The best advice Castillo has is to be careful, very careful. There are lots of crooks out there and it's the most
shark infested waters on the planet!
- Contact different dealers and ask questions, ask a lot of questions and then ask more questions.
If you're not completely comfortable with the dealer, you'll never look at the piece you
purchased from them and be sure it's real.
- Be patient.
Talk to people and learn who is reputable. There are lots of good dealers, but there are also
a lot of bad dealers. Remember even dealers with a good reputation
can make a mistake once in a while, but a good dealer will correct it.
- Watch price trends in auctions and on web sites.
- There are several message boards devoted to prop collecting. Join the communities or monitor the forums. Read the
posts and ask questions. Fellow collectors can help you decide if something is authentic or not.
- Start out small and slow. Beginners will always make mistakes, just don't let it be too costly.
- Sign up for a few mailing lists to be notified when an item (actor/film/category)
you might be interested is up for sale.
Source: Jeff Castillo, ScreenUsed.com