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"Is Ebay dead?" Topic

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csm carter10 Jun 2019 8:02 p.m. PST

I have been pretty discouraged lately with buying and selling on Ebay. I tried to sell some 15mm painted tanks and they went for less than $2 USD each. At that rate I would be better of to melt them down and sell the raw metal. What happened and where did everybody go?

21eRegt10 Jun 2019 8:13 p.m. PST

Just depends on what you offer. I made a couple grand selling off my old D&D modules last year. I'd have to say the WWII market is pretty glutted at the moment with painted items. Unless the quality is very high the unpainted seem to sell better.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP10 Jun 2019 8:32 p.m. PST

ALso the number of bidders and views is way down from last year.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Jun 2019 9:12 p.m. PST

The general Flames of War sell off continues. The market is flooded. Makes me happy as I'm buying, not selling. Just got some nice Soviet armor for less than bare plastic.

TMPWargamerabbit10 Jun 2019 10:55 p.m. PST

Flames of War V4 came out and was the cause locally. The veteran FOW V3 players, if they continue to play the game (iffy in many regions), already have their painted collections, therefore their Battlefront purchases are way down. As mentioned by Extra Crispy I have seen good buys from the Ebay marketplace, especially good since my small group continues to play the old and complete V3 game. Should note haven't purchased direct from Battlefront any V4 Flames product since the dumb down tournament rules / card deck game came out.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2019 1:44 a.m. PST

Depends what you are selling.
FOW is a buyers market right now.
I had some nicely FOW painted infantry and got no bids at far less than the online discount price of unpainted.
And then I sold 10 Snits for $50. USD
You still get more eyeballs on eBay than anywhere else.

Mr Jones11 Jun 2019 1:46 a.m. PST

Depends what you are selling. I have some 40k stuff on there and plenty of watchers, no takers as yet. Rare stuff can sell quickly.

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2019 2:44 a.m. PST

Any particular reason for a a FoW sell off?

Axebreaker11 Jun 2019 3:05 a.m. PST


At a guess I think V4 wasn't very popular with V3 players.
20mm has seen a big resurgence in the past few years.
However I believe 28mm is the biggest factor as the market has exploded with options and rules like Coc and Bolt Action are fueling it.


Personal logo PzGeneral Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2019 4:00 a.m. PST

Dead?! I didn't even know it was sick!!

PraetorianHistorian11 Jun 2019 4:03 a.m. PST

As someone who sold on eBay to raise extra cash for family trips, I have abandoned eBay recently because of the new tax laws and shipping increases. I'm paying so much in taxes, fees, and shipping that it is almost not worth selling anything. If I sell something for $5 USD, I will only see about $1 USD or $2 USD from it.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Jun 2019 4:17 a.m. PST

Dead? Nah.

As said above, different markets have different cycles. Any viable market will become saturated by people with drive and access.

While you can look at news and trends and try to predict the comings and goings in a segment of the wargaming market, remember, we are in a luxury market. Those are harder to predict.

Torquemada11 Jun 2019 4:40 a.m. PST

I used to live (well) from ebay … about 14-15 years ago.

I had an official distributor license with CyberHobby HK at that time, for Dragon Armor and the 1/6 action figures/accessories. I had no direct affiliation with Dragon Armor. I was living in Germany and the market there was absolutely HUGE. I subsequently relocated to Japan (thanks to the money I made from CH), where the market was … HUGER …

That market doesn't exist today, either in Far East Asia or Europe (no clue about the US market).

I'm not currently into WWII, so can't comment on selling pre-owned WWII stuff, but when it comes to 40K (which is predominant on ebay today), "pro-painted" is usually equated with "will sell below new store price".

People want minis, always. But people don't want another person's paintjob … unless they happen to be a Golden Demon winner.

Anything less, and you can expect to get less than the current store price. Really, the only exception is old rarities.

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2019 6:27 a.m. PST

There's a wide range of things going on with Ebay right now in terms of gamers wanting to both buy and sell. A guy in our group just sold two 15mm ancient armies, 28mm French & Indian War forces, plus some other units pretty easily. What it shows is that if you have something "out of the ordinary", namely not Flames of War, you still have interested parties wanting to pay premium prices.

