Starting Your Own Sanrio Collection:I have been collecting sanrio on and off when I was growing up as a child and never thought that as an adult that I would be obsessively collecting Sanrio/ Hello Kitty items. When I first began to shop on e-bay, I had no idea that I would learn the tricks of auction lots and good tips to keep in mind when starting your own sanrio collection.
Begin by focusing on what types of items that you will be collecting. Examples are desktop items (pens, memo pads, etc.), plushes, figurines, stickers, coin banks, chest/ jewelry boxes, and etc. Remember to collect things you will love for eternity. Don't get caught in the hype of people's obsession and excitement of showing off their collection.Don't get into collecting a type of item to fit in with the hello kitty/sanrio crowd. It's best to be a leader than a follower.
If you're going to collect everything, then keep in mind the cost and the space you will store this in. Are you buying these things to use or are you a collector who likes to collect mint condition items that you'll keep stored away in bubble wrap until you can someday put it all on display? Sometimes, sanrio collectors will prefer buying small things like small plushes because they have limited space. Other cases like me, I will make room for all my collection (even HUGE plushes). I literally work hard to make everything fit into tiny spaces. Another thing to keep in mind, place a budget on your sanrio spending. Since you can't buy everything that you want, prioritize what you want first then follow it up with which one will get sold out first. Another main factor in deciding what kind of collector you are depends on whether you will use your collection or keep it in their original unopened packaging. Collectors like me buy double copies all the time. One to use and the other to keep. Every collector knows that if keeping an item unopened and stored safely, then chances are that item will be very valuable one day in the far far future. In a couple of years, you might grow out of your collection and decide to sell it off. Sometimes, it's a very good thing that one is a packrat or else your collection wouldn't be so valuable.
Now, after considering all above, what type of sanrio collector are you?
Here's some tips:
1. Spotting Sanrio Fakes. There are a lot of auction lots claiming to be authentic sanrio items. Look at the title first. Most auction ad title will include "Sanrio." It's more suspicious if the ad does not mention sanrio anywhere in the description or title. If the item looks weird, then go with your gut instinct that this is a fake sanrio item. Personally, I saw one seller saying it's "san Rio." Not sure if it's a typo, but I avoid that particular seller and almost all the time, my sanrio e-bay transactions go smoothly. Another thing to look out for are things that look like a clear hello kitty sticker was pasted on some plain product. A few times, I saw a seller selling a stainless steel canister with a hello kitty picture sticker pasted in the middle. I don't know how any sanrio collector can be dumb enough to think that's not a fake. Sometimes, if an item looks like it came off the printer, most likely it's a fake. One example is this sticker going around. It's a fake because the back is printer paper. Very obvious. At the time, I was new on e-bay and I got suckered to thinking that sticker below was really authentic.
Sometimes, as a sanrio collector, I'm disgusted by sellers like that. It's a waste of space and adds to the number of so many fake hello kitty ads that are out there.
2. An auction ad that has very minimal description is a BIG warning sign that the item in question might possibly be very used and sometimes, something is broken. Always ask questions when you come across that does not give the condition or flaws. Some e-bay sellers are very slick in saying it's a collectible with pretty words to cover up from actually mentioning the condition. These type of sellers hope you don't ask any questions so they can make a quick buck.
My personal experience: I e-mailed this one sanrio seller asking about the condition of the item and he/she responds back saying to read their description... which the ad had barely any details on the condition. When the seller responds like this and is NOT VERY helpful, that is a big sign to be suspicious. Since I was new to e-bay at the time and thinking since the seller had a high feedback score, I went ahead and bought the item. Boy, was I wrong! The item was very USED and with the "slick" trick of not mentioning any flaws, I paid too much money for something I thought was supposed to be in better condition.
3. Beware of No Picture provided on auction ads. An auction lot that has no picture means the seller is selling something to cheat you out of your money. So, don't buy anything without a clear picture provided! Blurry pictures are also something that sellers will use as an excuse from actually telling you the flaws. This is another slick trick in getting around from saying the item is used. Their excuse when you find out the flaw or that the item is used is that they provided a picture, but their weak argument fails because the picture is blurry and not clear. Don't let them get away with that trick! Most sellers never apologize for that trick.
4. Be suspicious if sellers do not accept returns. Minimal description and no explanation of condition PLUS "no returns" means something is wrong with the item.
5. The higher the star feedback the seller has, then the more likely chance that your transaction will go smoothly. Be sure to check on the sellers' feedback before buying or placing a bid. It is very important to read the recent negative feedback because it will help you make a decision on whether it's a risky business to buy from this seller. As a sanrio potential buyer, you have to be aware that having 20 star positive feedbacks won't mean that the seller will complete the transaction. If the sanrio item is in demand, there have been cases where the sanrio seller would take the higher offer and leave you, the buyer, with no item in the mail. There won't be any contact to let you know it's not coming or give you a refund. Most times the seller will leave you to do all the hard work and file a claim. I recommend never buying from a seller that has no star yet or any feedback less than 20.
6. Be very careful buying from International sellers! If you want tracking for international packages, then be prepared to shell out a lot for shipping and importantly, don't forget to ask the seller to include tracking! The international seller can get away with cheating you out of your money. Most times, paypal cannot fully recover the funds from a placed claim. It takes weeks for the whole claim to be completed and processed.
7. When it comes to collecting dolls-- in the sanrio world, they're called plushes instead. When I began to be serious in beginning my collection, I did not know the meaning of "plush," until I caught on by reading the titles and descriptions on the auction lots. So, when doing your daily e-bay searches, make sure to use the word, "plush" instead of doll.