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Hot Wheels Collectors - How to Collect Hot Wheels Cars Online
Vintage Hot Wheels Car Collection
The internet has opened the door to collector's around the world, creating vast networks of collector's, trader's, suppliers, and enthusiasts from around the world. It is probably the single most important source of information to date.
For those interested in collecting the timeless classic, the Hot Wheels cars, the internet has made it that much easier to find the missing piece in their collection.
As it is with most things, there is also a downside to this immense growth of online retail and collecting, leading to increased fraudelent activity. Learn how to use the internet to buy, sell, trade, and find information on your favorite Hot Wheels cars.
One must be very careful when using the internet to pursue your passion of collecting Hot Wheels cars online.
Beginning a Hot Wheels Collection
Beginner's Guide to Hot Wheels
If you are new to collecting Hot Wheels cars, one of the best things you can do is to purchase a decent price guide. Mike Strauss is considered the "father of Hot Wheels collecting" and helps write the Tomart's Guide to Hot Wheels.
Tomart's Guide to Hot Wheels is a great source of information for all collector's from novice to expert. His guide gives detailed descriptions of the cars, the history behind the cars, as well as the value of the cars depending on the condition.
As pricing and valuation does change from year to year, it is good to make sure to keep up to date with your pricing guides.
Evaluating the Condition of your Hot Wheels Car
Factors Affecting the Value of your Hot Wheels Car
There are many factors that can affect the value of your Hot Wheels Car collection, such as:
- Packaging - In collecting, the packaging can be just as important as the Hot Wheels car itself.
- Condition - Condition can refer to the packaging as well as to the Hot Wheels car. Is the packaging worn, frayed, yellowed with age, has it been opened? Is the car chipped, been repainted, have pieces missing?
- Type - It is important to consider not only the year of the car, but the make, model, and the color of the car. Yes, the color because there are some models of the same year that were available in more than one color. Some colors are considered more valuable than others.
- Rarity - Rarity can refer to, not just the car itself, but the packaging as well. (For example: the 1995 Collector Number 271 Funny Car is said to have only had 12 that were packaged with the blue card and white lettering "Collector Number 271.") Rarity, is one of the biggest factors in a Hot Wheels car value. The rarer the car, typically the higher the value.
- Desirability - Desirability can be just as important as the rarity of the Hot Wheels car. The more desirable a car is, the more likely the value will be higher. This can be directly correlated to the rarity of the car too.
Best Websites to use to Collect Hot Wheels
Questions to ask before you buy Hot Wheels cars online
Some of the above mentioned factors are not easy to determine when purchasing your Hot Wheels cars online. eBAY has a "Hot Wheels Buying Guide" on their website, that you should certainly read. However, it offers a more generic guide to purchasing items on eBAY and not very specific to purchasing Hot Wheels car online.
Here are a few tips to assist you with buying Hot Wheels cars online.
- Know Your Seller - As the ebay buying guide suggests, you should research the seller. Not just the seller on eBAY but on other Hot Wheels collector sites as well. What is their rating? What does the feedback say about them? How many items have they sold? Email them questions prior to engaging in a sale or bid.
- Get Recent Pictures - I would not recommend purchasing a Hot Wheels car online that does not include recent pictures. Yes, pictures can be faked but having no picture at all is a red flag. One thing I do when purchasing collectibles online is to email the seller directly and ask them to take a recent picture of the item, using a newspaper or magazine article that has the date. This way I confirm that they still have the item in question and that the picture is authentic.
- Types of Pictures - In addition to having recent pictures, certain types of pictures are just as important. The pictures should always be in color. Get pictures of all sides of the Hot Wheels car including the bottom. The bottom will have information to help you determine the make and model. Make sure the tires are in the picture as well. Reproductions of older cars look the same, but the wheels are usually different.
- Compare Price - It is always good to compare prices before making a purchase. Cross reference price for the same type of Hot Wheels car across different websites, different sellers, etc... eBAY has a nice function where you can see how much Hot Wheels cars similar to the one you were looking at went for. Price guides are exactly that, guides. Don't feel that you should have to pay the exact price in the guide. Shop around.
- Ask Questions, Ask Questions, Ask Questions- Most Hot Wheels cars sellers/dealers are avid collectors and should be able to answer simple questions regarding the car. If it is a very specific car, with specific details, ask the seller to provide information on the car. Yes, some of this information can be looked up online. But if they can't answer the question or don't want to, then it is a good indication you should move on.
- Review the Websites Return Policy and Fraud Protection - This is extremely important. Make sure to read the websites return policies, as well as, any information on fraud protection and purchase insurance. There are some websites that do not retain any policies and the buyer is completely at their own risk when making purchases. I would not recommend using these sites.
There is no 100% risk free purchase, when making a purchase online. However, you should take steps to protect yourself.
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