HOW TO ORDER
In a concerted effort to make it easier for people to find the information they are looking for prior to placing an order, I have now arranged this information as a traditional FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Sheet, with an index to all of the pertinent queries. (Undoubtedly, I will be updating this page frequently as I receive questions to answers that I have either glossed over unintentionally or forgotten altogether.) For a first time buyer, you are strongly encouraged to read through the entirety of this page in order to avoid any miscommunication that may arise during the course of a transaction. If you are a returning customer, you can, for purposes of quick reference, click on the questions below and you will be taken directly to the appropriate section on this page.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
• Who Are You and Why Do You Think You Are Qualified to Deal In Collectibles?
For more information about myself and my qualifications--which includes my experience as a dealer, my expertise in related fields, how I grade collectibles, my reputation in the community, etc.--feel free to check out my About Me page, which can also be accessed at any time through the tab at the top of each page.
Yes, the minimum purchase on all orders must be $12.00 before the addition of shipping charges. Unfortunately, due to the time, energy and cost involved in the processing of each order, I invariably lose money on smaller orders, so I was forced some time ago to instigate such a minimum. In the long run, this benefits buyers as well, as I can now justify posting many lower priced items that I couldn't before, and thus offer the buyer a wider selection of merchandise from which to choose.
To place an order, simply e-mail me using the "Contact" tab at the top of each page. Please include a list of the items of interest, and be sure to include your ZIP Code (or country, if you live outside the United States) so I can calculate shipping costs and then e-mail you an invoice that includes shipping options and the necessary information to complete the transaction. Please do not send payment until I have sent you an invoice as this will give verification that the items of interest are in stock. Most of these items are one of a kind and are on a first come, first serve basis; since I do not mark items on the site as being "UNAVAILABLE" until after payment for it has cleared, there is usually a lag time while an item is on hold for another customer and not made available to others.
Usually, I respond to most queries within 48 hours, so if you have not heard back from me within two days, feel free to drop me another line in case your e-mail or my response lost its way in cyberspace, or was chewed up by a malnourished e-mail filter.
Unfortunately, it is just not currently a feasible option for me, and may never be. Aside from my tailor-suiting shipping costs for each order instead of offering a more expensive, flat-rate fee as many larger business do (excluding those, of course, that offer free shipping, something which I am in no place to offer), the biggest hurdle is that I have to verify availability of all items before I can finalize the order. For these and other reasons, it remains beneficial for both myself and for the buyer that I continue my current practice of personally invoicing all orders.
I accept personal checks, business checks, money orders, international money orders and PayPal. I do not accept cash, personal checks for accounts outside of the United States, money transfers, or credit cards (except through PayPal) as these are too risky, too costly, and/or too much of a hassle for a person in my position.
Although I do accept personal and business checks, I do insist on a full seven days for them to clear my bank once they are deposited before I ship the order. With smaller, local banks like mine, the process is not automatic, and I have lost money in the past having to cover NSF fees that the buyer/s never make good on as well as the loss of the items, which were shipped before I received notice that there were not sufficient funds to cover the purchase. If it was not for the fact that I myself still use checks for online commerce on a regular basis. Since I like to have this option available to me, I continue to accept them, but only with the established waiting period with which to minimize the possibility of bad checks.
Money orders are the preferred means for non-electronic payments. International money orders must be made out in US funds.
All PayPal payments are to be made directly to my account at "email@example.com". The total amount--including a surcharge--will be given as an option on applicable invoices.
Although PayPal is gladly accepted, I do extend a surcharge when offering this service as PayPal charges me not only a set fee per transaction, but also a percentage of the final cost including shipping. (This fee is roughly 30¢ + 3% of the total cost.) As you'll hear me say time and again, my overall profit margin is extremely low when compared to similar business, so I've found this surcharge a necessary evil in order to keep my prices competitive and not tax those who choose not to use this optional service.
All payments must be received within seven days of confirmation or the item/s will be made available to any other interested parties. There has been a growing problem with potential customers not sending payment after I have e-mailed them an invoice and set the item/s aside for them, which ties up my stock--thus possibly alienating other customers--and costs me valuable time. I try to be understanding when unexpected events make it difficult if not impossible to follow through, but if you have little or no intention of honoring the agreement by seeing it through to the end, please do not waste my time and energy (and possible cost me another sale in the mean time) by placing an order.
Shipping is entirely dependent on the weight and size of the item/s, and the means available to ship them. I primarily use USPS Priority Shipping, as it is the most convenient and accessible means, although I do occasionally offer USPS Media Mail Shipping or USPS First Class Shipping if the customer can save money. (Please be aware that only books, periodicals, records, videos, DVDs, and similarly printed or recorded materials can be shipped via Media Mail.) In light of the United States Postal Service randomly inspecting parcels shipped via Media Mail, I usually only offer this service for multiple items that weigh several pounds or more, or for heavier books, as it is simply too costly to ship them Priority. (If you do choose to go with Media Mail, it is strongly suggested that you insure pricier orders just in case they are inspected, as I have had several instances in the past where items were damaged due to careless and ignorant postal employees sifting through the contents and repackaging them poorly. This may not be an issue with reading copies of books, but with high-grade, collectible pieces, it may be crucial.)
