Monday, March 11, 2013

Taking a Ride on a Refitted ’59 Ghostbusters Cadillac

What I’ve Been Up To Lately and Very Exciting Happy News 

Years ago, Ross and I would attend estate auctions at least once a week and sometimes two or three times a week.
Around the same time we started to sell on eBay.
As our attic space, closets and then rooms started to fill up with more stuff than we could ever possibly sell using the eBay “one item at time” method, we decided to rent space in an antique mall and move our stuff out of our house and into a store.
We were in that business for almost 10 years.
When our life’s priorities changed dramatically, we slowly began to lose interest and motivation and eventually packed up our stuff and packed it in.
Since temperatures went below warm, for the past 5 months, we have literally been holed up here in our cozy little safe haven.
I’ve knitted, marathon TV watched, scored millions tens of points worth of “words with friends”, read a book or two, reflected on my life,  missed Joe and cried…a lot.
Around about the beginning of February, I came across a stash of jewelry that I had shoved into the back of my closet.
And I started to get back into the eBay business.
I have been obsessed with eBay these days.  So much so, the first thing I do when I get up in the morning is log in to check to see if anyone has bid on any of the items I have up for auction.
Deep down I know that this is just another distraction for me, another time filler.
Actually, selling on eBay is time consuming.
There are many steps in the process.
The first thing I must do is photograph the item.  I always take lots of pictures so that the buyers get a an accurate feel for the item.  This is particularly important because all of the items I sell are vintage or pre-owned.
Next,  I have to load the pictures onto my computer and crop them to the proper size.
Once the pictures are right, I “write” the auction.  What that means is that I sit with the item in front of me. I look at it carefully, sometimes under magnification. I measure it. Finally, I  then describe the item with words.
If the item sells, I have to send an invoice to the buyer, wait for payment, then pack and ship the item to the winner of the auction.
Doing eBay has taught me so much about a lot of different things.
For instance, I recently picked up a batch of Mattel Hot Wheel cars.  The cars were still in their original package.  In eBay lingo I would use the acronym MIP to describe the condition of the car.  That means “Mint In Package”.
My expertise is mainly vintage costume jewelry.  Since I know nothing about collectible toys, I had to do my research on Hot Wheels.
The only thing I knew about these little cars is that my sons liked to play with them and now so do my grandsons.
Now, I have learned that each and every piece of information about this little toy is important to the collector.
For instance the color of the package is meaningful as are the numbers in the upper right hand corner, and the lower left hand corner.
I learned that the stripes and graphics applied on the cars are known as “tampos”.
I learned that each year Mattel releases many series of cars.  I learned that as soon as the cars are released for sale, collectors will gobble them up.   The cars I have were released for the toy year 2010. The series include names such as “New Models”, “Treasure Hunts”, NightBurnerz and many more.  In case you have a burning desire to know more,  check out this website.
I had 21 cars to take pictures of, describe and write about.

Here is an example of what I wrote for one of the cars I put up for auction on eBay:

"Last weekend I purchased a number of MIP (mint in package) Mattel Hot Wheels cars at an estate auction in Point Pleasant NJ.  The release date of these models is 2010.  I have to confess, I know nothing about the art of collecting these cars.  Therefore, I am going to add everything I can to help you decide if this is the one you have been looking for.”

Please note that photos are magnified to show detail.
 2010 Hot Wheels New Model Series Ghostbusters Ecto-1 25/44 Refitted '59 Cadillac

Make: General Motors
Model: Refitted '59 Cadillac
Model Year: 1984
Color:  White with Red Trim & "No Ghost" Symbol
Bar Code: 2708479596
Series: New Models 24/44
Toy No: R0942
Collector No. 025/240

So, for instance this car pictured above, is from the “New Models” series.  The car series number is 24/44.  That means that there were 44 cars in the “New Model” series and this particular car is number 24th out of the 44.  
The collector number is 25/240.  What this means is that for the year 2010 there were 240 different cars manufactured and this particular car is number 25.
The tampos are the orange stripe and the “No Ghost Buster” symbol. 
In 5 days, 19 hours and 45 minutes, when the auctions close,  I will know if my initial $10 investment in these 21 cars has paid off. 

Oh, if you happen to have one of these hanging around in the bottom of your child's toy box, one just like it sold for $3520.00 on eBay recently.  No, not by me.

So, that’s what I have been up to recently.  

You know one of the things I feel I have to mention is that I am sure my daughter also loved these little cars, and I think my grand daughter had one or two also.
Even though I had no idea Hot Wheels cars were so collectible and potentially valuable,  I have bought a good many of these cars through the years for the boys and for the girls. 

By the way, in case you made through to the end of this post, we have wonderful news to share.  In September my 6th grandchild will be born.  My daughter, her husband, Bella and Ryan are excitedly expecting. 

So, perhaps I should put one of these cars away for our new baby. :)


  1. I think I just learned a ton about toy cars in about five minutes of reading this post. Not that I'm going to be able to keep anything nice for Little Man...he stole my Harry Potter bears and claimed them as his own tonight because he saw them in the garage while we were unpacking. ::sigh::

  2. Uh, you might want to re-think that "keeping something nice" for Little Man. I have updated the post since you read it. One of those little Hot Wheels cars sold on eBay recently for $3500. Not by me.
    You just never know.

  3. exciting news When I saw the title of the post, i was hoping for a baby your your world!
    My sister does the ebay thing too - she's just good at going to yard sales and turning things over. i think she likes the hunt!
    If you ever want another WWF player, look me up! I'm not an expert but I hold my own (sometimes I turn to Michael for help b/c he is good!) Look me up under "graciewilde".

  4. I hope you are on the mend. We just found out that the new baby is a boy.
    I’ll catch up with you WWF.

  5. I loved learning about Hot-Wheels and, for that matter, E-Bay. If I were hunting for a certain model Hot-Wheel, it would be a 1964 Chevy Nova, my first car. Congrats on the impending arrival in September. I hope he makes his grand entrance on the fourth, my birthday. If not, then the tenth-JT's birthday. (graciewilde)

  6. I think if you found that Hot Wheels 1964 Chevy Nova, it would be a rare one. I searched on eBay and there wasn't one up there for auction. Actually for 2013, Hot Wheels did come out with a '64 Nova, but it was the wagon.