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Strange New Worlds  Issue 14 - June/July 1994

1950s Spaceship Model Kits
Possession Obsession
Are You a Packrat?
Deep Space 9 Model Kit
Space Stations and Star Trek
Academia and SF Fandom
Sci-Fi Girl Toys
Science Fiction Book Reviews
Letters to the Publisher


SNW Issue 14
SNW Issue 13
SNW Issue 12
SNW Issue 11
SNW Issue 10
SNW Issue 09
SNW Issue 08
SNW Issue 04



8x10 photo


27 in. x 41 in.

To Whom It May Concern:

I just picked up issue number thirteen, April/May 1994, and have to start this letter by saying that this is the first of your magazine that I have seen and I think it is great!

It's not always easy to find a Science Fiction magazine that covers all of the topics that a person enjoys. But yours got them all, Godzilla, Star Trek, and Toys. Keep up the good work and keep the articles coming (especially those on the above first two!)

I also like your tips on building models, again especially those of the Star Trek universe. I have several model kits which I have not built because I have wanted to add light to them but could never find someone who carried the products to do so until I read Strange New Worlds. Continuing articles of this type would be much appreciated.

Ismael E. Perez

Rego Park NY

Dear Ismael:

I'm glad you're enjoying your first exploration through our Strange New Worlds. Welcome aboard as a new subscriber. We're always on the lookout for informative articles about Trek, Godzilla, and all areas of interest to Science Fiction collectors.

Dear Jo:

I just finished reading issue #13 and thought I'd comment on the Classic Light and the U.S.S. Reliant article. I have built and made hundreds of resin kits and have a fleet of starships from the KLINGON ARMORER and have found his kits to usually be of good quality. I'm sure no one makes a kit without a few bubbles in it that's the drawback to resin kits but his kits are better than the article makes them out to be.

Mr. Waugh seemed to have not taken his own advice by checking a product before he bought it. A good Reliant Kit to build is the SCI-FI Miniatures vacu-form kit. It is in scale with the ERTL 1701-A and is a little difficult to build but the results are outstanding. This kit also is sold by the Klingon Armorer.

Bill Elsperman
Catron MO

Dear Jo:

In Strange New Worlds #12, Jane Frank wrote an interesting article about negotiating price, or as it's known in slang, haggling, when buying collectibles. While Ms. Frank has cited excellent sources, and made some really good comments, a lot of what she wrote would not traslate well into dealing with the two places you are most likely to get your collectibles at: Science Fiction Conventions and stores run by full time comic/science fiction dealers.

You might wonder why these two places would have different rules of negotiation. There are a couple of answers to that. First of all, stores and full time dealers have been doing this for a long time. While I know a lot of dealers who might be considered difficult, myself included, most of us are honest and decent people who've managed to stay in the business for many years by loving what we do. We're not out to gouge, as we make lots more money by keeping our clients happy with us, and consistently spending in our stores, and not somewhere else.

Another factor is time. At a two-day convention, I have, generally, fifteen hours to sell my products and make the trip worthwhile. Usually eight hours on Saturday, and seven or less on Sunday. I don't have time to dicker with everybody. If you catch me at a lull, I will listen and occasionally negotiate. In my store, there is even less time to deal with this aggravation. [ . . . ]

There is no divine right to discount. I have looked high and low, and I have yet to ever see it written anywhere that dealers must give discounts. Discounts are at the discretion of the dealer, as the dealer owns the property, until the dealer and the customer reach an agreement. That may include a discount, it may not. You, the customer, have to decide what you want to spend, and on what. You must set your own priorities, and frankly, you should be prepared to pay full price.

I have a lot of customers who ask me about "bundling," as Ms. Frank calls it. That's the concept that one item is one price, and two or three of the same may be less. That is to be assumed only if you see a sign showing the rate, or the dealer explains it to you. A dealer I know sells his videotapes at $20 each, two for $35, and three for $50. Ask him, and that's exactly what he'll tell you. I put up signs that say color photos are $5 each, and black and whites are $3 each, and I tell people this when asked. The next question is usually, "How much for two??" The answer is always $10. If I don't give you a scale, it's not there.

I have also run into people who ask my price and then ask, "How much for a bunch?" I reply, "What do you call a bunch?" Most of the time, the answer is two or three. I send these people packing. I had one customer reply to my question, "Fifteen or twenty. What price could you give me?" I offered him a discounted rate, and asked him if he was ready to buy. When his eyebrows went up, I explained about the two or three in a bunch people, as well as the people who round up their best prices and then go to the dealer they really want to deal with and tell him to match my offer. My customer smiled, told me that he understood the reasons for my questions, and then promptly bought thirty photos. We were both happy.

The upshot of all of this? Yes, you can negotiate with people and even people like me who rarely negotiate will consider your offer, if it's made politely and reasonably. I don't guarantee that you'll always get a break, but you do stand a better chance of it.

258 West 15th St, NY NY 10011

Dear Mark:

Thanks for your thoughtful comments and for providing your own insights and experiences with negotiations. I can understand your frustration at bargain hunters' questions regarding discounts. You are a dealer who is always upfront and honest with all your clients. But I also know many dealers whose standard policy is to offer certain unposted discounts to those who ask, but won't willingly offer the discount to the unwary who do not ask. In my experience, unless I know the dealer personally, I will always test the waters for negotiations. Straight-shooting dealers, like yourself, will always set me straight about their policy right away, saving both their time and mine.

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