Sunday, September 14, 2008

How to catch my attention on eBay

A thread on TMP made me think about the best practice to capture my attention toward an eBay auction. I enjoy eBay, I think it is a good instrument to look for good deals in miniatures, but I also believe that, without some homework, you can easily make mistakes. Here what I would recommend to a potential seller, based on my experiences as an occasional buyer:

A. group your miniatures in medium-to-large lot, from 50-60 figures up. I rarely spend time on small lots;

B. make sure to have pictures. Good close-up are fundamental;

C. make sure to add detailed descriptions: scale, maker, units included, number of figures. You would be surprised by how many auctions are poorly worded. Again, poor, confused or misleading title will kill your chances;

D. make sure to have a exhaustive header, including again scale, maker, period, nationality of the figures (i.e. "15mm Minifigs Napoleonic Prussians".)

I have seen some item overly mispriced on eBay. In some cases, prices were outrageously inflated; in other cases, I made excellent purchases with fantastic discounts. For sure, it takes some time and a little of talent to learn how to ace those auctions!


Major Wittering said...


A very good list of suggestions. It'd be useful for Ebay themselves to post this sort of thing.

I'm not sure I agree about middle sized lots, though. For some people, they only want a single unit or a couple of vehicles. And 60 figs is too small for an army but too large for most units.

Others have cash limits, and the larger the lot, the less likely they are to be able to afford it.

I'd advise using "logical" lots, arranged with the buyer in mind. And honest descriptions as well, not overhyping the quality of painting, for example. I've also seen 6mm figs sold as 10mm, and sellers pretending that they think their figures are Foundry to attract customers when obviously they're not. I don't buy from such people on principle.

Bluebear Jeff said...

Personally I like all of your points . . . and as to 'lot size', I don't bid on lots where the shipping is going to overbalance the item.

Another suggestion is (if you have room) to include variations such as both SYW and 7YW as well as Seven Years War.

Yes the figures scale and number of figures are important to be sure.

A few years ago when I did some eBay selling I was careful to follow all of your points.

Finally, list shipping costs to logical countries outside of your own.

-- Jeff

Anonymous said...

naked soldiers.

{naked GIRL soldiers}