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Need Advice on Selling an Army


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I've got an Imperial Guard Cadian army that I'm looking to sell, but I rarely sell minis (much to SWMBO's dismay) and need some advice on getting the best return.

 

The models were all purchased in 2004 or 2005, shortly after GW released the new plastic figures for the Cadians. At the time it was a tournament legal 1750 point army. I don't know if it is anymore as I haven't played a game of 40k since 2005 (interestingly enough which was when I discovered CAV and Reaper) but would imagine that it would at least be close. I never finished painting the army as painting the figures became tedious and lost interest in finishing them when I stopped playing 40k. I'd guess it's about 30% painted as it stands. The painted was rough tabletop quality as I was still quite early in my learning curve. Some examples of the painting are here.

 

So, my initial questions are:

 

1. eBay or a dedicate miniatures auction/trading site? I know there used to be a dedicated site for buying/selling miniatures, but can't remember what it was called and it seemed like it never caught on. Or am I better off advertising on message boards that allow it? I do have an eBay and PayPal account already, but it's been a couple years since I've sold anything on it.

 

2. Sell the force as a whole or sell it as units? Do these sort of things get more money when sold as a whole, or do sales as squads get a better return? I know I balk when I see the price for a complete army, but then again I'm not usually looking for a complete army.

 

3. Finish painting it? I'm guessing that if I sell it as a complete army it would be better to finish painting it, but it would seem that anyone who bought it would end up wanting to repaint anyway. If I buckle down, bite bullet, and have a good supply of beer I could knock it out. But to me, that's time I could be painting something I'm interested in and Lord knows I have a decent sized Shelf of Shame. I would see less sense in finishing them if I sold them as units as I assume they'd be purchased by somebody who wants to round out their current forces and would need to repaint anyway.

 

IIRC, I paid a bit above $300 for the whole shebang. I'd be surprised to make back my cost on the force, but it would be nice seeing as how this will most likely be funding my 15mm sci-fi purchases in the future.

 

I look forward to the sage advice of the denizens of these boards.

 

 

edit: Oh, when I do get ready to sell them, there will be new pictures of them on my game board with terrain set up. I always felt that generates more interest in gaming pieces, unlike display pieces where you want to focus on the minutae of the painting quality.

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Selling an army except for small ones is a tough proposition. Unless you know someone that is looking for an army you are better off selling it by unit. That army is still probably pretty close to being legal so it shouldn't take to much work for someone to tweak it and selling it by unit will offset that anyway, although you may end up being left with some stuff afterwords. I would check out the current Imperial Guard Codex and see how close it is just so you have an idea and how to perhaps re-organize it if necessary.

 

I wouldn't finish painting it, I would put units up as is. I have done this before with a Kroot army and the assembled and unpainted, or assembled and primed went just fine.

 

New pictures will definitely help.

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Reading this thread: started by Nanite might be instructive.

 

At least use eBay to do some basic research. Use that existing eBay account to search for items like what you'd be selling but set it to search expired auctions. There is (or at least there was) a radio button on eBay for that somewhere. That would allow you to get direct answers to questions like: what return to expect? whether individual units or complete armies garner the most coin? The conventional wisdom is: sell as units. I am betting that research will bear that out. Below is my sell by units opine, but nothing trumps research.

 

Don't paint anything else. Your potential buyers will look at a paint-job as extra work for them to strip.

 

Sell by units. Don't mix painted and unpainted. Form the painted guys into units. Organize the unpainted guys into units. Lurk on some 40K IG boards, look for what-do-you-guys-think-of-this-list posts and the answering instead-try-fielding-this posts. Create units according to what is currently in vogue.

 

Do pictures that are 90% miniatures and 10% backdrop. A full game board with terrain would be overkill and wasted pixels. You just need a back drop to keep the focus on the goods. Think tight, sharp focus on miniatures with blurry, out of focus background that provides good contrast.

 

Talk to Anne or Nanite about selling on eBay. Nothing like current experience.

