While talking to Patrons in Discord today an interesting topic was brought to my attention. Are there any items you regret trading/selling since you’ve been collecting?
I could think of many instances where this has happened but realized it goes a little deeper than that. There are so many items I wish were still in my collection but also instances where I didn’t make the most of a situation. Oftentimes as collectors, we have these same experiences where we should have picked something up, missed out on a sale, or just needed a do-over altogether. I always love these stories because most of the time we either learn a valuable lesson or something great happens as a result. I’d like to share a few stories from my past experiences.
Yes, I’m bringing her back. Not as regret but more as a lesson learned. Trust is something we often take for granted when we meet people and Flipper Grandma is no exception to this rule. If you’ve followed the podcast you know my origin story with Flipper Grandma. A nice older lady took a trip to Target to try and get the Grady Twins Chase for her “grandchildren” and was successful in her efforts. Funny thing is, she had to take another trip to Target the very next day to get another one. However, this time she let it slip that her grandkids were overseas buyers willing to pay a significant mark-up for a chase and she sold the first one for $400.
This was my wake-up call. It was a reminder to me much like anything in life that involves money and more importantly profit, people will say anything. I confronted her about the lie and it didn’t go very well. I regret making those comments, for standing up on my soapbox and explaining why it was wrong to flip something. Now if I could talk to her again I would thank her. Tell her she was the reason I started the PCA and that I understand what she was doing. Not that I agree with the methods, but I respect the game.
Flipper Grandma taught me a valuable lesson about how important it is to have a secondary market. How important the balance is and that no matter what we feel about people buying something and selling it for profit it is needed for Funko to continue to expand their licenses and for people to get licenses they love. It also taught me that not every person that flips something is a bad person. It showed me there were many types of people who purchase items to sell. People build better collections, help other collectors, pay their rent, and do much more with the profits they make and I can’t blame any of them for it. We all have a space in this community and the Flipper Grandmas of the world make the wins sweeter when we get an item we’ve been searching for.
So to Flipper Grandma, I say thanks, my regret is not getting to know you better to know what makes you tick. Also, the PCA thanks you for such a wonderful community that spawned from that first encounter. Keep on hustling Flipper Grandma.
Not Reaching Out or Keep in Touch with Collectors
Another regret I have is not keeping in touch with all the wonderful people I’ve met since we started the PCA. Every convention provides us with an opportunity to wait in lines, meet new faces and share all of our wonderful stories. I’ve met tons of people over the years; fans of the podcast, to like-minded collectors, to other podcasts or other influencers. I’ve never been great at maintaining relationships. Just a personality flaw I have. There’ve been many instances where I’ve left a line, Fundays, panel, or some other event with the best intentions to meet up, collaborate or become friends with other collectors, and I just never kept up my end of the deal.
I regret not reaching out and not keeping in contact with other collectors or fans. I’d like to change it, but with Covid, I’m not really afforded the opportunity to make amends for my sins. For that I am sorry. If I’ve ghosted you after we met or let you down in any way I apologize and as we move to a full-time operation I hope to be a better person in that regard.
Another important lesson I’ve learned is how important friendships are within this community. Collectors don’t care about politics or backgrounds when it comes to talking about the things we love. We just want to have a great time. People help others out, especially in the PCA and I’m grateful for the friendships and people I’ve met because of that.
Anger at Not Getting a Collectible
I think this is one we all struggle with. Anger sometimes can get the best of us. I try not to show a ton of anger, especially within our community. In my early collecting days, I would get angry when I couldn’t get rare items or other store exclusives. I would just get angry over the little things and had to remind myself of what I was getting upset about (not getting a collectible). Compared to all the problems in the world I was angry about not getting a 4-inch vinyl collectible.
In retrospect, I regret this. I’ve grown as a collector and have learned to not be upset. The losses make the wins that much sweeter and that’s really what collecting is all about. I still get mad from time to time, but never like I used to. I have our community to thank for that too. I’ve seen so many great people helping people. Not just with collectibles either. We’ve held fundraisers, given to charities, and so much more. Again, I have to say the PCA has given me a great perspective on how amazing a collecting community can be.
Collectibles and the Important Stuff
Overall, I’ve done a pretty good job here. I’ve had some big losses and regrets (Game of Thrones), but I’m happier about the friendships and relationships I’ve built. I was talking with the patrons today about going through old pictures of cards, Funko, and other valuable items I’ve had through the years. While I’m sad they’re gone I’m often reminded of the great stories I had for almost every item.
I think that’s what it’s all about really. The stories. The painfully long waits in convention lines, convention rumors, meetups, Flipper Grandmas, and everything that comes with collecting these wonderful things. We all have those stories and we share them all the time.
Collecting has made some of the greatest experiences of my life and I’m thankful for all who have shared them with me. So, the next time you think about regrets in collecting remind yourself of the good times. Remind yourself of the friends you’ve made, the community you’ve been a part of, and most importantly the great experiences you’ve made because of it. I can assure you those frowns will turn upside down immediately.