In order to start an action figure collection, the first thing you have to do is buy some figures. Although retail stores have long been the primary purchasing method for most collectors, the emergence of online action figures stores has made purchasing figures via the internet the preferred method for a majority of people. Practically every figure ever produced is available somewhere online, and most modern action figure collectors take full advantage the opportunities that presents.
There's nothing especially complicated about buying figures online, but many new collectors don't take all the steps necessary to obtain the best deal and ensure a safe shopping experience. The following tips will help collectors, whether a novice or experienced, make the most of their online action figure shopping experience.
Check Out the Store
Verify the marketplace. There are tons of online action figure stores, and unfortunately not all of them are legitimate. There are sites that exist only to steal money or obtain personal information, often fronting as online marketplaces. Talk to fellow collectors about which sites they use, ask for recommendations, and only use trusted sites. Search an online store for seals that ensure its online security, or even send an email to the store's owner to verify that they exist. Those two small steps that can help you further verify a store's authenticity.
Weigh shipping costs. When purchasing figures online, shipping costs are always a concern. Many stores will have a set policy for shipping based on the number of items ordered. Be sure to consider the shipping costs and timelines of particular stores when factoring the total cost of an item. Although one store might have cheaper prices, their expensive and slower shipping options could make them the wrong choice for you.
Before You Buy
Compare prices. One major advantage of shopping for action figures online is the instant gratification that comparing prices provides. Instead of driving or calling retail store after retail store to get pricing information, a quick search will reveal what a specific figure costs across numerous online stores. Finding the best deal has never been easier, so don't forget to do it.
Look for coupon codes. Online action figure shopping isn't always the cheapest option, but finding online coupon codes to enter at checkout can greatly offset the cost. Doing a quick search through a search engine for a store's coupon code can save a few bucks, and asking other collectors on forums can result in an inside tip as well. And don't forget to enter the coupon code at checkout, or your efforts will be wasted.
Consider Your Options
Look for hard-to-find figures. It's often impossible to track down long-lost figures in retail stores, but many online stores will carry vintage or used figures along with their standard stock. If you're already ordering from a store, check to see if other figures you want are available too. There's nothing worse than missing out on a highly-desired figure because you didn't take a few seconds to see if it was in stock.
Buy in bulk. Most online stores offer better deals when purchasing figures in bulk. Instead of buying one figure at a time over the course of a few months, patient collectors can save money by waiting to buy multiple figures at once, saving on shipping costs and taking advantage of bundled deals.
Unlike buying figures in stores, buying figures online has more risks, but also more rewards. These tips should help you save money and shop safely.