The Collector Alliance has been designed and built by passionate, dedicated collectors that saw a need for a collector focused market place. Having been around for many years, the founders have distilled the best parts of buying and selling and avoided the worst while packing it all into a simple easy experience.
Like any market place, there are two participants: the seller and the buyer. Each has an important role to play, especially in a collectors market. Sellers are expected to know their field and be well versed in their collector domain. Quite often a seller has started off being a buyer for some time, then comes to a decision that they need to move on some of the pieces in their collection. In some cases this results in that person becoming a professional seller. By this point, they will have been in the game for a good deal of time and will have a good pulse on the market. They will have an appreciation of what is common and what is rare.
Conversely, buyers keep the market functioning by meeting a seller on a price and making a market. Buyers have an important role that is often overlooked or down-played. Buyers actually set the value and prices of collectibles by their actions. Sellers can set prices, but if a buyer will not transact then no sales take place and no value information is created. It is only when a buyer takes up an offer price and completes a deal that a market is created.
The collector alliance currently offers two selling formats. The buy-it-now (BIN) and deal-or-no-deal (DOND). The concepts of buy-it-now are well established. A seller proposes a price at the outset. A buyer weighs up the price given their experience and opinions and either executes against the price or walks on by. It is the simplest form of transaction that can take place. A seller will typically need to know their market very well to offer BIN prices or suffer the consequences of selling an item too low (and as a by-product creating volatility and uncertainty in the market) or too high and the item will never sell.
The DOND trading format has recently emerged in grass-root venues and is beautifully apt for collector market places. Originally developed and proposed as a format for unique and hard to value pieces, it has been embraced more generally and is fast becoming a defacto standard for collectible sales. With DOND listings, a seller will offer up a piece for sale, but crucially will not give a desired price. Instead, the community will offer up prices according to where they see the value being. And this is where it gets interesting for a few reasons.
Firstly, the seller is not obligated to accept any of the offers. In comparison with an auction format, the seller is never at risk of being obligated to sell their piece when the clock runs down. This is in contrast with online auction formats, especially time-based formats, which can be devasting for collectors. Sometimes it is heart-breaking for a seller to have used an auction format to sell a piece, but for reasons that will never be known they are forced to sell at a very unusual low price simply because the market did not arrive at an expected outcome on that occasion. There were not enough interested collectors at that time, or the item was missed by everyone, or the market was just napping. But the result is the item is sold under market value (or withdrawn by the seller to save his shirt to the annoyance of everyone involved).
The main benefit of a DOND format listing, and the second main point, is that it naturally allows the community to inform what the correct market value is at that time. At a bare minimum, there will naturally evovle a support price for something in that a collector will be willing to have the item for a nominal amount rather than let it go un-sold. However, since there are no time restrictions in place, other collectors will eventually enter the mix and propose true values that they are willing to pay when it is something they wish to acquire. When everything aligns, the seller will accept a price and a market data point is created.
One of the main differences about The Collector Alliance compared to other online markets is that we do not pressure people to make a sale. Since we never take a commission from the sale prices, we have no interest in pushing artificial or unfair sale prices upon anyone. We want a natural organic and fair market for all. We want buyers to only pay what they think is fair value, we only want our sellers to sell when they think they have a fair price. You will not find this model anywhere else. This is very much at the core of what we offer - to create an alliance between buyers and sellers here on The Collector Alliance.