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View Full Version : Ebay vs SSG its very similar (sorry, I had alot to say)



icatch9
06-07-2002, 11:33 AM
The opinion of scalpers on this site is very clear. They are a menace to us all. Somewhere along the line ebay got mixed up in all this, specifically people who sell on ebay. Now I know that there are scalpers on ebay, just as they are everywhere. Still, there are some who are not scalpers and who honestly donít care about getting rich. More so than not these people are very similar to you and me. Obviously their intent is to sell, and the reason to sell something is to make money, but the intent to make money doesnít make them a scalper. Iím not going to dive into the bottomless pit, and discuss the definition of a scalper.

I have read many posts hear about a ďcollecting communityĒ, one where everyone helps fellow collectors. Thatís great, and it works sometimes. I have done some favors for people I donít even know on this site, and asked nothing in return. I am but a small fry when it comes to this community. Others help out tons and still ask nothing in return. I think that is fabulous. Is ebay really that different? To me, ebay can be the same.

I go shopping quite a bit, probably a bit too much. I have found everything I desire with great ease. I have also found things I know others have trouble finding. I in turn pick these things up in hopes of helping someone out, in a trade or for money. How I do this is up to me. Sure I can post it on SSG and help out another forumnite, but that doesnít really gain me anything. Since I need nothing new, a trade would just be a waste of my time. So, why not ebay? I put it on ebay to a sea of users. Most people have heard of ebay, and most people look there for things they cannot find. So, obviously these people are in the market for such items. So, when I put an item on ebay (hard to find or not) I am actually helping out a fellow collector who couldnít find this item. I never put a starting price over a dollar, so Iím not trying to scalp someone. So, then it is up to the buyers to pay what they think it is worth. Most of the time that is never much over what I paid for it (especially when you mix in ebay fees). Never the less, I am happy if I break even. I ask you how is that bad? I have sold something to someone who wanted it, a collector for sure. A collector like you or me who couldnít find something so he looked to ebay.

People complain that they canít find things, and they look for someone to blame. Sure scalpers hurt, and Hasbro doesnít seem to help much, but I personally have never had a problem finding anything. So, when someone complains I am understanding, but thatís it. Still, I donít know these people from Adam, and I donít know their collecting habits. I am at the stores 3-6 times a week. While this guy could be at home eating Cheetos and watching re-runs of Chips. So, I have little desire to help out someone I donít know when Iím busting my butt finding these things. Especially when there is nothing in it for me. So, ebay is a good answer. Ebay pays for my trouble of going and finding these things. So, if I make a buck or two Iím in the black. If not, then itís my lose. I do not see a problem with this, and I donít care who does.

Iím hope Iím not coming off as some holier than thou collector, because I am not. I have been at this since the beginning (the beginning is in 1978 when they came out, and when I got my first one), so I do know a thing or two. I also know a thing or two about collectables in general and their value. Most people on SSG say they donít care about the value of their figures. Well, Iíd say that is great, but the rest of the world does. Just like some people care about the value of their house property, their car, or their mutual fund. To some, these things are an investment. Sure youíre probably not going to move to Easy St selling your collection on Star Wars stuff. Still, you could make a tidy sum on your collection when you add it up. Some time this month my collection should be complete with every 3-ĺ figure from 1978-2002 and every vehicle and playsets since 1996. Not to mention a large amount of vintage ships. Whatís this worth? Well itís priceless to me; it has been a part of my life for as long as Iíve been alive. What is it worth on the market? Who knows, probably enough to buy a new car (at least a good used one). Would I ever sell my collection? Most likely not. Still, if I had to I could and that is what an investment is.

Dryanta
06-07-2002, 01:00 PM
Hey icatch,
I hope you realize there will probably be at least one flame on this one ;) Not from me.I filled my screw up quota for today.
If you feel the need to gain from helping someone that's your perogative.My whole push has been for collectors to step up for each other without any gain.I have everything I need too,But I still send stuff to others.For future credit on trades.Will they ever happen?who knows.But I've been able to truely help with out any hard and fast strings attached.
This hobbies biggest problem is us.Most of us wouldn't go out of way to make it better for another collector.That will be the death of it,if it doesn't change.
I'm not going to make a bunch of accusations against you or get all ticked about my opinions about what is and is not scalping.I want unity between collectors.And A rant on you and your opinions would be counter productive.
The number of people here sitting around eating Cheetos is a very small minority.Alot of us do go out and hunt.And I'd bet some more often than you do.But are unable to get anything.Consider yourself blessed that you can and do.Consider stepping out and helping with pout expectation of return.You in turn will see you profit in many more ways than just money.

