Negativity in collecting

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causelessdemon
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Negativity in collecting

Fri Aug 12, 2022 2:37 pm

I don't know if this is the right place to rant about this. But I posted some stuff for sale in some ML Facebook groups and people are just super quick to blast me about pricing. Doesn't matter if it's customized stuff or not, it's like whenever I post things based on what I find averages for online, people jump to price shame. Even when the group rules say pretty plainly not to do so. Meanwhile I see these guys gouging left and right. I don't know if I should just stick to Ebay, even though it's awful, but at least it's impersonal.

Any of you guys have issues like this? I feel like it's such a waste to buy, sell, trade in groups like that anymore. I can put a custom on ebay and sell it and get more than my asking price, easily, but post to Facebook it's all likes and comments in one group but hate and ridicule if I try to sell. I can't win.

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KnightDamien
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Re: Negativity in collecting

Fri Aug 12, 2022 5:05 pm

Not really where I expected this topic to go. And probably goes in General Toys Talk, but I don't think it actually matters.

I think it depends on the group and the specific community. Even the specific type of toy. When my wife collected Hot Toys figures, I didn't see too much of the behaviour you're describing. But I've seen it some (but not overwhelmingly) in other toy groups. And there's almost none of this in the HACKS/Marauder BST group I'm part of, even despite that people could make some very legitimate complaints about the scalpery prices people want for some things. So yeah. I think it really depends.

Obviously, FB and eBay are going to be wildly different. FB is a community and I'm sure that feeds into it. People are there to discuss, argue, vent, show off pictures, buy stuff -- every aspect of the hobby. And it all blends together. Not to mention that some of us do subscribe to the idea that part of selling in a like-minded group instead of on eBay or whatever is to create that community of people that are helping each other out and enjoying the hobby rather than trying to take advantage of each other, so definitely you're going to get people that get right riled up about what they perceive as high/exploitative/unfair pricing.
eBay is for buying shit. You either buy the thing, or move on. It's not like you can go on a sale page on eBay and blast the seller about the pricing. It's just a different expectation and type of interaction, and no sense of 'community' or shared interest to get in the way of what becomes a purely business transaction. It feels very different from selling/buying on a group.

That being said, maybe you're greedy and price things too high. I dunno. But I can say that in some groups, while I've never been shamed over my pricing, I practically always get 20x more replies of people trying to cut me way down and give me peanuts for something than I get of anyone legitimately interested in buying it for a reasonable price. So... there's definitely a sense, I think, that eBay is 100% a storefront, but a FB group is more like a haggling session?
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TheSameIdiot
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Re: Negativity in collecting

Fri Aug 12, 2022 5:56 pm

Heh. eBay can be a haggling session, too. When I used to price old imports at the going rate, I'd get messages from people asking me if I'd take a fourth of the price. There's something about that garage sale/second-hand mentality that makes people think they can offer anything and be taken seriously.

As far as the abuse, well, I'd chalk that up to online anonymity and Facebook itself. I constantly find myself wondering if the internet is a net positive or net negative. The culture of abuse, toxicity, and hate has me leaning more toward the negative in recent years. I'm not immune. Every so often, I find myself commenting something snarky or aggressive on this forum. I try to catch myself in the act and delete the comment before I post it, but sometimes I can't help myself. I try to take a step back and ask myself if I'd behave that way if the person were standing in front of me. (Of course I wouldn't. In-person, I'm only rude to counteract someone else's thoughtless behavior.)

This is all sort of an aside from your original question. With toy sales, KD actually helped me see the light recently. I try to offer things at cost on the Fwoosh trade forum for a month or so before moving them over to eBay. (I consider eBay a last resort, but the trade forum isn't exactly booming anymore, so it's often the only option to get rid of something.) I know this is a privileged position, so don't take it as preaching, but I'd rather help someone out on the forum than profiteer on eBay. Something something Danaerys break the wheel something something.

I think folks in the collecting community can be rude, but I don't think that's unique to the toy collecting hobby. And social media sites seem to bring out the worst humanity has to offer.
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Re: Negativity in collecting

Fri Aug 12, 2022 9:38 pm

I'm always suspicious that the people trying to "price shame" someone are in fact hoping to berate someone they think may be desperate to sell, or unsure of the worth of an item, to sell for less to get a better deal for themselves. I'd almost call it predatory buying as compared to predatory selling, they are trying to take advantage of the seller. And much like how eBay initially was plagued with shill bidding, if it is the same few folks complaining all the time, I wonder if it isn't a coordinated effort.

Prior to the internet, I suspect these were the same folks who would knock on doors the day before an advertised yard sale in hopes of finding something valuable - and if they did they would try to convince the seller to sell early ("I can't come back tomorrow, no one else might want this, its priced too high but I'll be kind and buy it for X...") to them. Or wander around the Flea Markets or Swap Meets doing the same. They aren't looking for deals, they are hoping to take advantage of amateur sellers' ignorance.

My theory is no one complains about the price on something they don't want. I don't spend time looking at sales of antique kazoos to tell the sellers their auction is stupidly priced because I saw the same thing sell least for 25% less. Ultimately the only way to tell that you have priced something too high is if no one buys it.
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Re: Negativity in collecting

Fri Aug 12, 2022 10:00 pm

As for what KD says about selling in a group, I think that if someone is pricing things too high, especially new items, it can come across as trying to sell/scalp to the group more than work with the group for a fair exchange. And fees should be taken into account when comparing eBay to other platforms.