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I was scouting out some used 40K last summer for stuff to paint up quickly and sell at some cons. I don't play 40K, so I asked a dude at an FLGS for a little advice. They had a unit of used bikers with kind of half-assed paint jobs, and were selling them individually really cheaply. When I asked what was up with that, the guy told me something really interesting.

 

He said it wasn't that they had poor paint jobs on them, but that they had been assembled at all, that caused them to sell so cheaply. He said because 40K models have a wide range of customizability, players tend not to want anything already assembled, even if the result was a good combination. They just want to do it their way.

 

Kind of made me think twice about the whole thing. Seems like the less on them, the better, so I might recommend actually stripping them and selling them raw, if possible.

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I would actually say that your FLGS is generally wrong about that. Especially for troops stuff that has been assembled but left unpainted or just primed usually does quite well. I think that's because the thought of assembling a hundred or more basic troop models can be quite intimidating. Now obviously that doesn't apply to everything but I think your average 40K player would be quite happy to buy 10 plastic, assembled and ready to paint IG minis and save themselves the assembly time.

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About four years ago I sold an assembled and primed Predator on eBay and bidding went pretty well on it, I came very close to what I paid NIB for it. A cursory look on eBay last night bore out the advice to sell by unit, but I'm split between selling the troop choices by platoon or squad. I saw both on eBay and they both had bids.

 

Now, to further complicate things, I also have Sabol trays for the whole force which I was going to include in the sale. However, the trays don't match the units (poor foresight on my part). So in order to unload the trays, I'd have the sell the force as a whole. I could include the trays with the troops if I sell by platoon, but I need to check and see if that would work out right.

 

As far as the paint jobs on most of the models, most have a base coat in just the armor color. I was trying to assembly line paint and lost interest.

 

Thank you for the input, I appreciate it and please respond if you have more to add.

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I had to look up Sabol Trays... :unsure: ...I just called them foam trays. Now I know who makes the things, learned something.

 

It occurs to me that 2x15mm minis would fit each little rectangular space in one of those foam trays. But, if you are determined to sell them off a group of empty spare trays is the way to go.

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I would recommend Bartertown. You should be able to offload a whole army, with the trays. May take a week or 3 of posting.

 

I have done a bunch of trades there (80+), and I have offloaded entire armies for: Tyranids, Brettonians, Demons. I have parted out armies for Beastmen, Chaos Marines, Warriors of Chaos - in these cases the decision to split was made when people made offers for various things in the list.

 

Oh - but as a new trader, be prepared to ship first. And don't deal with anyone who has a rating of less than 30 or so.

 

PM me for more info.

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Sorry about being late to the show on this I'm Pming this so you get it and also posting in the thread so others can have this info. I've offloaded 3 GW Armies in the last 2 years. The first question you want to ask yourself will be: do you want the space or the money? That will pretty much determine anything else you do. If you want the space then sell them as an army and price it to move, i.e. no more than a $100. Does that seem too low? It is because miniatures aren't an investment and it's $100 you don't have in your hand for something that is collecting dust. That is how I moved 2 of my armies. (Coincidentally I used the money to buy more stuff.) Try your local FLGS/Gaming club to see if there is interest there for army sold in this manner before using eBay/Bartertown.

 

If you're looking at making money then selling the army piecemeal will work best. You said you had some stuff painted. This is good. If your decent painter then price your units at least at retail or more. Well painted stuff sells well because many people just don't enjoy the painting portion. Pre-assembled you're looking at no more than half retail value for the item because the closer you approach retail the more people start to weigh in the value of buying new and the ability to build exactly what they want. Ultimately this will all be up to you. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

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So, just as soon as I get the light tent set up, move all the lights to just the right position and am generally ready to start taking pictures, my 13 year old son expresses and interest in finishing the army for himself. Upside, he's expressing an interest. Downside, I'm not escaping 28mm so easily.

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So, just as soon as I get the light tent set up, move all the lights to just the right position and am generally ready to start taking pictures, my 13 year old son expresses and interest in finishing the army for himself. Upside, he's expressing an interest. Downside, I'm not escaping 28mm so easily.

 

Well I suggest you let him "buy" it from you by painting it. That way he knows what he is getting into. Careful GW is trying to get you back. LOL!!!

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