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iAbout price prediction/When to buyn/a    Readers' selection (2017-05-19)

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120 hours ago (20 hours ago)silentwinter91silentwinter91
GSC - toss up, depends on the popularity but most of them stay the same price, if its a niche genre expect it to tank. Alot of stuff gets rereleased so you don't really need to bother preordering.

alter - they've been controlling their production very tightly, hardly anything drops price nowadays, even if they do they climb back up again. You can wait till release date, for super popular chars you should preorder.

Altair - Always tanks, hardly anything has appreciated past retail. Should not preorder.

Orange rouge - so far everything has tanked, not enough love for male chars.

MF - always tanks at first haha i hate MF, if the chars are popular the prices will rise back to preorder prices. Limited edition stuff usually stays the same price or appreciates like crazy. They try weird stuff, their busts haven done so well.

Kotobukiya - There is alot of love for koto, if prices are low you should preorder. You can think about it if initial retail prices are high, sometimes they climb to such ridiculous prices its hard to fathom. Generally, i don't risk it unless the price doesn't make sense to me when i can get something else of alter's quality for pmuch the same price.

flare - most of their stuff has appreciated, hardly anything drops. I don't risk it.

aquamarine - toss up, really depends on the popularity of the character. If the char is popular you should preorder.

QuesQ - their stuff is so expensive in the first place, unless its a super popular awesome character you really should not preorder.

Freeing - Most of their 1/4 scale bunnies usually drop in price badly except for the really popular ones which either stay the same or have a 20% markup. I only have a few of their 1/8 scales but the popular ones hold their price quite well. You really should never preorder, best to hold out to release date.

Megahouse - If something is popular and limited ed, you should preorder. Everything else you can wait till release date.

Native - Hardly any native stuff drops in price, especially the popular ones. They're gold. In general, you can pmuch find most of their figures in the aftermarket for retail price.

Amakuni - The less popular chars tend to have excess stock so prices will drop at first, you can wait till release date to pick them up. But the popular ones can get quite hard to find since they are made to order, correct me if im wrong. Picking up on release date is generally a safe bet.

Orchidseed - Tossup, but generally quite safe to wait till release date. Some stuff can get quite hard to find though.
Thats everything off the top of my head.
68 days ago (8 days ago)anabelanabel
A safe formula to use for scale figures is:

- If it's a recent GSC figure, most likely it will go down in price or stay the same because GSC tends to overstock. But the best GSC figures of popular characters may go up despite that, i.e. the famous Madoka item #98665. Recently though, GSC has been doing quite a few re-releases, so if a new season/movie of an anime is coming out, hold out on buying the characters' figures in the aftermarket and watch out for re-release preorders!

- If it's Alter, most likely it will go up in price or stay the same post-release, because Alter figures are expensive to begin with and highly sought after. Alter figures of very popular characters, i.e. Love Live girls, are the ones in most danger. If you really like an Alter figure, just preorder to be safe.

- If it's Kotobukiya, it's rather random as Koto always has some sort of QC issue but likes to make less popular characters or unique poses. For example, Koto's Shiro figure item #218050 went up in price despite having some serious issues with her hair. Most likely it's because she's in a 'special' pose that other manufacturers don't usually go for and she's a beloved character with only 2 figures.

- If a figure only has a few or one manufacturer, it will mostly go up in price in the long term. This tends to happen with Megahouse' GEM figures even though their quality isn't the best. This is because Megahouse has the monopoly for a lot of Shounen anime. An example would be this Noragami Yato figure item #198458.

- If a figure is made by an 'unknown' or small company, it would very much depend on the distributed item. It's hard to predict until the item is released and people can comment on the figure since they don't always meet the expectation of their prototypes.

- If a figure is exclusive / limited, logically speaking there's a very high chance the price will rise. I'm guessing this would happen with TOM's Wedding Holo figure item #485674 because she's made to order and also TOM's first figure as a manufacturer. There also aren't much high quality Holo figures as of now, although that may change with the anniversary celebrations.