DarthBrandon
06-08-2002, 02:10 AM
Couldn't have said that any better Dryanta.

Exhaust Port
06-08-2002, 11:06 AM
icatch9, I totally agree with your plan. I think that was the initial intend of eBay (with Pez), to help out the incomplete collector. Obviously with it's success it attracted the scalper which now found a much larger audience to sell to. I still think that most sellers on eBay have the same intent of just helping out the collector community. Even with low initial bids the price rises to the level of scalpers. Its no fault of the seller, it just happens. When you're competing against a "Buy Now" of $50 with an initial bid of $1 you draw much more attention causing the price to spiral out of control until it reaches that $50 set by the scalper.

For that reason I hate the Buy Now option. It forces a price benchmark on every other similar item. No matter how good your intention, some idiot trying to scalp a few figures throws off everyone elses auction.

The only thing those of us that use eBay to fill in the collection gaps can do is be patient. I never compromise what I think a figure is worth. As time passes those outrageous prices stabilize and fall to a more reasonable level. If eBay isn't the answer I've had success trading other toys on similar message boards. It's a great alternate as long as you have something to offer that someone else is looking for. It's all part of the hobby of collecting.

icatch9
06-09-2002, 01:24 AM
Thank you all for your responses. I agree that some of my opinons are closed minded. That was partly on purpose to pull some strings and get some people to response. I do understand that some people go every day and every night and still come up with zeros. That is tragic. I agree with Exhaust Port that ebay was intended to help out fellow collectors, and that is what I do when I do sell. Most people don't know about SSG or other trader boards. Most people do know about ebay. Most people are more comforatble buying something than they would be trading something. For someone like me who has everything, I'm not really looking for a trade. So, then what do I do? I put them on ebay to find these figures a happy home. Thats not scalping becasue the buyer pays the price that he or she wants. If thats way more than I paid for it, then so be it. That's my reward for being lucky and finding these thigns. I'd love to be everyones Star Wars broker, but again there is little in it for me. Makeing friends and good trust is a good thing, but not as interesting as selling on ebay.

So, I don't think everyone will ever agree on this subject, but I am glad that we can keep this civil and productive instead of a shouting match or insults.

Exhaust Port
06-09-2002, 12:38 PM
I think its worth paying a little bit more off an eBay auction if it saves me the run around. Once you figure in driving around for an hour a day for a week or 2 looking for a figure, paying a markup doesn't seem that bad. I can either spend $2 in gas a day for 14 days for a total of $28 or pay someone $30 for a $20 12" figure. That person makes a profit and I save myself $18 as well as not wasting my free time.

I'm not supporting scalping as I don't pay for the outrageously marked up prices. I think of it as a "finder fee." It's not as bad as it sounds, it's just an opportunity cost I'm willing to pay sometimes.

Tonysmo
06-12-2002, 03:49 PM
wow... a subject I can really get into..

Ive been buying and selling on Ebay for quite awhile. I also have mixed emotions on what I could be called with what Im about to reveal.. When Episode I came out. Darth Maul was all the rage of course. I happened into a JC penny Homestore and saw the COOLEST maul, one of the 12" vinal figures, where the blade lit up. The thing was $50 bucks. I drove home, looked on Ebay and saw they were indeed selling, and for twice as much. There werent to many on Ebay as well, so I knew they were in limited quanity. I went back to the store and bought 2. One for me, and one for Ebay. It did sell for $100 bucks, and it was in my mind a success. It basically paid for my Maul. It couldnt have worked out any better. Am I justifed in feeling redemption for this? Afterall the maul had to have gone to another collector. Why would the average Joe buy it? Didnt matter, It paid for mine and I was happy. I did not go and buy the whole lot, and captilaize on it. I could have, but didnt. The sole purpose was to pay for mine. It did. On to the next thing, Ol Jorg Sucal.. what a mess that was. I went to C-2. I knew they were selling on Ebay before the show even hit. My tickets cost me ( and my son ) what? $50 bucks? I also invited my Mother and my Nephew.. I knew what my intentions were... they were each going to get the two figures. My nephew ( bless his sole ) wasnt much of a SW fan, but wanted to go. My mother had no need for the figures, ( Yoda fan ) so I knew that if I gave them the money, they would give me the figures. When we were done that Saturday, I left with 8 figures. I did it the right way ( in my eyes ) by having my family with me. I did not prevent others from getting thiers by getting back in line ( It could have been done, the troopers couldnt see eveything ) but I knew that was wrong. When I got home, I put one away ( mine ) I gave one to my son ( watched him rip it open ) and gave one to my nephew because I wanted to thank him for going with us, and holding my stuff for most of the time.. I also gave one away to my best friend because I know he wanted to go, and couldnt.. the other 4 went on Ebay. They paid for the money it took to buy all 8 of them, and it paid for my trip down, and the price of the tickets. Another success in my mind. The figures went to people over seas as well as in this country. I couldnt have been more pleased to know people who couldnt go got the figures.. The issue arose when I got a hate email from another user on Ebay. Telling me, it was because of me that they didnt get thier figure. It was all my fault. I thought about it for a bit before responding, trying to figure out if I should let them have it ( curse them ) or not reply at all. I did reply, I explained how I obtained my figures. I let them know they should get the full story before flamming someone... them I let them know that the auction still had a few hours left and that they should hurry and bid before there gone.. I was pretty upset though that someone would blame me for the lack of figures availible. It wasnt my fault, and I did everything right.

