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Selling your minis ?!?!?

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#1 Spaztica



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Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:46 AM

So, I have a question to those out there that may have had success selling your minis. I have had some random success selling a few of my painted figurines on Ebay, but is there any consistency that comes with it, other than having the necessary skills to "pro-paint" ?? I just wonder if I need to expand my selling to possibly international, but I also think its about presentation with the picsand such, but Ijust dont quite know what if anything that I am doing wrong to get more business. I think that I am pretty good at what I do and getting better all the time, but in no way do I consider myself one of the elite, but this is also why I dont charge crazy amounts of money for my painted figurines.

So this is a shout out to those out there that might have any suggestions or ideas on how to make my selling a bit more consistent or a bit more profitable, because after all is said and done, I only make a couple bucks on each one I have sold...which basically just feeds my hobby/habit...

#2 jbarron2006


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Posted 22 August 2012 - 10:29 AM

I have been selling on ebay for a while now and found that if you label your mini as well painted is sell's faster. I know the shipping to other countries is expensive thats why I dont sell outside the US but I know that if you did it would broaden your selling.

#3 buglips*the*goblin


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Posted 24 August 2012 - 03:54 AM

I probably wouldn't go international for painted stuff. It's too risky getting it through customs. As an example of the fun things customs can do, I once ordered two Monogram 1/48 Hind helicopters. These were new, so originally had shrinkwrap. When I got them, they didn't.

Fine. Maybe they thought I was smuggling drugs or something and wanted a peek. The sprues are bagged in clear, so they would be able to see all contents. All cool, right? Well I don't know what they were looking for or if I got somebody just about to quit, but they absolutely mangled those contents - and then charged me $15 for the privelege of having them break my stuff.

Second, in addition to damage risk, with the current eBay rules and their push to practically be Paypal-only, you're completely responsible for delivery. This either means you have to charge insane shipping for good tracking options (which will kill your international sales) or absorb all risk (which includes people who get it, say they didn't, and wind up with a free painted miniature at your expense).

Not worth it, unless you have a reason to trust the person because you know them from another forum or something. For something like this, you won't likely pick up more sales to offset the increased risk - and I know firsthand that the mini categories on eBay have been rampant with international deadbeats pulling the "free stuff" scam. I have to grovel, beg, and provide a sheet of references to get an exception on shipping (but nobody's had cause to complain about granting it yet because I'm so gosh-durn lovable).




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#4 jbarron2006


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Posted 26 August 2012 - 09:28 PM

Exactly my point. Thats why I only sell to people in the USA.

#5 Kay



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Posted 30 August 2012 - 02:59 AM

When I'm looking for minis I tend to do it by company name or by the name of the figure so make sure it's tagged right- it will also help in your general search engine results if someone randomly searches G or Y for the figure you have. ( I do this often so it's not completely unreasonable to think that others do the same thing- esp if it's a rare mini) I have to include though, that when I am looking for a figure it's because I want it because I want to paint it and make it my own. Of all the gamers that I know- which is about 20- we all paint our own and tend to skip over pre-painted figures.
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#6 cookjimjr



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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:39 PM

I have been a seller on eBay since 2005 and have been selling my miniatures, painted and unpainted for 3 years now. I have built a client base that usually buy my miniatures, but I always set up everything I sell to be shown internationally. I have never had issues with customers, but I have had 2 or 3 items in the 7 years just never show up nor did they comeback to me. I have not had that problem with miniatures though. As for shipping, I use the US Postal Service for all my transactions within the US and Internationally. If you fill out the customs form correctly, there are usually no issues and eBay does not require tracking on international shipping, only shipping within the United States. I spend anywhere from 2.50 to 5 dollars on shipping within the US and 4.50 to 9 dollars internationally. I try not to over charge for shipping, but there have been times I have over estimated. I always give a refund of the over charge, which also helps my customer service. I would say go for it and ship overseas if that is where they happen to sell. I have a buyer in France, Germany, and In the UK that are always looking for Well Painted miniatures. For mine (Which I say are Pro Painted) I start the bidding around $25 unless it is display Quality with a large scenic base. Don't be afraid to experiment with the pricing. You will eventually find a good starting bid spot for the quality of miniatures you are selling. When I first started out painting miniatures 3 years ago, I was selling them from $3 to $5 (at what I called Nicely Painted), but as the the quality went up, so did the sale price. Sometimes I get lucky and get my commission pricing or more, some times I just get the starting bid. That is one of the draw backs to selling anything auction style. The item is only worth what someone wants to pay for it. I have found that if I do the buy it now or set pricing, the figures do not sell that well unless someone is looking for exactly what you are selling. If they are browsing, then chances are they are probably only going to go for a great deal. Just remember, eBay is mostly like a Flea Market or Garage sale on-line, and unless you have a bunch of people wanting a particular Item, your final sale price will probably be not much higher than your starting bid. I am sure you could also drum up some commission business from your eBay customers as well. I have 3 commission customers right now that had purchased one of my figures on eBay first, then inquired if I did commissions. If you have a website, I would either reference it or post a link within your description text to help draw in more people to look at your work. Just so you understand why I now say the figures I paint are pro painted is that I am a commission painter. If I painted miniatures for just gaming purposes, I would probably sell more, but at a highly reduced rate because the labor involved in standard table top gaming pieces is not as much as for High End and Display pieces.

Well I hope this was informative enough, but if not, I will answer any questions you or anyone has regarding this topic.

#7 ced1106



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Posted 18 September 2012 - 12:49 AM

Have you tried selling on BoardGameGeek? Specifically, if you can paint tabletop-quality quickly, many boardgamers are looking for others to paint their miniatures for them. I don't think many gamers understand how expensive miniatures painting really is, but you can always start with games that have only a few figures. If you accept used games in trade, you *will* get customers! Another thought is that, if you yourself play boardgames with miniatures, you can paint your miniatures then either trade or sell the boardgame, or swap your painted minis for the same minis unpainted plus cash or trade.

Another thought are game conventions. You can have a flea market table, although most attendees are looking for bargains. You could run a game or painting event that showcases your miniatures (eg. Song of Blade and Heroes) and sell off your mini's after the event, hand out business cards to advertise your painting services, whatever.

KickStarter research:

* Find shiny new KS on Reaper.

* Find tarnished old creator on Dakka.

* Save wallet on BGG.

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