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How do you determine pricing for painted minis? 
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Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:45 am
Posts: 174
Location: Danbury, CT
So I've been to the flea market at HMGS conventions, I've cruised EBay and the 15mm market facebook page. I've also looked at some of the painting services like CGR who do great work (better than my painting obviously) But I still find myself struggling to determine a fair price for minis I want to sell. As a Social Studies teacher, I'm not much of a businessman, and while I'm not looking to get rich I wanted to make a little on the ones I'm looking to sell.

A few caveats to my question:

A. I know when people are looking to "unload" they sell finished minis for even lower than the retail of the unassembled models. Since I'm not looking for a quick sale and don't need to get rid of anything quickly, this isn't what I'm looking for advice on.

B. I don't consider my models "pro-painted". But after 5 years, I've gotten what I would call "a bit above average." (people can look at my stuff and make fun of me for this self-assessment later and it won't hurt my feelings)

So the questions:
1. How do you determine the price of a fully painted platoon when selling? What factors play into that?
A. What kind of discount do you have or offer if someone wants to buy a bulk or group of platoons, instead of individually?
B. How much of a premium do you place on complex camo-patterns? on infantry? tanks?

2. If you've designed terrain, how do you determine how much to sell it for?

Any and all comments appreciated.

Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:28 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:18 am
Posts: 409
Location: Cary

I have sold some painted minis on eBay. What I usually do is search EBay for similar items then set filter to sold/completed. This allows me to get a pretty good estimate of value for my item. I have never had an item not sell on eBay and have always come out ahead. Always sell in platoons. Unless it is an awesome looking big cat, it is unlikely someone will want one T 34 that may not match what they already own. If they do, they are buying your item because it is under priced.

If you are not selling on eBay, I would still use the sold search function because eBay is a pretty open market place and an excellent tool for determining a fair market value.

Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:29 pm
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Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:49 am
Posts: 659
Terrain is tough. There are some items I can sell and others don't. For pricing...I have to ask what's my cost & how much time to make it. Again, search for similar items and base off of that.

Know your game...
Ie...FoW- the hills need to take abuse and a Hull down feature.

For bolt action. ..groups of similar pieces at a good shipping cost.

You might be better off searcht for a local gaming group and sell there. You'll get some good feedback on u our work

Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:00 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:59 pm
Posts: 438
Location: Dallas, Texas
To support getting a fair price for your painted minis, I find that photograph quality is very important for a good listing that will get bids. Harsh lighting (unmodulated flash) can make even well-painted models look terrible. If the picture is too dark or too blurry, buyers will pass because they don't want to take a chance on what the item actually looks like.

Using a lightbox is terrific, reflected (indirect) light from umbrella floods is good, and carefully controlled natural light (with a reflector to fill-in shadows) can work, too.

A neutral, uncluttered background (as simple as a piece of poster board) is important, as well.

“If you find yourself in a fair fight, you didn't plan your mission properly."
David Hackworth

Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:31 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:00 pm
Posts: 77
BashOn wrote:
To support getting a fair price for your painted minis, I find that photograph quality is very important for a good listing that will get bids. Harsh lighting (unmodulated flash) can make even well-painted models look terrible. If the picture is too dark or too blurry, buyers will pass because they don't want to take a chance on what the item actually looks like.

SO true. I've passed on A LOT of minis for sale on eBay because I couldn't really determine the quality. Similarly, a lot of my photos of my minis make them look, IMHO, much worse than the actual paint job b/c I don't know how to light them properly.

Other advice:
Be attentive to details: clean your models well and use decal medium. I'm gun-shy about buying pre-painted minis now because I've made several purchases where the paint job looked like it might be okay, and then I got the minis and the painter hadn't bothered to remove flash or mold lines. I also see photos where there's shine on the decals. I realize that attention to these details is very time-consuming but I don't want minis that aren't given this care - maybe there's a market segment that doesn't demand this, dunno. But if you DO do these things, advertise them! If I saw listings where the painter advertised that s/he cleans the models well before assembling and makes sure there's no shine to the decals, I'd think: "There's a seller who cares about quality."

I imagine you're in a better position if, as you say, you're not in a hurry to sell them, b/c the market fluctuates wildly. You have to wait for the buyer who needs what you're selling. Market demand seems especially low right now - I assume because: 1) the people who play have most of what they need, 2) lists have been playtested to the point where everyone knows which units are most effective (and have obtained them) and 3) b/c there don't seem to be many new players (hopefully all that will change with v4).

I don't know this for a fact, but at this point in the evolution of the game - with relatively few new players picking it up - I would imagine painting up the newest, sexiest units as they come out would drive sales.

If you can paint infantry fast enough to offer them at a reasonable price, that would seem like a good niche. Attractive infantry basing goes a long way (IMO, bases are what make infantry "pop") and flattering photography is even MORE important with infantry. For my tastes, I look for high contrast (distinctive facial shading, highlights on raised parts of gear, etc.) Military colors already fade into the background (which they're designed to do) but we play minis games to admire our minis on the table, so my personal taste is for minis that look reasonably historical but that compromise this a little to "pop" on the table.

Master a few different painting styles and then offer to do touch ups on your models to match what the buyer already owns for a little extra charge. I don't give most listings even a second look because the style in which the minis are painted don't match the style in which my large, existing collection of stuff is painted. I haunt eBay and I've pretty much IDed which of the regular sellers of painted minis have stuff that works with my collection and which don't. For myself: if more painters promoted a service that accompanied their sales offerings where, for a reasonable added cost, they would do some additional detail painting - solid-line highlighting, black-lining (other people might want weathering) to make the style of their sale minis better match my collection, I'd buy a lot more painted minis. B/c, on the flip side, If I have to do detail painting or other finishing on pre-painted minis - the most time-consuming part of the whole process - then I might as well paint them myself (Of course, IMHO, I'm a pretty good painter - I know people who play games like FoW and don't know how to, or don't want to, paint).


Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:09 pm
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