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Beagle

Ebay - it's just not fun anymore

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...at least not for me.

 

I've been collecting Citadel Miniatures from 1988-1991 for a number of years now, for me these represent a nostalgic period when I really started to enjoy collecting, and when the quality of the miniatures began to improve significantly.

For a while Ebay was a great place to find and purchase these miniatures, and I could spend an hour at the weekend knowing I'd find a few pieces to add to the collection. But then I noticed opportunities to pick up these miniatures started to dry up, sellers no longer seemed to be using 'Buy it now', and auction prices were suddenly going through the roof. And it became clear after a bit of Holmesian digging that the reason for this was the emergence of dedicated sellers of vintage miniatures. 

Now I can hear all of you capitalists shrugging and muttering about market forces, but here's why it's sad. There are maybe half a dozen UK buyers/sellers who have been hoovering up the miniatures, I'm guessing that they constantly scan new listings and buy collections and rare figures as soon as they appear, they also compete against each other in auctions driving the prices up. So where I used to be able to pick up a figure for between £3-£5, I'm now seeing these re-sellers list the same figure for between £8-£15. I'm sure re-selling in the collectables market is a practice as old as time, but it's bloody frustrating for those of us who just want a fair shot at filling the holes in our collections. And where does one look if not on Ebay? 

 

Just wanted to get that off my chest.

 

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It happens to everything eventually.  The source dries up.  I used to collect Depression and Carnival glass. I started in the late 70's as a kid, picking it up at yard sales for under $1.  People were cleaning out their parents or grandparents houses and just wanted rid of it.  By the 90's prices had doubled, but there was still a lot of it coming out of estate sales.   Today.... very little remains in people's homes, it's in vintage shops, antique shops, etc and it has gotten very expensive.   Antique shops and resellers are selling back and forth to each other and raising the prices every time.   A friend of mine is into cast iron and cookware, and she's seen the same thing happening there.  

 

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Video games have suffered this and what annoys me are the sellers that sell at Ebay/ Amazon seller prices. Sorry, but you don't have to worry about fees and shipping, there is zero reason your used copy should be priced as such. 

 

Nintendo switch games have limited print runs and resellers are buying tons of the limited copies and reselling on Ebay for double to quadruple the price. It sucks and I understand the capitalist side, but damn.

 

 

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FB marketplace?  Is there a UK version of craigslist?  I've found good deals on similarly rare/collectible items that way, usually in big lots with lots of dross to sort through (ie:  re-sell on the Bay anyway).

 

I've also found often that you can privately send an offer, even if they don't explicate that offers are accepted.  I tend to sling a fairly low one to get them to counter with something more reasonable.

Edited by BLZeebub
One more idea.
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49 minutes ago, Beagle said:

There are maybe half a dozen UK buyers/sellers who have been hoovering up the miniatures, I'm guessing that they constantly scan new listings and buy collections and rare figures as soon as they appear, they also compete against each other in auctions driving the prices up.

 

Reminds me of Dutch tulips.

 

Give it a breather and they'll finally realize that nobody's going to pay their inflated prices. I've seen with other OOP items that there's a fire-sale when unsellable inventory gets dumped, but then prices slowly rise again if you miss the window or expect prices to stay the same. After comic books and Magic cards, I've stopped collecting and stuck to bargain-hunting.

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Ebay hasn't been fun for a long time for me. It used to be nice, hunting for nice deals on mini's, usually due to buyers remorse. Now it's mostly a second storefront for online shops. Sometimes you get lucky, I found a Bones 1 Kickstarter sophie on there. I regretted cashing her in during the kickstarter, but now I have one. I think that was the first ebay purchase I had done in almost a decade.

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I am a tried and true capitalist, but even I balk at what has become the market in the modern world.

 

Middle-men used to provide a service (housing and distributing goods), now they just hoard wares and over-inflate prices on "collectibles" that some customers will eventually pay because all the new middle-men have created artificial shortages (in other words, they are subverting the market and preventing equitable exchanges of goods and services--do NOT get me started on ticket "resellers" who buy out concerts then double the price [or more] for the tickets).  I understand why some private sellers might hike the price as their emotions factor into the price, but middle-men should be pricing things to move (so they can buy more things to sell) at a reasonable/respectable profit.  But maybe I've watched American Pickers one too many times.

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Hmm, feel very much in two minds over this. I sympathise with Beagle and everyone else who feels themselves to be priced out of a pocket-money hobby. But I also feel slightly inclined to say: "First World Problem". To me a lot of the pleasure of collecting is the process of searching, both on-line and in bricks-and-mortar places. So if anyone is asking silly prices I just continue the search. (And hope the greedy swine chokes!)

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6 hours ago, Beagle said:

...at least not for me.

 

I've been collecting Citadel Miniatures from 1988-1991 for a number of years now, for me these represent a nostalgic period when I really started to enjoy collecting, and when the quality of the miniatures began to improve significantly.

