View Full Version : eBay Sellers! Is anybody still making money on eBay?

10-08-2010, 16:43
Hello everyone. I don't know if this is the right place, but since the 'OMG That can't be right!' thread is on this forum, I figure it must be.

Anyway, does anybody make any money (i.e. profit) on eBay from wargames figures anymore? I've been doing it for years, but this year has been terrible - I've just gone about six weeks without buying any substantial collections, because nothing that came up would have allowed me a decent level of profit.

eBay seems to be getting more difficult for small sellers - or maybe its just me. There don't seem to be any threads for eBay sellers/dealers on here (or indeed, anywhere), and yet I would bet that there are quite a few of us around.

So, is anyone still making money on eBay (or similar auction sites, etc) ?

10-08-2010, 16:56
I put painted models up now and then, currently have a plastic daemon prince on there that's at 34, so 14 profit. Only took a day to paint and was just a fun project :)

Older rarer things go for more, anything else will definitely go for less.

10-08-2010, 17:47
From buyers point of view

I find it so damn difficult to reliably get good prices when buying stuff on ebay, a few years back (3 or 4) it used to be very easy to pick things up for around 30% - 50% off retail (not talking exclusively GW figs here, all sort of things) but now it is often better to just pick them up at Maelstrom or Gifts for Geeks for the garuanteed discount.

Just my feelings :)

10-08-2010, 17:59
Finding the same issues as Novrain.

I`ve been buying a lot of Fantasy Flight games of Ebay lately and I can`t get over the number of people asking more than retail price for things. Once you factor in shipping, exchange rates and potentially duty at the border (I`m in Canada) it`s hard to find a good price anymore.

As to selling figures, I only sell stuff I`m looking to get rid of so I usually do so at a loss. I have paid some premium prices to get some rare or hard to find models but typically that is a last resort.

Also, most of the Warhammer players I know won`t go near anything that is painted (partially of fully) or that has been stripped.

From my experience, unless it is rare and in it`s original package you won`t make any money on it.

10-08-2010, 18:05
@Dezartfox- glad you're enjoying it and don't have to rely on the internet for money! :S

@ Novrain - Hmm yes. Some figures seem to go for crazy prices (Daemons, most Dwarves), but eBay & PayPal fees are crazy too (c.20% of final sale price). I can totally sympathise with not being able to find items cheaply enough.

I'm finding it confusing atm because many items are getting better prices than previously, and yet I am struggling to shift my figures (and before anybody states the obvious - that is with good pics, accurate descriptions, fair P&P charges and competitive prices).

I'm just wondering what the selling experience has been like for other people (?)

10-08-2010, 18:32

I tend to buy cheap (either on Ebay or at car boot sales/ charity shops), repaint and convert where needed and sell on. I also have a large collection of classic minis that I drop on every now and then if I want to make a fast buck.

10-08-2010, 18:37
The asian market is hurting things as well, not just for mini painted like myself, but also because many of them an making knock-off figures and selling them as originals.

Also, constant price hikes seem to be driving people toward eBay as well, and many of them now simply shop there as a habbit, and don't bother trying to always get a good price for things.

11-08-2010, 08:54
Apart from it being summer and sales being slower being lower due to that, yes I still make a profit on eBay by running a very efficient business. Mind you, it does involve 10-20 hours a week scouring eBay for items to bid on...

11-08-2010, 09:07
Note how many warseer users are scouring the interweb-auctions for cheap figures.

This explains why there arent many :)

Interesting other phenominon: The quantity of people willing to bid up an auction till its costing more than the original item. I have lost serveral auctions for figures that ended up more expensive than if I'd just bought them from GW direct.

11-08-2010, 09:27
I sometimes buy stuff from Ebay, but I find the prices to be horribly off the scale - I always seem to find stuff at a lower price from maelstrom or even my LGS. I see alot of autcions where the prices rise to levels that are just way beyond proportion, just like Raven notes in the post above.

