Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Wargaming Wednesday: Don't Feel Guilt Buying on eBay

Maybe this is a more controversial topic than I believe it is, but I find weird the pressure people feel against buying second-hand or portioned out miniatures on eBay. To be clear, I am not talking about buying re-casted (aka, illegally copied) miniatures - that's a no-no and should never happen. I'm talking about buying out-of-production miniatures, or second-hand miniatures owned previously by someone else, even if that person just bought a large boxed set (like Games Workshop's Dark Imperium boxed set) and is selling the individual miniatures a few at a time.

These out-of-production models were purchased like this on eBay

There can be a lot of reasons why you'd want to do this. For the out-of-production miniatures, you might just like a particular sculpt of a miniature, but it isn't made anymore. For me, I want to eventually buy and paint one of every GW Space Marine Chaplain, but there are only a handful still being made, while plenty of models with perfectly viable equipment loadouts are still usable in the current version of the game. Another reason might be that you're building, for example, a small display army using older, "retro" models. A lot of people these days are making small Rogue Trader-era forces more for the fun of rediscovering the models than anything else.

Some of the above, now stripped of paint and ready for rebirth!

Another aspect to buying online might be to find a model you want that's not available on its own. For Primaris Space Marines, for example, you cannot buy a Primaris Ancient (aka, Standard Bearer) as its own model anywhere except eBay, since it only comes in the Dark Imperium boxed set. The same goes for the Gravis Captain. In the past, this was likewise the case with other armies. The first official generic Ork Warboss to come with a power klaw didn't arrive until the Assault on Black Reach boxed set for 40K's 5th edition, along with Ork Deffkoptas mounted with rokkits (and the old Deffkopta model is absolutely hideous and ancient).

Tactical marines from the 1993 (!!!) 2nd Edition 40K boxed set.
And of course, another reason might be that you want that ONE particular bit for a model you're making. Maybe you like the look of a certain helmet or sword or gun. Maybe it fits with a theme, maybe the normal kit the part comes in only has 1 per box, and you need five. Sure, you're going to pay more money for it, but this is a leisure hobby, and eBay bits sellers are working from a sellers' market. I've bought plenty of little bits over time in order to build units of a certain theme, and while you're paying a premium for having that degree of choice, I never once felt cheated by the prices.

This Chaplain model has long been OOP. His gun is also an eBay bit purchase.
The biggest criticism or worry I've seen from people who don't want to buy on eBay is that you're not giving money to your Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS). Sure, that's true, but the same reasons you'd be buying on eBay are the same reasons you're not buying at your FLGS - the models and bits are either out of production, or they come in a larger boxed set and aren't sold individually. No one should feel guilty you're not buying a $160 boxed set from your FLGS when all you want is a handful of miniatures you can get on eBay for a fraction of that cost. And as for the idea that Games Workshop isn't getting your money - well, that's bullshit. They got their money for that particular model when that model was first purchased. It doesn't matter if the miniature is 30 years old - at some point, someone gave the company money for that object, and that's that. I hear this as an argument against used book stores pretty frequently - that it keeps the money from the hands of the author - but that's just a guilt trip. A paperback novel is an object, and there's no reason to not sell or give away an object when you are done with it. Conversely, there's no reason you should feel guilt buying it second-hand.

So, with that in mind, if you're looking to build a miniatures army, and you're willing to give older miniatures a little TLC, go onto eBay and do a little investigating. You might be surprised at what you find!

For the Emperor!

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