FAQ

“Much to learn you still have… my old padawan.” -Yoda

USING THE CATALOG

What is the purpose of the Catalog?

The DASH Catalog is a structured, searchable resource for Action Figure collectors. It aims to make collecting easier by being a reliable, comprehensive catalog for collectors to discover new items and information about them.

The Catalog also serves as the foundation for DASH's collection management and Marketplace. With living linkages between the Catalog and the other key sections in DASH, as the Catalog gets better, collector's understanding about their collections and wanted list gets better. Importantly too, a strong Catalog streamlines mundane tasks such as listing items for sale and estimating the value of items. With a common, rich resource, even mundane tasks like removing ambiguity about item names gets easier for everyone.

The task of creating and maintaining this Catalog is immense. In order to simplify the maintenance of the Catalog, it is set up to allow the passionate and knowledgeable collector community to contribute to its maintenance (much like Wikipedia, but tailored specifically toward Action Figure collectors). One day, we hope that even Action Figure manufacturers will help keep the Catalog accurate, especially as they launch new items. As a free resource for collectors, it serves like a 'Library of Congress' for the community. With great photos, video reviews, and user reviews, the DASH Catalog is an indespensible resource for the community.

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What is a DASH ID and how can I use it?

One of the key challenges for collectors is in the identification and communication of which specific item they have. The collectible market has a number of particular idiosyncrasies that make this identification and communication particularly challenging.

Consider these three figures:

Variances in Marvel Legends Human Torch

As is often the case, it is not clear from the packaging even what the name of the figure is. Some people may call it “Human Torch” and others may call it “Marvel Legends Human Torch.” (Consider the likelihood that part of the name is misspelled too. Many action figure characters have unusually spelled names, which leads to lots of errors.)

Most action figures have UPC barcodes on them, which are supposed to be a unique identifier for the item. Of course UPCs don't help a collector who has just a loose figure, but the issues are deeper than that. For example, it turns out that Hasbro distributed this figure different ways that are significant for collectors. In one variation (the first item), the figure has a dark red body with white lines and flaming hair, while in another (the second photo), the figure is a much lighter color. Both of these figures are from the same series and carry the UPC 653569333326.

In DASH, all figures are given a unique “DASH ID” which greatly simplifies the process of communicating with others what figure you want or have. Additionally, DASH has established naming guidelines that help collectors communicate about figures in the most accurate and efficient way. In this case, the first figure is named “Human Torch (Wal-Mart Exclusive)” and has the DASH ID of AF-847999. The second figure is named “Human Torch (Dark with White Lines - No Flaming Hair) (Variant) (Wal-Mart Exclusive)” and has the DASH ID of AF-106457. So, with DASH, it is easier to accurately identify the figure and communicate which figure you want efficienctly, simply with the DASH ID.

Compounding this particular issue is that Hasbro also issued another “Marvel Legends Human Torch.” (the third photo) It was also a “Build-A-Figure” figure. All three of the figures are about 6 inches tall. In other words, it would be quite easy to miscommunicate about which figure you had or wanted by simply saying “Marvel Legends Human Torch by Hasbro which was a 6 inch with a build-a-figure.” (And that’s a lot of information!)

This figure is from the Ronan the Accuser series, with simply the name “Human Torch” and has the DASH ID of AF-355523. Knowing that will help collectors who want to know the other figures in this series, since with DASH, it is simple for collectors to filter figures per series.

A final reason UPCs don't work as a unique identifier is that a good number of figures do not have a UPC. For example, most figures before 1976 do not have a UPC. Many figures produced as show exclusives don’t have a UPC. Many figures from some manufacturers (e.g. DC Direct) do not have UPCs. Many manufacturers do not assign a UPC to mail-away or build-a-figures. Etc. In other words, the idea of having a unique identifier per type of item is a good one; nevertheless, UPCs do not accomodate the unique circumstances for collectible action figures. The DASH ID overcomes these issues.

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I can’t find the figure(s) I am looking for. How can I find them?

There are two main ways to find figures in the Catalog: browsing/filtering and search.

