GW Pricing: Only a Sucker Would Buy At Retail

wh39kOrkz (131)I should start this post by saying that I have ebay auctions going right now.  And that you should not buy them–nor should you be buying any GW models.

Wow, do GW models ever cost a lot.  I was going to do a normal “buy my stuff” kind of post to drum up sales for my current ebay auctions, and I decided to do some math on what the MSRP for the lot would be.

Frankly, I found the total price to be appalling (but don’t let that stop you from shopping).  The numbers are in the chart below

QTY Description MSRP MSRP Total
6 deffopta $33.00 $198.00
1 battlewagon $66.00 $66.00
3 trukk $37.25 $111.75
1 flyer $45.50 $45.50
1 snikrot $22.25 $22.25
26 loota $5.00 $130.00
3 buggy $30.00 $90.00
53 grot $1.50 $79.50
3 runtherd $1.50 $4.50
2 big mek $21.00 $42.00
35 nob $5.00 $175.00
6 warboss $20.00 $120.00
117 boys $2.90 $339.30
12 stormboyz $5.00 $60.00
30 burna $5.00 $150.00
5 tankbusta $9.00 $45.00
1 painboy $26.00 $26.00
1 ghazkul $40.00 $40.00
2 biker $13.75 $27.50

wh39kOrkz (122)Obviously, some of those prices are skewed abnormally high (who would pay $33 each for an AoBR deffkopta?), and that’s because GW doesn’t have list prices for models that are no longer in print.  Still though, this is roughly one tote worth of GW stuff in my garage that is just a waste of space to me, and GW would charge almost $2,000 for it?  That’s just complete insanity.

The good news is that, as of writing this post, the stuff is currently going for 1/10th of that price.  Frankly, I typically find myself buying entire armies at 90%, even if I have absolutely no interest in playing them because they should make money (in fact, I think that’s where I got all of these Orks).  But I’m at the point where I don’t care how much they sell for: I just want them gone.  Hopefully someone that reads the blog will find some good deals out there.

Without a doubt, some of the best deals right now are:

wh39kOrkz (115)I won’t pretend to understand the rationale of eBay shoppers.  Frankly, every time I do this, some auctions go far too cheap, while others go for about MSRP for some reason.  I also fully expect these prices to come up a bit, but nowhere near what GW charges.

I know that as a player of the game, I should encourage other people to get into it, but I can’t in good conscience do that.  I actively warn people away from the game whenever I find a potential new player.  I look at it as my civic duty to tell them how incredibly expensive it is and disuade them from starting.

If I can’t do that entirely, I try to encourage them to buy used, because the cost savings is just so great.

So, if you’re out there reading this:

Don’t buy any of my models.  Instead go invest in a college education, some sort of physical activity, or throw money away chasing girls.  If, you won’t listen to reason, there’s no reason to pay retail…

Check out my ebay auctions here.


18 comments on “GW Pricing: Only a Sucker Would Buy At Retail

  1. I warn everyone about the cost of miniature games. Especially GW minis. I remember when Warmachine came out I didn’t get into it because their models where so much more expensive than GW. Now, I push people toward Warmachine for how affordable they are compared to GW.

    • Affordable? I haven’t found that to be the case. In my experience Warmahordes is comparably priced. The upside is that it’s a “skirmish game,” so you don’t *have* to buy as much of it, but those people that do get into it, seem to feel compelled to buy every model and every variant, so they have just as much crap as I have 40k for a given army.

      On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 11:05 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


  2. Boo hiss! Don’t put people off the hobby – there is a middle way! For a start, there’s bundle deals / army boxes, online discounters and – as you prove – ebay! I don’t know anyone who bought everything they own at full retail. Even 20 years ago when I was at school people were buying stuff second hand from each other.

    Secondly, there are games other than those produced by GW. Some of them are more expensive, model for model, but many of them are significantly cheaper, and not always lower quality.

    Thirdly, there are different scales of game. In both senses: you can play games using 15mm or 20mm figures (and others besides) and build units and armies much faster and more cheaply. And you can also just play small games, be that games designed as skirmish sytems with just a handful of figures each side or small versions of (some) ‘battle’ games. (I don’t think Warhammer Fantasy works well with small armies but 40K can.)

    Then of course, there’s the hobby aspect. If you enjoy – or just think you might enjoy – painting figures and not gaming with them, then you can keep costs pretty low. I doubt there’s a person in the world who, if they strictly keep to a ‘won’t buy anything new until I’ve painted everything I own’ rule, wouldn’t be able to afford it!

    • Not enough people say “boo hiss” these days. Thanks for the laugh.

      The thing is that I’m apparently not very convincing at talking people out of the game–I’m not exactly sure why. Perhaps I get involved too late in the process and they’ve all but made up their mind? Or maybe I’m not very good at convincing people (is it hard to listen to someone who has a ton of GW stuff that’s telling you not to get involved in it?). So, despite me telling people not to get into it, I don’t think I have much effect on the playerbase.

