Eldar Ebay’d Aftermath

AftermathIt’s been a slow few months along the blog, but that’s mostly because it’s been really slow hobby time for me.  Since the last post, I’ve had some friends over on two occasions and we’ve managed to squeeze in a game of Power Grid, a game of Ticket to Ride (Switzerland) and a game of Castle Risk.  Not exactly the sort of compelling thing that inspires blog entries.

One thing I can write about is that the Eldar auctions I posted last month have officially closed and everyone has received their stuff (or at least the positive feedback has started rolling in, and nobody has claimed that they haven’t received their stuff…).  So, with that, I figured I’d break down the profit/loss on that particular purchase:

In total, they sold for a total of $856.75, which—by my earlier calculations—is about 52% of retail value.  With the recent hype based upon the release of the Eldar book (and the fact that the models haven’t changed), I would’ve hoped for more, but I can’t complain too much because I bought them for $300 back in April.  That means I’ll have certainly made a profit.

Let’s check our fees.  Ebay charged me a listing fee of $.45 per auction ($13.05 total for 29 auctions) and a total final value fee of $98.60 (so that’s 11.5%–which is higher than I remember Ebay stating they charge).  In total, I collected an extra $123.30 in shipping fees.  After that, Paypal also got it’s cut of $34.57, and the good ol’ USPS collected XXXX +$19.  So, to break it down cleanly:

$856.75 (final sale price)
+$123.30 (shipping fees collected)
-$300 (original purchase price)
-$111.65 (ebay fees)
-$34.57 (Paypal fees)
-$ 94.20 (USPS Fees)
$439.63 Total profit

In total, that’s not bad.  Things I can learn from this particular round of auctions:

  1. Eldar don’t sell as well as I thought they would.  Total sales were barely over 51% of MSRP—though I guess my goal is always to make 60% of retail, and the total auctions closed at 59.2% if you include the cost of shipping and remove any fees—so that’s not bad.
  2. Raising my shipping fees from my normal “$5 per auction” by just $1 proved to be enough to cover shipping charges.  I think this was largely because I didn’t bother to put message tracking on every package.  Still, it was nice not to lose money on this for a change (though $29 isn’t exactly raking it in, so I don’t feel like I’m gouging anyone)
  3. I collected 59.2% of MSRP and paid out 14% of MSRP in various fees.  If this is a metric that holds true for future auctions, that would mean the absolute highest I could afford to pay for anything would be about 45% of retail.  Still, that leaves no profit in it for me.  That might give me a gauge to use in the future when buying armies though.  It would be interesting to see how well the numbers hold up over time and across various armies.

Oh well, time to add this to my Frugal Gaming totals for the year (Which are out of date, I’m afraid to say), and call this a success.  Hopefully I’ll be able to actually get some hobby time in one way or the other, and start updating again on a semi-regular basis.  Wish me luck…

Rolling Stones “Aftermath” photo copyright by the Stones… I guess


8 comments on “Eldar Ebay’d Aftermath

  1. Yah, Paypal and eBay fees add up, fast. I did some wholesale clearing of fantasy (non-GW) collector’s models, and the fees sliced some of the profits right out from under me. The fact that eBay and Paypal now charge a fee on shipping costs is criminal.

    • Sure, they add up, but when I last looked them up, ebay fees were 9% and paypal was around 3%. Now eBay’s fees are 10% of final value (plus any listing fees), which is higher than I’d expected–too high if you ask me.

      I’m not really opposed to paying fees on shipping (I don’t like it, mind you, but I see the point). People were playing too many games wherein they charged almost nothing for the item, and a high rate of shipping to circumvent paying the required fees. To resolve that, ebay just taxes everything. I’m not sure that was the right answer, but it had to be easier to implement than a system which tracked who was overcharging on shipping and penalizing them appropriately. I know if I was running it, I’d have preferred the easy-out. As a result, I had to play games with my shipping charges to ensure I didn’t lose money.

      • I agree, the fees are just nutty now. I know why they charge on shipping (having seen those penny auctions with $50 shipping rates in the past), I just don’t LIKE it. lol.

  2. Ah I wished I could have caught you sooner. My Wind Rider Host could have used some growth :). I’ll have to catch you next time.

  3. The fees are painful but manageable if you keep them in mind. It’s lower than or comparable to most consignment fees and you have some degree of seller protection when using ebay/paypal. They’ve essentially waived the basic listing fees though, so you can afford to let it sit on ebay as long as you need to.

    I like that you’ve established some guidelines to help you be sure you’re getting a good deal. I haven’t done as much army flipping as you have but those seem consistent with what I’ve seen.

    • I never considered what I’m doing to be “army flipping,” but that’s a pretty good description. Of course, I’m pretty slow about it. I just buy cheap, hold on to as if I’m going to play it one day, and take a better offer or unload it on eBay when I get sick of it…

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