If you have several figures of the same brand, you may find clicking through the linked series to be the most efficient way. Start by choosing either one of the featured categories, or you can peruse from the more than 700 brands currently identified. As you click on different series, you will notice that the figures in the list below are filtered. The great thing is that you learn as you explore, and once you find the series you are looking for, all the figures you are looking for are right there. At any time, if you see a figure from the series you are looking for, you can click on its series to see only the figures in that series.

If you are looking for a particular figure, search works really well. Type the most specific part of your figure’s name into the search box. For example, if you are looking for “Luke Skywalker in Imperial Guard Disguise with Taser Staff Weapon,” searching for “Luke Skywalker” will return over 200 figures. Instead, if you search for “taser,” the search will return only 4 figures.

We’re doing our best to add UPC codes to the database too, so searching for your figure’s UPC code is another good strategy. (Be sure to type in the full 12-digits.) For dealers or collectors with a massive packaged collection, using a UPC barcode scanner works very well with DASH. Simply click in the Search box and scan the UPC of a figure. If that figure has its UPC in the Catalog, then you will see it. (If the search results are null, please search with other criteria. When you find the right figure, please add the UPC!) Some figures don’t have UPC codes, but do have manufacturer or assortment numbers. You can also search for those numbers.

If you are looking for a full list of figures and you can’t find it by brand or series, you can try searching for an unusually named figure in the series. Find that figure and see that figure’s “Series Info” to know where in the Catalog the other figures of that series can be found.

In the event that a brand, series or figure is missing from the Catalog, please add it using our DASH-wiki functionality. Please do a thorough search before you do so though as we don’t want to add duplicates to the Catalog.

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I see some inaccurate or missing information. How can I correct this?

DASH’s Catalog is built as a “wiki-enabled” community resource. We have internal audit capabilities and a team of experts to help review updates made to the Catalog; however, we rely on the contributions of our users to keep the DASH Catalog the most accurate and comprehensive resource for action figure collectors.

Editing information for an item in the Catalog is easy. Click on the name of the figure to display the Item Details screen for that figure. There, you can simply click on many of the fields to edit or add to the Catalog. Make your change and click OK. Your updates are now live for everyone. As mentioned, we routinely audit this information for accuracy. All edits are tagged with the user name of the person making the edit.

Adding items to the DASH Catalog is easy too. Before you add an item, we ask you to do a thorough search for the item first! We are working hard to remove duplicate entries, and many times, users will find the figure they think is missing in a different series. Please review the “How to Find a Figure in DASH” for tips and best practices for finding figures.

To add a figure in the DASH Catalog, click on the Catalog tab. Find the place in the Catalog where you think the figure you want to add should be. For example, if you think the DASH Catalog is missing a boxed set from the Lord of the Rings in The Return of the King series, you would navigate to Mythical & Fantasy / Lord of the Rings / Toy Biz / The Return of the King / Box Sets and click the Add New Item button. Fill in the information on these screens and click OK. DASH will generate a new, unique DASH ID for your new entry and display it in the series you are in (unless you created a new subseries.)

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I think there are some duplicate figures. How can I correct this?

There are three things regular users can not edit in the Catalog. First, users can not add or change the value ranges for any figure. Users are encouraged to provide feedback and information about any value range in DASH. All feedback is reviewed by DASH’s impartial expert staff and they will make the appropriate changes. The second thing regular users cannot do is actually delete items or photos from the DASH Catalog. The DASH admin staff is eager to hear about any duplicate items or erroneous photos (please provide the 6-digit DASH ID of the figures in question!) and this expert team will take action to clean up the data. We KNOW there are duplicates and errors in the Catalog (and frankly, there always will be), so getting feedback from the community of collectors is critical.

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I see some pictures that aren’t right for the picture. How can I delete photos in the Catalog?

Only DASH “Content Admin” personnel can delete photos in the Catalog today. Please click on the Contact Us button and report any errors you see (please note the DASH ID of the items) and we will correct the issues.

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How can I get attribution for the photos I upload?

We like recognizing user contributions to the Catalog. Whenever you upload a photo to the Catalog, you will see a checkbox to turn on attribution for your uploads. We default to your user name, but you can change that. You can also link your attribution string to any web page. Just type in the URL for your link and upload your photos.

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How can I add photos to the Catalog? Do you just want packaged photos?

