA-Graded toy, you want the best price available for your toys. Wheeljack’s Lab has been selling and buying AFA-graded toys for years. Just look at only a small selection of the toys that we have sold and bought!

How to sell your AFA-Graded Toys: Why You Should Not Do It Alone!
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How to sell your AFA-Graded Toys: Why You Should Not Do It Alone!
Expert advice on how to sell your AFA-graded toys. Save both your time and your wallet by reading this. Get the best price for your toys!
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Wheeljack's Lab
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