In my country second-hand stuff generally ends up being VERY cheap as the demand isn't all that high. Of course it's great for the seller when the price is raised but as a buyer I'm just put off by the unrealistic auction bids when I can get alot of items new from LGS or GW at a lower price...

11-08-2010, 09:33
The actual number of auctions feels down compared to about a year ago; well, on the stuff I look for anyway :rolleyes:

11-08-2010, 12:04
I still do alright with limited edition stuff. Gave up selling at a discount anything that was still available through GW direct as I kept losing money. Now there are decent online retailers (Wayland and Maelstrom) I'm glad I did stop as I doubt I'd be able to sell anything.

12-08-2010, 11:30
I do all right, but...

When I sell something on eBay, I generally accept that I'm not going to make anywhere near back what I spent on it, and I just want to get it off my shelves so I won't have to look at it any more. I don't do it as an organised 'business', but as a disorganized 'Holy crap, I haven't done anything with these miniatures since I bought them six years ago.'

What surprised me is how much my Battlefleet Gothic stuff went for a few weeks past - by George, it almost approached retail on some items! What my Plasma Escher Heavy went for last year funded the rest of my Escher expansion; and I converted a new one anyway.

But I've been sitting on a small stash of space marines for the longest time because I know that it wouldn't be worth my time to put them up on eBay at all; and as for the old 40k books I put up... well, when one of the Rogue Trader redbooks only goes for 10 bucks then I know something's wrong in denmark.

12-08-2010, 11:59
well, when one of the Rogue Trader redbooks only goes for 10 bucks then I know something's wrong in denmark.

Looking out the window, Denmark seems just fine.

I've been thinking about selling mine and I think you'd be able to get more out of it by selling it on a forum. I think some stuff is just like that - Ebay won't make it worth your while, but you can earn something by selling it on a forum, and the other way around.

14-08-2010, 19:12
Yeah, I think it depends on what you mean by sellers. I think there are at least 2 categories. The first is the casual seller - they only occasionally sell those items they may have extras of or perhaps selling off minis to buy a new army. The second type is selling new or used items as a business. It seems to me that the former type has stayed the same or increased while the latter type of sellers has dropped (Anecdotally, since I don't have actual numbers). I think the price rises mean that more sellers were chasing fewer & more price-sensitive buyers. Those with razor-thin margins are surviving and the rest dropped out.

As far as buyers, I have still seen the occasional silly ones that bid up an item to more than an available "buy it now" item with free shipping! :wtf:

15-08-2010, 00:13
The second type of seller will have dropped in number because (at least in the UK) you can no longer buy direct from GW and then sell new on eBay.

15-08-2010, 01:58
Presumably, you mean buy direct from GW via a trade account? :)

16-08-2010, 09:02
'Geek' stuff will always sell well on eBay. Unless it's a load of junk, or very poorly painted, it's common for things to go for the retail price.

ForgeWorld stuff almost always goes for over retail prices.

I don't even bother looking for GW/FFG stuff on there any more, it's impossible to get a bargain.

16-08-2010, 09:56
Presumably, you mean buy direct from GW via a trade account? :)
Buying direct from a GW shop and then selling on eBay would be a very efficient way to lose money. ;)

I don't even bother looking for GW/FFG stuff on there any more, it's impossible to get a bargain.
It's not impossible, or I wouldn't be able to earn a living from it. Easily finding bargains is another matter.

16-08-2010, 20:15
Yeah - easily finding bargains .... <rolleyes>

They do feel so much sweeter when they do come along nowadays though.

17-08-2010, 08:10
I only use Ebay and the like in order to buy painted miniatures actually. If I'm after a bargain I'll just have to wait until one pops up at some forum or other.

18-08-2010, 03:01
I usually buy mid week and sell at the weekend, you'd be surprised how much profit can be made like that.

18-08-2010, 03:43
I pretty much only use Ebay to free up space on my shelves, not make my money back.

18-08-2010, 06:08
Interesting other phenominon: The quantity of people willing to bid up an auction till its costing more than the original item. I have lost serveral auctions for figures that ended up more expensive than if I'd just bought them from GW direct.

