Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Any Old Iron? Miniature Trading & Selling Sites

Lately I've been doing a bit more miniature trading than usual. My preferences are such that a lot of the miniatures and kits that I'm after are out of production, and have been so for some time. I've noticed that, especially where Games Workshop is concerned, I don't tend to buy many of the new kits, and those I do buy are usually to convert or cannibalise them for bits. I do, however, hunt certain miniatures across the length and breadth of the internet to complete whatever range I'm currently obsessing over.

Anyhow, this post comes about after watching some commentary on one of the trading sites I've recently signed up to. There's a billion trading and selling sites out there, big and small, and this post applies to them all, so I'm not going to put up a list or anything.

What came up was some commentary I've seen a lot before, so I thought I might put up some advice from having been at this for some time. Here's some pointers that might help budding traders out there.

  • A brief mention of eBay. Always check the postage for your country, and always check the sellers reputation. If you're still unsure, ask them a question. If they don't respond, do not bid. 
  • When trading, check any reputation indicator for that seller. Watch for communication, if they are tardy or less than polite, don't trade.
  • Always ask for pictures of the item you are trading for, and always provide them for your items. Again, ask how postage is covered and who covers it.
  • Be prompt sending items once the deal is struck. If there's a delay, tell the receiver about it. They'll understand.
  • Be wary of people who want you to send money as a gift via Paypal. If the deal goes bad you have no recourse to claim your money back. That said, it's not a deal breaker, just something to watch for.
  • You don't have to buy a box of squats for $500. Yes, it's a poor show, but don't spend week moaning about it to everyone, move on.
  • Be polite, and watch the language.
  • Aim for a fair deal, not as much as you can get.
  • Haggle for above mentioned fair deal. People won't be offended, and if they are you're probably better off walking away anyway.
  • Patience. Be wary of buying 'that mini' you've been after for ages. I've seen miniatures I've been hunting for years going for $50, only to pick it up in a lot for $10 a week later. Chaos dwarves hobgoblin wolf riders are not really worth $200 for 5. Without wolves. Or shields. Or bases. 
  • Most people out there are decent, but there are people who will rip you off. Thankfully they are a minority, but they can ruin a good trading site. If a deal seems off, trust your gut and don't go ahead with the trade or purchase.
There you go, a few pointers. I'll pop in more as they come to me. Buying 2nd hand and trading is a very satisfying way to pick up some new minis. Nothing better than watching a jar full of Dettol work it's magic on a batch of soon to be shiny new old figures. Actually speaking of which, I think those hybrids are probably about ready...


  1. All sound bits of advice. The only thing I would add is if you are trading on a forum that doesn't have an established or well maintained reference system then it is often wise to look at how many posts the other trader has and how long they have been involved with the forum. Users with a long history are often less likely to risk their reputations by trying to pull a fast one in a deal. This shouldn't be a hard and fast rule...I've had many great trades/sales with noobs on forums too...but I'm always more confident in a "Known Quantity."

    1. A good point, a little bit of legwork can save you tears down the line.


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