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Contracting One's Collection


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#1 of 34 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted February 01 2013 - 11:28 AM

At some point, do you sometimes look at the volume of material you've collected at various junctures and say to yourself, "I really don't need this show any longer, now that other stuff I like more is out?" It's happened to me in two distinct phases. A few years ago when I felt there was a rock bottom level of favorite titles of mine from the 60s-70s coming out (the days of waiting six years for S2 of "Dragnet"!), I found myself blind buying a number of 90s and 00s titles on DVD just to see what they were like and to have *something* new to watch. This was how I found myself seeing shows like "Alias", "Lost" , "X-Files" and "Smallville" for the first time. None of those sets are still in my collection today because as the volume increased I found that I really had no interest in seeing those more recent shows again especially since they were serialized and would demand too much of my time. Today though, I've come to the conclusion that because a very high volume of titles I like from my personal golden age are available now of 50s to early 80s, I can now more discriminatingly ask myself, which shows have I bought from *this* era in the past do I not need any longer? Which really represent shows I only got because they were more available at the time before the other favorites came? Today I had to make the tough decision to part with the complete sets of "Andy Griffith Show", "MASH", "Wanted Dead Or Alive" and some individual season sets of "Green Acres" and "The Waltons". I got those at times when it seemed to make sense, to ferret out a few episodes I liked at a time when other shows weren't available and they were from a more "classic" era. But after a few years when I realize that the only time I ever broke out "Andy Griffith" was to watch the S1 Christmas show during a marathon (and even that seemed more like an obligation) and when the other sets aren't even being watched all, that's when you have to realize what's taking up space on your shelf that could be better served by something else. So today, all those shows I sent in to Amazon, and if I get the gift card I hope for all this, I'll be able to defray the cost of a Blu-Ray purchase of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" to a minimal level. It's not easy to do, because early on you can have the ambitious collectors mindset of getting something just because its old but there comes a time when that attitude has to go by the wayside as more choices become available that you're more apt to watch more times. At some point, the nature of this hobby has to become more discriminating as opposed to collecting for the heck of it (and your wallet will be much happier for that too!)

#2 of 34 OFFLINE   Gary OS

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Posted February 01 2013 - 02:13 PM

I've certainly engaged in this winnowing process with my dvds in the past, and I'll likely do it again.  Like you, a part of doing this has been about me buying things during what seemed like "lean" times that I might not have bought had I known other, more important, offerings were coming down the road.  And right now my collection is probably too big and I've made a conscious choice to begin cutting back on new purchases.  I must admit I was shocked to read that you gave up TAGS, because that's an iconic series in my collection, but I know that everyone has their own tastes.  While I have taken advantage of trade backs with Amazon, I've also given some of my dvds away to close friends when I knew I wouldn't be revisiting certain series.  The bottom line for me is to be more discriminating from this point going forward.



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#3 of 34 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted February 01 2013 - 03:43 PM

Yes, I agree that TAGS is an iconic show in TV history but for some reason it's just never grabbed me which is more a comment on my lack of regard for the "rural" sitcoms in general. I kind of bought it more out of a sense of obligation to own it because it's an iconic show which is also why I have "I Love Lucy" even though its not one of my favorite shows either. There's just enough individual episodes of Lucy though for me to return to in contrast to TAGS where my only real favorite one is the "Citizens Arrest" episode just because of Barney's mimicing of Gomer, "Citizens AH-REST! Citizens AH-REST!" It's tough to make the decision because you never know if you'll end up regretting it down the road but I think once you make the decision and get used to the model of scaling things back (and finding other things to add) then the decision grows on you after awhile.

#4 of 34 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted February 02 2013 - 12:53 AM

I've definitely sold off or given away a significant number of movies and TV shows over the years. Some have been upgraded to Blu-ray and some are just titles that I know I'm never going to watch this again so I get rid of them. There was a time when TV shows and movies were just coming out like crazy and I went overboard by buying anything that caught my attention. At this point though, I've gotten a huge chunk of nearly everything that I will ever want and I've learned to be somewhat more discriminating in what I purchase so that's helped stop me from buying things that I'll just end up selling down the road.

#5 of 34 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted February 03 2013 - 03:26 PM

I've started putting select titles up on Amazon Marketplace to sell.  Things I've either already double dipped on (Disney) or really can't figure out why I have them (History Channel programs).  It's slow going, but provides a steady stream of money directly into my emergency account.  Like Travis, I'm becoming more discriminating in what I add to the bookcase; at nearly 800 titles now, I have to start being choosy.  I'd like to pare down to about 700 since that seems like a manageable number and will remove a lot of the "fat."


