Shanester

Selling minimates using the BHM price guide

26 posts in this topic

OK folks, here is the deal. We are starting to see a possible trend where members wish to sell Minimates on the Multiverse without listed prices (big no-no), and just referring to the BHM Minimate price guide. Personally, I think this is walking a fine line and we (the staff) are inclined to disallow it. The bottom line is this, if you want to haggle or take offers, go to Ebay. Attempting to use this forum to "skirt" fees is a cheapskates method. However, we do want to keep the ability to buy/trade/sell open to the membership.

Lets hear from the membership. How do you feel about those wishing to sell, using the price guide instead of listing prices?

We still reserve the right to disallow the practice, but this site is for you, so have your say. Thanks!

Edited by Shanester
I reffered to it as BHM's Price guide, but realize Bob Harris and Ivan are also contributors. Sorry gents.

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Let me chirp in first by saying that my recent blow-out will be the last . I have always emphatically insisted in the 'Discussion' that the guide is just that a guide & not a price list.

I ONLY ever used the Guide prices during my two Blow Outs & accepted 95% of any of the offers.... regardless..... & I believe that I never haggled with anybody.

My guide should not be used as a price list, that was never my intention.

Edited by buttheadsmate

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Hey BHM, please don't think there is ANY kind of accusation here, nor am I frowning upon anyone's actions. No one has done ANYTHING wrong here. Personally, I find the Price Guide an incredibly useful tool and a very accurate guide for determining a minimates general value. If I didn't, I would probably rally against its use all together. I appreciate very much the time you and the others put into it. PLUS, I know you to be very fair and a push-over in general. Please, don't misintepret my intentions here as an attack. It is most certainly not.

I just want to know if the membership here thinks it is fair to use it as I described. Intended as a price list, or not, it is being used as such and I wonder how folks feel about this. Maybe the question is moot. By that I mean, if BHM, Bob Harris, or Ivan wish for it not to be sited for pricing, then it would simply be disallowed. Period.

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I like the guide...for what it is. a "guide" and not a definitive price list. unfortunatly I see thats how its being taken. I generally wont make offers on items that people specify they are using the guide as there pricing list.

The reason is this: I see some items on the guide go for much cheaper on ebay. it doesnt happen all the time and maybe a one or two time thing. but knowing that it went for less, that cheaper price point is what I have in my head of what I want to pay because I know it can get cheaper then the guide elsewhere in the internet. I dont make offers because I dont want to offend anyone that wants to get guide prices for their mates.

if people want to use the guide as a price list, I think thats fine, but (for me) I usually skip those listings. so in a sense it hurts the seller, as they could have had a sale from me, but I didnt want to pay guide prices, nor do I want to be offensive with an offer. I dont lowball, and imo, its not worth haggling over a dollar or two and possibly making the seller mad, I dont want to burn bridges . so I simply pass out of respect.

I like when people post pricing, gives me a good idea if the seller is open to any negotiation and/or what true resale prices are.

maybe I am a cheap ass looking for a deal, but thats my .02 :)

Edited by Ninja Mate

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I have no problems with an official or unofficial price guide, other than the fact that it is a lot of work for someone to keep up with to maintain current prices, and this is critical for a guide to be useful.

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Thanks Shane & I know you well enough to know that if I had've done something wrong I'd've known by now ;)

Regards the help I've had from Ivan & Bob ,it's been invaluable & I could not have logistically coped with the workload of the pictures (Ivan) & the listings (Bob) . I have to emphasise that the actual prices are ONLY adjusted by me .

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So I see three potential issues here. First, members could be lazy and say "go to BHM's price guide for my prices." Second, members could actually list prices that were taken from Rob's list. Third, members may say "give me your best offer" with or without using Rob's price guide as a starting point.