If you have photos to contribute to the Catalog, open that figure’s Item Details screen in the Catalog tab. Click the red “Upload Photos” button and follow the prompts to pick your JPG or PNG pictures. While most of the photos in the DASH Catalog are of packaged action figures, DASH very much wants both high-quality packaged AND loose photos of every figure. You will see a photo selector appears down the left edge of the photo viewer, enabling the user to choose to view one of many different photos for a single item.

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What are the item naming standards on Collector-ActionFigures?

We strive to follow a simple rule when naming figures in the Catalog. We try to name the figure by the name on the packaging. That means that some figures share a name with other figures (e.g. there are a lot of figures named “Darth Vader”). You will also see some long names (e.g. Absorbing Man with Wrecking Ball & Breakaway Safe) because that is the name/description given on the package. You may also see some misspelled words and other errors. That is because we are simply following what was printed on the packaging. Because all items have their own unique DASH ID, users do not have to overload the name with extraneous information, introducing numerous inconsistencies in the Catalog.

You will also notice that we append the item name with several other optional things as well. For example, if the figure is a variant (or has a variant), we delineate the differences in parentheses. An example of this is DASH ID AF-858885: Age of Apocalypse Weapon X (Wal-Mart Exclusive) and DASH ID AF-115611: Age of Apocalypse Weapon X (Burnt Face) (Wal-Mart Exclusive). You see that the variation and the exclusive distribution partner are appended to the regular item name. Please see the DASH Catalog Item Naming Guidelines for more detail.

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MANAGING MY COLLECTION

How do I add items to my collection?

To add items to your collection, first register for an account. DASH needs to know who to credit the collection to! Next, click on the Catalog tab. Find a figure that you have and click on the Add to My Collection button above the photo of that item. If you have two of that item, click the Add to My Collection button twice. When you add an item to your collection, a copy of that figure is recorded in the My Collection section of DASH. You will notice that, for example if you clicked Add to My Collection from the “Battle at Shelob’s Lair” figure with DASH ID AF-483439, you would see that figure listed under your My Collection tab with the DASH Unit ID of AF-483439-XXXX. Any collector of that figure will share the first six numeric digits of the DASH ID, but every unit across collectors will have a unique last 4 digits.

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How can I remove items from my collection?

To remove items from your collection, click on the My Collection tab and click on the figure you want to remove. Next to the DASH Unit ID for that figure, you will see a red X button. Click it and you will be asked to confirm your deletion. Ciick OK and the figure no longer is in your collection.

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I see that I can record different information for my figures. What do the fields mean?

The figures in your collection inherit all of the great info that you see in the Catalog, but in your collection, you can add specific information about your specific items. Click on each of the following fields to record this information for your figures:

Grade: Please see the DASH Packaged Action Figure Grading Guidelines for the specific definitions for this C-scale. Loose figures have a wider degree of variability in condition, so the Grade definitions are not as useful for loose figures.

Condition: Whereas “Grade” is a sort of short-hand for an item’s condition, the Condition field enables a collector to write a freeform description of his item’s condition. There are a number of abbreviations collectors may use in the Condition field, but the important thing is to accurately and honestly describe your figure. In the event you ever sell that figure, you will save yourself and your potential buyer a great deal of grief by accurately and honestly describing the condition of your item.

In Package: If your item is in its original packaging and has never been opened, you should choose “in Package.” If your figure is loose or is in its packaging, but the packaging is not unopened, you should choose “Loose.” This designation is important in describing your items accurately, but it also affects the total valuation of your collection.

Date Acquired (private field): Pick the day you acquired the figure.

Acquisition Cost (private field): Record how much you paid for the figure.

Location (private field): For collectors with extensive and distributed collections, this is a field that helps them find their figures. For example, a collector may record “In box #3A in the basement” for a figure’s location.

My Value (private field): Most items in the DASH Catalog have ranges for packaged and loose values. These values are based on a C7 grade figure. If your figure is different significantly from this assumption (e.g. it is autographed, AFA graded, or is in materially better or worse condition), you may want to fill in your own value for the figure. If you fill in the My Value field, DASH will use it when reporting your collection’s overall value.

Custom Field 1 and 2 (private fields): The two custom fields are for collectors and sellers to record other types of information about their figures. Many sellers opt to record their own SKU number in one of these fields to help them manage their inventory across multiple sales channels.

