How to Earn the Most From Consigning With Triple Mountain
Okay, you've decided to consign with Triple Mountain and we've added you to our waiting list. What comes next? If you want to get the highest value for your models, we have some easy recommendations that will help us get top dollar for them.
"If you want to get toy prices for your models, treat them like toys. If you want to get collectible prices, treat them as collectibles."
The above quote really sums up the difference in pricing between two models that are the same in every other way. Condition is everything when it comes to collectibles: Every single bit of missing paint reduces value. For example, here are two Breyer Proud Arabian Foals from the same release:
The above foal grades as Near Mint. Her only condition defect is a small bit of missing paint (missed at the factory) between her hind legs out of view.
This foal doesn't look bad, right? I mean, she was discontinued in 1980, so what if she's got a little wear? Remembering that Breyer makes tens of thousands of almost every release, collectors have plenty to choose from on the secondary market. Those light rubs on her barrel and hindquarter (and shoulder and hooves) mean we have her priced at less than half what we've priced the top model for. Larger rubs, chips, seam splits, or broken parts can reduce the model's price to between $1 and $5, so "treat them like collectibles."
Even if your models aren't perfect, you'll want to make sure they don't receive any additional damage in transit to us, preserving them at the same condition they were in when they left you. We'll give you tips for safe packing when it's time for you to ship.
Is there anything I can do to increase my models' values before shipping them to you?
Yes! At Triple Mountain, we don't currently offer cleaning or restoration services, due to time and insurance constraints, so there are a couple of very easy things you can do before sending your models to us, and best of all, they don't cost a penny!
1) Give them a gentle bath. A clean horse sells for more than a dirty one! Using room temperature water and gentle dish soap if necessary, gently rinse your model if it's dirty. (We recommend Dawn dish soap: Safe for live animals, safe for model ones!)
Tips: A dry, clean, soft cloth, sponge, Q-Tip, or a makeup brush can help get dust out of crevices. Sometimes marks will come off if rubbed gently with your finger and some dish soap, then rinsed. If there are marks in an unpainted, white area, gentle use of a Magic Eraser may remove them, but be careful not to use on painted areas, as it will remove paint as well.
2) Let them sunbathe. What? Yes, really! If the white areas on your model look more like ivory or, gulp, yellow like the poor fellow below... The model's value will be quite low, as it will look very unappealing to buyers. However, there is a really easy fix for this! Yellowed plastic can be brightened back up to like-new just by letting the horse stand or lie in a sunny place for a few days. The photos below are of the same model: before and after sunbathing!
This colt and his mom took over three weeks to be fully restored, but he was a severe case. Most horses brighten up in 3-7 days. Turn them over each day so they brighten evenly on all sides.
If you have older windows, you may be able to stand them in a sunny window. Newer windows have Low-E glass, which blocks the UV rays that brighten the plastic, so they could stand there forever and never brighten. In this case, you'll want to lay the models on a soft towel outside in a safe, sunny place. If it's windy, hold the towel corners down with weights so it doesn't blow away, models and all. Models should be laid down so they don't blow or fall over and get damaged.
3) Broken legs and Tails - Don't repair them. That may seem counter-intuitive, but in our experience, repairs almost never survive being shipped by mail. If they're going to be re-broken anyway when they arrive, it's better that they don't have bits of superglue, etc., on them. We'll advertise them photographed with the broken part, letting the buyer know it's included and that we're leaving it detached for safer shipping.
Tip: You don't want it banging around inside the model's bag, causing damage, and you don't want it to be lost on the way, so wrap the detached piece separately in bubble wrap or place it in a small plastic bag, and then attach it to the outside of the model's wrappings.
Odors (Smoke, etc)
Plastic absorbs odors from the air around it, so odors are an automatic refusal for us: If odors are detected in the box or on the models when they arrive, the entire shipment may be refused. If that happens, they'll be quarantined and the consignor given notice that they'll need to pay return shipping or arrange for us to dispose of them. We take odors seriously because they can "infect" other models in our care. Many of our customers have severe allergies to different odors, so we want to provide them with safe models.
If your home has a wood stove or if anyone in your home smokes (even if they don't smoke in the house), have a non-smoker who doesn't live in the house take a model outside and give it a good sniff. If they detect a musty, smoky, or other odor like perfume or scented cleaning sprays, the odors will need to be treated before shipping to us. We've heard of people having success by standing models up inside a garbage bag with a dish of baking soda, then tying the bag closed and leaving them for a week or so.
Please feel welcome to email with questions at any time. We want to help you get the most money possible for your collection.
On a separate note: We ask that you keep at least one or two models from your herd. It may not seem important now, but down the road, you'll be glad you did. Many of our customers are folks who had sold their models in the past and are now trying to rebuild those childhood memories by re-buying similar models. And yet, they'll never be THOSE models that they got as gifts, took on trips, or held when they were sad. Models carry our memories and are an important part of our lives. Please keep some of your favorites - They won't take up much room, and trust me - You'll be glad you did. ~ Eleda
Please note that all of the above tips and techniques have been used successfully by us or our consignors, but each model and situation is different, so always use care when handling and shipping models. Triple Mountain is not responsible for any damage that may occur by following any of the above recommendations.