So my question is this. Am I wrong to pick up those extra figures to take care of the expenses Ive dished out? Do I really hurt the collecting community by doing so? Yes, I understand I could trade for stuff, but I guess I havent found stuff that I need. U nless someone is willing to trade a jorg sucal for Stormtrooper armor...

Without Ebay, and people selling stuff like that, how am I supposed to get that clone trooper Helmet from Canada? I see no better way than to sell stuff on Ebay, when done correctly, I think everything works out in the end. Ive been pretty happy so far, and as far as I can see, Ive only upset one person. Maybe that guy just needed to vent, and chose me.. who knows.

If Im doing something wrong though, Id certainly like to know, maybe I'll change my habits. Maybe Ill leave those other figures there..

suggestions PLEASE!

bigbarada
06-17-2002, 12:49 AM
I don't think you hurt anyone, Tonysmo, with the way you got ahold of your figures. Some collectors just revert to little kids when they can't get what they want right away and look for the first person to blame. You might have bent the rules slightly in some's eyes; but the rule was 'everyone who attended the convention' was allowed to buy two, not 'everyone who is buying these for their personal collections.'

As for ebay, I only use it to get ahold of vintage and discontinued toys. I never buy a figure off of ebay that has just been released. In any case, how can people claim to get ripped off on ebay? As long as the seller was honest in his/her description of the merchandise then how can they be ripping you off when you set your max bid? If you can't control your own bidding then that is your problem, plain and simple.

For instance, I set in mind how much I want to pay for a figure I am looking for before going on ebay. Let's say I am in the market for a vintage Arfive-Defour. I don't want to pay more than $10 for one, so I set my max-bid at $10. If I set my max bid at $50 and end up having to pay $35 for this Arfive then who's fault is that? Mine. Even if the buyer is bidding on his own stuff, as long as my max bid is set for $10 then the worst that will happen is that I will be outbid and the search will start over again. Impatience and the "gotta have it NOW!" mentality is how people get ripped off on ebay.

Deoxyribonucleic
06-17-2002, 01:27 AM
Originally posted by icatch9
Sure I can post it on SSG and help out another forumnite, but that doesnít really gain me anything.

Hmmmm. That's the whole problem in this world today isn't it!?

Why must we always have to get something in return... Americans? It's really quite a shame. But alas, you are not obligated to help anyone :confused: :eek: :) although there are state statutes, "good samaritan" laws to be exact, that say you must help someone you witness as the victim of a crime.

SirSteve
06-17-2002, 08:36 AM
We are about to release a new feature that will bring collectors together. It's not an another auction though... details soon to follow.

icatch9
06-17-2002, 08:47 AM
Deoxyribonucleic, yes yes yes everyone saw the last episode of Sienfeld. Everyone knows about that. A life or death situation is way different than getting your hands on a bloody luke. I'm just saying that I feel that I or anyone is allowed to sell anything they own. If that price is higher than what I paid then great. That is what makes this world go around. Houses, stocks, classic cars, everything is an investment.

Forhekset
06-17-2002, 08:54 AM
icatch9, I wouldn't call selling on eBay scalping. I wouldn't even call selling for more than retail scalping, either. When I think of scalping, I don't think of just the "selling" part. I think of raiding stores in a certain area and cleaning them out of a hard to find figure, hoarding as much as you can, to make it tough on other people to get what they want, then selling them back the stuff they should have been able to find themselves (at higher prices, of course). That's what I think is a lousy thing to do.