      On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 11:14 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


  3. This post is funny, because I recently bought a warmachine troll kit, and was wondering where the saving was vs a same sized GW kit. You want to talk savings…how bout that infinity starter set icestorm where almost the entire collection is a work of art! Or relic the boardgame, which comes with ten busts for 30 bucks.

    I think if you are just into miniatures as a hobby, you’re going to be paying for it. Either you get more bits for more money, or you get less bits for less money. Plastic is pretty much plastic, no matter how you cut, glue, or paint it :).

    Thanks for the links! I’ll be watching them for maximum savings!

    • I found myself buying some Hordes models once because I thought they looked significantly Tyraniddy and that they were cheaper, but it turns out that they were on par with GW as far as pricing goes. I’m sure part of this is my old fogey ways and remembering how much better things were when I was a kid, but part of it is assuredly cost creep. It’s amazing how much their prices go up year after year.

      On Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 2:32 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


      • Inflation is brutal. Everyone constantly complains about pricing, because we all remember how much stuff was when we were kids. Basically the twenty bucks you had in the 80’s costs about 40 bucks today just from inflation.

      • Inflation is totally a real thing. GW pricing has gone up exponentially faster than inflation though.

        The classic example is 3x Rhinos came in a box for $20 in the early 90’s. A rhino costs $39 now.

        Some of the models are nicer, and required sculpts and perhaps new technologies to make them, but many of these new technologies were implemented as a cost savings for the company (plastic/finecast), so that shouldn’t be used as a justification to increase the model cost.

        There are tons of others as well. Eldar Warlocks came two to a blister for $5.50, and now they’re $11.50 each (keeping in mind it’s the exact same model–though I’m guessing those are now resin, and not metal).

        On Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 8:49 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


  4. I am mainly interested in 40k (or let’s say GW minis as I got some fantasy units too) mostly for the looks, as in painting them for display. If I were gaming, I think I would have had a serious downhill charge as my first kits were Orks.

    For me the most expensive investment was during the latest Space Hulk sale. The models are the same as the previous installment (correct me if I’m wrong) but the price is inflated to real high amounts. A bummer really.

    I guess in the end it comes to supply and demand. If you have demand for the minis the pricing can be adjusted to meet it. Remember, GW is still in business (not doing bad either it seems) which means people are willing to buy the plastic and resin soldiers for these “premium” prices.

    • I didn’t pay attention to the second release of Space Hulk, but from what I can tell the minis are identical. I think the first time around, the game was about $100. What did you wind up paying for it?

      On Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 12:51 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


      • Was that from GW direct or from a local retailer? I originally purchased mine from theWarstore, who normally gives a 20% discount and ships anything for $6, but since the box was so big and heavy, they asked if I minded paying additional shipping. I wonder if the $20 wasn’t to cover that additional charge–or if that was their new inflated standard?

        On Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 8:58 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


  5. Excellent post to advertise your ebay auctions, made me smile :). I think second hand is the only way to go. Or switch to historicals. Good value all the way and the fluff is so complex you can dedicate a lifetime to it ;). No background is more immersive than real-world history.

    • Well, it wasn’t originally supposed to be an ad. I guess it was, then it wasn’t, then it was again. I can’t believe how high their prices have gotten though. I’ve really bought very little direct from them over the past few years–mostly because I have everything I need and connections to get the other stuff.

      Maybe one day I’ll take the jump to historicals, but I just don’t see it happening. I have so much time & money invested in 40k, why would I switch?

      On Wed, Jan 28, 2015 at 6:09 PM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


  6. Stumbled onto this blog and thought I would throw my 2 cents in on the whole pricing thing:

    GW miniatures for the MOST part are on part with the industry when you look at the number of miniatures/customization options/amount of plastic/resin/whatever (the new leaders single models being a slap in the face to that where you are seemingly paying for its on table gaming value). HOWEVER game wise you are getting much less of a value for your units because GW games tend to require a LOT of models (or a few very huge ones).

    Honestly looking at 40k as a game, with the amount of units you have on the field is more conductive of a 10mm or 15mm scale game. 28mm is much better for Skirmish (IE Infinity) level action where the larger scale really allows you to see detail on each soldier… compared to 40k where details on individual troops (especially guardsmen or little Nids) are lost in the horde of fellow cheap infantry.

    Yes the table looks impressive with all those big models but everything is very close in. I’ve seen 40k tables were one side seems to almost fill up their deployment zone on a 4×6 table and it almost looks like both forces are very close to arms reach range from the first turn. Compare that to a 10mm game with the same number of units/infantry and all of a sudden you have a lot more table space to move and deploy. Simply because your tanks are much smaller…

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