I can attest from winning his eBay auctions as well as numerous transactions away from eBay, Ric is a reputable eBay seller. As a fellow collector, I'm ecstatic about the fact that he is a member of DX all the while servicing the diecast community through his exceptional customer service through eBay.
And now for your reading pleasure.
DX:You've been an eBay seller for a couple of years now, how long has it actually been since you first started selling on eBay?
Ric: April 2002; so just over 2 years.
DX: Are you a buyer as well?
Ric: Absolutely! I am always on the lookout for a great addition to my collection. In fact, this was the primary reason I began selling on eBay to begin with, to help to finance my own collection! As my collection has grown I have found myself becoming much more particular, however, as to what bikes I purchase. Now I limit my purchases primarily to bikes that come equipped with a display stand.
DX: Most who recognize your name on eBay, associate you with selling motorcycles, have you ever thought about getting into selling other diecast items such as cars?
Ric: I have actually considered it, but believe strongly in having intimate knowledge in the product you are selling. As I am not currently a collector of diecast cars, I would want to be so first prior to trying to sell them. I have seen that there is a great passion associated with collecting these vehicles and a very high level of knowledge held by the collectors, so I would not want to simply assume to know what they are looking for.
DX: As a cycling enthusiast and entrepreneur, tell us a little about your motorcycle collection.
Ric: I currently have around 300 diecast motorcycles of all types and manufacturers, including Guiloy, Welly, Maisto, Saico, ATL, Majorette, Motormax, Ertl, etc. While some collectors stick with one area of bikes (e.g., sport bikes), my collection really runs the gamut, with every class of motorcycle included. Once you see your collection start to grow, you really begin to understand how much the sport of motorcycling has grown and how many different motorcycle choices there are out there! What an incredible variety is available out there!
DX: Any favorites of the bunch?
Ric: I am particularly fond of the Kawasaki Vulcans I have in my collection by Majorette. Both the VN1500 and the VN1500 Nomad. Those are a little more difficult to locate now, though I would imagine they still turn up now and then in Europe. The detail on those particular models in very impressive, especially for a 1:18 scale. Another favorite would be by ATL, the Yamaha XS1100 Midnight Special. That particular bike is really hard to find and is wonderfully detailed! Looks just like the real thing.
DX: You have a great enthusiasm for diecast bikes, was this spawned by your taste for the real thing?
Ric: Absolutely! I have been a motorcycle fanatic since I was 16 and I purchased my first ride (a very old Yamaha Special 350). My diecast collection, though, was actually started by my wife. I had seen the diecast bikes by Maisto in the local Wal-Mart, but never really thought twice about them. Then my wife purchased several of them for me, and that was all it took. Once I had one, then I simply had to have another, and so on, and so on. Didn't take long before my home office was basically filled!
DX: Being that you reside in one of the greatest motorcycle riding states, California, I'm sure saddle time is plentiful. How long have you been riding and what type of riding do you prefer?
Ric: Yes, I must admit we California riders are very, very spoiled! I have been riding for about 20 years, and absolutely love cruising. I have ridden primarily cruisers throughout my life (metric).
DX: As your looking for a new bike, what are you considering?
Ric: I am definitely leaning towards a Honda Valkyrie. I have also considered purchasing a Vulcan Nomad, but I have a very high regard for Honda quality and reliability. As I can easily ride over 20,000 miles per year, reliability is a huge factor for me.
Dx: I see that your pride and joy is proudly displayed in your signature, any plans that we will have a future motorcyclist with her?
Ric: Absolutely!! She simply loves her Daddy's collection, and I have found it necessary to "sacrifice" several of them to her for her enjoyment (okay, I admit they were duplicates). I cannot wait to get her on the back of my bike. I have another older daughter as well who used to get a ride to school every day on the back of my bike. Used to make a neat impression with her friends to see her roll up on a big old cruiser!
DX: Your prolly known as the coolest dad throughout the school :lol
DX: In the past year, we have some really nice models come out from various manufacturers, what new releases should we expect in the near future?
Ric: Well, I personally am very anxious to see the new releases coming out from Maisto. They seem to be the one manufacturer in particular who is expanding (and improving) their product line. I cannot wait to see what the new RUNE looks like.
