🦄 A little bit of positivity for everyone :D
If you’re going to try and buy figs from eBay, you’re going to need a lot of patience, a keen eye, low gullibility, and sometimes a lot of money. A lot of people like to overprice what they sell by a lot, and the few deals that pop up every now and then will go up in price fairly quickly.
Here is a list of rules that to abide by before making a bid on something.
If the price is too good to be true, then it usually is. Nobody is going to sell his Nendoroid or figma for $0.99. I certainly wouldn’t. There is absolutely no way a company can profit if they sell their products for 90% off constantly. Always check the actual listing to figure out why it’s so cheap. Sometimes the shipping fees are astronomical ($67 in one case) and other times the figure is a bootleg (It sometimes says that the figure is a “Chinese version”). Very rarely would it be an honest seller who is starting low to encourage bids. Always use your common sense when it comes to judging prices.
If the seller (item location) is in China/Taiwan/Hong Kong, expect it to be a bootleg. Almost no exceptions. China is #1 in the world for counterfeit and bootleg goods; Taiwan ranks at #3 despite being a tiny island. Instead look for a Japanese or American seller with good reviews, and even then be wary and do your research. Obviously look into the seller’s own photos and don’t be afraid to press the seller for photos if they are not provided. eBay favors the buyer over sellers, so you can’t go wrong.
If the seller uses a stock picture, expect it to be a bootleg. If the seller uses only stock pictures and posts no photos of the actual figure or item on hand, then it’s more than likely a bootleg. If you don’t know what the actual product looks like, then just don’t buy it. It’s not worth paying $20 for what ends up being a crappy Chinese knockoff. Always look for pictures that look like they’ve been taken by the seller. Ask the seller for proof photos. That increases the chances that it’s not a bootleg.
Read the description. ALWAYS READ THE DESCRIPTION. It doesn’t matter if the figure is legitimate or not, you always want to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want. This is where you can find out the shipping prices, whether the box or the figure is damaged or not, if it’s missing any pieces, and any other details that the seller might include. Steer clear if the seller appears to be unable to write coherent English. If the auction mentions that it’s a “Chinese version,” that’s a euphemism for bootleg. Sometimes a figure can look legitimate but the seller indicates that it’s a bootleg in the description. Sometime it can look like a bootleg but the seller includes actual pictures of it after the the stock ones. Don’t go bidding uninformed.
Do your research Check for how much the item you want has sold (or not) for in the past (click on the Sold Listings box).
Be wary of snipers. Once you actually find a legitimate figure and start bidding on it, make sure to be around when the auction ends. It’s very likely that if you’ll lose the auction if you don’t actively take watch over it. I’ve seen figs double in price in the last 10 seconds of an auction. If you want the highest chance at winning something sit yourself down in front of your computer during the last five minutes. That will give you the best chance at winning your fig and affords you the opportunity to “out-snipe” the other snipers.
Everything is expensive. eBay is not the place to be looking for deals. Most of the “Buy It Now” figurines are WAY overpriced, and sometimes the starting prices for the auctions start at absurd amounts ($85 for a nendo, for instance). Good deals come every now and then, so if you’re really hell-bent on buying something, then set up a search alert or check on a daily basis.
Look for a mention of the original manufacturer. Find out who the original manufacturer is at MFC and look for it in the eBay publication. Most ebay bootlegs have no mention of said manufacturer.
Check the amount of bids. If you’re still unsure if something is a bootleg or not, look at the number of bids. Remember that there are other people on ebay looking for deals on figures (as improbable as that sounds), and that some of them are more knowledgeable about avoiding bootlegs than you are. A bootleg will never have upwards of 1 to 2 bids on it. Use this strategy in combination with others to make sure you don’t get ripped off.
Trusted Ebay Vendors.
- >Sellers from /a/
In summary, use your common sense, expect to pay more than other sites, if you’re not sure if it’s a bootleg or not, don’t buy it (or ask your friendly neighbor, /a/).