TL;DR when a figure is overstocked or overproduced, it will most likely go down in price. Hestia, for example, used to be the Waifu of the Year but almost all her figures binned because so many companies were making her. There's a high chance the same will happen for Rem figures coming out this year and next year. On the other hand, figures that are very limited (either because they're exclusive or because only a few companies made them) tend to go up in price. But it's always best to judge with your own eyes. An AMAZING figure will always have high demand and go up in price despite all this.
28 days ago (8 days ago)EXkuroganeEXkurogane
There are 4 types of graph curves for figure prices - the "u", the "n", and the upward or downward slope. Popularity and market price of a figure is highly dictated by the Japanese market, and then there are a host of factors to consider, and you will be able to predict it right for every 8 out of 10 figures.
My general rule of thumb is to preorder those predicted to fall in the n and upward curve category, and wait after release for those in the u or downward curve category.

The U is where the figure's price drops within a few months after release, but about 2 years later it starts rising. The figure is popular, but overproduced. But due to sustained popularity in the long term (because the anime series or manga is a long running one over many years with many seasons, and highly popular) stocks start to deplete over time, gets rare, and it starts rising, above the MSRP pricing, despite at one point it was a bargain item. Examples are Max factory's 1/6 Momo Belia Deviluke and Mea Kurosaki. Momo was about 9000yen+ on preorder, the lowest point was about 7000yen, but it rose to about 16,000yen by now. Mea had a similar pattern and i believe Sairenji haruna will follow a similar pattern over the next year or two.

The n curve is where the figure had a temporary high demand leading to increased value, but either loses popularity in the long term or a re-release led to fall of value. Figures made by companies who love to re-release their popular items are at risk of this pattern. This is one of the most common scenarios with most figures. Many of Kotobukiya's figures, almost all of Alter's Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls figures (including the exclusive ones) and K-On figures, and Good Smile Company's Saber Lily Distant Avalon are best examples - the latest victim being Good Smile's Saber Triumphant excalibur, already anticipated due to the popularity of Fate Grand Order.

The upward slope is where the figure will only keep increasing in value, never to drop again due to its rarity - yet because they are not mainstream or highly popular characters, they are almost certain to never get a re-release. Often figures of characters originating from games that are quite niche or only popular in Japan, as well as figures based off certain artworks. Examples: Good Smile's Beatless Lacia, Max Factory's Sallya, Good Smile Company's Insane Black Rock Shooter, Gift's Kashiwazaki Sena. I actually made a lot of money from this category, i bought Gift Sena for USD$90 in a local store stocks clearance sale and sold it for USD$299. I also sold my Good Smile's Saber Alter Vortigern for $230 because i anticipated its re-release (and value fall) which happened a year after i sold her. I realised she will end up in the N curve category instead of this one after fate Grand Order started to become popular.

The downward slope is where the figure drops in value (the degree of drop varies depending on character) and might remain in bargain bin level pricing because of poor quality, poor demand + overproduction, or figures of seasonal waifus where they are popular maybe for 6 months due to the anime, and then forgotten in the long run - well known victims are Hestia from Danmachi and Infinite Stratos' Charlotte Dunoa. One next possible victim is Shidare Hotaru from Dagashi Kashi. Anime was popular, but everyone forgets about it later on with no season 2 in sight, but some of her figures are not even released yet and people lose interest, cancel their orders, stocks accumulate and the price binning begins. Figures of mascot characters (Miku, Sonico) are also prone to this category unless it is unexpectedly popular and stock depletes.
59 days ago (9 days ago)victorvipervictorviper
Figures are ultimately depreciating assets, and further 95% of all figures will see price drops on the secondhand market within just a few months of their release. However, I preorder my share of items and my take is that when I preorder, I'm paying a premium for some combination of convenience and immediate gratification.

Reliably predicting outliers (in this case the 5% of figures that will see price increases post-release) is of course a tricky/impossible business but there are a few heuristics I use.

I'll keep an eye on the MFC statistics for the item (ordered/wished numbers), and figures from the bigger manufacturers (Koto, GSC, ...) with low preorder numbers might be a signal that the figure will hit the bargain bin. Conversely, figures from more niche companies with low preorder numbers are better candidates for preorder since there's a higher probability that those items will be scarce on the secondary market. The way I see it, a company like Q-Six is going to be a lot more conservative with their production runs than a company like Good Smile.

Where things get really tricky is when the preorder numbers are high. Then the question is whether that's signaling a future glut of pre-owned supply or some truly exceptional item that's going to disappear into peoples' collections and be in short supply. Then, it's time to roll the dice, make a decision, and hope for the best...
29 days agolifewithfigureslifewithfigures
If you see a figure and you instantly know you want it and will get it, definitely pre-order it. Had the tragic mistake of not pre-ordering item #396850 (granted I hadn't read or watched BSD until a few days after pre-orders closed, but I still loved his character design immediately) and then the price shot up to nothing below $90. Got lucky since GSD decided to re-release them for September, so I learned from my mistake and also pre-ordered Chuuya as well, just in case.

