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.