I think the first thing is lazy, and if someone is doing it, they probably shouldn't. But, is there anything really wrong with the second option? If selling is to be allowed, are the mods going to dictate that anything sold should be at below "BHM" price? Or below "market" price somehow defined? Or only at "the lowest amount that a seller is willing to let it go for"? Might you guys do like Rebelscum and say "no scalping," however you want to define that? Or say, "don't screw other members over," however you want to define that? If so, I would not care for that change. My personal preference would be that folks could sell for whatever price they want, and potential buyers could choose not to buy if the price was seen as too steep. Toward this end, sellers could use Rob's guide, they could check eBay ended auctions, etc. I guess some clarification of what is "inappropriate" vs. "appropriate" price setting would be useful if there is some kind of expectation here. Groundhog and I have had some differences of opinion over what does or doesn't make one a "tool" on eBay, for instance, so I figure there is a wide degree of variation in subjective expectations by members on this matter.

As for the third issue--"best offer"--I have probably done that myself here (might say that on my woefully outdated sales thread as I type), so obviously, I personally don't have an issue with it. I figure as long as a price is set, folks can haggle. And they probably will, whether or not the seller invites such in his sale posting.

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whether entirely relevant to the discussion at hand or not, I've noticed a couple of times people have been selling lose individual figures on here, referring to the price guide as the amount they're looking for. Not sure if this is good practice/ entirely 'fair'... is the price guide not based on 2-packs or entire box sets? One 'more desirable' figure, and those individual prices become somewhat 'inaccurate'.

... I do hope that makes sense

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Let me just state 3 things for the record.

1. You can sell Minimates on this site for whatever amount you think you can get for them.

2. "Scalping" is a subject that I don't really care to tackle. However, I do think it outside the spirit of this place to sell to members items you might have gotten for free. Will we allow it? Likely so. (See #1) Will we like it? Likely not.

3. "Or best offer" labels are perfectly fine as long as there is a stated price to accompany it. For example, "Silver Spiderman MIP - $11.99 or best offer"

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Just for clarification, my only affiliation with the price guide is allowing my pictures to be used. All the photos already existed and the new ones had to be created for my site anyway. So there was no real extra work on my part. It really is BHM's baby. I just loaned it some clothes so it wouldn't be running around naked. :)

As for the topic at hand, I'm not one for the Minimate Securities Market. I've purchased practically all my Minimates from retailers. I can't recall ever selling one. So I'm not really sure I even have an opinion on this matter. So, rule or no-rule, doesn't matter to me.

Although, asking for guide prices seems like putting in the lowest amount of effort and mooching off BHMs work. If I were looking to buy or trade, I'd skip right past you.

..."Silver Spiderman MIP - $11.99 or best offer"

PM Sent.

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My 2 cents:

I prefer to trade for Minimates, rather than just buy them outright. So if I am looking at someone's "For Sale" listing, I want to see a price listed. If there is no price, I read it as "Go look up the price for this because I cannot be bothered to quote a price" and therefore do not want to deal with you.

I like karamazov80's suggestion - add "or best offer" if you're willing to negotiate on price.

Edited by boyd

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Good feedback. Exactly what I was looking for. keep it coming.

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i personally hate the 'Make me an offer' tag in the 4 sale thread. Especially, as stated earlier, when we are talking about singles. Whats the old saying? 'If you have to ask how much it is, you probably can't afford it'. I feel like this every time i have to make an offer. 'what if i'm offering to little?' . . . 'what if they would have taken less?'.

If someone has a price attached to their minimates and i think it's a little high, then i'll happily ask them if they'd consider taking a little less for it or maybe work out a trade, but i like to know what ballpark i'm aiming for up front rather than going in blind.

'Make me an offer' can often be interpreted by the buyer as either a ) lazy on the sellers part or b ) as fishing for over-inflated 'bids' on an item.

I'm not accusing anyone specifically of being lazy or fishing, but it can seem that way to the buyer sometimes.

Edited by Nessex

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I agree Nessex and thats one reason why we request a stated price. "Make an offer" is fine as long as there is a price stated in the listing.

Bottom line is this...if you don't want to list a price, GO TO EBAY.

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I myself prefer to trade my mates for mates, mainly because I don't normally have disposable income for this type of stuff.

People can buy and sell all they want, that's why we have that forum......as for me, I stick to the trade forum.

But, I do think people should list prices, as stated by others, I hate to check out a list and see an item I like, only to have to make an offer and find out it is less than what they actually want. I say just state what you are looking to get for something and if your will to negotiate, put "Or Best Offer"....I think it would make things much easier for all.

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Speaking as a member I won't bother going to look at the price guide if someone states they're using it for prices.

