When I was a kid, I had a huge collection of Star Wars toys. They weren't kept as collectors' items, but as toys. I played with them every day, pestering anyone who would listen into sitting and playing with them for a while with me. It was a world that I loved entering into, finding it the perfect escape from whatever pressure and expectations this "real world" held for me back at that age.
When I started making plans to move overseas right after university, I decided to sell my collection. I never expected to get a very good price for it, seeing as the toys were well-worn from years of play. I went to a trade show with my dad where collectibles and memorabilia of all sorts were being sold. It was mostly baseball cards and other sports memorabilia, so my table sort of stood out as the oddball at the show. That ultimately worked to my advantage, I think, as someone came and bought the whole collection. I might could have made more money if I held out, selling it bit by bit, but I didn't want to put that kind of effort into it.
These days, buying and selling collectibles is so much easier than it used to be when I sold my collection. If I had waited about 10 years or so, I could have much more easily sold my collection online. Shopping for such items has also changed a lot. Back then, people who wanted to buy rare items like some of those I had in my collection, he or she had to roam about at a good number of shows and prowl around obscure little shops. These days, it is just a matter of clicking on links from one site to another to find those rare items, and it can all be done from home.
ShopWiki.com has taken another step that greatly changes the shape of online shopping. In most online shopping schemes, the results you see are from merchants who have paid for higher placement. In ShopWiki.com, you get a wider variety of merchants, from across the spectrum of online shopping sites available. ShopWiki searches across the search engines and brings you results from all the shops, letting you do comparison shopping all from one site.
That's a pretty cool concept. While it might not be as big a change as the one made from crawling trade shows and hole-in-the-wall shops, it is still pretty significant.
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