Tuesday, 1 March 2016

eBay or not to eBay... how do you do it?

This is just a random chat about eBay and 40k. There's a couple of topics to cover really...

The first is, selling. I tend to sell quite a bit of my 40k on eBay, for various reasons. I'm not one of these people who buys 16 limited edition miniatures in the hope of making a small fortune 6 months down the line (I don't have that much forethought for a start!).

I tend to sell for three reasons:
1 - I need to make room. Me and my wife have a deal where I never buy more stuff than can fit in my toy cupboard. This is actually the wardrobe, where my clothes also have to fit. I've toyed with the idea of ditching the clothes completely to make more room, but I'm not sure how long I would last at work... also note, I have 1 cupboard for my toys, and I pay the mortgage. The boy has pretty much three rooms for which to store his toys and he's only 2!! Life really isn't fair.
2 - I want to buy new toys. Being a dad, and a responsible adult means that bills, mortgage, feeding and clothing the family... these things all come first and at this point in my life, I don't have that much disposable income. What I do have is a shed load of miniatures that I've painted over the last 15 years which can be recycled in to cash to pay for new toys.
3 - It didn't t out well. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, but I also like to try new things, and if something doesn't quite turn out right it bugs me to the point where I have to get rid of it. I once made an awesome 2-axed Logan Grimnar conversion which looked awesome. Then I painted him and got something not quite right. I put him in the box with the rest of the army but there was an itch under my skin knowing he wasn't right. He never even saw a game in anger, he went straight on eBay.

Selling on eBay is never going to make me rich. I'm never going to be able to quit the day job and live by painting tiny space men. But it does provide some money to re-invest in new toys. And generally speaking, 40k retains its value.

What about when it comes to packaging up those miniatures?

Well when I was younger and far more nieve I just parcelled them up in padded jiffy bags, sent them standard 2nd class and thought that would be fine. Man, was I wrong!

50 Small Cardboard Packing Boxes - 5x5x5"

After £50 worth of miniatures went missing and numerous breakages I quickly realised that much more was needed to withstand the average trip through the postal system. Now when sending miniatures I only send them using boxes (50mm x 50mm, cardboard, from Amazon) and 'signed for'. As I already pointed out, I'm never going to get rich so I need to make sure they actually arrive!

So, what do you buy from eBay? I tend to buy a variety of things. Usually I have a cool idea for a conversion in y mind but don't always have all the bits. Sometimes I'll buy a whole kit for the bits (still in two minds about that new Wolfen kit), but if there is a single bit I want I can't always justify spending £30 'just in case I use some other bits'.

These bits are usually particular helmets, shoulder pads or special weapons. Likewise, I often sell bundles of spare bits that I've obtained from other kits, so it probably balances out.

I've never brought painted miniatures from eBay. The sticking and painting bits are what I enjoy most so buying painted would take the fun out of it for me.

Generally my experiences of 40k on eBay have been pretty good. I've even made friends with some people I have sold to or brought from, which I initially found pretty strange, but I guess we have things in common or they wouldn't be buying from /selling to me.

Only once have I had to report someone, and it was once when the person didn't pay for the item and then got pretty nasty about it. I still never figured out what their beef was.

I'm not sure I'm expecting comments on this one. I guess the main thing I wanted to highlight is that using eBay to get rid of your unwanted items can help you fund new purchases.

Happy bidding!



  1. I tend to buy and sell a lot on ebay. I will generally sell stuff that I am never going to get round to painting or stuff that I don't need anymore.
    Most of the time, I will try and buy from ebay rather than GW. I will generally get a really good deal on many things and never pay more than 80% the GW price. I have got some fantastic army bargains over the years too.

    1. Awesome. I never really think of eBay as the first port to buy whole box sets or whatever but maybe I should

  2. Nice article Dave. I go through phases on ebay, I generally now am quite strict with myself - if i am not getting say 40% off the retail price I don't buy it - in my experience you can end up with stuff that's been too messed up to fix. My other rule is not to buy anything painted, not even base coated as I just don't know how thick it was put on or whether it's covering a problem.

    These rules tend to rule out most FW stuff as it always holds its value and, don't ask me why, sometimes it sells for more - wierd I know.

    Lastly I do go for lots of buts as you suggest it's the best place to get that must have conversion bit. Speaking of which if anyone wants to sell some heresy era jump packs (5) just let me know!

    1. Hang on, I'll offer you double whatever he offers for those jump packs! :-)