I have written this guide to help people negotiate the nightmare of buying figures and losing out because they are not what they expected.
What surprises me here, is every other person is selling 'Pro-Painted' models or calling themselves Pro Painters. This is quite annoying because you expect anything with that sort of title to be a well-painted, high standard, tidy model fit for a display cabinet.
How wrong you would be though. Some E-Bayers out there seem to stick Pro-Painted onto just about any model, irrespective of whether it is painted in a slapdash fashion, or an exquisite example of fine blending, highlighting etc.
Pro-Painted actually means the person applying the paint, does it for a living and nothing more than that.
It has no bearing on the standard of figures you will end up with.
1. A wargames standard figure will have little or no shading or highlighting, will be basically based and ready to play.
2. A collectors or True Pro painted model will be shaded and highlighted and these details should appear on the photographs in the advert or be clearly pointed out in the advert, often the basing will be of a better quality.
3. Ask yourself if there are not close ups why? modern cameras have macro function allowing good images of 15mm figures, so blurry out of focus pictures that are generally unclear should be a thing of the past even pics from a mobile these days are clear and crisp.
4. Never buy from advertisers who use stock photos for their auctions. Why use a stock photo, if you have nothing to hide? there should always be a picture of what is actually being sold... remember too that if you have bought from a stock photo you may have a claim under the significantly different to listing rules...
3. Make sure you see exactly what you are getting for your money. Ask the seller to mail you additional pictures if needed or request further information from them.
4. You get what you pay for!!! Remember its your money that your spending and if you dont check everything out it will be your fault. As nearly all these auction are on a sold as seen basis. "A great statement often used is slightly better than wargames standard but not quite collectors standard" misleading when you get a figure that just has basic colours applied and no more..
5. Postal charges, these will be a bit more expensive from a good seller than usual as if you want to receive your miniatures in perfect condition as they need very good packaging to survive postal systems around the world. If your paying good money for figures you want them to arrive in the best condition..
Finally there are a lot of very good painters and good figures out there but there are a lot of rogues too so always always check the sellers feedback and use the feedback from buyers tab you can also find out about painters and their work from many of the web forums for wargaming.
this is in no way an exhaustive list but are just some of the pitfalls i have experianced over the years...