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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.
So... I'm thinking about selling off my D&D collection. 

For those of you who don't know me, I've been playing Dungeons & Dragons pretty much since the beginning. (I started in 1978, about 4 years after the game was first published in the little brown pamphlets. I have all of those, and nearly everything published since.) For me, this was the one that started it all.

So now, I've got 4 bookcases full of the stuff, and a few piles of overflow here and there.

I've got about $6000 worth of D&D Miniatures, including full sets of Harbinger, Dragoneye, Archfiends, Giants of Legend, War of the Dragon Queen, Underdark and most of the rest. I won't be selling those.

I've got almost every D&D computer game made. I think I'm missing about 4 of them and I could name them off if I had to.

The question is, how to sell it all. 

If I take it to a game store, I'll get a fraction of the value and probably end up with store credit. I'm not considering it out of a need for cash, so credit just means I'll be bringing home new stuff. Not good.

If I sell it on ebay, I'll need to part it all out and figure out how to list it.  Putting the entire collection in one auction pretty much guarantees nobody will be able to afford it. I could sell it by edition (all of 1st, all of 2nd, all the "basic" stuff, etc... but then the really high dollar stuff gets lost in the crowd. (I have a few pieces easily worth $300-$400 each.)

I don't mind dumping the 1st and 2nd Edition stuff, since I don't use it and hardly look at it anymore, but for now at least, I plan to keep the 3rd Edition stuff since I still play that on weekends.

I might just dump all the rulebooks and various supplements/accessories but keep the adventures as resource material. That would reduce the size of the collection by a considerable amount.

It's a tough decision. The collection takes up a tremendous amount of space and I don't use most of it. On the other hand, I like having it, it's pretty much the only thing I still collect and I don't know ANYONE with a bigger, more complete collection. Of course, I also have PDF copies of the entire collection and a few books I don't have... so what do I have to lose?

Comments appreciated. Posted on Sunday, March 2, 2008 12:33 PM General Interest | Back to top

Comments on this post: Goodbye Childhood

# re: Goodbye Childhood
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Don't get rid of it. You'll regret it. I used to own a collection similar in size to yours, I had been playing since around 1984. I never looked at any of the first edition stuff anymore except for the occasional adventure idea.

The in the late 90's our basement flooded in a storm and I lost almost all of them. I didn't think it was a big deal at the time because I didn't use it anymore. But my youngest son is just starting to get into RPGs and really wanted to see the old collection. That's when I missed it.

They're not books, they are memories. That's what you lose. Don't sell them. Or at least, don't sell all of them.
Left by Scott Kuhl on Mar 02, 2008 1:57 PM

# re: Goodbye Childhood
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It's always a tough call. I too, have a fair sized collection (gradually acquired through playing), though nowhere near the size of yours from the sound of things. A few things to consider:
1. The computer gaming age and MMO world has done a pretty good job of killing off the Saturday night ritual of six geeks, a case of Mountain Dew, and four large bags of pizza rolls in Mom's basement. Therefore your legacy of passing it on to an offspring may be limited. My kids have NO interest in graph paper and dice: 50 RPG computer games in the house, but no appreciation for the classics.
2. If you do sell, even if you don't keep it all in one chunk, don't break it up too much, otherwise you'll have buyer cherry picking the best and rare stuff, or just buying the "one thing I'm still missing in my collection." Keep it bundled and charge high. Buyers who need a specific item will buy the bundle to get it.
3. eBay is still probably your best market, even with the hassle of cataloging and pricing everything. Broadest audience and a higher degree of reliability.
4. Personally, I'd love to see a copy of your list for the above mentioned opportunity to cherry pick the few things I'M missing. . . :) Good luck.
Left by Thorval Stouthammer on Mar 03, 2008 7:09 AM

# re: Goodbye Childhood
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Create your own RPG Museum - you have more of that stuff than anyone else I've ever known :)
Left by Lou on Mar 03, 2008 7:16 AM

# re: Goodbye Childhood
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Maybe if you find an appropriate non-profit to which you can donate the collection you'll hit the right balance of effort-to-income.
Left by Christopher Weeks on Mar 03, 2008 9:09 AM

# re: Goodbye Childhood
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I too started in the early '80s and i have a ton of books, many bookcases in fact, and I don't think i'll get rid of them, I love the pictures, I think the recent artist are nowhere near the quality of elmore, easly and company. I have a Dragonlance calendar with all the classic covers and they are just great. My son is turning 10 and is really looking forward to playing every week with my crew. I'm waiting for 4e to teach him I think it will be a bit easier. I'm keeping my collection for sure.


Left by ET on Mar 03, 2008 9:23 AM

# re: Goodbye Childhood
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Erol Otus was always my favorite. Still is. He did a few covers for the Dungeon Crawl Classics in the last couple years.

Chris Weeks: wouldn't donating it imply that I would receive no income at all for my effort? Not sure how that balances out.
Left by Blogus Maximus on Mar 03, 2008 10:04 AM

# re: Goodbye Childhood
Requesting Gravatar...
Donating to a 501(c)(3) allows you to deduct the value of the charitable contribution from your adjusted gross income. So for most upper-middle-class professionals, we receive 30+% of the "value." If you can make a case that will satisfy the IRS that your collection is worth $10K (as they calculate it) when you donate it then it is effectively the same as earning ~$3500 with next to no work involved. (Consult your CPA or the IRS for details, yadda yadda) Further, if you _did_ place a value on how your collection is handled/maintained, you might be happier knowing what is being done with it (e.g. if it's actually museum/library-worthy, having it stored for display/use rather than just sold to private collectors might bear considerable value to you). (There are lots of problems with this too, as I understand it, if you donate to e.g. a charity auction, you can only write off the sale price of your donation -- which is likely to be less than the value you'd like to present to the IRS.)

That's all I meant. :)

Anyway, I sold off my extensive collection of ~1981-93 RPGs a few years ago on eBay. It was a big hassle, but I had the time at the time.
Left by Christopher Weeks on Mar 03, 2008 10:28 AM

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