Nor will I bother reading the rest of the post, regardless of what's for sale.

Our trading rules state that prices should be posted. If a member wishes to use the price guide prices that's fine, but they need to put those prices in the post.

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Hey I'll admit I'm just being lazy. I saw Lurch and a couple others put that price guide link so I used it in my sale thread for my minimates and marvel universe collection. Didn't realize it was an issue and will remove the link. as for prices I didn't realize that's now in the rules. Honestly I am too lazy to put individual pricing for a ton of figures. If that means I get less traffic then so be it.

Personally I don't see the need for people to post prices. If someone wants then they'll ask if they really want it. And shane unless you changed your posts I thought you always said to make you an offer rather than ask how much?

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And shane unless you changed your posts I thought you always said to make you an offer rather than ask how much?

In my trade list (I don't have a sale list), I have mentioned that I am willing to sell. This came about because I am often contacted by people who do not have anything on my "wants" list but could use something I have. If I sell at all (I usually give stuff away), I am sure I go well below "going rate". However, you make a good point. Maybe I should rethink my wording in my trade list.

We're not trying to make things complicated, but the issue does need to be addressed.

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The biggest problem I see is BHM deciding he no longer wants to take the effort of upkeeping a price guide that he put together, and if nobody else takes it over, then people will be asking prices for things that could be vastly different than the actual going rate.

I say as long as he wants to continue maintaining a guide, I'm all for it. But the moment BHM decides he's had enough then he either needs to hand the responsibilty over to another user, or delete the thread entirely.

Having stale old data floating around will just cause more confusion and frustration.

I appreciate us having the guide, and refer to it at least once a week. Rob, if there is any help you need with maintaining it I'll gladly do what I can. :thumbsup:

As for people stating "use the price guide for my prices", I agree with the above posters in skipping over those posts for the most part. I don't have a problem with people doing that, but it isn't really helping them to attract me to what they have to offer either. I also think that a lot of users are confusing the prices in the guide with "loose prices" and I can assure you that those prices differ greatly.

Twice in the last month I've seen a loose Silver Age Angel sell for under $10.

Edited by youbastards

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But BHM's prices are by his own admission, very subjective evaluations. They are not meant to reflect "going eBay rates" though they are influenced by that. Or at least, that's how I understood the guide to work. Given all that, will BHM notice that V1 Cable has jumped $3, on average, over what it was last week? Maybe, but probably not. There's just too much information to process. So when he does update the guide, it is based on changes that stuck out to him from his personal eBay observations of note, or some other observation of perceived/anticipated changes in supply/demand/overall value.

Given all that, I don't know if his constantly updating the thread would be all that important as an accurate reflection of estimated prices as a "going rate" "as of this moment." Prices are incredibly variable on these things, and I figured his guide to be a generally stable source, though major changes (say, Deadpool going from $50 to $10) would be noteworthy.

BHM, I apologize if I am misrepresenting your guide, BTW. Admittedly, I don't know the precise criteria you use to update your prices.

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Right I am just saying what is the difference whether someone lists a price or says make me an offer and lists nothing? In the end the seller will only take what they are willing to and the buyer will only offer or pay what they are willing to pay for an item. Honestly unless I am missing something, and I might since I am not nearly on this board as much as I used to, but people tend to pay only what they want to pay for something.

And there is really more trading going on than outright buying anyway. Usually when I decide to move something on ebay I drop by here and see if anyone needs it. More often than not they do but do not want to spend money, or they already got the item and never bothered to update their list. Honestly it's more hassle to attempt to move something here but i try it first to send goodies to the nice people on this board.

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Yep, I sit in the lazy group too :P I have corrected my lists and flogged myself accordingly. To my defense, being out of the loop for a while the guide is helpful to know what one set is "relatively" worth vs another set, very helpful for trading. Granted with loose figures there's no way to tell, better off negotiating a reasonable price.

*******************

While we're talking about the flea market, everyone don't forget if you haven't updated your Have/Want, Sell/Buy & Parts lists in a long time to be sure to do so by the end of the month. Putting that ""Updated xx-xx-xx"" date in it is very helpful!

