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First auction experience


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For the last several months have been putting quiet a few of my minis on ebay though a friends account. On one of my last auctions with him he messed up and didnt catch it until after he had a bid on it and ended up getting banned for two weeks for bumping up the bid so I finally decided it was time to do it myself. ( He placed a buy now price with starting bid of $1.00 and no reserve on it. He used a relatives account to bump it a respectable price I and ebay cought him doing it though ISP addresses I guess. Keep this in mind if you want to take the chance yourself, big brother is watching :poke: )


Seeing as how this was the way I was generating extra cash for Rcon this year I couldnt wait on him anymore and tried it myself. My main reason for having him post all my stuff was his hight rating and all the good feed back. I thought this would help my stuff sell better than if I was doing it with none as a new seller.


I posted Four autions over the last week and all of them sold to my surprise.

I have heard several schools of thought on how to list my stuff, one being that you should start low with your price to try and get your name out and build a client base until you are a recognized painter. I dont plan on giving my stuff away figuring if some one wants it they are going to get it regardless which proved true in all my auctions this time and most in the past. I dont really care if I have 8+ bidders on my stuff or whatever. If I get what I think it is worth with only one bidder it was worth it to me which is what happened in the case of the 150mm resin kit " Carina" I sold this time for $150. Had several comments that I had listed it to high because it wasnt a popular kit or something. With a resin model that big its alot different than a 28mm to paint and the price I asked and recieved was the lowest I would go on in this case. I am not going to under sell my work because people want everything for nothing, would just as soon keep it on my own self then. Was happy with the price for the most part but still think I sould of gotten more for it IMO. There again I'm not trying to do this to support myself so if something doesnt sell, no big deal, I can just relist it later and ajust my price accordingly


What I have been doing with good results for the most part ( say 60/40% sale ratio) is starting the bid at my lowest price I will accept ( generaly between $60 and $120 since I do larger minis, 54mm + for the most part) and either setting a reserve a bit higher or just the one starting bid and let it stand like that.


1)My new new account and the lack of feed back didint affect my sales as far as I could tell.


2)I tried to maintain good communication with the buyer being courtious and giving one of them a discount on his shipping for multiple purchases and it was appreciated. Good PR I think and would probably buy from me again in the future.


3) Had one pay with an echack which I thought was strange and still waiting for it to clear, should be today. Dont misread notifications from ebay and ship your sold items until the payment has gone into your pay pal account.


4)had a bit of a mix up with my first sale between ebay and pay pal. Seems I opened my pay pal using one email address but had an existing ebay account with another. My default computer one. The two wouldnt talk to one another and it said I had a payment waiting to be recieved but wouldnt deposite it. The step by step process keep taking me to the account set up screen to register but I all ready had an account so it would accept it. Got very frustrating for a while until I figured out I had to add the other email on to my paypay account as well so the transaction would take place. After that everything went smooth.


5) people for the most part were friendly as long as you talked to them and then shipped out the items promtly after they paid. Made sure to package my stuff very well for the shippment and pinned items that needed to be to help them arrive in one peice so the buyer gets what he orders undamaged. International shipping is the worst, customs has a bad habit of damaging things so I double box all my stuff, the majority of my client base has been oversea's to this point with most of my exposure being from CMON.


6) The whole ebay and Pay Pal set up pricess was actually very straight forward for the most part. Everything was a step by step process and pretty easy to do in general. I set up a seperate bank account just for Pay Pal as well to protect myself keeping those funds and transfers seperate from my normal checking. Whenever someone buys something it goes into your pay pal account first and can then be transfered to your bank account if that is how you wish to handle it, its not automatic though and required a funds transfer that takes approx. 3-4 days to clear as in my case.


7) You need to do painting that sets you apart from the norm. In my case the fact that I paint larger stuff and work primarily in oils helps I think. I've seen some 28mm stuff go for stupid low prices IMO that should of got alot more, but everyone seems to paint them so the market is flooded in a manner of speaking. Have to admit that T&A seems to do quiet well for the most part ::P: Branching into historicals as well to get a feel for that area but I think they will do well if the painting is good.


These are some of my experience and I hope it helps anyone that is thinking about getting into trying ebay sales in the future.

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You might want to play around with your auction times. Many serious buyers use a sniping program like EZ Sniper, but many still hold out and watch the auction until the last minute. Try to set your auctions so they end at logical times, and see what works best over time. I would guess that auctions ending at 11 am on a weekday might not do as well as ones that end at 8 pm. Maybe weekends are better or worse, I don't know- but it's worth looking at.


Help other people with positive rankings too, it builds your reputation and will remind others to post good feedback about you. Despite what eBay says, I've asked for feedback and people have responded well.


Play around with pictures and listing names too, and always track what works. Bold may be better, particular phrases may be better, etc.


Viking Lodge might pipe in on this one, he does a LOT of eBay selling and he gets decent money for his stuff. Deservedly. You could probably PM him if not.

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Also, for future reference if you screw something up and someone has already bid on it, instead of shilling (which is a criminal offense in many states, btw), you can cancel the bid(s) and end the auction early.


Otherwise, sounds like you're going about it the right way. You may not think the rating is affecting you, but how do you know if someone pushed the back button instead of bidding on your auction because they saw the low rating. I think you will find (when and if you get a higher rating) that your number of bids improve over time. Though there isn't as much of a market for the large figures, either, since people can't game with them. A bit of a tradeoff.


The timing thing is another good point. I tend to end my auctions between 7-8PM Pacific (since that's where I am). That's 10-11 Eastern. Of course, this only applies if your major market is in the US.


