Collectible Cassettes Buying/Selling GuideUpdated: August 3rd 2008
In January I discovered an incredible source of information about cassettes in the form of a Yahoo group!
Check it out, new members are welcomed:
And now here in August another user group has been brought to my attention:
tapeheads.net is another very active reference for information who also welcomes new members
(eBay doesn't allow direct links to off site pages so you'll have to cut and paste the highlighted text into your own browser)
From an amazing collection of over 650 different cassettes:
to my modest starter collection:
collecting cassette tapes can be a rewarding hobby.
From common tapes priced inexpensively on eBay:
to the rare:
to the ultra rare:
the hunt and bidding can be addictive and fun!
(picture size controlled by eBay) (* tape collection photo donated by Mr. Mastertape)
Having spent my fair share on these tiny tapes I thought I would offer my humble advice from what I've learned - most of it the hard way. And to help those new to this hobby I've put together my own approved sellers list - these are sellers I've dealt with who are totally professional in their auctions, primarily sell only cassettes and stand behind their sales 100%. None of these sellers paid to be included in this list.
(Dr. Azimuth has been very ill lately. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.)
Tips for an enjoyable experience collecting cassettes:
1) Check the seller's feedback - look for examples of how he/she handled problems and what they normally sell on eBay. If they do not normally sell collectible items see Tip #2.
2) Ask questions, especially about how the tape will be shipped (the packaging and service) and how the seller will handle any damage claims. No sense going into this blind as many of these tapes are quite pricey.
3) Avoid getting into emotional bidding wars -or- bidding too low. No one wins these - well, except eBay and the seller. Pick a top price you are willing to pay and stick with it. What may be rare to me may only be unique to you. And remember, just because you posted a bid on a tape you want and no one else does - it does not mean you will win that tape - snipers are lurking and will probably easily win since you did not protect yourself by bidding the top dollar you are willing to pay. At least that way you've forced the sniper to pay more than he hoped, that's the reason he was sniping in the first place! He does not want you to know that he is bidding against you at the last second. Personally I think snipping should still be outlawed on eBay as it once was. No legitimate auction house would allow such a practice since it is grossly unfair to the sellers.
5) Know who you are dealing with first and foremost. Some sellers will try and force you to send them more money once the auction ends and this is against eBay rules. I would advise avoiding overseas sellers until you are well aware of their reputation. Recently a certain "nakfreak" in Germany stung me for $105 for 2 tapes because I refused to send him more money.
6) Be sure you understand how the tape will be packed and shipped and how problems will be handled. Yeah, I know, I am repeating myself. It's that important.
7) Keep it enjoyable - this is a wonderful hobby, full of memories for most of us as we collect these bits of history. If your tape arrives safe and sound leave glowing feedback - let the rest of us know you had a great experience with the seller. Sellers, please return the favor and do the same for us.
8) Sellers: Please list your items in detail noting any tears or rips in the cassette wrappers. Failure to do so will only cause you to end up with an unhappy buyer as most of us on here are collectors - not users. We are looking for MINT copies of collectible tapes. Unhappy buyers are either going to demand a refund or leave you a negative if you balk.
9) Paypal, sadly, offers ZERO protection for items you buy overseas using their service unless you can file a police report showing you had the police investigate the package immediately after it arrived. Good luck on that one.