Monday, January 17, 2011

World 1-3: Types of Collectors

Before I dig into the subject matter of the day, I wanted to point out a few additions to the blog. If you will turn your attention to the top right of the blog, you will see two new items. The first is a Most Wanted List (MWL), and the second is a tally of number of games I have for each Sega system and the the completion percentage. The Most Wanted List is just that, the games I want the most. It doesn't always represent the most expensive games I need to acquire, nor does it mean that those are the next games I will seek out. I am the type of collector (Opportunist) that will grab a deal when I see one, in my last post I showed a Crusader of Centy, that game while on my radar wasn't one I was actively seeking. What a perfect lead into our topic. (Scroll to the bottom of the blog to see my latest find.)

Types of Collectors
Collector types are many and varied and I am sure I won't cover them all, but I want to give a brief overview on a few of them. A Nintendo Age post lists a several and my info overlaps. You can see that here. I will start by listing what I am first.

The Opportunist- The opportunist jumps on deals for system he/she may not collect for because the value of the deal far out weight the fact that they don't actually need it...Yet.

The System Collector- The system collector simply picks a system or two and collects for those exclusively, system collecting might spawn from nostalgia but it may just be the collectors preferred system to play. These collectors may or may not go for complete sets. I feel like this might be the most common type of collector, well this and the Nostalgia Collector.

Nostalgia Collector- A person who collects games from their past because of the feelings and memories those games evoke.

The Librarian- These collectors go for the whole library of , even if the game is terrible, even if it's super expensive, even if they have 4 other versions of the game on other systems. Librarians gotta catch'em all.

Series Specialist- These collectors collect series, these series may span several different system and include foreign titles. Often times this is the collectors favorite game series, and thus it explains their diligence in finding even the rarest titles. ( This is why I have Zelda's Adventure for the CDI)

Genre Collector- This one is as easy as it sounds, a collector picks a genre and avidly collects games from said genre. These collectors are unique in that they often times will pick up imports, cross systems and hardware generations to get their fix. The two most common genre's collected are RPG's and ShMUPS.

Import Collectors- Title kind of says it all. Imports offer more variety and several games that never see US release for some systems. Prime example the Sega Master System 116 US titles, HUNDREDS of imports. Sometimes imports are different from their US counter part or they are cheaper. Their are many reasons to dig imports.

The Rare Collector- Unlike my meat, I like my games Rare, and so do these collectors. These collectors can be system specific, but most of the time I think they branch over many system. The goal for this type is simple, find rare games, collect, repeat. They thrive on the obscurity of titles and difficulty one must face to obtain them. Elitist maybe, sweet collection absolutely!

Two of the less fun types of collectors I thought were important to mention

The Hoarder- I have only met one person I would classify as this. The hoarder is not the same as a collector, this type will let their house be overrun by their collection, I can hear the snickering of a hundred wives, mine included. The difference is hard to define, and really not for me, some smuck from the burbs, to diagnose, but I can say this, these people keep and store to the detriment of their family and their personal lives and for reasons that make little sense. Just because you have thousands of games does not make you a hoarder, if you are organized, if it has its own space, and you control it rather then the other way around you probably aren't a hoarder.

The Addict- This is the scariest type. These people much like hoarders collect to the detriment of their family and their personal lives. Shopaholics exist, see here. This is a compulsive behavior and is at the very scary dark edge of collecting. No one wants to classify themselves as this type of collector, but if you feel like the urge to buy is controlling you, or if you aren't paying bills or taking care of yourself so you can buy games, I urge you to seek help.

There are many other types of collectors and remember most collectors fall into several categories not just on. This list just touches on what I feel the big ones are. A few more, VGA collectors, Cabinet, Vintage only, Portable collectors, Sealed collectors, Modern system collectors, Special Edition collectors, Home-brew collectors and Repro collectors and the list goes on. I am sure I am missing several, but now I want to bring up a few less talked about collector types, the kinds that are harder to deal with and are really subsets within the community. I realize after outlining these harder to deal with types, they are more like trader and buyer types, and that seems like a whole new topic.

