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Do You Know Where to Buy Action Figures


There are numerous places where to buy action figures and each has its own advantages and disadvantages, but I usually have a short list of three distinct places that I regularly buy from, depending on what I'm looking for.

I use one for buying my "common" or standard figures, one for bulk purchases (i.e. cases) and one for the rarer or limited addition figures.

This way you can generally get the best price possible from each venue and by using a regular supplier you can build a better relationship and get more perks.

High Street Stores:

Your local high street store is often the best and cheapest place to buy your action figures, however your choice is often very limited as they tend to only stock a few of the most popular lines and then they generally will only stock them for a short period of time.

These types of stores include Wal-Mart, Woolworths, Kmart, Tesco's, The Entertainer, Target, Gamestop etc.

There are many advantages to buying from your local high street store.

Firstly because they aren't specialists and deal in volume rather than individual items they usually sell all the figures in a line for the same price no matter how rare or popular it is.

This makes them the ideal place to pick up chase figures at a low price when a new line is first released.

But you'll have to be quick as there are many collectors and traders who scour the shelves of these stores regularly for this very reason.

Specialist Stores:

Most large towns and cities, especially in the US have a local comic book shop or collectors shop selling action figures, trading cards, collectible card games and other such items. If you're not sure where yours is check out the local yellow pages or go to the comic shop locator on the Diamond Distributors website to find the nearest to you (This is for U.S residents only).

Your local comic book shop should have a wide variety of figures available, although often at a higher price, but unlike high street chains, they may be open to negotiation.

The biggest advantages of using a local retailer over ordering online are:

  • Your figures will be in mint condition
  • No postage charges
  • No risk of damage due to mishandling
  • You can physically check your action figure before you buy it
  • Easier to build a relationship with
  • More likely to be directly knowledgeable about the product

Online Shops/Stores

The internet has opened the hobby up to multitudes of people who previously couldn't buy their action figures locally. Now, with the internet, you can get find virtually anything you want.

But, be cautious.

The biggest disadvantage of this has been the huge increase in fraud, scammers and conmen on the net.

Follow our basic guide for finding a reputable and genuine online retailer and you shouldn't have any problems.

If you do have any cause to complain about any online store please let me know and I will investigate the matter for you and if need be, blacklist them.

So, how do you decide who to trust?

The following steps are how I usually find a new supplier when I'm looking for something:

  • Google search the item
  • Look at the top ten sites listed
  • Check the prices, shipping + handling charges, delivery times, return policy and contact details on each site. If any of them are missing any of this information then I cross them off my list.
  • Send an email enquiry. I do this for two reasons, to see how good their response time and customer service is and to make sure that there is someone there.
  • Google the site name- this is an excellent way of finding out if there are any complaints or bad press against them.
Bear in mind that most people are quick to complain but rarely write about how GOOD a site or company was.

So if you find one complaint about a particular site this may not necessarily mean it is a bad site.

You also need to take into consideration how busy the site is and the number of complaints in proportion to the number of visitors it receives. You can check this at http://www.alexa.com

Short list the top three by comparing their prices, shipping charges, and returns policy. Then make a "trial" order from your top choice.

Initially make this order small enough so if there is a problem it will be no great loss but at the same time is something you need. This will stand as an adequate test of their service and quality.

Follow these simple steps and you should find a trustworthy and reputable dealer to order from without running the risk of losing a large amount of your money.

Most importantly check their policy on returns or damaged stock as many Action Figures are fragile and if not packaged correctly are easily damaged in the post.

Having been both a retailer and buyer I know from hard experience that the post office will often throw your packages about without any thought of what might be inside and without any heed of the FRAGILE sticker on the outside.

You can also check on http://www.action-figure-resource.com/mystery-shopper.html for a list of Mystery Shopper reports and audits on several online retail sites that I have had independently assessed.





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