Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Buy, Sell & Swap forums

A lot of bandwidth has been expended over thepast week on GW’s price rise and their “price rise” (Rest of the World). I’m not sure how this will play out in the end except to say that I hope wayland’s workaround is all good.

However there are other ways to pick up your models cheap and that is second hand.

The two key pathways are through professional sites, Trade Me (here in NZ) and eBay (globally), and through the Buy, Sell and Swap area on most forums.

I’m keen to talk about the second of these, the Buy, Sell and Swap Forums. Most wargaming forums have a “marketplace” where goods are sold second hand. Generally these forums will allow members to post stuff they want to get rid of and also stuff they need. This can be a great way to pick up models or to get elusive bits.

As a regular user of various forums over the past decade, there are a couple of pointers that I can give you.

1. Be Realistic in Your Expectations

This is one of the most important. If you can buy things new overseas for 50-60% (NZ/AUS) retail then you can’t expect to sell your stuff for more than this. This is especially true if it is assembled. If you are looking to sell models be realistic.

Similarly, the same applies for purchasing. If you can get items for 40-50% of (NZ/AUS) retail then you are getting a cheaper deal. This is what you should aim for.

However, be aware that there are a lot of things that you can’t get anywhere but GW. This is increasingly the case with their metal models.

2. Paint Reduces Price

As soon as paint is on the model its price is further reduced. Most painted stuff is crap… really crap. I drop my buying price to around 35% as it means I have to spend time stripping – that’s if I buy at all.
There are exceptions to this. Above average tabletop quality will go for 80-100% retail while exceptionally well painted can go for 150-200%.

3. Ask for Photos

If you are paying for painting then definitely get photos. You might believe your painting is “Pro” but I’m going to go with what I can see.

4. Get a PayPal Account

If you use overseas forums then get a PayPal account. Yes they take a cut on any transaction receipt but it makes things so much easier. First, it gives potential parties a degree of comfort to participate in the transaction and second, it is a lot easier once you’ve set things up.
When I sell something I pretty much insist on PayPal unless I have a local currency account.

5. Postage

If you are selling please use a realistic P&P. Most postal services have a website that quotes indicative price based on weight/volume. I hate it when somebody tries to feather their nest with unrealistic charges….however they are few and far between these days.

6. Quantity has its Own Quality

Or “I prefer to sell as one lot”. First of all it takes less effort and second I don’t get left with stuff I don’t want.

You’ll see a lot of people say “No Splits”. Respect them. If after a few days something hasn’t sold broach it then but don’t expect them to split.

7. Beware of Timewasters

Check on any forum where you do look to sell stuff particularly that there are some people who are timewasters. You can soon search them out. Generally they’ll ask you to hold stuff. Personally I don’t play “dibs”. First with the cash gets the deal.

Also be aware of people who want photos – unless you are selling a paint job there is no need for photos. We all know what Space Marine looks like.

Anyway these are a few tips on using forums. I personally find them a good platform to either buy or sell. However I’m more inclined to go to eBay if I am looking to sell a paintjob. It gives you a bigger market. Generic unpainted material I lose through forums.


  1. by and large I agree with your comments, except for the photos bit.

    There's a world of difference between a landraider put together by tommy ten thumbs in his race to get it to the table at school and one from a veteran gamer who had an idea for an army that never worked out.

    Photos of plastic kits is also a way to know if there's any bits missing from sprues or the models themselves.

  2. Hey pete, I managed to sell some eldar wraithlords, josh's entire TK army, and more recently my own TK army using my youtube page. Because I have so many viewers for it, I can essentially put out a sales-pitch as people are looking through a slideshow of photos.

    Also, if people have watched the batreps they may have seen a vast amount of photos since they are paying for painted stuff.

    It works! If you need to sell a particularly big collection let me know and I might be able to help.

  3. One more thing I would add: if the sale goes bad don't go blubbing to the forum about it. Forum sales (and purchases) are all at your own risk.

  4. Me thinks you might be a Forum Moderator wallacer?

  5. Gosh Pete, is it that obvious? ;-)