… continued from part 3.
Several months ago I decided I would, after much deliberation, try to sell some models on Ebay. This is the continuation of my journey!
A Lesson Learnt
Things on Ebay were going well, slowly but more than good enough to make me happy. I should have realised a bump in the road was inevitable.
At the end of November I received an offer for two of my figures from a potential buyer. The offer for each figure was £17.00, they were up for sale at £20.00. As it was a new buyer I chose to accept his offer in the hope of obtaining further business in the future. I then received the following message back from him.
Hi. Thanks for accepting my offers for these two figures but I’m very disappointed that you don’t offer discounted postage. Hope these two figures arrive in separate packages… Regards Ian
Now the written word is never the best way to communicate in the sense that it can be open to emotional interpretation. Now it might just be me but his note really pissed me off. When it comes to swearing I like a good “fuck” every now and then (who doesn’t?) but it’s very, very rare for me to use the “C” word. I thought the last piece about sending in separate packages was both sarcastic and unnecessary. Unnecessary because the guy had an eBay score of over 1300 which to my mind says he knew enough to ask about combined postage without the need to be rude.
Now I’m not the kind of guy who can simply ignore such things so I wrote him what I thought was a polite reply. Tempting as it was to tell him to fuck off I wanted to protect my 100% feedback score.
New message to:
I never heard back from him and he has never left feedback, neither have I for that matter either. Although I did not like this guys style and I would be very reluctant to ever deal with him again the fact is he got me thinking. Should I in my description make mention to combined postage and should I offer it? In all honesty I never thought anyone would buy more than one figure at a time.
After some deliberation I decided morally I ought to combine postage whenever I can just as long as I cover my costs. I amended the wording on my listings to cover UK and Overseas postage and then got in touch with the guy from Manchester who bought seven of my figures. As he had paid the postage on each figure and hadn’t made me an offer either I was now feeling a little guilty. Some might argue business is business but as we were only talking about a few pounds I thought it would make for a good will gesture.
I sent him an email in December saying I had forgotten to reduce postage and asked if he wanted me to send him a cheque or make a deduction from any other purchase if there was something I had listed which was of interest to him. The last bit was a little tongue in cheek but to my complete surprise he came back to thank me and promptly bought another seven figures!
I made several other sales in December in the lead up to Christmas, the best of which was eight figures sold to a Doctor in Germany.
Generally things were going well and my gross income at the middle of December stood at just over £1000.00, the vast majority of which had been earned following my second eBay foray which began in September. I was pleased with how things were going but couldn’t help but think how best to try to improve things. It was time to sit down and reflect once again on the way forward.
Being realistic I hadn’t had many customers. Although I had sold a reasonable number of figures the majority had been purchased by three people. Unlike other sellers I had never had more than one bid on an item to help push the price up and although I was pleased with the sales there were weeks in between when nothing happened at all. I was also focused solely on Artizan figures, mainly wild west which in itself was not a problem but the range is limited and if these guys had already bought them then why would they buy more of the same figure?
The Next Step Forward
Anticipating that the middle to end of December would be quiet I decided this would be a great time to search for some new figures, take advantage of Christmas savings such as free postage and get some figures painted to replace those I’d sold. January was also likely to be slow too so this felt like the best use of my time.
It was quite a while ago that I first discovered the wild west figures produced by Knuckleduster. The figures looked great but as far as I could see there was no UK distributor. Whilst it was possible to buy them from the States it was expensive to do so. Buying them on Ebay was an option but the ones I found were retailing at about £8.00 a figure including postage. nevertheless I thought I would email Knuckleduster on the off chance to see if they had a UK distributor. A swift reply followed to say that they did.
I checked out the site and was delighted to learn that they carried the whole range of figures. Each figure retailed at £3.50 but if you spent £20.00 or more postage was free. I placed an order for three individual figures but bought two of each one making six in total. I decided that I would very much like to collect these figures for myself as well as trying to sell them. With well over a hundred figures in the range Ì had plenty to keep me going and to sell if there was a market for them. By purchasing two of the same figure each time I could keep the better one for myself and sell the other! Also, painting them both at the same time would be quicker. It was worth a go that’s for sure.
Another decision I made was to paint a few Hasslefree figures and chose fantasy humans as the genre. Once again I bought two of each figure as I was keen to have these as well for my own collection.
All I had to do now was wait for things to be delivered and then to start painting!
Things were going well and I was happy with the progress I was now making right up to the point when a friend said “are you keeping records for your tax return?”. “Tax, you’ve got to be kidding me?”. “No I’m not, there’s a new law, you ought to check it out”.
To be continued…