Hello and welcome to my guide. Nobody else seems to have done this - so I thought i'd give it a bash! If this helps you, then great. If not - well obviously - you need to write a guide and give me some tips.
Do's and Don'ts
1. Do check out any bad feedbacks your prospective seller may have.
Bad feedback involving honest mistakes shouldn't be a problem, although alot of 'honest mistakes' should set the alarm bells ringing! Beware of sellers who's items have a habit of arriving damaged - this is either down to bad packaging or creative description! Either way - it's a good idea to avoid these sellers.
2. Don't bid on an item without first checking the postal costs.
Some models may look like bargains, but turn out to cost the earth in postage!
3. Do check the descriptions and photographs before bidding.
Just because the title says MIB don't take it as read that the model actually is! Some sellers will list items as MIB and then - in the small print - go on to point out the odd flaw. This is a lousy trick which get's an imperfect model more notice than it deserves and often cons a buyer into paying over the odds for the model. Also if a model is described as chipped but the picture looks perfect - it could be that the model pictured is not the one you will receive!
4. Don't buy from sellers who won't give refunds!
What sellers say and what they mean!
1. Model sold as seen. - This model is not as good as i'm making out - so if you don't spot the flaws, hard cheese, it's too late - you already bought it!
2. I'm sorry for the poor picture - my camera is not very good! - If I took a better picture you wouldn't buy it.
3. Condition is down to personal opinion so I wont describe it - see picture. - Ha! You ain't catching me out on miss description - if you don't like what you get, blame yourself for bidding!
General hints and tips.
When scanning through descriptions look for the following:-
If a model's title says MIB look for confirmation in the description and a money back returns policy. This ensures you receive a mint model.
When a model is described as near or very near mint, check for accurate descriptions of the flaws. If a seller lists the faults and gives a clear photo - you can check what you will be getting. However, if the model lacks clear indication as to the nature of the faults it usually means they are numerous or serious, either way avoid if possible!
Just because a seller plasters RARE all over the description it doesn't mean it is. I've seen many an auction reach stupid prices when a standard model is pegged up as being RARE! - Always try and check whether your seller is being honest with you! There are plenty of honest sellers out there - email one and you will usually get a helpful reply!
Try not to get involved in silly bidding wars! If Fredmoneybags keeps outbidding you - let him have the model - another one will come along sooner or later! (Feel free to try and outbid him on one of my items though! I may be honest but I still like to make loads of money!)
Have a bidding policy and stick to it. I find either of the three following methods work well.
Decide what you think the model is worth. Bid it, and then leave it! - Not very exciting but you never pay too much for anything this way.
Bid late and bid fast. Put any model you are interested in on your watch list, wait until you see the whites of the sellers eyes and then throw in some last minute bids in the hope of snatching a bargain! - very exciting but can result in disappointment or slight over bidding.
Bid as soon as you see a model you want, but bid as low as possible, only bidding again if you are outbid. - Time consuming, as you need to constantly check on auctions, but a good way of moderating your bidding.
If you favour the first or third method and find you are constantly outbid by the same buyer when buying off certain sellers - switch to method two. It just could be that the seller has two accounts and is falsly pushing up the price of his own models!! and before anyone gets cross - yes it does happen - but i'm not allowed to name names.
Thanks for listening - I'll go take my anorak off now!