But I think, as always, things can be stated in a more helpful way if pricing is truly too high - and if it comes from someone clearly not interested in the item, known to have a good reputation, and is not a regular seller themselves - so not an interested party per se - I'd take it more as constructive criticism than trying to work a deal.

Honestly, I'd rather sell on eBay, for the simple reason a sale with a collector I "know" can maybe go off the rails and create bad blood.* My goal still is to be fair on eBay with prices (I usually aim for the low end of the recently sold prices).

*
Warning! FRAT! :
My story is: a friend and fellow collector at my office was interested in my Sideshow 12" Universal Monsters as he was a big fan and a sixth-scale collector. So I agreed to sell it to him for basically cost, a decent amount below the going rate at the time. He paid about 1/3rd, then was going to pay the rest over the next couple of months. Each month it was "I can't pay, expensive month, etc." - as he was adding new things to his collection. Never got the remainder of it and finally gave up. He would in later years ask if I wanted to sell something else, and each time I'd point out "You never paid me for the last stuff" which he would reply with "I will this time" but of course still didn't offer to pay what he owed, or offer to return the figures, which I proposed as well. I never could tell if it was intentional/planned or if he was just that lacking in integrity that he honestly thought he was justified in not holding up his end. I never got mad about it per se, but it always bugged me.
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Dormammu
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Re: Negativity in collecting

Fri Aug 12, 2022 10:21 pm

Causeless, like in a lot of different hobby markets, there's a small vocal minority who are too aggressive in wanting to get stuff for as cheap as possible, way under avg market value. They are teeny little predators, who may give you all sorts of stories to whittle you as far down as possible. They may even give you some BS story about how unethically high your prices are, when in reality they'd happily buy up a kid's collection for peanuts and hawk it for 3x the next day. And then go right back to price-shaming people selling at market prices.

I'm all for hunting down deals. We all are. No shame there. As a buyer, I'm all for negotiating a lower price. But, as sellers, we shouldn't take anyone too seriously when they price shame, throw insults, or make absurd low ball offers. Their whole point is to just exploit and take advantage. It comes from a small, but unfortunately very relentless and active minority.

Yrs back, there were 2 guys who obsessively msg me about wanting various Legends figures I posted locally for sale. I had them all for sale under current retail rate, some up to half off or more, and I obviously wasn't factoring in 12% taxes either. They were coming up with all sorts of low balls, which is fine for me to deny or ignore, but they also had a few stories and chippy words to weasel, which is not fine.

Oh you're scalper, man. Look, this Ebay price is $1 cheaper than your price (lol, with the $25 extra for shipping?) My kid needs these for his birthday, and we're upset you can't provide them a fair deal. Bla, bla. Who cares? I sold these figures to other local buyers instead, sometimes with a negotiated price discount. 99% of the buyers who come to my place locally to buy are straightforward and great. Funny, nice, inspired by their hobby, no complaints. The 1% tried to boldly talk me down and put up a big hussle at my door step. I kind of respect that. Keeps me on my toes. The haggling on the spot is suspenseful. If they don't like my counter-pitch, I smile and say, I'll sell the stuff to another interested party. Or, if they're polite and become friendly, I may give an inch. Maybe a future customer, right? Whatever the case, I always take their money, even if they had mixed feelings walking away.

Your price is your price. If you're open to negotiation, great. If it goes beyond that, then just ignore it. The end. You worked hard to get money to buy this stuff. If they're working hard to disrespect you when you sell at a reasonable price, then f them.

I don't see any big negativity. I just see a handful of micro scammers and hypocrites who rarely practice what they preach. Why waste a second of care about them? There's a much larger market out there.
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Slixta
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Re: Negativity in collecting

Sat Aug 13, 2022 1:22 am

Why did I get a notification for this?
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causelessdemon
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Re: Negativity in collecting

Sat Aug 13, 2022 1:47 pm

I can see them getting upset that I'm asking the market value for loose Legends and not under pricing, I go off of whatever average I can find within groups and online. The part that got me the most was that I posted a custom and got all sorts of hell for the asking price. I've sold customs for anywhere between $50-$500 depending on what I've put into it. I fully repainted a $50 figure from head to toe (The Hydra Stomper). Spent hours and hours, probably around 30 or so, working on it. I asked $150 or best offer. One guy was like, "Good luck, you painted on it, which decreases the value."

It got hostile really quickly after the first commenter didn't realize it was a custom. I normally have a pretty thick skin about most things. But with my arthritis getting really bad lately and most projects becoming a feat... I think I'm getting to be more sensitive about it. A few people started to pipe up and defend the post and it finally got quiet. I just don't understand the weird bandwagon mentality and all the hate. I didn't even really want to sell the stuff I was posting, but needed to get groceries after having to fix my car. ImageImage

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Dormammu
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Re: Negativity in collecting

Sun Aug 14, 2022 7:56 pm

That's a really decent repaint. I could see that selling for a good price.

If the guy was trying to start a fight with you by saying how a painted figure loses value... then we know how seriously you can take his opinion.

For example, here's an extensive repaint that was sold on E b a y months ago:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/265404697870?h ... 7675.l2557

Looks like the customizer turned a Venom into a Toxin. Repaint only. He sold it for $200. I think the addition of a good paint job suddenly increased its value.

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