Collectible and miniatures games (and especially collectible miniatures games!) are great hobbies to be in if you want a chance to make some money while you play. As minis and games can be very expensive, defraying the cost of playing will often keep your wife from kicking you out of the house. While I still don’t have a complete set of D&D minis (my main goal), this past Friday I did complete one of my sub-goals: I broke even on my collection.
I started collecting again in January, and have spent $17,868 on minis since then. During that same time period, I sold $17,962 worth of minis, or a net positive of around $94.00. I still need to sell about $150 more and I will have broken even including all the maps and stat card lots I bought as well. I’ve conducted approximately 525 trades, buys and sells. According to my records (which may not be completely accurate, but I am hoping is close) I should have around 3,659 minis left in my collection. Of those, I think at least 800 are rare (as I’ve sold mostly commons/uncommons). I’ve completed 3 sets (War Drums, Aberrations, Blood War) and am missing less than 5 minis each for another 10 sets or. I have around 120 sealed boosters, including a sealed Harbinger starter and 3 sealed Harbinger boosters, 3 sealed Archfiends boosters, a full case of Giants of Legend and a partial case of Against the Giants.
I think that’s a pretty good way to conduct a hobby!
What are my goals going forward?
The first thing I am going to do is take a full inventory, and see how close I am to having 3,659 minis, which is what my records show. If I am even close (3000+ minis), I will be very happy. If I do have that many minis, I’ll have a collection worth around $12,000 or so at eBay sales values (In business terms, that would be a return of around 67% on my investment). Normally a collection this size wouldn’t be worth quite that much, but because it is rare-heavy with lots of sealed boosters I think that’s probably right. At 10 minutes per transaction, my estimated time invested into the project is at least 83 hours. If if this were a job, my pay rate based on my remaining minis would be $144/hour (though it would take me another 50 hours or so if I actually wanted to sell the rest of the minis, so my net pay would be closer to $90/hr).
After I take a full inventory, I will do a complete update of my have/want/need lists and start filling out the last bits of the collection.
Once that is done, I’ll start spending much of the time I used to spend on trading, buying and selling, and put it into my other minis projects, including the trading/database website and the new campaign I am working on.
The Game Room
My wife and I are currently closing on a beautiful house with 36 acres in the country about an hour from where we currently live. Once that’s complete, my first order of business will be to build a warehouse on it. My original plan was to build a 10,000 square foot building, however due to the need of it being done quickly, it’ll likely be a smaller 5,000-6,000 square foot facility. With the amount of acreage we’ll have, we can always build another in the future if we need to. I plan on setting aside 1200 square feet for a game room/homeschooling area where we will display the entire collection in all it’s glory!=) I always feel a little sad that my minis all live in totes, bins, and boxes, when they should be free to be admired and chewed on by small children!