Here are some general rules of thumb for shipping costs within the United States. The minimum for orders shipped via Priority is $6.00, and this usually covers whatever I can fit into a Flat Rate mailer and still have the parcel structurally sound. (This usually includes three to four comics or magazines, two pocket-sized paperback books, some single softcover or hardcover books, and some single videos.) This minimum also applies to most single records or oversized magazines (some foreign or older periodicals will not fit into the Flat Rate Priority mailers), and most single videos. Unfortunately, most games--due to their size and weight--usually cost at least $10.00 to ship, but only if they can fit into a Flat Rate Priority box. (Some older games with heavier contents are usually more.) The minimum for orders shipped via Media Mail is $4.00, but, again, restrictions do apply.
I will also consider UPS Ground for larger orders (usually eight pounds or more), but these instances are quite rare as most heavier purchases tend to be books which can just as easily (and more cheaply) be shipped via USPS Media Mail. Please note that orders shipped via UPS cannot be shipped to PO Boxes.
Handling charges are minimal (usually $1.00 or less) and are used to cover shipping supplies and any associated costs. As a frequent buyer myself, I am always frustrated when online dealers charge twice the cost of actual shipping and writing it off as "handling" fees. (This is usually in the case of eBay sellers who utilize this inexcusable after-the-fact mark-up to make up for lower starting bids, which often mask the fact that it would have been cheaper in the long run to go with another, seemingly pricier auction.)
The bottom line is this: The more money a person saves on shipping costs, the more they have to spend on merchandise, and thus the more apt they are of being a return customer.
Of course, this is not only perfectly acceptable, but an option which I automatically offer all of my eBay customers as a means to not only save them money, but also to help promote The Trash Collector storefront.
Of course, as I know from personal experience that--no matter how secure a parcel is packed--there is always the possibility that it can be damaged in transit by a careless postal worker. (As a collector who puts the greatest importance in an item's condition, I do make every effort to pack items properly so as to minimize any possibility of this happening. Of course, I cannot be held responsible for excessive manhandling by USPS, but I can assure you that my rate of merchandise damaged en route is infinitesimally small.)
Insurance within the United States, if so desired, is a flat rate of $2.00 regardless of order size; it will be purchased through the United States Postal System, and not through an outside company. (I will not insure an item for more than it is worth; the total that I will insure is your cost of the item plus all applicable shipping fees. This is to ensure that you will at least break even in the odd event that something happens to your order.) In some instances, USPS will automatically insure international packages for a set amount.
Pretty much anything available through USPS, including Registered Mail, Delivery Confirmation, Signature Confirmation, Certified Mail, and the like, although I get little call for any additional services aside from Delivery Confirmation. Costs will vary per order and the means in which it is shipped (i.e. First Class or Priority Mail). If you want to pay for any extra services, please let me know before I e-mail you an invoice so I can find out the exact costs and include it as an option.
Most purchases are shipped within seven business days of receipt of payment, however, it may take a little longer in some cases, as I currently get to the the post office about once a week. If there is a substantial delay beyond that, I will try to e-mail you to let you know when the item/s have or will be shipped.
Again, as I stated earlier concerning personal and business checks, there is a waiting period of seven days once they are deposited to ensure that they have successfully cleared my bank and that funds are sufficient before the order is processed.
No, I do not, so please respect the fact that the prices listed on this site are non-negotiable. Currently, this is my livelihood and not a hobby, and my profit margin is quite small (occasionally even non-existent). I offer reasonable prices (usually below market value and/or what is offered by my competitors) with minimal handling fees. Additionally, I tend to pay more than what most dealers do in order to obtain my stock, and since I primarily deal with vintage merchandise, it is even more difficult to replenish. (Additionally, many of these pieces were at some point from my own personal collection, and some of these are being sold for the same as--or less than--what I originally paid for them.) Occasionally, if I purchase a lot containing multiples of an item, I will offer discounts if the customer purchases one or more of the same, but these prices will be listed in the post and are far and few between.
In case of a computer crisis, you can always contact me by writing to:
If you require any kind of a response by mail, please include a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) with sufficient postage.
Sorry, but I do not under any circumstances give out my home phone number, so please do not ask.
Absolutely not, under any circumstances whatsoever, will I share your personal information with anyone else, electronically or otherwise. The last thing any of us needs is more spam, or the worry that our personal information could wind up in the hands of an unscrupulous hacker. As it stands, I permanently delete all correspondence once the transaction has been successfully completed, my having received word from the buyer that their order has arrived safe and sound. The only exception to this rule is when I am personally asked to keep on file a customer's e-mail address on the chance that I later acquire something they are specifically looking for. Even then, I tend to only save this information for a few months, lest I be overwhelmed with old correspondence.
Although I still occasionally buy stock through outlets like eBay, I tend not to purchase merchandise for resale purposes through the mail, and when I do I pay very little because too much can go wrong. I have discovered that most people--even other serious collectors--can be lax when it comes to grading, so in the past I have more often than not paid more for an item than what I would have and had to sell it at cost just to recoup my monies. Buying in person minimizes any such problems, and allows me to pay a decent percentage of the retail value. Quality control is important to me, and I do not fancy selling substandard stock for a pretty penny just to break even. It never hurts to ask, but in general you may do better by selling it to a collector through eBay, or to another dealer in person.
Answers to additional or more timely questions may be found on this website's Updates page, which can also be accessed at any time through the tab at the top of each page. In addition to news concerning recent posts, I will also address current issues or temporary changes to the site, so if you do visit the site regularly--even if it is just to browse--you may want to check out these updates as you pass through.
If after this tremendous influx of information you still have any questions whatsoever, feel free to drop me a line at
and I will get back to you as soon as I am able.