#6 of 34 OFFLINE   David_B_K

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Posted February 04 2013 - 03:40 AM

I try to resist the urge to thin out the collection, whether TV shows, movies, CDs or books. I know in the case of CDs, I have re-bought several CDs I've sold, which is just insane. I'm bursting at the seams with media; but if there's a chance I might want to re-watch it/re-hear/re-read it, or someone else might, I just hang onto it. The only ones I sell now are blind buys that I regret, or titles I have upgraded to Blu (though sometimes I give away DVD versions to family members or friends). I'm still mulling over new storage options.

#7 of 34 ONLINE   Keith Cobby

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Posted February 04 2013 - 05:39 AM

I had run into this problem when I thought about how often I watch an item and how long it can take to decide what to watch. I solved this by splitting my collection into three parts, absolute favourite films and tv programmes which take repeat viewings, those I will definitely not watch again, and the rest. I am working through 'the rest' to determine which of the other categories to put them into. I expect to keep between 500 to 700 titles.

#8 of 34 OFFLINE   Bryan^H

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Posted February 04 2013 - 06:42 AM

Today I had to make the tough decision to part with the complete sets of "Andy Griffith Show", "MASH", "Wanted Dead Or Alive" and some individual season sets of "Green Acres" and "The Waltons". I got those at times when it seemed to make sense, to ferret out a few episodes I liked at a time when other shows weren't available and they were from a more "classic" era. But after a few years when I realize that the only time I ever broke out "Andy Griffith" was to watch the S1 Christmas show during a marathon (and even that seemed more like an obligation) and when the other sets aren't even being watched all, that's when you have to realize what's taking up space on your shelf that could be better served by something else. So today, all those shows I sent in to Amazon, and if I get the gift card I hope for all this, I'll be able to defray the cost of a Blu-Ray purchase of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" to a minimal level.

Have you ever thought about making your own retro tv schedule? It is a lot of work, but it ensures that you wil get the most out of your tv on dvd collection. I do this about three times a week alternating my tv titles as I go through them complete. Example: Sunday nights -Six Million Dollar Man -M*A*S*H Tuesday night-The Waltons -Barney Miller Friday Night -Planet Of the Apes -Logan's Run Again I know it is a pain to line up a schedule, but without doing this I don't think i would hardly ever watch my shows on dvd. I would be in the same boat you described with Andy Griffith. To each their own, but MASH to me is probably the pinnacle of comedy drama tv, and it is one of the few tv series I could never part with( much like Star Trek original or TNG). I have sold a lot of my movies on dvd but tv shows are nuch harder for me to get rid of, even if they are a lesser liked title. My collection isn't getting any smaller, but I sure don'e need cable tv. Do you sell through Amazon marketplace, or to Amazon direct? If the latter you will probably get 50 to 75% less than selling them through the marketplace.

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#9 of 34 OFFLINE   Theodore J. Mooney

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Posted February 04 2013 - 06:53 AM

I haven't had that problem at all. I tend to go through phases of getting into a handful of shows, getting burnt out on them, then getting into another batch of the shows, thus the cycle continues. The bottom line is that I always come back to them. That is one nice thing of owning a large collection of TV shows. Right now, I am really into Looney Tunes, Mister Ed, and Green Acres.
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#10 of 34 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted February 04 2013 - 07:36 AM

Originally Posted by Bryan^H 

Do you sell through Amazon marketplace, or to Amazon direct? If the latter you will probably get 50 to 75% less than selling them through the marketplace.


I do Marketplace and have had reasonable success in the last few months.


#11 of 34 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted February 04 2013 - 08:23 AM

I just trade in direct to Amazon for a gift card. For these larger sets, the deal can be pretty good overall and I never think in terms of how much the thing it originally cost since that's years ago by my reckoning. I got over $80 from my last transaction which allowed me to get some other items for free I wasn't going to do short-term and again if this trade-in comes off, I'll be able to get a Blu Ray of Van Dyke for a rock bottom rate (and save more space by getting rid of the old DVD sets!). MASH was like TAGS one of those things that just seemed more like an obligation than a necessary if I was taking the standpoint of being a classic TV collector. But truthfully as I've gotten older the show's in-your-face political soapbox episodes have grown more tiresome to me and I was just doing the pick and choose method of finding episodes that would be least objectionable from my standpoint. But while I find I can do that more often for a show like "Law And Order" and get some good rewatchability out of it, for MASH it just isn't there. Likewise there are no significant guest shots from a favorite actress of mine whose TV performances I like to collect (this for instance is why I won't be parting with "Bewitched" even though it is not one of my favorites any more than TAGS was, because there are a number of obscure guest shots I like to have on-file). So in the end it was easy to part with it and I'm not missing it at all. I have to also factor in the fact that I have an extensive video collection of things beyond TV shows. Not just movies but thousands of sports broadcasts over the years, hundreds of vintage news broadcasts of historic events, documentaries, hundreds of Johnny Carson Tonight Shows, and thousands of game shows from Game Show Network (I'm currently in progress transferring all extant episodes of "What's My Line?" and the other great Goodson-Todman panel shows of the 50s-60s). So add up all of that from other genres that I like to mix into my DVD watching (and still leaving time for live sports, the only thing I still need my cable system for), then it's more clear to me that a lesser TV show of mine is taking up more space than serving a legit purpose. Strangely, it is easier I find to have a surplus of old radio shows I never listen to simply because they take up no space on my computer terrabyte drive!