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Finishing the 'Guide' became an obsession & gave me an insight into how much work goes into sites like this one ,Central,HQ,the Factory etc.etc. & of course The Database. It was also, first & foremost, enjoyable to do .

In the 'Discussion Thread', one of the biggest disappointments was the fact that very few people said (on forum anyway) that 'this or that' was total nonsense or that certain prices were 'way out ' ! I'd be the first to admit that some of the prices must be incorrect at any given time but my method of ascertaining prices is based on a fairly complicated method that would not be easy to define in a few sentences. I never consciously allow my personal feelings or interests to affect my valuations & rarely attempt to completely demolish any line's credibility.

My 'Discussion' thread is absolutely awash with enough disclaimers to make it actually useless as a credible price list,concrete proof of that statement was gleaned from my two Blow Outs .When people want something badly enough they will throw any price list out of the window ,similarly some peoples 'supposed' grails become not so much of a grail if they believe it to be overpriced :D

A price list would have been an impossible task ,the 'Price Guide' is what it says on the bottle .

Regards keeping it up to date , I try & reflect what is happening over a period of time rather than what is happening 'this week' . No-one would be happier than me if someone else took it over ,I can think of at least two worthy successors but I have never ever set out to be 'he that knows all' . I don't. Any comments are welcome & are always taken on board,examples would be when people state what trends they notice in their TRUs. TRU has been the biggest influence on Minimates since I started collecting them & has created some anomalies in the perception of what is actually rare & what might just be scarce at the moment or in your vicinity.

Regards 'Loose' prices, I have contemplated doing a Guide & if someone helped with the tabulation ,lists etc. I could quite quickly reel off the prices . The only bag of worms to be opened would be 'condition' ,how do you define what a Minimate with a wonky leg is worth with the wrong hairpiece & missing his cane .......like 90% of the Baldimates that flooded ebay during the last year ;)

Edited by buttheadsmate

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Okay, I believe I have made it no secret that I've hated BHM's Price Guide from day one. This isn't to say I don't find his obsessive need to pigeon-hole and number-crunch everything useful. On the contrary, I find it a trait that we occasionally share. What I object to is a "Price Guide" at all. That indicated that there is some kind of heir of authority surrounding it, rather than what it truly is, an overview of historically average prices. Allow me to explain it like this.

When we, I at least, think 'price guide' it tends to be synonymous with 'ToyFare'. There are several problems with that, however. They're always about 3 months late, and way over priced, even at the top of their game. Yet people still look to it as the pinnacle of authority. I had a deal once where I wanted the SMC Manga Spidey a guy was selling. it should have been about $12, but he wanted $25 +s&h. Loose. Through our conversation he pointed out that that was generous compared to what ToyFare said. I pointed out that he had 3 of them. I still don't have a Manga Spidey.

Now, was this guy being a jerk? Possibly, but I didn't see it as that. He was just following what a piece of paper told him, even though the market had dropped out and he was asking too much based on bad data. So what is my fear here? It is that, while we may know the Guide to be just a suggestion, others will not. I know for a fact that people on Ebay and Fwoosh use the guide as a difinative listing. That ends up hurting us in the long run, even if the prices are low. It hinders the ebb and flow of the market and makes it icreesingly difficult to score good deals as time goes on.

This is not to say that EVERYONE knows about the Guide. They don't. And it doesn't even carry as much authority as say the Overstreet Price Guide. Which opens up a whole nother discussion what constitutes 'official' and what doesn't.

Addressing people here using the Guide, I think they're just being lazy. I'm with Shane. I trade everything, and if someone wants to buy something, we'll discuss it. On both our terms, without the Guide. I believe it more important to be 'fair' in your trades than 'correct'. If you both try to have the other person get the better deal, and you sell Deadpool for $10, who gives a flip? You're both happy, so why do you need to compare it to anything? I recently made a deal here like that. I sold/traded a member here some stuff he wanted, and neither of us had a clue what it was worth. So I just sent it to him. He looked through it, and we are discussing the end price based upon both our thoughts. I still have no idea what I'm getting. And that's why I love it here. This is the only forum in the world where I would feel comfortable doing that.

So in short, try to be fair to one another and the price will always be perfect. As for the Guide?

Burn the damn thing.

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