I noticed this for over a year as well.

Many times sets go for retail or close to retail. And sometimes even a bit more(when shipping is figured in). And you wonder what's going on? But I think the answer is that those buyers are buying from countries where the retail price is so super inflated that they are still saving a big chunk of change by buying it at US retail.

You can still find good deals, they are just more difficult to find. You can find great deals on 2nd hand non-ebay store stuff, but that's more risk/reward, potluck as to what they are selling, kind of ebay buying.

18-08-2010, 07:58
I'm making quite a bit.

Not gonna share details though. :P

Nephilim of Sin
19-08-2010, 04:13
I am just recently back on the forum thanks to making a killing on E-bay...except....

ZOMBIES. Having missed all the changes going on with 8th (meaning I still don't know), but I had 10 lots of boxed Zombies going for $20 each + shipping (not too bad, as shipping is actual shipping), plus options for combined shipping discount.

Didn't sell a one. At all.

So, I remembered seeing different bitz lots, and thought to look up completed listings.
Zombie bitz sell decently. To the point where buying all the bitz coming from a box would be well over $40. Actually, that is notincluding all the bitz, just most.

@xxRavenxx: Last year, I sold off some used DE Wyches, including some that were stripped/needed work. I actually made retail for the lot, before shipping. Won't deny I felt guilty on that one.

Johann Fellhammer
19-08-2010, 07:43
hmm. I used to sell loads on ebay (new boxes and blisters mainly), and make a decent profit, but lately, it seems that my stuff has been going badly. I am still using the same descriptions and pictures, but I dont get so many bidders anymore, and more than not, blisters get sold for the starting bid of 0,99 GPB. After ebay and paypal fees, its not worth my while anymore. Does anyone have the same experience?

19-08-2010, 09:29
You can make a killing on ebay still. For example, buy one of the new warhammer Island of Blood box sets for 49 delivered to your door from darksphere or similar shop, then list less than half of the contents on ebay (item number 170525809889 for a current real example) and get back almost the entire cost of the box (currently at 38.50 inc postage with 14 bids and 4 days still to go so will sell for a fair bit more i would suggest.)

Do the same again with the rest of the bits (ie the skaven models and then a seperate lot for the books and dice etc) and you will at least double your money at a good guess.

Not bad for a few minutes of listing and posting out.

The chances to make money are there, you just have to know when and where to do it and new release box sets being split are the biggest way (like the masses of money made on the new space hulk sets this time last year that were split and sold off.

Also every year i buy a games day ticket for 27 including free ltd edition model because of white dwarf subscription, and i then sell the model on ebay. The minimum i have ever had back has been 32 for the model meaning i get a free games day trip including my lunch as well and normally get to buy one of the spare models on the day for about 8 if i really want one and if i smile at the right staff members.

I dont think you could make yourself rich doing it but you can make an easy quick buck if you time things right and are sensible.

19-08-2010, 10:02
I've made money in the past,
Usually from GDUK models/early releases.
My best ever was assault terminators.
I got 3 boxes at conflict one year, sold two, both to bidders in the US, and the profit paid for my whole day (entry, bus, lunch), and my own box of termies.

20-08-2010, 12:46
To add further evidence of my point above, look at this ebay item 170528365327 where just the 10 seaguard models alone have sold for 25, bearing in mind you can get the whole box set with 64 other models in it as well as books and dice etc for 48 delivered to your door in UK.

If that same ratio continued for the remaining 64 models you would get approx 175 back for the models and if you factored in another 10 for the rulebook and dice etc, 185 return for a 48 layout is not bad, even after paying the postage, fees etc its a healthy return.

It does beg the question however as to why on earth someone would pay 25 for the ten models when they themselves good buy the whole set for 48 and get all the other models to either sell on themselves (more than getting all their money back) or just keep or whatever, but people on ebay never cease to amaze me with their bizarre buying patterns.