#12 of 34 OFFLINE   bmasters9

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Posted February 04 2013 - 09:48 AM

I haven't had that problem at all. I tend to go through phases of getting into a handful of shows, getting burnt out on them, then getting into another batch of the shows, thus the cycle continues. The bottom line is that I always come back to them. That is one nice thing of owning a large collection of TV shows. Right now, I am really into Looney Tunes, Mister Ed, and Green Acres.

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#13 of 34 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted February 04 2013 - 10:32 AM

Today is a reminder of how some shows I will add and keep if there is that bonus element of finding a rare guest shot performance by someone whose career interests me. The last season of "Have Gun Will Travel" has a rare appearance by Irish McCalla who was TV's "Sheena" several years eralier in one episode. That's literally the one reason why I've hoped this title would get finished. It has helped though that HGWT is the kind of "anthology" sort of western in which you really don't have to go through the whole thing in sequence but can find the fascinating guest shots by familiar performers (the two June Lockhart episodes in the early years) that can make having the full run worth keeping long-term to sample. So while "Wanted Dead Or Alive" got traded in, in part because it didn't have that wildcard element of some favorite guest stars of mine to enhance the set, HGWT does have that element along with a stronger format to justify collecting and keeping it from my standpoint.

#14 of 34 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted February 06 2013 - 06:04 AM

Amazon cleared my trade-ins today so that means I was able to get the Van Dyke Blu-Ray set for the rock bottom price of $76 or $15 per season which to me is well worth parting with shows I was never going to watch much of again AND in the process upgrade my all-time favorite sitcom and save more storage space by eventually trading in the original versions too.

#15 of 34 OFFLINE   Berkshires

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Posted February 06 2013 - 06:43 AM

Originally Posted by Bryan^H 

Do you sell through Amazon marketplace, or to Amazon direct? If the latter you will probably get 50 to 75% less than selling them through the marketplace.


I regularly cull my collection of items I'll never watch again to make room for things on my must-have list as they become available. My preferred method is to sell them myself through Amazon marketplace. Over the past four years, I've sold over 150 DVD's, CD's, and books, almost all of them for a net loss of only 3 or 4 dollars -- basically the cost of a rental. About fifteen percent of my sales have actually made a profit. This has made blind buys much more palatable to me. Of course, I also have to pack and ship the items myself, but the small amount of time involved is well worth the additional revenue.


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#16 of 34 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted February 09 2013 - 05:59 AM

Now that I've done the first wave of culling, I have to confess its having something of a liberating effect in getting me to do more culling that I would have otherwise not considered had I remained in a frame of mind that the more titles the better even if they go unwatched. The nice thing is like with the last wave of culling ultimately letting me discount the Blu-Ray release of the Van Dyke Show this next batch is going to let me get the upgrade of the complete AITF set for almost nothing.

#17 of 34 OFFLINE   Bob_S.

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Posted February 10 2013 - 11:22 AM

In case anyone is interested I found these dvd storage cases http://www.lakeside....ler.search.y=0. they are pretty cheap and work great. This may help some of you who are experiencing space issues. You can stack them as well. I don't know why the link is so long but it works.:confused:

#18 of 34 OFFLINE   classicmovieguy

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Posted February 10 2013 - 06:27 PM

I'm in the process of a HUGE culling of my collection. Basically refining and re-focusing on what I especially enjoy. Cutting back on titles that I have doubles (and sometimes even triples) of. Selling them to buy more of what I most love to collect, which is classic TV shows.

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#19 of 34 OFFLINE   Regulus

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Posted February 11 2013 - 06:57 AM

Every now and then I will find myself having "Doubles" whenever this happens I'll give the surplus disks to a friend. :cool:

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#20 of 34 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted February 18 2013 - 11:47 AM

Success again! All the shows I sent in as trade-ins netted me $125 which meant I could get the complete AITF for only six dollars. I don't mean to slight the shows I did trade in, but realistically there was no way I was ever going to sit down in front of the set to watch a random episode of Addams Family, Hazel, Dennis The Menace or Mister Ed for the heck of it in light of the overall size of my collection. THe old releases of Star Trek, AITF and Dick Van Dyke also came in handy to add up to the total so the end result is more shelf space saved and an upgrade in one key area for a dirt cheap price.




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