Basically, if you love a figure, it's usually not worth risking the chance of it having an insane after-market price. Like, I love Dazai and all, but I'm not paying $100+ for his nendoroid xP
19 days agoHalcioneHalcione
It's usually on a character or series basis. Was the series a big hit? is it a generally well-liked character?

Price prediction has to do with understanding the demand. If it's a figure you KNOW people will buy in droves, it's usually better to PO. There will be low chances that any will be left by the time people post their own pictures, and the ones being re-sold will be more expensive (to make use of the demand). A figure with more questionable sales is fine to hold off on for the exact opposite reasons.

When it comes to figures around the middle, it's really more of an educated guess than anything else. I personally just say "screw it" and PO to be on the safe side.
19 days agoHokutoHokuto
I consider myself a semi-expert (a lot of shopping during the years and many mistakes too). Now I usually preorder 7-8 out of 10 figures from Japan, for the others 2-3 I wait for user pics and I buy them from a trusted local retailer (with good prices)
19 days ago (9 days ago)gwendal738-2gwendal738-2
I usually PO and use Tokyo Otaku Mode (TOM) because they have most of who I want/need and I am a new collector as well- the numerous discounts, coupons, and free shipping for orders over $150 (which let's face it is usually equal to the price of one scale) make it a really cheap option. Their stock may be too limited for some, but hey, they hold a lot of the new releases I want, I ain't complaining. XD

Otherwise, since there are many previously released figures I want, I go to Mandarake and find them there. I've used Mandarake before and the goods are really good condition- the Japanese seem to be seriously anal about labeling stuff as 'severely' damaged, when it srrived to me there was like one scratch on the box and the figure was perfectly fine xD I suppose that's what comes from a perfectionist culture?

TL;DR PO all the way for new releases; Mandarake for old ones. PS: have yet to use AmiAmi. Now that I finally have my own debit card I'mma try it one of these days.
39 days agoFaytTheCountFaytTheCount
Personally I would PO all the time, for me I usually PO from amiami they give a nice discount if you po early but it decreases when it comes close to thier release date. One thing I usually keep in mind when it comes to getting figures is the conversion rate of the yen, it always sucks when the yen is high and have to dish out more than what you thought earlier but to each their own.
29 days ago (9 days ago)PVCollectorAaronPVCollectorAaron
If you really like the character/figure, buy it on preorder release date from AmiAmi (if they carry it), you will most likely not find it anywhere else for cheaper unless its after release from somebody else who may have changed their mind.
39 days agohoratiohoratio
WanderingWastrel (9 days ago) #21267028Price changes are unpredictable. Some figures' prices go up after release, and some go down. Many figures' prices change gradually over time, either up or down -- but others gyrate wildly up and down. You don't know what a price is going to be in the future.
So the rule I use for a figure or item that I want is:
if money_available > current_price then buy it oh god buy it before someone else gets it hurry hurry click the button click the damn button and buy it!
But that's just me.

Hahaha! My mind runs exactly on the same "if-then" conditional. As long as it's something I really like, I always PO it because I don't want to regret later. Like the others have pointed out, the aftermarket prices can be really unpredictable while prices of popular items can skyrocket. I came to this hobby very late and have had to shell out a pretty penny for back-catalogue items like
item #78599
item #78598
item #198393
39 days agosolluxcaptorsolluxcaptor
Depends on the series, character or figure line. Sometimes there are trends where a certain character or series or line will almost always rise in the aftermarket, I often look at that to see if it's worth making a preorder or if it's safe to wait for the aftermarket.

Sometimes I regret it, sometimes I save money. Pre-ordering out of fear will often make you lose money so I'm pretty selective but sometimes I do wish I went for the pre-order. There's no way to tell for sure.
39 days agorubyserpent_720rubyserpent_720
The market is hard to predict and it'll save you the headache of hunting down figures and going through proxies later so PO is usually the best bet. If you're unsure or have financial constraints then by all means, wait until or after release

And just my 2cents but if I adore the character/show/game and want to support the original content then I do so by PO-ing the figures. And will also send a message to the company that this show/line is well received (eg more male figures) and hopefully they'll produce more in the future.
49 days agoJasurimJasurim
In my experience, it can be really hard to tell a lot of the time.
I've seen people mention how they're sure a certain figure will rise/drop in price after release and then the opposite happens. Sometimes even if a figure does go down in price, if you wait too long to buy it, the figure will then suddenly surge up in price as demand slowly overtakes supply and it's almost impossible to predict that timing.

