You are probably saying WHOA! WAIT! I’m not a Flipper! Don’t worry you are not alone. There are probably thousands of people saying the same thing as they read this article. Sadly, it’s true, all of us are a “Flipper” by someone else’s standards. Since starting the Pop Collectors Alliance, this is one of the most debated topics we get questions about “What is a Flipper? Am I a FIipper? I think Flippers do this. That’s not flipping if you do that.” You catch my drift.
We’ve defined what we think constitutes a flipper on the first episode of our podcast (Listen and I know you will agree). I thought it would be great to have a little fun with this idea. I broke down some of the most recognizable characters throughout the Funko collecting community, and how it relates to “Flipping.” I can’t classify every personality within the community but I’m sure you’ll be able to identify with some of these individuals.
Purist / Elitist
You can identify them immediately by the stench of arrogance pouring from their posts across social media. “Well you purchased that Flocked Lotso for $15 so therefore its worth $15!” “There’s no true value in collecting, I mean EVERYTHING is worth what you paid for it!” Try not to laugh too hard here. Sadly there are some people that feel this way and yes unfortunately, if you ever sold anything at increased value, you are a FLIPPER to them.
Their pettiness doesn’t end there either. You can often see these mouth breathers jumping from post to post telling others they are flipping, saying they don’t know what the true meaning of collecting is, etc. They troll everyone whenever the opportunity arises and for some reason they always want to provide endless evidence in a never-ending argument to prove their point.
Also, elitists out there, when you ask someone for their “board name” and you can’t recognize it, it doesn’t mean that person doesn’t care about collecting. You better watch what you say to them, you might inspire that person to create an entire online platform dedicated to Empowering Pop! Collectors everywhere! * Que Hip Hop Air Horn* (Wink, Wink)
I picked these up, but realized they don’t fit in my collection
This is the person waiting outside of Target, Hot Topic, GameStop, Box Lunch, ThinkGeek, Barnes and Noble or any major retailer with exclusives at 5:00 AM telling everyone how much they love collecting. The same people that can’t even answer one question about Pop! other than their value. These are also people on their phones buying exclusives that they are about to purchase in store as well.
One of a kind scumbags, they love to chat in line and the moment the store opens they run to the product, purchase it, and then tell everyone how it doesn’t fit into their collection. That’s a very hard decision to make in the time it takes to get from the store to their house. But hey we all benefit because they can trade that Michael Jordan Pop! for a Golden Red Eyes Frieza. Man what a steal of a deal there!
What more can I say about our good old friend Flipper Grandma?! This is one truly dedicated entrepreneur, hustling her cane and walker off. Always jumping from retailer to retailer with her trusty camping chair and a story to charm the world. “I don’t collect, I just get these for my grandkids. I have nothing else to do so I give back to them.” Have you started tearing up yet? Well you better save those tears because her “Grandkids” are hundreds of people across the world willing to pay a little extra for hard to find items. How thoughtful of her!
Don’t get me wrong, I have come to love Flipper Grandma over the years and I can’t really blame her. She hustles harder than most flippers and isn’t afraid to travel all over the area to get what her customers need. I just would like for her to leave just a little more on the shelves for the rest of us.
I never leave a Chase behind
Out of every category on the list this will end up as the most debatable. This topic always disintegrates into a name calling Flipper argument. Most people believe that you shouldn’t leave a chase on the shelves especially if you are someone who helps other collectors, but for some reason there are certain people who say “If you don’t collect it you should leave it there for others.” While it’s a valid argument this could result in an opportunity lost for another collector, there is no guarantee a collector will be the one to find it. This is also at the heart of the debate.
There are two main categories: those who say the chances for everyone should be even and those who say well I want to ensure this gets into the hands of a true collector. I personally believe there should be a peace treaty between the two, because they ultimately want the same outcome. So why can’t we all get along and leave the arguments up to the true Flippers out there?
No matter what side you fall on it’s always better for a collector to end up with a chase. Speaking from experience, there’s nothing like walking up and discovering a “chase in the wild.” It’s just getting harder and harder to find these days. So, next time you see a “chase in the wild” ask yourself this question: Do I collect this? or Do I know someone who wants this? If the answer is yes, I believe it’s always safe to side with the collecting community, but I won’t judge you either way.
I am picking up these extras for my friends
If there was any category in this article I am most likely to fall into, it would be this one. You don’t know how many times I’ve been at a Target or Hot Topic and bought the maximum allowable amount to help out friends. As I checkout from the counter and go to leave the store I see a crowd of judging eyes staring back at me. In the beginning, I was apologetic and would say “Hey guys these are for friends” and almost immediately received the collective eye roll.
Hey I get it, if you waited in line you should be able to get one and not have everyone in front of you grab three, four, or whatever they max is. Everyone should get their fair share and for a small moment I would avoid picking up extras for that reason. Until I discovered that when extras were available for everyone in line, that they would immediately flip roles and become the person that grabs three.
Unfortunately, the evolution of purchasing rules at retailers, forced people who work during the day to rely heavily on friends. So, I decided long ago if I can help a friend or fellow collector I will and NOT feel bad about it. Everyone in line wants the same outcome and if I am not purchasing to make a profit then no problem exists. I just avoid those evil eyes and ignore the “flipper” comments as I walk out the door.
I don’t give a $%^# what you think I’m Flipping
There are tools out there who don’t care if you know they plan on selling everything they purchase. Sometimes they will even let everyone know they are planning on listing the items as soon as they checkout. Hell, I have even witnessed people taking pictures of items on the hood of their car in the parking lot to list.
These people are so honest I kind of respect them over the Flipper Grandma type. At least they are transparent about their intentions. They also never try to guilt you into buying them something with a sob story…. those dirt bags are the worst. Rarely do they ever get upset in line if they aren’t first because they understand the game and the hustle. I would only prefer if they stayed at one store and not wipe out the entire area of store exclusives. But hey, we can’t always get what we want.
I’m at Hot Topic at 3AM with my Supreme shirt on, even though I have a Bot
We can also congratulate this group on helping to start the Pop Collectors Alliance. They would also fall into our (Flippers) Poacher category. If they could buy every pop that releases to control the market and slow roll the product out to collectors at maximum profit they wouldn’t even think twice about it. Their sole purpose in life is to make money, all while ruining the hobby for collectors.
You know these guys, especially if you have ever been to a convention with a Funko Booth. Wearing a hoody with a fresh pair of kicks on and a wad of money in their hands asking people to buy them extras. There are literally hundreds of people like this at every convention hovering around the Funko line, almost to a point of making a fire hazard. Funko does a better job of policing this now than in past years, but it doesn’t stop these degenerates from walking up to anyone with a Funko bag and asking “Whatcha got in there big man?” (you don’t know how many times I heard that at NYCC).
It doesn’t stop there either. Most of these guys work in teams and will send people all over an area to buy every exclusive possible. They are honestly the worst and don’t care what people think, much like the individuals above. The difference is they will make up stories and try and get people to help them out. “I want this for my son/daughter and I couldn’t get in the Funko line.” Just remember wad of cash equals entrepreneur and avoid. Repeat this process at every convention you attend and you’ll be safe.
Summing it all up
I know that people require money to expand their collections and have to make the hard decisions to buy extras to support it. I don’t have a problem with that. When it comes to who or what defines a “flipper”, it’s all subjective to each collector. I’m just here to say there are some mouth breathers out there that would ruin this hobby to make an extra buck and we have to watch out for them.