Note: If you sell a figure, all non-private fields and photos will be moved to the buyer’s collection. Private field information is not shared with anyone.

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I see that I can record different information for my figures. What do the fields mean?

The figures in your collection inherit all of the great info that you see in the Catalog, but in your collection, you can add specific information about your specific items. Click on each of the following fields to record this information for your figures:

Grade: Please see the DASH Packaged Action Figure Grading Guidelines for the specific definitions for this C-scale. Loose figures have a wider degree of variability in condition, so the Grade definitions are not as useful for loose figures.

Condition: Whereas “Grade” is a sort of short-hand for an item’s condition, the Condition field enables a collector to write a freeform description of his item’s condition. There are a number of abbreviations collectors may use in the Condition field, but the important thing is to accurately and honestly describe your figure. In the event you ever sell that figure, you will save yourself and your potential buyer a great deal of grief by accurately and honestly describing the condition of your item.

In Package: If your item is in its original packaging and has never been opened, you should choose “in Package.” If your figure is loose or is in its packaging, but the packaging is not unopened, you should choose “Loose.” This designation is important in describing your items accurately, but it also affects the total valuation of your collection.

Date Acquired (private field): Pick the day you acquired the figure.

Acquisition Cost (private field): Record how much you paid for the figure.

Location (private field): For collectors with extensive and distributed collections, this is a field that helps them find their figures. For example, a collector may record “In box #3A in the basement” for a figure’s location.

My Value (private field): Most items in the DASH Catalog have ranges for packaged and loose values. These values are based on a C7 grade figure. If your figure is different significantly from this assumption (e.g. it is autographed, AFA graded, or is in materially better or worse condition), you may want to fill in your own value for the figure. If you fill in the My Value field, DASH will use it when reporting your collection’s overall value.

Custom Field 1 and 2 (private fields): The two custom fields are for collectors and sellers to record other types of information about their figures. Many sellers opt to record their own SKU number in one of these fields to help them manage their inventory across multiple sales channels.

Note: If you sell a figure, all non-private fields and photos will be moved to the buyer’s collection. Private field information is not shared with anyone.

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How can I upload photos of my own items?

When you are in My Collection and click to see a figure’s Item Detail screen, you can click on the Upload Photos button. Pick JPG or PNG files to upload for that item. If you have better photos for an item than are presently in the Catalog, please consider uploading your photos for that item into the DASH Catalog.

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How does having my collection managed on DASH benefit me?

Of course the biggest benefits are being able to keep track of what you have and what you want. Instead of having to try to remember it all, DASH collectors can access their full collection and wanted list from any web browser, or from their iOS or Android devices. No more guess work.

Beyond that, because your collection is integrated with the DASH Catalog and Marketplace, it becomes a dynamic collection. As the information for your figures is improved in the Catalog, your collection gets enhanced. One interesting benefit of managing your collection alongside thousands of other collectors is that you gain insights about your own items, based on the aggregate activity of the community. For example, DASH shows collectors how many other DASH users have marked their items as wanted. DASH also gives collectors a feel for how commonly their items are collected by the collecting community. Collectors can also rate all figures in the Catalog, so collectors see the aggregate community’s overall average rating for each of their figures too. Additionally, as items you want are posted for sale or reduced in price, DASH can automatically notify you. There are a number of other personalization features planned as well for collectors that manage their collection in DASH. These features will make collecting more fun and efficient.

Another neat benefit of managing your collection on DASH is your Showcase. Think of this as YOUR website for you as an action figure collector. Every DASH user gets their own showcase, so you can easily share your collection and passion with other collectors. Copy and paste your own showcase URL into emails or into your standard forum signatures!

Lastly, because DASH also has the world’s largest online value guide for action figures, collectors can see an overall value of their collection. In particular, this report makes getting insurance for your collection easier and often less expensive. See more about the extra features DASH Premium users get.

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I get alerts on some of my Wanted Items. How does that work?

By default, when a user adds an item to his Wanted List, DASH turns on ”Marketplace Alerts.” Whenever a new item is listed for sale or reduced in price, a DASH user who wants that item gets a brief notification with link to review that listing. You can turn on/off alerts on an item-by-item basis in your Wanted List, and you can turn off Marketplace Alerts by default in your Account Settings.