I think most of the advice down below is pretty solid. If you really want something and *you* think it is worth it, pre-order it.
49 days ago (9 days ago)adrikynadrikyn
If I really want something, and I'm OKAY with the retail/pre-order price, then I pre-order. This doesn't mean I'm begrudgingly accepting the price, it means I feel like the figure is WORTH what I'll be paying.

If I don't feel like a figure is worth what I'm pre-ordering it at, I wait until after release to see if the price goes down to something I feel is worth it, either via getting it pre-owned or from the price bargain binning.

Whether it's pre-ordering or waiting, you should only ever pay what you feel like something is worth. Remember, you can't take that money back. Selling figures is almost ALWAYS at a loss.

Finally, I try to only pre-order stuff that I really, truly want. Some of these pre-order windows are MASSIVE! I saw one recently over 8 months out. It doesn't hurt to wait a couple months and see if you still want it then.
69 days agoWanderingWastrelWanderingWastrel old coot
Price changes are unpredictable. Some figures' prices go up after release, and some go down. Many figures' prices change gradually over time, either up or down -- but others gyrate wildly up and down. You don't know what a price is going to be in the future.

So the rule I use for a figure or item that I want is:
if money_available > current_price then buy it oh god buy it before someone else gets it hurry hurry click the button click the damn button and buy it!

But that's just me.
39 days ago (9 days ago)caliascalias
First, unless you are having financial problems, it's best to get the figures you really, desperately want on preorder. That way, even if the price rises or lowers, at least you have something you want.

As for other figures, there's no exact science as to what will tank. Usually if a series is extremely popular, there might be too much stock, thus lowering the price. This depends on the individual company's practices though.

For some series, there may be few options for figures. This can indicate if a figure will rise in price like the aforementioned Yato. Another indicator of high aftermarket prices is if the preorders for a figure close too early.

I already mentioned that certain companies have their own unique practices. To give an example, I'm a fan of Medicos' SAS line, but the prices for the figures have become pretty steep and the accessories lacking in recent years. I'm usually hesitant to buy the first color way of a figure if I'm not in love with it because they'll eventually make a second color way and those never get rereleased unlike the first version. Not to mention that the Jojo figures skyrocket after a certain part of the anime starts airing.

By contrast, I've grown fond of the Cu-poche line and Kotobukiya has been pretty good about rereleasing accessories and figures from that line. So I can afford to wait on some figures there.

It's good to be observant this early in collecting. Best of luck to you!
39 days agoCicielyCiciely
If I fear something is going to skyrocket, I preorder. If It's something I have to have I preorder for my own sanity.

If I think meh..not a must-have I'll save the budget money for something else that might pop up and possibly buy it from like AmiAmi or a seller on here later.

Since I got into this late I now have the "pleasure" of doing a lot of hunting and fearing if I don't leap at a "decent" option I will miss out.
79 days agoOse_93Ose_93
maggie (9 days ago) #21264865Why wouldn't Yato have risen in price? Makes sense to me, that series doesn't get much love in the figure department. People really bellyached when that figure was revealed due to not liking the sculpt and I remember reading a lot of 'pole up the butt' comments but I've seen enough figures like that shoot up in price simply because there isn't another option. Terrible sculpts, but it's all you get, it's either that or nothing. :-/ I've seen figures scrape the bargain bin and just sit forever... finally to sell out. 4 years later, the figure sells for 10x the initial value.
I wasn't surprised by the fact that he went up in price, I just didn't think he would go up so much is all.

I was surprised to see him going for $400-$600.
59 days agotharglettharglet
I don't really "chase" stuff, and my formula for buying stuff is rather simplistic - is said item something I want and if it is, how much do I want to pay for it? If the price looks good for what I'm getting, and I have the budget for it, then I'll buy. If I'm on the fence, I'll wait - if I forget about it, I didn't want it that much, if I keep thinking about it, I'll buy.

The times I preorder it has to be something I really want, and prepared to buy sight unseen.

Prices depend on popularity and how good the final product is, so it's a crapshoot.

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