However, there appears to be fewer gamers browsing Ebay for gaming items. The flooding of the pages by stores/companies selling their items, fees, weird categories, etc., combine to make it a time consuming and not altogether a pleasant experience. Some of this is due to the rise of the various Facebook marketplaces that have really put a dent into Ebay and many other gaming forums that offers some kind of selling mechanism. I've noticed a severe decrease on some of these sites as the action has shifted to Facebook. I know that a lot of gamers decry Facebook and won't join, but there are some pretty good deals that show up on there and no fees.

Personal logo Endless Grubs Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2019 7:06 a.m. PST

I've spent a lot of time lurking on ebay. Overall, quantity and quality is down quite a bit it seems. Most small sellers left for better ground such as Facebook, Lead Adventure Forum, etc. Too many fees I'm guessing. FOW mid and late war can be had for a song. Early war is hard to find at decent prices. Well painted 28mm sells for a premium for sure. My two cents.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2019 9:36 a.m. PST

I haven't bought anything gaming on Ebay for…..ages. I think it was a combination of picking up a couple of auctions in a row where some stuff had been "carefully" photographed to show its "best side" and I felt I'd been burned on each of the deals.

Or put another way, I guess I realised I was just buying everyone else's old…trash.

Martin Rapier11 Jun 2019 11:13 a.m. PST

I still buy tons of stuff on eBay. Dirt cheap, decent choice, what not to like? Perhaps I'm so behind I'm just buying stuff the cool kids are unloading:)

AS for selling things. Selling stuff? Does not compute!

Yellow Admiral11 Jun 2019 12:14 p.m. PST

Not dead, but not what it used to be.

For a bunch of years there, eBay was drastically suppressing the local gaming flea markets, since it was possible to buy/sell for better prices online than in person. In the last decade, the gaming flea markets have come back to life, and eBay has gotten emptier of anything interesting.

I don't pretend to understand all the forces at work, all I know is that it's much harder to find anything I want on eBay now. FWIW, this applies to other private markets I shop too – car and motorcycle parts, tools, electronics, computer & networking gear, etc.

For a long while eBay was the world's garage sale; now it seems to be the world's low-end private seller's bazaar instead.

- Ix

JimSelzer11 Jun 2019 12:34 p.m. PST

not that I have noticed

Tony S11 Jun 2019 2:41 p.m. PST

Since I'm Canadian, most of the ebay stuff I'd be interested in is foreign, and the shipping and built-in tariffs that ebay forces buyers to pay is simply ridiculous! It's been years since I bought anything from there.

(and speaking of ridiculous – I simply cannot understand WHY anyone would sell FoW stuff simply because they don't like the new rules. You can still play the old rules, if you like them better. Or, since FoW models are WW@, just look around at the hundreds of other WW2 games out there! I suppose because their local gaming group only plays v4. But I've learned never to sell anything painted, simple because of a momentary rules "fashion". Sooner or later, a new ruleset, or v5 comes along, and I'm interested in it and then it's time to find those old figures of mine)!

Striker11 Jun 2019 3:19 p.m. PST

Ebay feels like a cheap version of Amazon. Less individual sellers clearing out their closets and more small business sales.

TSD10111 Jun 2019 3:32 p.m. PST

I actually threw some stuff up this month because of an offer I got from ebay where the first 5 sales pay no final value fees. Its a good place to sell of GW stuff still. RPG books/modules and items do decently too. I agree, the Flames market is in the toilet right now because of v4 grumblings and its a good time to be a buyer.

Dynaman878911 Jun 2019 4:03 p.m. PST

Sounds like the market is working exactly as it should.

14th NJ Vol Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2019 4:24 p.m. PST

"Sounds like the market is working exactly as it should"

Bingo, a winner

RudyNelson11 Jun 2019 5:01 p.m. PST

A decade ago with the rising fees by ebay, I began to explore other options. Currently I am selling mostly new books and using Amazon. Sales on Amazon are 80%+ better on Amazon as compared to ebay. At best I was selling only 10% of listed items.

When I get ready to sale the 500+ games new and punched, I may use CONSIM Marketplace. They seem to have brisk traffic.