For a while Ebay was a great place to find and purchase these miniatures, and I could spend an hour at the weekend knowing I'd find a few pieces to add to the collection. But then I noticed opportunities to pick up these miniatures started to dry up, sellers no longer seemed to be using 'Buy it now', and auction prices were suddenly going through the roof. And it became clear after a bit of Holmesian digging that the reason for this was the emergence of dedicated sellers of vintage miniatures. 

Now I can hear all of you capitalists shrugging and muttering about market forces, but here's why it's sad. There are maybe half a dozen UK buyers/sellers who have been hoovering up the miniatures, I'm guessing that they constantly scan new listings and buy collections and rare figures as soon as they appear, they also compete against each other in auctions driving the prices up. So where I used to be able to pick up a figure for between £3-£5, I'm now seeing these re-sellers list the same figure for between £8-£15. I'm sure re-selling in the collectables market is a practice as old as time, but it's bloody frustrating for those of us who just want a fair shot at filling the holes in our collections. And where does one look if not on Ebay? 

 

Just wanted to get that off my chest.

 

:mellow:

Eventually one of those re-sellers will wake up six feet under and his unworthy unwashed heirs will dump the businesses whole hoard on the market all at once and cause a sudden price drop. 

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8 hours ago, Beagle said:

...at least not for me.

 

I've been collecting Citadel Miniatures from 1988-1991 for a number of years now, for me these represent a nostalgic period when I really started to enjoy collecting, and when the quality of the miniatures began to improve significantly.

For a while Ebay was a great place to find and purchase these miniatures, and I could spend an hour at the weekend knowing I'd find a few pieces to add to the collection. But then I noticed opportunities to pick up these miniatures started to dry up, sellers no longer seemed to be using 'Buy it now', and auction prices were suddenly going through the roof. And it became clear after a bit of Holmesian digging that the reason for this was the emergence of dedicated sellers of vintage miniatures. 

Now I can hear all of you capitalists shrugging and muttering about market forces, but here's why it's sad. There are maybe half a dozen UK buyers/sellers who have been hoovering up the miniatures, I'm guessing that they constantly scan new listings and buy collections and rare figures as soon as they appear, they also compete against each other in auctions driving the prices up. So where I used to be able to pick up a figure for between £3-£5, I'm now seeing these re-sellers list the same figure for between £8-£15. I'm sure re-selling in the collectables market is a practice as old as time, but it's bloody frustrating for those of us who just want a fair shot at filling the holes in our collections. And where does one look if not on Ebay? 

 

Just wanted to get that off my chest.

 

Over time, this tends to be a self correcting situation.  These "opportunists" will drive up prices in the short term but the long term effect is going to be a mild inflation in prices as one by one they burn through their capital and  end up liquadating.

Hopefully you can wait them out and then once again enjoy collecting from this time frame.

As @ced1106

said it's similar to the Dutch Tulip Craze.  Use that as a search term if you want to study up on the psychology and the mechanics of bubble markets.  All it will take is one of these speculators going BK and the whole speculative price structure collapses.

GEM

Edited by Green Eyed Monster
tentacles
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I've always found it hard to find deals for minis on Ebay. 

 

Pretty much every time I've thrown a few quid at an auction, hoping to get a bargain, it's ended with the item going for basically the store price.

 

Even more baffling, is when they go for more than the store price, I just don't get that at all.

 

People are strange.

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I sell on Ebay for what I hope are reasonable prices.

Of course being Dutch, shipping can become expensive if you're from the US or Canada, I still have customers from there though.

 

 

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When I was in my early teens I loved (and still love), the Warhammer campaign packs released by GW.

 

The First was 'Bloodbath at Orc's Drift' (based around the historical engagement at Rorkes Drift in 1879). I received this as a present on Christmas day and was, apparently, completely unsociable for the rest of Christmas that year as I indulged in the battles using the cardboard figures included in the set. 

Image result for bloodbath at orcsImage result for bloodbath at orcs

 

And then there was 'The Tragedy of McDeath' - based on the Shakespeare play

 

Image result for The Tragedy of McDeath

 

This was followed by 'Terror of the Lichmaster'

 

Image result for Terror of the Lichemaster

 

All three were complimented with a small range of figures

Image result for bloodbath at orcsImage result for The Tragedy of McDeathImage result for Terror of the Lichemaster

 

I collect GW miniatures from the time of these releases but right at the top of my wants list are the minis from these three sets. They're hard to find, but just a few years ago I was making steady progress, and now nothing. Some are available from the sellers I mentioned in my first post but at crazy prices, I've been watching them for months - they don't sell and the prices don't come down. The business model has to be a very low turnover of stock, but clearly the profit made from the sales that do happen allows the business to continue. Frustrating

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