Tuesday 15 September 2009

Ebay and the deviltry that plagues it...

Ahh Ebay, once the happy hunting ground of many a bargain hunter. Now a cut-throat "Den of Iniquity" it is becoming increasingly difficult to get what you want at a reasonable price.

When I started this hobby over 2 years ago I managed to acquire alot of my army off ebay. There were deals and sprues to be had and the selection was quite good. However those days have gone it seems. With GW not allowing sprues to be sold by independent retailers and having raised their prices twice over the last while and with the recession on (despite what the government would have you believe) it is becoming very hard to get a decent deal.

Just having a quite look through today I saw horribly built and painted models going for just under or even the same as the retail price. Now I know there are many out there who would rather just get on with it and not have to bother with building and painting but surely there should be some kind of mark down on an old mini? I would possibly pay full price for a built model but only if it was unpainted and the seller included the left over sprues and the decal sheets. And to those silly people who pay more than retail price...well I just pity you, I really do.

Then there is the usual last second bidder. Nothing makes me more irked than to have someone outbid me with 2 seconds to go after I had been the high bidder for 9 bloody days and win the item for an additional 25p. I know its the name of the game but come on!!!

I am also taking issue with people charging excessive postage. Now I realise that is how some of them make their money but to charge £1.50 for a 50p bit seems a tad over the top.

Thats not to say that there are not some deals still out there. I recently acquired 2 IG Heavy Weapons teams that only cost me £4 with postage. However they are in such poor condition that I almost think it would have been better to buy them new since the effort required to put them right has been enormous and there is still much to do. I have also gotten a few marines etc off ebay that were brilliant deals but that has not happened for a long while now.

I guess I am just becoming jaded by my experiences. I hope and believe that many other people are getting the bargains that they want.


  1. I find the trick with Ebay is not to bother with the small value lots. Anything £50 or less is usually within people's spending budgets and they're more likely to drive up the sale.

    The real deal start when you're talking retail values of £200+. Now you're talking something that's more of an investment; cutting out the casual interest buyers. Several times I've been able to pick up £500 retail for around £150. Big lots like that usually have some dross in the form of useless models, extra books or other junk, but the overall savings is still superior. Plus most of the dross can be taken to a trading site and swapped for stuff you do want...

  2. I've gotten quite a bit from eBay, and the trick I've found is to know what a "reasonable" price is for a model and stick to it.

    That and don't get too emotionally invested in the bidding game that you can't let a model slip away.

    I know I've overpaid a couple of times for some old Rogue Trader models that are hardly ever seen, but there are some real gems to be found for low prices if you're willing to dunk a squad of badly painted models in a jar of Simple Green and let them soak for a week.

    I wish I had the funds to invest in the larger lots. I'm sure it would be more cost effective, as you could probably make up almost the whole price of the lot by sectioning it up and selling off the parts you don't want, but like you, I am on a tight budget.


  3. I've stopped using eBay for buying miniatures / parts. It's just not worth the effort anymore, mainly for the reasons described in your post.

    I do disagree on the "sniping" (bidding at the last moment) though. In my experience, bidding early just means that the end price is higher, and if I'm buying from eBay I generally want stuff cheaper than the shop price (after P&P is take into account) or not at all.