Also, I loved the very large figure you posted, but I already spend too much on this hobby just buying figures and paints, my husband would have a heart attack if I spent that much on one fig. I really wanted to bid on it tho <_<

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I've been trying to end my times at reasonable hours as some of you have mentioned, but with most of my sales going over seas its 8-10 hours in either direction for me so its kind of a toss up. About mid day for me seems to do well so far. i just put a few more up so I'll see if my thinking still holds true.


I agree what he did wasnt the most scrupulous thing to do and another reason why I started doing it on my own, was just a bit leery to start selling the first place on my own. I dont know why he didnt cancel it, I asked him and he said he couldnt once it was bid on <shrugs>


I hope to get good feed back from people because I'm sure it does help to some extent, but that will come with time ::D: I just try to give the best sevice I can and let them know what is going on and thus far has been going ok. All of my stuff from the last auction is still in transit so I still dont have feed back as of yet.

Thanks for the advice everyone


KatieG- Thanks for the kind words, another problem with working on larger kits is the cost of them to me. This one wasnt to bad about $40 but I have a 200mm Pegaso I plan to start soon that retails for 132 Euro or about $200 USD. Then figure in my painting and fees and its going to be an expensive one.

These bigger ones are more just for collectors and show peices, Trust me, it looked real nice on my shelf and it kind of looks bear without it now but thats the way it goes I guess.


Thanks again everyone ::D:

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Congrats on the sales, Chris. I'm sure you'll do really well on eBay since I seldom see a lot of the larger figure kits offered there much less painted up.


I really haven't got much to offer for suggestions other than be extremely careful how you fill out the customs forms. Some countries will return your item if you've missed a space in the address or underestimated the package weight on the form despite the postage label having the accurate weight.


Take all your items to the post office for mail going outside the US, the counter staff at the Post Office will make sure that you've filled things out correctly and that the item gets all the appropriate labels and markings for international shipment.


If the people at your nearest post office aren't as helpful as you'd like, find the next nearest one and see if they suit your needs. I ship from the Brunswick post office because it's a short walk away, but given the time I'll ship out of Topsham because the staff there are more helpful (and more willing to fork over a thick stack of Delivery Confirmation slips and small customs forms for when I run out before my restock arrives).


Don't let potential buyers bully you into lowering your shipping costs. Someone once told me that several eBay buyers guides advise that shipping is something that can be haggled about so many people will ask if your shipping cost is accurate and if there's some way to reduce the cost if you don't do this or that.


For irreplaceable or easily damaged items, require insurance. Period. For things that can be repaired if damaged during shipping, make sure it says in your listing and on your packing slip how a buyer can go about getting the figure repaired or obtaining a refund if it's been irreparably damaged during shipping and how long you'll honor the repair policy (IE.. if someone's had the figure for three weeks and suddenly needs a repair it's no longer a shipping mishap).


That's about all I can really offer by way of advice, other than Delivery Confirmation is cheaper with online postage than it is at the Post Office...


Oh... heh.. I sold one of my minis recently on eBay, it ended up selling for $1 more than it's Buy It Now price so I'm psyched (now if I only had more time to paint...)

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Thanks HT,

Kind of getting the hang of this selling stuff now. I currently stand at 9 sales to two unsold. Not bad for a new seller I think. I always get the shipping conformation when I send stuff and thud far customs hasnt been a problem. Did a bit of shipping before I started selling on my own. I think my rates have been fair if not a little under priced. Took a bit of a hit on shippment to Greece this last time. Charged $20 and it was $21 something so not that bad. I have a sale going out to Japan on Monday and I only set the shipping cost at $15. It is some unpainted stuff so it wont require all the double boxing and fluff that painted ones would. Should be ok.

I'm going to have to go with an unspecified price for international until I see where it is going. On average it has been running about $25 for a well packaged med box to Europe.


I currently get insurence on it for stateside shipping but not sure on international, have to looking into it some. Depends on how much it cost I suppose. If it is a real high end mini then yes. I offer a 7 day return policy though ebay right now but thats all. I am still getting the hang of this some so I'll so some thinking on it.


Doing some market research I hate to say it doesnt look like Reaper stuff sells all that good. Maybe the market is flooded and the international buyers can just get local minis cheaper. I've seen some stuff go for stupid cheap prices so far unless it is a real work of art.


I've found that old Ral Parth and Grenadier stuff unpainted sells realy well, better than the painted Reaper stuff. Historicals, which I currently have 3 listings for also seem to go well. Just put them up and have a bid on one and several watches on the others already. May have to explore that area some more.

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eBay seems to do that time to time. Right now anything GW is going like hotcakes new and old (saw a well painted 2nd ed blood bowl elf team gor for $450 once).


As much as I like Reaper I don't think you can get that much for painting them unless (like you said) they are real works of art. I have however considered buying a group of minis and putting them on ebay as an adventuring party.

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Don't under cost yourself on shipping. If nothing else go buy a kitchen scale that goes up to about 6 pounds, mine cost about 20 dollars. When I'm putting up my auctions I put the shipping box, the packing material and the item on the scale to get the weight. I use turbo lister (free from ebay) and by entering the weight there then people are able to check the approximate shipping charges to their area. Turbo lister also allows you to designate the box size so if you have something awkwared that ends up in an over sized box (easy to do going overseas) you won't get caught by surprise when it costs you $10 more than you thought.


Shipping can eat up your profits very quickly if you aren't careful.

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