Toy Collector marketplace opens for business

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The Toy Collector, an online marketplace for collectable toys and models, officially opened for business this week. As a specialist site dedicated to toys it’s unique advantage is ToyPedia, an unparalleled wiki-based encyclopaedia that will ultimately contain information about every toy and model ever made and a marketplace dedicated to collectable toys and models with a focus on Dinky and Corgi Toys.

I’ve been following the building of ToyPedia and the Toy Collector site for several years now. It was founded by Christian Braun (ex Auctioning4U CEO) and he has spent the last three years building the site and working on ToyPedia, the online database of collectable toys, built with user generated content which is integral to the site. The Toy Collector site already hosts over 25,000 toy-related articles and over 150,000 images and their army of users is growing rapidly.

The Toy Collector was built with eBay sellers and their frustrations in mind. That’s why items are easy to list against the ToyPedia catalogue, images are free and there are multiple search options. Fees are interesting with Toy Collector handling payments – there are no insertion fees, just an 8% selling fee, however for auctions there’s also an 8% buyers fee similar to at real life auctions.

There’s a full dispute process for buyers and sellers and an interesting innovation is the anti-nonpaying bidder mechanism where if purchases aren’t paid for promptly items are automatically relisted for sale again. What I’m not so sure is a great idea is the ability for buyers and sellers to both leave positive, neutral or negative feedback for each other. When eBay stopped sellers “negging” buyers there was outrage, but in truth how many businesses want to call out their less satisfied buyers?

They’ve just announced that the 5,300 members of NAMAC, the Dutch General Miniature Car Club have decided to join the marketplace.

“We are very pleased with the new connection between NAMAC and Toy Collector – the site provides a place for collectors to buy and sell which has been specifically designed to cater for their needs and we are very impressed with how this has been done.”
– NAMAC President Otto Snel

I’m often sceptical about the possible success of new marketplaces. eBay and Amazon really do have this area pretty well sewn up, so for a new entrant there has to be a pretty compelling reason for buyers and sellers to consider them. The Toy Collector has two, firstly it’s aimed specifically at toy enthusiasts and secondly ToyPedia is a valuable resource in it’s own right as a reference for collectors.

12 Responses

  1. There are niche collector sites that do work. Not sure about the 8% buyers fee though. Thats surely going to put buyers off using the site which in turn will put sellers off.

    Buyers fees are fine when its a real time live auction with room bidders as these fees are factored into the bids and you have around 5 seconds to think about it.

    When its online over 10 days or whatever what is to stop a buyer going direct to the seller in order to avoid paying the 8% fee?

  2. Chris, thanks for reporting about us!

    Hi Northumbrian,

    eBay can always make an offer (they did buy Stubhub) but I doubt they will come down with their fees (have a look at where we demo eBay’s fee level is at the 20% mark for a Toy Seller).

    Hi Gary,

    The Buyer’s Premium is only charged for auctions not for BINs. This way we can keep the overall fees low for sellers, maintain an easy to understand fee structure for all and bring in auction houses to sell on the site (like eBay Live used to do). There are about 100 auction houses worldwide that do special toy auctions and they are important for this market. Because of that most of our buyers will be only to familiar with Buyer’s Premiums.


  3. Fees are charged on the total sale price including shipping however this is justified by the fact that the fee includes payment transaction costs.

    Not sure how this works as surely the third party payment provider will take a fee from the seller independently of any sale fees.

    The fee comparison is interesting.

    On a £50 sale BIN sale Toy Collector overall 8% = £4. eBay all things taken into account including 1x 30 day relisting fee (60 days total exposure) just over 20% = about £10.

    The buyer fee of 8% applies to auctions only although for online 10 days auctions I’m still not convinced about this.

    It will be interesting to see how this developes as the fee savings for the typical private seller are considerable and Toy Collector already has plenty of users who are now potential buyers.

  4. Charging a buyers premium can only put off buyers. As a start up I would have thought that the imperative would be to attract as many buyers and seller as possible and so this policy strikes me as a bit silly.

  5. Thanks for all the comments and the good wishes (Maciej, good to hear that you landed well, please send me your details).

    Just some quick replies to questions raised.

    Re payments the site has a check-out and is offering payment cards and almost 200 other ways of payments using Moneybookers. Like Amazon the payment goes to Toy Collector and we then pay the seller. Our deal with Moneybookers stipulates no fees for sellers when they receive our payment.

    Re buyer’s premium, our research says that collectors are used to this fee. There are now about 30 auctions up on the site (out of about 450 listings), so we might soon know more.

    Re number of listings in our first segment, Corgi and Dinky Toys, we have now more listings than Specialist Auctions (414), Toy Peddler (287), Rubylande (144), Toymart (101), Etsy (11) and Delcampe (2). In two week’s time we will have overtaken eBid (1,006) and then go for eBay. We are also adding new brands every few weeks.


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