Plus when you get into the older figures, like vintage stuff, who is to say what's a fair price? Maybe some price guide says this figure is worth $50, but you sell it on eBay to someone for $200. Obviously it was worth $150 more to that particular person, and it isn't like they can just go pick one up at retail. Anyway, I used to gripe and flame scalpers, but it's pointless and a waste of time. Not that I think you're one or anything, I just mean it serves no purpose. I just ignore 'em.

Deoxyribonucleic
06-17-2002, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by icatch9
Deoxyribonucleic, yes yes yes everyone saw the last episode of Sienfeld. Everyone knows about that. A life or death situation is way different than getting your hands on a bloody luke. I'm just saying that I feel that I or anyone is allowed to sell anything they own. If that price is higher than what I paid then great. That is what makes this world go around. Houses, stocks, classic cars, everything is an investment.

I have no idea what you are talking about with Seinfeld...never watched it. I was only joking about the good samaritan laws which is why I put the smiley :) and I know about good samaritan laws because I study criminal law, not because I watch Seinfeld. AND I think that selling on E-bay is fine. It was that one remark you made which I quoted in my earlier post that stuck out and made me sad. And I agree with the post below yours, that scalpers are a WAY different breed than those peeps who sell their wares on E-bay.

icatch9
06-17-2002, 12:00 PM
Well, to clue you in on Sienfeld. The last episode ever, the characters on the show got convicted of that good samaritin law. That is what I thought you were reffering to. I knew you were kidding, so was I :) :).

That comment I made was very selfish of me. I realize that. It is a poor attitude, but one that is commen. I make no excuses about it, but from time to time that is the way I feel. Mainly about harder to find stuff. Anything easy to get, and I don't care. I guess that's selfish too. Oh, well... such is life.

Deoxyribonucleic
06-17-2002, 01:02 PM
Originally posted by icatch9
I make no excuses about it, but from time to time that is the way I feel. Mainly about harder to find stuff. Anything easy to get, and I don't care. I guess that's selfish too. Oh, well... such is life.

True True :) I guess it does get a bit exhausting after a while and I didn't really think about that. When I read your post, I was thinking about a friend of mine I met here on SSG...we trade back and forth, no money exchanging hands and it always equals out...anyhoo, he sent me a Jorg Sacul for nothing, just because we've traded with each other and he had an extra and I didn't have one at all and THAT WOWED me! But you are right, you don't have to make excuses and I'm glad you didn't :) And more power to you selling on ebay and this whole conversation has made me want to try it out too :)

Thanks icath9 for your understanding :) oh, and thanks for clueing me in on Seinfeld LOL

icatch9
06-17-2002, 01:17 PM
You've got a good friend there. The one that gave you a Sacul. That's like handing you a $50.00 bill. I know it's worth way more than that to you. Sentiment is a priceless thing. Still it's nice to know (at least for me) that you could turn all the Star Wars stuff you have into easy cash. If you needed to.

That's where ebay comes in. That's where I get rid of my extra stuff. Like I said befor I don't need to much, so tradeing is a very small part of my collection. So, then it comes down to what can help me complete my collection. The only thing I need to complete my collection is money. Sure, that's true for everyone, but that is the way I look at it.

See no one is going to trade a Bloody Luke for a Tatooin Skiff. But that $10.00 or so I could make off of the LUke gets me one step closer to being able to purchas that Tatooine Skiff on ebay.
All the proceeds I get from ebay go into "my star wars fund". I have a ruber made tub where I put all the profits and my loose change and any time I have an extra buck or two. Anyway, that adds up over time and I'm able to get the things that I still need.

I hardly ever take the profits from ebay and spend it on myself or for something other than Star Wars toys. My system works for me and helps me complete my collection in the most economic way.

Deoxyribonucleic
06-17-2002, 01:35 PM
Originally posted by icatch9

That's where ebay comes in. That's where I get rid of my extra stuff. Like I said befor I don't need to much, so tradeing is a very small part of my collection. So, then it comes down to what can help me complete my collection. The only thing I need to complete my collection is money.

I LIKE that philosophy! :D Guess that's we all are really trying to do...complete our collections!

Vortex
06-17-2002, 05:10 PM
Call it the nature of the beast, human greed, capitolism, scalping, dealing, whatever. There are a LOT of forum members that are pretty religious about flaming scalpers or anyone who turns a figure around for a buck or two, but I've started to look at this topic in a new light after debating with some, and shaking my head at some as they argue in circles about scalpers. But there's no winning or "right" way to collect and making a buck or two isn't wrong. You do need money to buy other things don't you?