The miniatures are still going slowly at conventions. We are closing out all Warlord items and stocking more Ares planes and terrain.

von Schwartz11 Jun 2019 5:48 p.m. PST

We can hope

Militia Pete12 Jun 2019 3:36 a.m. PST

I haven't used Ebay in years. After the hassle I got for selling a rare G.I.Joe and the clown saying he paid "'via Western Telegram" when only payment allowed was MO, I swore it off.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Jun 2019 6:25 a.m. PST

built-in tariffs that ebay forces buyers to pay is simply ridiculous

Talk to your government about repealing GST. Or don't talk to your government about your desire to avoid paying GST when you order stuff.

the clown saying he paid "'via Western Telegram" when only payment allowed was MO

Which is why I would use EBay over FB … buyer and seller protection. In addition to the above issue of figuring out duties/tariffs/taxes/etc. for you.

Tony S12 Jun 2019 2:20 p.m. PST

Talk to your government about repealing GST

That's not the issue, per se. When I order other things from other countries from other manufacturers or sellers (other than eBay) they only charge postage. Then, if my country's custom officials are in a bad mood, they open my package and charge GST and duty AND a package opening fee that I pay for the privilege of having them open the box – the last charge really rankles – much more than GST!

But in over thirty years of ordering overseas, I think I've been hit about two or three times like that. 99.9% of the time the packages arrive duty free. In fact, I order all my books from the UK now, since it is always free shipping AND I avoid taxes. (For those that wonder, I believe Canada is the only Western country that charges taxes on books).

If I order from ebay, I get hit with duty every single time, as they make me pay. Mind you, so do all the courier services, like UPS or FedEx, as well as a "brokerage" fee on top of that.

Grimmnar12 Jun 2019 8:22 p.m. PST

PraetorianHistorian, can you show how this result happened?
I dont know how you are paying 60 to 80% in fees.


Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Jun 2019 4:05 p.m. PST

If I order from ebay, I get hit with duty every single time

So, still, the problem is eBay is obeying your country's laws.

Sgt Slag15 Jun 2019 7:59 p.m. PST

I find better prices for used RPG books on Amazon. There is no bidding, either, just fixed prices. I shop carefully, as e-Bay sellers' prices are not always the lowest. Buyer beware. Cheers!

MarkAMorin Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2019 4:43 a.m. PST

I buy unpainted stuff on eBay, but only for old rarities. The FoW stuff sales are helpful, but I use their stuff for What a Tanker

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP02 Jul 2019 4:11 p.m. PST

As someone with a serious 15mm WW2 monkey on my back, I'm hitting Ebay to " complete the collection" with BF resin & metal stuff that matches my existing stuff as BF goes completely plastic. But this is an aberration, as I hardly use EBay these days.

I don't play Flames of War, either, but that's another conversation.

VonBlucher06 Jul 2019 8:41 a.m. PST

I use it to fill out some unique items in 15mm. What you see on eBay also lots of guys bought in on the half price sale that battlefront ran earlier this year on their older late war items and now selling them off still below the old price. I was at Adepticon and Battlefront had a booth and I was glad I went as I picked up quite a few box sets that were less than half price. Example metal British paratroop company box set for $25.00 USD. Pretty much all the resin box sets could be had for $25.00 USD each and if you bought 4 for of them you got a box set free.

DanWW214 Jul 2019 3:36 p.m. PST

There are a lot of factors at play.

I used to buy and sell on eBay a lot, but the 'golden age' was probably around 15 years ago. I live in the UK, and buying items from the US or Europe was viable. International postage is now prohibitive, and there seems to be a higher likelihood of being hit with import duties. Fees are high, and PayPal adds to that. Back in the day, a lot of internal transactions were done by cheque. There's also an apparent rise in dishonesty, so everything has to be sent tracked and insured, adding to costs.

Ebay itself deliberately repositioned to attract more large scale sellers of new items, and for some reason squeezed the individual sellers of cheap, pre- owned items out. I can see why a physical store would do this as it went 'up market', but less easy to understand when you only see what you search for, so the separate markets could co-exist. Ebay also slanted the feedback and resolution systems heavily towards buyers- in my opinion it worked better when it was more equal. An annoyance is the flooding of eBay with new items listed ABOVE retail, and their insistence on showing results from overseas, when the postage for a single blister pack is three times the cost of the pack itself.
Ebay still has its uses, but low value, pre-owned bargains are a rarity, and the only things I buy from overseas are things like phone cases and electronics accessories, which the Chinese seem to be able to ship in days for free.

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