DO PEOPLE BUY THAT???
You're at Comic-Con or see a photo of that figure or statue online. You're awestruck by the insane detail, size, colours, the dynamic pose, the base that tells a story and what's even better is that it's your favourite character! Memories from your childhood flood in as you slowly pick your jaw up from the floor. But then you see it, the damn price, and there goes your jaw again...
Is it worth it? Who is crazy enough to buy this??? I would love to have this piece, but can I justify that amount? Okay-okay, this is a piece of art ultimately and not a toy. I'm an adult, I can get whatever I want, and I'm definitely not going to be playing with this (especially for that price).
These questions and more often flood the mind of the new collector, and that's okay. Asking these questions is wise and should be encouraged, as, after all, everyone has a budget that needs to be considered before making any financial commitments.
INTEREST-FREE PAYMENT PLANS!
Another awesome thing about the world of collecting figures and statues is that most official retailers will include interest-free payment plans to accommodate you, and you won't even need to fill out an application or credit check form! These payment plans vary from 3 months to an insane 24 months, depending on the piece you're looking at and the retailer you're using.
Payment plans are convenient and make collecting way more affordable, but may also lead down a dangerous road. 1 or 2 Pre Orders are okay until you receive your piece, but multiple pre-orders can add up to the equivalent of the entire cost of purchasing a figure or statue every month. By planning out your pre-orders according to your budget, you can save yourself, your accountant and your retailer from a nasty headache.
WHAT IS AN "NRD"?
You will rarely find a retailer that does not require an NRD (Non-Refundable Deposit) for each Pre-Order. Non-refundable deposits are intended to protect a business in circumstances of sudden cancellation of a pre-order and are meant to compensate the company for the time, effort and money spent up to that point.
After you cancel a pre-order and get your money back from your monthly payments that followed the NRD, your retailer is still financially liable for that statue or figure. Not only are they responsible for the cost of the item, but they need to cover the costs of the shipping and customs regardless of your cancellation and will need to find another collector for it once it arrives.
An NRD provides a small financial cushion for your retailer and keeps you committed to finishing through with what you've started when you placed your pre-order
AFTER WHAT I SPEND, WHAT DO I GET BACK?
Many official retailers offer incentives for you via reward and/or loyalty programmes. This often includes points or credit redeemable towards more awesome goodies. Just imagine getting an entire statue for free just by using your saved up points! Not everyone offers the same thing, however, as sometimes you'll get credit, points, physical gifts or in some cases, a combination of all of these.
At the end of the day, collecting can be affordable and rewarding, but biting off more than you can chew can hurt your pocket as well as your love for the hobby.
Play it safe, and I promise you that collecting will be a super joyful journey for that geek inside of you!