Knowing collector types is important, though it might seem unnecessary. Trust me if you are buying, selling, or trading on forums; knowing the type of collector you are dealing with will ensure a smooth transaction. On forums all you have is your name and feedback. If you have good feedback you will find more people will be willing to deal with you, and in some instances give you a better deal. Knowing these types might give you an advantage in trading, just be sure not to breech trade etiquette. Speaking of "Trade Etiquette", it's the topic of my next post that and Buyer and Trader Types. Be sure to look for my next post soon, as I will also cover how to improve your responses in WTB or WTT threads.

Now on to the hunt portion of this blog. My latest hunt was for Saturn Bomberman. I can find it on eBay, but it isn't as simple as that, I wanted a better price. I have deemed that Saturn Bomberman has a moderate rarity, digitpress concurs giving it an on their scale. So I started looking for this game about a month ago, and I know some collectors are willing to wait months for the right deal (and that is the better way), but when I am ready, I want to get things rolling. The quest for this title is part of my bigger decision to start collecting Saturn titles. When I decide to collect for a system I try to knock out pricey or rare titles first, this puts me at ease knowing the hard stuff is out of the way, then I can take my time with the smaller or more common titles. The first place I always look is eBay complete auctions, their I found no copies of it sold, or even unsold, well not American versions. If you check now you will find only one, and it's a pretty sweet deal for a disc and manual only for $10. After that it was on to regular listing,where I find the price to be about $80/$90, pretty high, so time to hunt elsewhere.

It is now time to do some driving. I make my way to one of my local shops about 5 miles away, their selection is pretty terrible, and getting worse under new ownership. No surprise, it is a bust, so now it is back to checking eBay, setting up a saved search and waiting. One week goes by nothing, two weeks...nothing, week three comes, and now it's time to make more significant rounds. I am now going to travel about 35 miles one way to a big game store in Los Angeles,Game Dude. The store has a great selection and is the biggest game store in the LA area, but the prices are kind of like eBay, you might get a good deal, but very rarely a steal. Game Dude, put the price at $69, but I get 10% off, I decide I can live with that price. No dice, despite having about 120 Saturn titles in stock, Bomberman is not one of them. Now that I am out an about in the city I hit up 3 more game stores, and still no luck. With nothing but a fist full of fail, it is time to call it a day, I make the long trek through LA traffic home, 40 miles= 2 hours. A day or two and some eBay searching later, I decide to brave craigslist...what a waste. CL can provide awesome steals, but you have to sift through so much crap, sometimes it just doesn't feel like it's worth the effort.

Week 4 time to brave a weekly collectors show Frank & Sons about 50 miles away. Franks has 4 dedicated booth that sell classic games, most of these are your standard fair over priced Super Mario 3 and other such Big N titles, but this usually means rare games for less collected system get under priced. Here I find Crusader of Centy for $25, a great find, but not what I am actively seeking. Not satisfied but by no means happy I return home and continue my pattern of eBay and Forum searching. Yesterday, As week 4 comes to a close I decide my wife decides a Disneyland trip is in order. On the way down to Disneyland roughly 55 miles, I stop at a small game shop that is pretty close to the park. In this tiny shop they have 4 Saturn games, and one of them just so happens to be Saturn Bomberman for $40 + Tax. Game is complete and in nice shape. Was it worth it? I think it would have been easier and almost as cost effective to buy it on eBay, but then I wouldn't have found Crusader of Centy. If you are the type of collector that enjoys the journey, then this one was pretty good and it ended well enough, if you are a about speed and efficiency then this was a bust.

Thanks Again for reading...Next up "Trading Etiquette"


  1. Greate blog btw, please keep the entries coming

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, I hope to post about once a week.