I Had a meeting with a man in England once who had made himself a millionaire by buying products from the 1 shop on the high street and then selling them on on ebay for anything up to 20 per item. All his buyers could have got the exact same item from hundreds of high street shops through out the country for 1 yet he was literally inundated with sales on a day to day basis. There was a programme about self made millionaires that some of you may have seen last year that he featured in, he was actually quoted as saying he never ceased to be amazed by how stupid people were on ebay and how they wasted their money.

I know one guy who openly admits buying items on ebay from time to time for more than retail price when he could get them from a shop round the corner because, and i quote "i didnt want to be beaten on the bidding by this other annoying guy who kept outbidding me all the time". Explain that if you will!!!!

All in all, to summarise, yes you can still make money on ebay.

Nephilim of Sin
20-08-2010, 12:53
I have thought about doing the same, and as mentioned, I think I will be doing that with the zombies; over $40 just for some base parts alone. That isn't including such bitz as the command bitz, the tomb/gravestones, etc....

And that would also leave me with a healthy number of bitz to do with as I please.

Not too bad in the long run.

26-08-2010, 06:39
Between the fees you get hit with from paypal and ebay these two companies have pretty much muscled out alot of the people their company was created for (individual sellers instead of retailers). You're better off selling through trading forums or craigs list and just cutting out these middlemen

26-08-2010, 20:50
I both buy and sell on Ebay, although the selling is mostly getting rid of old and unwanted figures.
It seems that bargains are getting harder to find as internet access allows anyone to research the likely value of what they are selling, and gives tips on the best ways and times to list items.
The best bargains I have picked up have been either incorrectly listed, buy it now offers where the seller had no idea of the items value, or items which ended at awkward times so cut down on the potential for last minute bidders.
Using forums like this and Dakka can turn up some good trades, especialy if you build up a bit of a relationship with the person you are trading with. Somehow trading through forums is far more like swaping stuff with RL friends than Ebay, which is feels like any other shop, this means people are more inclined to offer a good deal.
As for using Ebay to make money, unless you have a lot of free time and a large disposable income to invest it's probably too much hassle and too much risk for a relatively small return. Miniatures collectors are fickle creatures and "fashions" change. Remember when the AoBR set came out and the crazy prices people were paying to get hold of the Deff Koptas? Only the other day I saw 12 go for just over 10

27-08-2010, 09:25
I sell either whole painted armies, usually making a profit but it's harder and harder as people still see eBay as a bargain house, but it's geared more towards retailers now.

I did get a good day when a wood elf army I had done with mostly foundation paints but highlighted etc and looked very good, I was looking for 200 -250 as would gave made a little profit, it got into a bidding war and it ended up at 700 lol.

However most folk sell armies at buy it now or starting prices of 300 etc, people won't pay that as a starting price unless it's really good, I start all auctions at 50 and take my chances.

29-08-2010, 17:08
Personally, I just buy stuff off eBay for personal use, and I seldom sell anything once I do buy it (the exception being a few rare, oop things I had sitting around which were going for stupid amounts of money).

I agree with some of the previous posters that some buyers just have no sense at all. I go to eBay to get bargains yet I routinly see people bidding things up to within pennies of MSRP. Between FLGS and on-line retailers, I can easily find any "in production" GW stuff for 10-20% off, so I won't bother with any auction that can't beat that discount. :rolleyes:

I have found that if you are willing to be patient you can still find things a decent prices, but it often takes time. Recently, I was looking for a couple of Eldar Wraithlord kits on eBay but they seemed to be going for more than I wanted to pay. So, I just kept posting lowball bids over and over again, untill finally after several weeks I snuck one through, and a couple weeks later the I won the second one. So, it took me a couple months all together, but I did get the two kits I wanted for around 50% of retail. :D

03-09-2010, 16:55
I have heard that HMRC (in the UK) will be pursuing peeps for TAX etc when they sell anything on EBAY as the HMRC have been mightily peeved at missing a few hundred mil in tax (evasion?!) through people selling goods via EBAY.....

04-09-2010, 02:21
Wonder if anyone has seen the old metal seekers on ebay before? I have about 30 of them in good condition and am trying to figure out how much to ask for units of 6