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BUYING

What makes buying on DASH safe and secure?

Technically, buyers and sellers can feel safe using DASH because it leverages the most popular and proven payments platform in the world, PayPal. All money flows directly between buyers and sellers, and both parties are bound by the PayPal Dispute Resolution Center. All user-sensitive, confidential information is transmitted using encrypted communications, and it is stored in a secure format on DASH systems.

Both buyers and sellers are able to communicate through the DASH messaging system without revealing personally identifiable information. Importantly, there is a feedback mechanism for both buyers and sellers. Both parties are incented for good behavior knowing that the other party can hurt their “reputation” on DASH with a negative feedback rating.

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How do I pay for items I buy in the DASH Marketplace?

Both buyers and sellers must have active PayPal accounts. On PayPal, payment can be made with credit card, bank draft or e-Check. We may add other payment methods later.

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How can I contact a seller?

Users can contact the seller of any item in the DASH Marketplace. Click on the “Contact Seller” button for a listing and write a note. This communication shows up in the seller’s DASH Inbox, where he can reply to you securely, using only DASH usernames.

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How do I leave feedback for a seller?

Feedback is critical in online marketplaces. It provides a way for buyers and sellers to grade each other, establishing a “trustablility reputation” for each of the partners in the transaction. To leave feedback for a seller, click on the My Account link at the top of the screen. Under the “Your Purchase History” section, there you will see a link for “Purchases to leave feedback”.

The feedback model in DASH is two-part. First, was your experience Positive, Neutral or Negative. If the seller communicated adequately with you, dealt with you honestly, and was reasonably responsive, we encourage you to consider that a “Positive” experience. Even if the figure wasn't exactly what you'd hoped for or if there was a shipping error due to the post office, did the seller work in earnest to resolve any issues to your satisfaction? If so, then a “Positive” rating is likely appropriate. If the seller really did not try to gain your satisfaction and you will not likely do business with that seller again, then a “Neutral” or “Negative” rating may be in order. The second part of the rating is a comment field, and what your write there is very important to both future buyers and that seller. Please take the time to fill in feedback for every transaction!

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How do I keep track of the feedback sellers have left about me as a buyer?

Sellers can also give feedback on buyers. There are buyers that are not good to do business with as well, and seller feedback helps to provide a check on the buyers. Buyers are responsible for paying and being reasonable about the transaction. To see your buyer feedback, click on My Account at the top of the screen. Under the Account Settings, you will see a link for “Your Marketplace Feedback”. That will list all the feedback that you have received from others.

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What happens after I buy an item on DASH?

When you click the Checkout button in your Shopping Cart, DASH will ask you to log into PayPal to authorize payment for your order. DASH will have set up your order(s) through PayPal for you, so this is a simple process. Only after you have authorized payment is the seller notified of the purchase. DASH will then notify the seller of the sale, instructing them to send the items to your specified shipping address. The seller will see the orders well-documented in PayPal too, enabling them to take advantage of PayPal features such as label printing, customs documentation, etc. Usually, DASH sellers will post the status of your order on the DASH site. You will see this status information in your My Account screens (Your Purchase History). This is also the place you will leave feedback for the seller.

Once the purchase is confirmed too, the item(s) that you have bought will automatically show up in your Collection. You will inherit all of the photos associated with that figure, and DASH will record the price you paid as the acquisition cost as well as your date of acquisition.

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What is a Buyer's Premium?

DASH auctions are modeled after live auctions. Just like how the auctioneer will often extend auctions based on last minute bids, DASH too automatically extends the duration of an auction by 10 minutes whenever a bid is placed within the last 10 minutes of the listing. Going, going... etc.  Additionally, "Buyer's Premiums" are also commonplace in live auctions. Based on the final selling price of the item, DASH will add an additional 5% "Buyer's Premium" fee to cover additional marketplace and seller expenses.  PLEASE KEEP THIS FEE IN MIND AS YOU BID ON AUCTION ITEMS IN DASH!  The extra fee is calculated only on the item price (not shipping or any other fee), and the Seller retains the Buyer's Premium fee. Buyer's Premiums do not apply to fixed price listings. 

