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  1. #1

    Arrow Ebay vs SSG its very similar (sorry, I had alot to say)

    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.
    If you want to find it you have to shop.

  2. #2
    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.
    Bye to all.thanks for some good times.

  3. #3
    Couldn't have said that any better Dryanta.

  4. #4
    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.
    "No one helped me so why should I help you?" - College professor circa 1999

    By choosing not to decide you still have made a choice.

    I'm in love with the women of Univision.

  5. #5
    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.
    If you want to find it you have to shop.

  6. #6
    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.
    "No one helped me so why should I help you?" - College professor circa 1999

    By choosing not to decide you still have made a choice.

    I'm in love with the women of Univision.

  7. #7
    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!
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Salsa Shark.. I think were gonna need a bigger boat..[/FONT]

  8. #8
    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.
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescenceÖ When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

  9. #9

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

    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 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.
    GIGANTA: A robot that automatically produces fun!

  10. #10
    We are about to release a new feature that will bring collectors together. It's not an another auction though... details soon to follow.
    Check out my new venture: - A social network for collectors!


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