DX: The quality and details of bikes vary from manufacturer, sometimes even in the same price range. In a unfair comparison of budget models to premiere models, do you have a preference of brands?
Ric: No doubt, you are correct: the quality definitely has varied greatly in the past. However, lately I have seen the gap closing to some degree, in particular with Maisto, whose quality (in my opinion) has been increasing as of late. Throw in the extremely low price of their product, and you can see that you really do get your money's worth for them.
Welly, too, has progressed as well, though they are often slightly more expensive.
Yat Ming is still producing relatively good quality, but their selection is dropping dramatically, and they have not produced any new models in several years.
As for my personal preferences, Majorettes are generally the most impressive when it comes to the details. Their main problem is portability, as they often will not ship too well (they often break free of their stands). For realism, however, I believe they are top-notch.
Now, I only collect (and sell) 1:18 scale models, so there could be an entirely different conversation on the quality of the 1:12 scale models. I believe the quality differences are much more prevalent among the different manufacturers of those models, as I have seen many discussion relating to them in the posts within.
DX: As a eBay seller, there is no shortage of competition as a lot of sellers carry the same merchandise. One of the things that I noticed from your auctions compared to others is the picture with the mirror base. Besides the appearance of the auction itself, what other methods do you use to separate your auctions form other sellers?
Ric: Indeed, you really do see a lot of the same items over and over. And while I believe that a good picture is very important in order to entice prospective buyers, it is really not the main point for me. Rather, I actually do a lot of repeat business, and am always willing to "cut deals" with just about anyone who is a collector. All they ever have to do is ask. I am really not "profit driven" when it comes to my sales in that regard. I would like to think that when someone sees my user id, they can feel confident that they will get what they paid for in a very timely manner and as described. This is the competitive advantage I strive for.
DX: The original concept of eBay was for the sale of private goods, however, those days are long gone. It now has a more commercial face with retailers and shop owners using it as a method to sell their merchandise. Have this impacted the smaller private sellers in a negative or positive way, or does it have any impact at all.
Ric: Good question. No doubt, the influx of "larger retailers" within eBay has definitely had an adverse effect on the smaller sellers, such as myself. When I first began selling diecasts, there were very few sellers. Basic economics kicked in though, as demand increased, the supply had to keep up with it. New sellers came on like crazy, flooding the market. In many respects, though, this was good for collectors, as it generally brought the prices down considerably. Several years ago, I saw many, many collectors take a stab at selling, and was always glad to help them out with any questions that they might have had. Most have long since quit, however, due to the amount of work that is actually involved and the increased competition.
DX: Do you currently sell on any other auction sites?
Ric: Nope… just eBay. I believe to do a good job as a seller, you really have to be willing to put some time into it. (I think we can all relate to bad experiences we have had on eBay, and many of those are likely from people who did not have that same philosophy!) In order to provide quality service, I limit myself to the type of sales I can handle, and one online auction site is more than enough to accommodate that.
DX: Occasionally that one rare gem of a bike will come along and will fetch a pretty penny. Have you had the pleasure of adding a rare bike to your collection?
Ric: Ahhh… that never-ending search for the perfect addition!! (Never-ending is really the key phrase there, for as any enthusiast likely knows, no collection is really ever complete!) Some of my favorite finds came from another seller I have done much trading with. He sent me some very rare Guiloy American models (the non-licensed Harley models) that you just never see available. He also sent them to me for a steal… less in fact than you could originally purchase them at retail. I also managed to locate to Honda VT1100 Ace models from the now defunct ATL, both of which were of much better quality and detail than the Maisto version of the same bike.
DX: As a fellow motorcycle collector and rider, what can we expect from you in the future in regards to the hobby of diecast motorcycle collecting?
Ric: Primarily, just keeping up the collection as best as I can. I am a little more particular about what I add to the collection now. As I mentioned earlier, I no longer collect any models that do no come with a display stand, which helps to keep me "in check" somewhat!
Moreover, though, what I hope to continue to do through the business is to keep meeting other collectors from around the country and the world! This has really been the best result from all the sales (or purchases) I have made over the years. I have met numerous collectors that I have been able to keep in touch with, all with the same interests in mind -- the love of motorcycles! Not a bad by-product of my little eBay business if you ask me!
Ric, thanks for your time in speaking with us, much appreciated. I look forward to more of your auctions in the future as well. :cheers
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