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What is the DASH Community Fee?

To help cover the costs of maintaining its database, collection management and marketplace, DASH adds a $.20/item Community Fee to every item purchased in the DASH Marketplace. This fee is paid by buyers to sellers during purchase, and DASH invoices Sellers for the Community Fees they have collected as part of our routine monthly Seller invoicing. DASH offers two premium upgrade levels - DASH Club and DASH Premium. DASH waives the DASH Community Fee for all premium-level users as a way of saying "thank you" for their paid support of DASH.

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SELLING

How much does it cost to sell in the DASH Marketplace?

Sellers pay DASH a Final Value Fee based on sales they make in the DASH Marketplace. Sellers pay no listing fees.  There are several options for people interested in selling on DASH, and the rates for these options are available in the DASH Rate Plans page. DASH will accrue records of your completed sales and will bill you for payment of the owed transaction fees periodically via PayPal.

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How do I list an item for sale in the Marketplace?

The first step to sell items on DASH is to register and configure your account for selling. To configure your account to sell, you will need to agree to the terms and conditions, as well as register your PayPal information so that DASH can facilitate payment to you when one of your items sells. Click on the drop-down menu and click on My Account at the top of the DASH screen. There, you will see a link for “Selling” in the Account Settings section.  After you are configured as a seller, click the Sell link at the top of the screen to manually create a listing for sale.  If you are a dealer or have hundreds of items to list for sale, please Contact Us to learn about our PowerSeller options.

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What happens after someone buys my item?

After a buyer has authorized payment to your PayPal account, you will receive a message in your DASH Inbox (as well as through your email) informing you of the purchase. This email will list the item(s) purchased from this user, give the transaction details, and it will give you the shipping address of the buyer. If you log into your PayPal account, you will find that DASH has created an order for you in PayPal. The purchase information is filled in should you want to use PayPal’s shipping or customs forms features.

You should pack the item for shipment to the buyer and communicate with the buyer about the status of their order through the transaction details available under My Account. 

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I sold a figure I’ve listed on DASH somewhere else. How do I remove it from the DASH Marketplace?

If you have an item for sale on DASH and sell it elsewhere, click on the drop-down menu and click on My Account. There, you will see your Active Listings.  Find the listing you want to remove and click the "End" button that appears when you hover your mouse pointer over its picture.

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How do shipping costs work?

Please refer to the information about listing an item for sale. These shipping features accomodate the most typical transactions. In the case that buyers and sellers work out different shipping fees for a transaction, DASH recommends that the buyer/seller simply process a refund to the other party through PayPal to account for the difference, or Sellers can adjust the invoice based on the resolution to the Buyer's inquiry.

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I don’t want to sell to people in some countries. How can I keep that from happening?

In My Account, you will find Marketplace settings. Be sure to uncheck the geographic regions you do not want to support. Buyers from countries within those regions will not even see your listings in the Marketplace and will be unable to purchase from you.

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How do I communicate with the buyer about the status of their order?

In My Account, you will find a section called Accounting/Invoices where you can post updated shipping status and information (e.g. tracking number) for the buyer.

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How can I promote my listings on DASH?

There are several ways sellers can promote their listings on DASH today. The team at DASH is working on additional opportunities as well.

Send Prospects a Web Address with Your Listings: Every seller on DASH can send (or post to web sites) a listing that showcases only the items they have for sale. 

Share Your Collector Showcase on Facebook and Put a Link to Your Showcase in your Fo

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How can I tell what figures people might want to buy?

There are several ways to review what items have been marked as Wanted by other collectors. You can see this the total number wanted in the Catalog, as well as in your My Collection.

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OTHER

What is the best browser to use for Collector-ActionFigures?

We regularly test with Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari. We find that Firefox and Chrome are the fastest and most reliable, but IE and Safari work well also. We know people use browsers other than these four to use DASH, but we don't test or try to fix bugs on any browser other than the four we regularly test with.

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How can I send a message to another collector?

DASH has an internal messaging system to enable communication between users without divulging personal information. Right now, conversations can only be initiated to a user who is selling an item in the DASH Marketplace. Once the conversation is initiated, the two users can exchange messages.

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If you have any other questions, please send an email to support@collector-actionfigures.com.