If you’re a new collector to Vinylmation, you may hear the word’s “Scrapper” or “Dumpster Diver” thrown around and wonder what it means. Or when you’ve been looking on eBay for some lovely new Vinylmations to add to your collection and you have noticed a lot of very cheap ones from Hong Kong and ordered a few or at least thought about it.
Well let me explain what Scrappers are. In the Chinese factories where Disney make our favorite bits of vinyl, they each go through quality control, if they pass through the checks they are then packed up and shipped around the world for us to all enjoy. However those that don’t pass the test because maybe they aren’t the correct color, right size, scuffed, dirty, wrong parts, the paint work isn’t up to standard or any other reason, these defective Vinyls are “trashed”. They are “scrap” and the term Dumpster Diver comes from the people involved at the factories diving into the dumpster to grab parts of vinyls and put them together.
Always be on the lookout for any vinyl that comes from Hong Kong. While not every seller there is passing on scrappers, the majority are. The sellers have also cottoned on to this idea and are often selling them via the US, Singapore, Australia and other countries. However, it will state in their description that they are being shipped from their factory in Hong Kong. Don’t assume just because they aren’t from Hong Kong, they can’t be scrappers.
You only need to put the word Vinylmation into eBay and you will see hundreds if not thousands of them. Often with very low prices with very few bids.
So the biggest warning is that they are scrappers for a reason; they didn’t pass quality control and were thrown out. Which is why I wouldn’t recommend anyone to get one. They might be cheap, but they are cheap for a reason.
You won’t get what you paid for, there might be accessories missing, no cards, no tin, no box, bad paintwork, etc. Why pay for a item to be shipped half way around the world if it’s missing a hat or glasses or is a bit discolored? Some vinyls are a combination of different figures, a head from a Animal Kingdom Bear with a body from Urban. They have even started selling parts, just arms, heads etc.
Buying them to trade on is also a big no no within the community as the more of them around, the worse the problem becomes. Also trading on scrappers will give you a poor name as people don’t want to trade with you since you have scrappers in your collection. This is exactly the same with eBay, as buyers can check what a seller has brought/sold in the past and if there are known scrapper sellers showing up in their history, those buyers will then avoid you.
Keep a eye out for sellers trying to pass off large lots of Vinylmation which sometimes have the odd scrapper thrown in on the side, ie.. A pack of 5 vinyls with a 3D chaser with no glasses. There is probably a reason why there are so few bids on these type of items as most collectors will know the tell tell signs.
Not buying scrappers is the best way we can stop this problem, if the Dumpster Divers don’t make any money from them, they will stop doing it. They are praying on new collectors who don’t know about the problem and think they are getting a bargain.
Disney don’t seem to be doing anything about the problem by removing dodgy listing, (we don’t know what they are doing at the factory end to fix the problem), so its up to ourselves to inform and enforce our own morals and rules when dealing with scrappers.
If in doubt, pop the eBay seller’s id into google and Vinylmation forums to see if it comes up as a known scrapper seller and simply avoid them.
If you have been a victim of a Scrapper seller, contact the seller and ask for your money back. If you are happy with your purchase, keep it in your collection and never trade/sell it on. Or just throw it away. You wouldn’t like to trade a perfectly good chaser for a damaged one from the rubbish bin?
Simply Put – DON’T BUY SCRAPPERS – And if its too good to be true, it probably is.