Setting Goals for Ebay Sales

I thought I’d take a moment to explain what my thought process was and what I was hoping to get out out of the ebay auctions.

Well, to begin with, some of the models aren’t mine. A friend asked if I’d sell a few things for him, so any auction I have marked with a J are his. This includes all of the Necromunda stuff, Leonatos, one of the Games Day marines, the INQ figures, and a techmarine. When all is said and done, I’ll need to extract those numbers from the total.

That aside, I also had a couple of different viewpoints that I attacked this from, and I thought I’d go into each one a little bit. Those views were:

  1. I’d like to recoup the actual costs I’d put into the models and make some profit (after all, I’d purchased them cheap with the intent to sell one day…)
  2. I’d like to achieve my “frugal” goal of spending $0 net for the year.
  3. I always would like to earn 40% retail value for the models that I’m selling.

So, let’s break each one of these down in turn…

I’d like to recoup the actual costs I’d put into the models and make some profit:

My costs into these auctions so far:

  • $296 – Space Wolves, Blood Angels, & Daemons. I’ve already sold $204 to local gamers, and I kept four drop pods for personal use.
  • $100 – Tyranids. Nothing has sold yet, but I did keep the zoanthrope, and a bunch of gaunts. I also traded away the raveners and the Trygon, so if these come to even half the total, they’ll have been a good investment.
  • $200 – Sisters of Battle
  • $30 – Hellcannon
  • $85.60 – Dark Vengeance Limited Edition (I kept the rulebook, templates, Librarian, Chosen Dice)
  • $53.85 – Ebay Listing Fees

So that’s $711.60 in attributable model costs there, and another $53.85 in ebay fees (to date).

There are also some remnants from the Demon army I picked up in January, but those have already paid for themselves. Additionally, some of the IG (particularly those that have had their aquillas removed) were from a trade I did with Skaven for IG. I don’t have great information on where the Skaven came from though. I know much of them came from a trade with Cole for some 40k Ork stuff + cash… but I don’t have hard numbers there. The Praetorians, Ogryn, and some other IG were from another trade I’d done for BFG models, and I believe I threw some cash in to equal that out (though I don’t recall exactly how much—and these are a small dent in the total for that army. The Ironfather I’d purchased from another guy online as part of a big buy (which, ironically, contained the BFG that I’d traded for the IG above). That deal was years ago, and totaled $350. This particular model was such a small part of that total though…

It’s hard to total up those expected costs there, so let’s call it $200. Realistically, I expect everything that I don’t have hard costs on have probably already paid for themselves in one way or another, but I can’t be certain.

That brings our total to approximately $711.60 in models. Since I know that ebay is going to take another flat 9% out of the final total for selling fees, and Paypal will take another 3% (grumble, grumble), I’m out 12% there. That said, I’ll need to sell those figures for about $1074.84 to break even on them. I also suspect I undercharged for shipping, so I may take a bit of a hit there in the end as well, so we’ll call it an even $1200 for break-even.

I’d like to achieve my “frugal” goal of spending $0 net for the year:

Ironically, my year to date “Frugal spending” is $1221.52. Of course, that doesn’t include ebay fees. So, in order to break even there, I’d really have to make $1421.95 in my auctions to cover the listing, ebay, and paypal charges. (Well, that’s a misnomer, because I included a WAG of $200 of costs attributed to models I purchased before the year, but if I’m going to count their profit, I might as well count their costs in this year as well, right?). If I can make that much though, my net amount spent on the year will be $0.

These numbers are higher than the cost to purchase because my Frugal spending also includes other armies/models I’ve kept, plus a bunch of MtG cards and board games. I’m not sure it’s realistic to expect these models to cover those costs, but it’s always nice to dream, right?

I always would like to earn 60% retail value for the models that I’m selling.

This might seem a little arbitrary, but it’s a holdover from the days when I used to sell on ebay (back in the 90’s). Since you can routinely purchase models from local resellers at 20% off, I figured the best I could ever hope to do in resale is to sell things at 40% off retail prices.

Unfortunately, this goal takes a whole lot of research to figure out. In order to do so, I’d need to look up the retail cost on all models in every auction I’m selling. It’s already a time consuming process, but even then, how does one figure out the “retail” price for a figure that hasn’t been produced in 20 years?

I went ahead and did the math on this, though I’ll leave the pages of tables out of the post for “brevity’s” sake. I moved forward with the assumption that anything that’s old/OOP I would just use the current pricing. Likewise, with any weird conversions (like the daemons on chariots), I would settle on an approximate value in current retail funds.

The total retail value of the lot? $3,593.40.

Because of that, my goal would then to be to make $2156.00 in gross sales (40% off retail pricing). Obviously, this is significantly higher than the other two totals, but it would really be the “best possible” option I could hope for.


Before I go ahead and break down the goals in general, I thought I should add in modifiers. These are because the numbers I used above (at least in the first two metrics) were based upon the total models I’d purchased—but I went ahead and kept/traded some of those. Realistically, I could accept less, knowing that I was able to keep a fair amount of stuff from the purchases I’ve made over the year including:

  • A 40k mini-rulebook (DV total – ~$40)
  • Chaos Chosen from Dark Vengeance
  • Librarian from Dark Vengeance
  • 4x Drop pods ($37.25 each)
  • 1x Zoanthrope ($24.75)
  • 23x Termagants ($2.90 each)
  • 2x Metal Gargoyles ($2.90 each)
  • 1x Carnifex ($53.75)
  • 2x Ripper Swarms ($0)

The total retail value there is $340. Of course, I’m a miser and wouldn’t pay retail for any of it, but I’d probably feel comfortable buying it at 60% off retail (or $136.00), so I can take that off any of the totals to lower the expectations.

As for anything I kept, but traded away, I’m going to forgo including them in any modifiers, so as to ensure I don’t include their benefit twice in my mind.


We now have three sets of numbers that I can use as goals for these auctions, on a sliding scale:

  1. $1,064 – Bare Minimum (~30% of retail value). This effectively is my break even price for the lot and is the minimum to cover my cost to purchase these models.
  2. $1,421.95 – Actual Target (~40% of retail value) Achieving my YTD frugal goals. Not only would they cover their costs, but the cost of any outstanding debt I’ve racked up on other games/hobbies to date for 2012.
  3. $2156.00 – Huge Success (60% of retail value). This equates to selling everything for 60% of its current retail value. If I could get this much, I’d be doing amazing.
  4. $2468.60 – Insanity (~69% of retail value). I know I said there were only three sets, but I went ahead and added a fourth. Effectively, this is enough to achieve everything in “huge success” and also make enough to cover all related ebay/paypal fees.

Realistically, I expect the total to fall somewhere around the actual target (though I wouldn’t be surprised if it were somewhere between that and the bare minimum). While I don’t think it’s impossible to reach the “huge success” marker, I suspect that to be highly unlikely. The fourth goal is completely unrealistic though.

At the rate the auctions are going, and the deals I got when purchasing them, I would be shocked if I didn’t at least meet the bare minimum though. I wouldn’t be happy if that was all I got though, because it took quite a bit of effort to purchase all this, store it, list it, sell it, etc. So, here’s to hoping for a little something extra…

So, if you’re feeling particularly generous and want to see me reach the INSANITY goal, why not drop by and check out my auctions. Even if you’re not looking to spend a fortune, at the time of writing this, the average price of a model is somewhere around 80% off retail pricing with seven auctions going for under a dollar.

Click here to view my current EBay Auctions

P.S. Don’t ask me why I chose rainbow pictures for this entry…. why not?

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