You have to do what you need to do to keep yourself happy doing this, and if that involves selling something for a few more bucks to buy another piece, so be it. You're not hurting anyone and the buyer has every right not to buy from you, but they make the conscious choice to do so. Same goes for Ebay. Paying a few more buck for something you haven't been able to find is actually a deal in the long run, and from the cash stand point. If you figure in gas, oil, your time, containters to store the stuff, a pop for the drive, and wear and tear on your car, 2-3 bucks even 5 isn't a bad deal.

But there's no correct or wrong answer and there never will be. We are dealing with a small population that collects, and these little figs only mean something to a small few. This hobby will one day disapear, our priorities will change and figs won't mean as much to us. So why not have fun and make some extra money to keep having fun?

These verbal wars about scalping, making money, and can't find this or that, is trival, and I know I'm getting tired of all the folks sniffing and crying about how Mr. Scalper cleaned out the store, or destroyed a card some how...or the prices on ebay are horrible. But hey, there's more than one way to get these figs. Check other sources, other stores, you're local store isn't the end all be all of figure collecting. Besides, honestly when I go out to find my figs, if I buy my two, I've just taken away from Tim, John, Stevie, Matt, Sally, whoever else collects, and they take away from me when they find new stuff 1st. It happens and I'm starting to wonder if people are jumping the gun and just labling everyone other than themselves as a scalper if they can't find something right away when they think its out...but that's another forum topic... Icatch9 I hear ya about collecting. I've been collecting since the start in the 70's and 80's too, and you can always find the toys.

You need to work hard, spend some money, investigate some places, make some connections, and make some money to finish and be happy with your collection. I try to buy from the local chains, but I have little luck when the demand or orders stop coming in, so I go to EE, toy dealers, comic shops, ask around to find the stuff I'm missing. Heck even I'm planning on selling my carded collection for a buck or two more or throwing some of the hard to find pieces on ebay. I did what I needed for my collection and I've had little help on the way, but I don't see why we should feel bad for wanting a few more dollars for something we had to do some work to track down that some one else wants.

Charge what you feel is right and fair, and some one will buy for what they think is reasonable. Its your hobby, you answer to yourself and you make yourself happy, and maybe some one else, but just do what you feel is right and don't worry about what others think. You have to look yourself in the mirror ever day and deal with your own issues and daily grind. Charging a few bucks more isn't that bad.

icatch9
06-18-2002, 08:55 AM
tjovonovich: That's a great outlook on the whole thing. I agree with almost everything you said.

I agree that the fire will go out of the Star WArs collecting Universe someday. Just like Starting Lineups went away. Time was you couldn't find a Griffy Jr, or any of the "hot" rookies on the shelf. Now you couldn't sell one of those for what you paid for it. Star Wars is a different beast, but someday it will go away. Just like it did befor.

I too have had little help along the way (outside of my family, who has found me several "hard to find" figures). I need 4 POTF2 ships, and 3 Vintage figures to complete my collection. I have found everything at the store, ebay, or flea markets. Only 2 things in my collection have came in a trade with other collectors (Han Solo & Taun Taun, and Blue Snaggletooth). So, I have little reason to want to help someone else for no reason. I've had some time finding and completing my collection. It has been a ton of fun, but my wallet has been hit over the past several years. I fell that it is only fair that I sell something hear or there. I find it exciting and rewarding, that I can help pay for my collection with other collectables. I only have to answer to myself and my family. I know my family is proud that I could do such a thing, and I too am proud of myself. It does take time, disiplen, knowledge, and a bit of luck to be able to sell these things in a manor that is acceptable and ethical.

If anyone doesn't agree with selling, then fine. You can work another job to help pay for your collection. I'll let my collecting work for me.

Vortex
06-18-2002, 08:58 AM
Just make sure you offer your specials up to us first:)

icatch9
06-18-2002, 09:04 AM
I don't have any specials. The things I do have extra arn't to special at all.

Tonysmo
06-18-2002, 02:00 PM
well, its nice to see I wasnt flammed. Makes me feel pretty good. I am pretty comfortable with how I conduct myself, and I dont see myself selling to much of my starwars collection, mostly sports related stuff, and autographs, to make the money to buy more starwars stuff.. thus making room for it as well... ( just got the clone trooper helmet... pretty cool, hurts my nose to put it on ) I can honestly say, that even though I have known about this site for about 4 years, seems like it anyway.. I never really ventured into these forums until recently. and until just a few days ago, I never noticed ( didnt look to hard though ) trader forums... Now that Im here though, Im ready to sell/trade off all my sports stuff for all your starwars extras! ( ok, I know, thats never gonna happen.. nobody wants sports related stuff )
Anyhow... I look forward to maybe dealing with you guys in the future.