Hello, there. My name is Scott Stine, and although I only established this website in 2001, I have been dealing with a wide variety of collectibles—comic books, magazines, records, videos, film memorabilia, vintage erotica, et al.—for well over twenty years. Over the last few decades—particularly in the 1980s—I attended local memorabilia conventions, antique shows, flea markets, and even managed several comic book and record stores as I pursued my writing career, but have since relegated my dealing to a "part-time" job in order to accommodate my writing endeavors.
I also began selling on eBay in 1999, and have accrued well over 2400 positive feedbacks between my two accounts. (I have a secondary account, "Revelry69," which I use specifically for items of an adults only nature, in order to keep such items completely separate from merchandise auctioned through my primary account, "Trashfiend.") Yes, I have received a handful of negatives over the years—thirteen as of this writing—but if anyone takes the time to research these, they'll quickly find that all were retaliations received from other sellers after I had left them a much deserved negative. (Ignorance and incompetence I can usually work around, if the seller makes a sincere effort to make good on a misrepresented auction, but I have a particularly low tolerance for purposeful deception, and am more than willing to have my otherwise perfect feedback sullied if it means I can warn others that a particular seller is not to be trusted or approached with extreme caution. People such as this have cost me considerable time and money over the years, so at the very least I would hope that this knowledge may benefit other unwary buyers.)
Although feedback ratings on eBay can be inadequate in gauging a seller's competence, I feel my nearly perfect score and the sheer number of repeat customers I have had—many of whom now regularly visit this website—should be some indication to my professionalism, as well as to my strictness when it comes to grading collectibles. (Feel free to pop on over and check out my eBay Feedback.) When it comes to the collectibles in which I sell and trade, I am—unlike most of the people I've personally dealt with who sell through online auction houses—very stringent when it comes to grading. (Please note that the photos accompanying merchandise for sale are scans of the actual items being offered, and not generic stock photos as many online book dealers rely upon.) I use—and have used since the early 1980s—Overstreet's original grading system for comics, which can easily be applied to most other paper collectibles. I have found from personal experience that this is the most efficient system available, and is the most widely recognized in the field. For those unfamiliar with this system, here is a brief rundown of my grading criteria:
• Near Mint = High grade. Like new. If item displays any imperfections, they are usually too small to be significant. (Save for still sealed items, I rarely use the term "Mint" as few items are truly prestine, even when purchased new.)(For a more detailed description of this grading system, you may want to consult The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide and related publications.)
• Very Fine = Mid to high grade. May display one or two mild defects, but the item usually appears like new on casual inspection.
• Fine = Mid grade. Copy is still usually highly collectible and pleasing to the eye (especially when it comes to vintage pieces), but displays some general wear.
• Very Good = Mid to low grade. A generally worn but structurally sound copy that may still has some value as a collectible. Many serious collectors will still buy Very Good pieces as "filler copies" until an upgrade comes along.
• Good = Complete, but obviously worn with little or no value as a collectible. As books are concerned, they are often referred to as "reading copies."
• Fair = Usually incomplete with heavy wear, with no collectible value. As a dealer and a collector, I will usually only touch such a piece if it is extremely rare.
• Poor = Bottom of the barrel. Essentially worthless due to extreme damage and imperfections. Your chance of ever finding a piece in this condition on this site is infinitesimally small.
My expertise and interests cover a variety of fields and genres, but I tend to deal mostly with those things in which I am well versed, and collect or have collected myself. (Many of the items I am currently selling were part of my own extensive collection at some point in time; many of these pieces were purchased new over the years, many remaining unread or still sealed, and all being preserved with the utmost care in polypropylene bags and--if possible--non-acidic backer boards.) Although my greatest interest lies in pre-1980 horror fare, my knowledge base spans the whole of cinema, literature, music, art and vintage pop-culture, with a greater focus on the obscure over the mainstream.
I would also like to point out that my knowledge of the horror field is not solely relegated to memorabilia. I am also something of a film historian who has authored several books (The Gorehound's Guide to Splatter Films of the 1960s & 1970s was published by McFarland Publishing in April of 2001, and a follow-up devoted to films of the 1980s came out in the Spring of 2003), I have written on the subject in such esteemed (and varied) publications as The Skeptical Inquirer—The Magazine of Science & Reason, and have been the publisher of several magazines devoted to the subject since the mid-1980s. Among the latter is Trashfiend—Horror & Exploitation Films of the 1960s & 1970s and its predecessor GICK! The Journal of Horror, Splatter & Exploitation Fare. As far as my writing, I have spent the last few years on a forthcoming Trashfiend-related book, which is scheduled for a Spring 2008 release from Critical Vision Publishing. This will hopefully be the first book in an ongoing series.
I also personally collect vintage erotica, and have written about the subject extensively as well, primarily in Filthy Habits—Hardcore & Sexploitation Films of the 1960s & 1970s, a magazine which was published alongside Trashfiend through my Stigmata Press imprint a few years back. A series of books which are to pick up where this magazine left off is also in the works.
I am also the co-author of a price guide, namely the 2003 Edition of The Trashfiend's Guide to Collecting Videotapes, again published by Stigmata Press. (Although all of the available Stigmata Press publications are readily offered through The Trash Collector storefront, more detailed information about these publications can be found at www.stigmatapress.net.)
I try to keep my prices reasonable and—if possible—below the going market rates. (For example, most of my book prices are extremely competitive to what can be found on Abe Books and Amazon, and most memorabilia can be had on this site for less than what is usually paid in antique stores and other outlets for vintage collectibles.) Essentially, this online storefront fronts as my day job; although it tends to net me far less than what I've made at any minimum wage gig I've held in the past, it offers the luxury of flexibility. This is extremely crucial to my writing career, which—aside for my lifelong love of old collectibles—is the primary reason why I've continued to cultivate The Trash Collector in recent years.
Although my descriptions tend to be fairly thorough, I strongly recommend that you e-mail me prior to sending payment should there be any question as to the items' condition and/or content. Having been seriously inconvenienced and/or swindled by irresponsible dealers and sleazy cutthroats on eBay far too many times (again, the retaliatory feedbacks I've received will attest to this), I know first-hand just how much of a chance people take when they buy via mail-order, so I do everything in my power to make sure the buyer knows what to expect, and that they get exactly what they pay for. Buying online should not be a crapshoot, and miscommunications can arise due to the impersonal nature of such transactions, so please don't hesitate to drop me a line at email@example.com. I strongly believe that professionalism and strong business ethics is the only way to go, and although an occasional oversight may occur (as with any business), as such I do everything in my power to treat my patrons as I wish to be treated as a buyer. Nothing else makes sense to me.
In order to try to put new, potential customers at ease, I have erected a page of "testimonials" in recent months where I reproduce e-mails from satisfied customers. To check out feedback I've received for some of these recent transactions, check out the new Testimonials page; I've only just started this, so keep in mind that this is only a dollop of the kudos I've received for my services. (Unless told otherwise, I will post all feedback here, but will initialize the last name and leave out any contact information in order to preserve the customer's anonymity. (If you absolutely do not want me to relay this information, please tell me and I will be happy to oblige.) Any feedback I receive is encouraged and greatly appreciated, good or bad, as this is the only way I can gauge how I am doing, and to rectify any problems on the off chance they do arise, so don't hesitate to e-mail me when your order arrives. Thanks, and I hope to do business with you in the near future.
Scott Aaron Stine