Alright, I try to do things on this site sometimes that will help the fellow Hulk fans out there. These are tips I like to follow – things that have helped me avoid getting into trouble and hardly ever having an issue both selling and buying off ebay. There are things you learn the hard way – and things you are lucky enough to hear and read from others. So let’s begin, shall we?
1) Never buy a pre-sale off ebay: Pre-sales are just asking for trouble. You only have a certain amount of time to open a case – and that’s 45 days after you’ve made a payment. That means that if you buy a statue that’s still not supposed to hit the shelves for two month (and we all know that producers never seem to hit their actual release dates) that you won’t be able to get ebay’s help in getting your money back. That’s not to say you WON’T get it back – especially if you use a CC attached to Paypal – but it does make things that much more difficult. Besides, most of the time you can find deals for statues right after they have hit the market. So bide your time!
2) Check the Feedback: Now pay attention here – because this one is a bit tricky. Sellers are no longer allowed to leave negative feedback – mainly because too many shady sellers were using feedback as a ransom and giving retaliatory negatives. It was a despicable practice that more and more sellers were picking up on – so with cause and effect, ebay took away the ability from sellers all together. But that left the sellers completely open to getting undeserved feedback! So, here’s the thing – READ ALL THE FEEDBACK! Positives and negatives – read it all! Make sure the negative feedback was deserved – and it’s not that tough to pick out the sketchy buyers. If there is a thousand positives all praising the guys transactions and one lone guy who says “He didn’t ship fast enough” There’s a good chance that buyer is a D-Bag.
3) Buying from a seller with a 0 rating: You have to be real careful when doing business with someone with no feedback. Sometimes its a seller that has been de-activated for doing bad business and they’ve just set-up a new account. But sometimes it truly is a new seller to ebay – and all he needs is to make his first sale. So, here’s what you do: contact the seller and ask a question about the item. If it’s a statue it can be something simple like “What # is this?” If he responds promptly and politely – you are off to a good start. Contact him again and thank him for his quick response and ask another question – I like to ask something that has to do with shipping, like “How quickly do you ship after you receive payment?” If you start to feel comfortable with the buyer and his responses and how quickly he responds then use your judgement. This isn’t a fool-proof way to weed out the wackos – but it certainly helps. My golden rule for ebay is – If I feel uncomfortable about anything, I don’t buy. It’s as simple as that. Trust your instincts.
4) Do your research: I have been guilty of this over and over. Not doing enough research. Make sure what you are about to buy is not only legitimate – but also WORTH the money you are about to spend on it. Check completed auctions – check other sellers – check amazon – check other sites. See what the item in question is going for elsewhere! Also, check other sites for information about the product! This site has PLENTY of information – so does this site. Make sure what you are going to buy is a real item and not a recast or a fake.
5) Don’t get into a bidding war: Bid your ceiling. That is that – bet what you would most want to pay and leave it at that. If you are outbid – then you are outbid – and live to fight another day.
6) Don’t get hung up on numbers: Here is my next point – and it’s a good one so really, really pay attention! You don’t display statues on the bottom – so honestly, who cares what number you get! Yes, it’s cool to have a #1 statue – or even the number where the character debuted – like the #161 Wendigo statue – but not enough to pay extra for it. There are also some very silly rumors running out there that may confuse some people – so let’s lay them to rest right now. Some collectors are under the impression that these statues are numbered in the order that they are painted – so it is better to get a lower number as the paint gets sloppy as the line progresses. This is not only NOT true – but just plain silly! These statues are painted – shipped back and then numbered – so believe it or not – the only thing that makes a statue #1 is the fact that someone wrote the number 1 on the bottom. It may have been #26 – or even #300 off the line – but because there is a 1 on the base some people have given value to that. It’s really not any more special.
A lot of times – the same thing goes with AP statues. As most of you know AP stands for “Artist Proof” but a lot of these are simple extras – nothing different about them at all from the regular run. Just another “trap” that collector’s fall into. That’s not to say that these items aren’t more “valuable” as you will always seem to find collectors who will pay top dollar for such items – but really – those collectors are just kidding themselves.
7) When Buying Comics Off the Bay: Alright, my last point is a simple one – basically think about it this way – 99% of the sellers OVER GRADE their comics on ebay. So if they say it is NM – they really mean Fine or Fine+. Don’t get too hung up on that stuff – just make sure you scan the pics very carefully. Also, lots are a great if you can get them for a nice price and they are within the Fine/NM range.
Most CGC comics on ebay are overpriced – and most modern CGC books are a waste of money. Think about it like this – Silver-Age books in great condition are pretty hard to come by – in fact you may find just a few that grade in the 9.6-9.8 range. But modern comics? Most of them will grade high – so they will be abundant.
Anyways, these are more MY guidelines – nothing anyone needs to take as bible or anything – but I am a pretty smart guy so… let’s just say you should probably listen to me 🙂 Do any of you have guidelines for ebay you’d like to share?