hobbyDB & Fees; We listened to you

When we set out to make hobbyDB’s marketplace the most awesome place to buy and sell collectibles on the net, we thought a lot about the fee structure. We wanted this to be fair to everybody and we thought that a good way to do that would be to charge selling fees on the cost of the item and the shipping charges. Our reasoning was that we’ve seen what happens on other sites when you find items that have a super-low price, get excited, then get to the checkout and find crazy-high shipping charges. (Because the wily seller knows they will only be getting charged fees on the selling price, so they keep that low and jack up the shipping prices to make more money.)

Got one of these to sell? Now it will cost you less to put it up for sale on hobbyDB!

Got one of these to sell? Now it will cost you less to put it up for sale on hobbyDB!

Since then, however, we’ve heard from a lot of you who don’t like this idea and don’t think it’s fair – and the number of you who dislike the policy outweigh those who think it’s good. So we’re changing things.

From now on, we’ll be charging 7% on the sale price only (not on the sale price + shipping as we did before) plus actual PayPal fees on the total cost of the transaction (ie sale price + shipping) because that’s what we get charged by PayPal.

Don’t worry, however, that our commitment to keeping shipping prices reasonable is going to stop. We’ll be exploring alternative ways of making sure shipping rates stay fair. We’re currently tossing around a number of ideas including adding a flag that lets users alert us when a seller is indulging in “shipping gouging”.

Here’s a handy quick-guide to all things fee-related on hobbyDB;

What are the fees? Where do I find the details? You can find detailed answers to these question in our Help section. In a nutshell, we charge 7% of the final cost of the item, plus any PayPal fees on the total cost of the transaction including shipping. There is no listing fee to put your item up for sale, so if your item does not sell, you pay nothing.

PayPal Fees? What’s that? PayPal charges a small fee for every transaction that goes through through their site. The good news is that over time, hobbyDB will get a discount on these fees, so we then pay lower rates than individual users would. We’ll pass thosee savings on to you.  We charge only the actual costs PayPal charges us and we don’t mark them up.

Don’t I have to pay PayPal fees twice then?  As we pay you out of what PayPal calls “Balance”, you are not getting charged a fee on funds received from us.

Do you charge a fee on shipping? We initially charged fees on the shipping, but have now discontinued doing so.

Is there a limit on fees I pay on a sale? On hobbyDB, you will never pay over $100 commission. So if you have an item that sells for above around $1425 ($1428.85, to be exact), you never pay more than $100. There is more information here.

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Yeeeeeha! Texas Bull S#!t Scraper at the Petersen Automotive Museum

1900_Overland_06What do you get for the actor who has everything? Well, in 1971, Bob Hope wanted to present something unique to his good friend John Wayne for his birthday. So he commissioned  legendary customizer George Barris to modify a covered wagon. The result is the 1900 Texas Bull S#!t Scraper, a covered wagon with a not-so-covered engine. Cow pattern upholstery and a rack of longhorns up front help complete the look. And there is a load of fake manure in back for good measure.

Despite appearances, it is street legal, with disc brakes and seat belts. It’s powered by a 283 Chevy V-8 hooked up to a Powerglide transmission, so it has slightly more horsepower than the original 1900 configuration (that would be, 2-4 real horses.)

1900_Overland_18-1This car is one of hundreds of historic custom and classic vehicles on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The Petersen is dedicated to the exploration and presentation of the automobile and its impact on American life and culture using Los Angeles as the prime example.

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Yeeeeha, funky! I had one of those Zowees and had wondered where the idea came from.

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Use the hobbyDB Wish List to Complete your Collections!

We get a lot of emails at hobbyDB asking if a specific item, such as a diecast car model, is for sale. Hopefully this post will explain a bit more about how the hobbyDB Marketplace works.

Users can buy or sell items easily and safely on our site. And any time an item is available for sale, you will see a red banner on the item.


But here’s what you might not know… Items for sale are posted by individual Users, not by hobbyDB. And not everything on the site is for sale. Users can choose to put an item on display in their collection without putting up for sale. If an item is for sale, it will have a banner that indicates the offering.

The best way to keep an eye out for when an item you want becomes available is to add it to your Wish List. You can then visit your List from time to time and see if any are up for sale. And coming soon, hobbyDB will be able email you when something on your Wish List is offered for purchase. (And if an item you want is not currently listed at all in our catalog, you can create an entry and then add it to your list.)


Start filling in your Wish List today, and keep your eyes on the prize!

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Robert Graves Jr. joins hobbyDB’s Advisory Board

Rob with just a small portion of his collection.

Rob with just a small portion of his collection.

We are excited to add the diecast expertise of Robert Graves Jr. to the hobbyDB Advisory Board. Rob is one of the co-founders of the South Texas Diecast Collectors Club, and his South Texas Diecast website is the most authoritative lists of Hot Wheels models on the internet.

An early fan of Hot Wheels (he was born the same year as the first Redlines), he collected many of them over the years until family and career pushed the hobby aside. While his young son was in the hospital in the late 90s, the two bonded over Hot wheels, and his interest was rekindled.

In 2002, seeing a void in good Hot Wheels information on the web, he posted his personal database online. He then began working with Hot Wheels own forum as one of their photographers and has also now become a moderator there.  You will normally meet Rob at the Hot Wheels Annual Collectors Convention, the Hot Wheels Nationals, SuperToyCon and other diecast up and down the country.

Comments (2 Comments)

I love Rob's site and use it all the time and also like where hobbyDB is going, this is a great combination.

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Why should I Manage my Collectibles? (Besides the Obvious…)

by Ron Ruelle

by Ron Ruelle

Among the great mysteries of life: “Who really built the pyramids?” “What happens when we die?” and “Do I have that 1:18 scale 1970 Chevelle SS model in orange, and if so, does it have black stripes or white, and, where did I store it and what did I pay for it?”

My father-in-law collected die cast models. A LOT of them. He amassed thousands of Dinky, Corgi, Solido, and other cars, mostly 1:43 scale. And almost all of them were still in their packaging. Since there wasn’t room to display them all, most were in storage and got shuffled around over the years.

Don't let your loved ones mistake your collectibles for a pile of trash!

Don’t let your loved ones mistake your collectibles for a pile of trash!

When he died, no one was sure what to make of the collection. I got the job of processing the lot but had no idea what was in all those boxes or what they might be worth. Then I found a binder of his records: reference numbers, where and when he bought them, what he paid, and notes on what might make a particular model special or rare. And a guide to which boxes contained what models.

I kept some of my favorites, but most of them were sold at an antique store or online. Without those notes, I would have badly underpriced a lot of it.

Wouldn’t it be neat if you could keep track of your collection online, with detailed, searchable information? At hobbyDB, we are on a mission to help make collection management easier. Thousands of model vehicles are already in our database, so with a few clicks, you can add them to your own list. You can also put other models and variations in the catalog if they aren’t listed. And if your collection is as big as his was, there are places to list condition, storage and prices too.

Of course, collection management isn’t just for afterlife purposes. All this information will help you enjoy your collection in the here and now and assist you in buying and selling as well.

So we’ve answered two of life’s great questions. Not sure about those pyramids, though…

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30,000 Item Collection

[…] would be a good time to point out that hobbyDB is a great way to keep track of your collection… what models you have, what you paid for […]

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