The Warhammer 40,000 hobby can be really expensive. Games Workshop models are expensive! You can quickly stock up hundreds of dollars worth of little plastic and pewter miniatures. And then you need paint, glue, and other hobby supplies. In an effort to curb my spending, I followed a suggestion I read on a blog and started bidding on eBay items. It’s been a fun little experiment!
There are quite a few sellers, particularly in the United States and UK selling new, unpackaged, and rare out of production (OOP) models. I’m wary of the shipping costs, but I keep that in mind when making bids.
It’s obvious I’m not the only collector on these auctions because there are usually multiple bids on items quickly driving up the prices. But I definitely stop when the price + shipping exceeds the cost of getting the item new from the store
I had a wishlist of models I wanted, but it was also nice to see what’s available and would match with my growing army. I’m in the market for bargains on unpainted Imperial Guard Astra Militarum models, and maybe some interesting/cool guys to become part of an Inquisitorial Warband.
On my wishlist were some special characters like Commissair Yarrick and Lord Castellan Creed. They’re only available in plastic now, so getting a OOP pewter model would be really cool. Even more cool was a model of a Female Commissair! It’s a genuine Games Workshop/Citadel Miniatures model that is out of production. I have no female models at all, so it would be nice to have a little variety. Sadly, the price for these quickly rose and I didn’t want to shell out too much.
In a way, not winning certain models helps determine my army too. Since I didn’t win Yarrick or Creed, I’ll build my army without them. It forces me to be more creative. After all, I believe it was Lao Tzu who said “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you want.”
It’s almost a relief sometimes not to win an auction. There are definitely times when I get into a bidding war, and make an impulsive bid I wished I could undo. When someone outbids me, it feels good to me, because I drove the price up getting more money for the seller, and the buyer gets what he/she actually wants.
The first item I actually won is an Open Box of Cadian Shock Troops for about $5+shipping. I guess there wasn’t too much interest since it’s an open box or because the seller was from Canada. A new box of 10 models costs $35. I could tell from the photos that this lot included enough to make 15 models. Regrettably, I didn’t notice that it didn’t come with bases. I could buy them on eBay, but I can also buy them new from the store for $6 for 10. I still think I got a steal!
My next round of purchases kinda got away from me. Originally, I was looking to score an OOP Ratling model for less than $3. The shipping alone would have been $8, so I started seeing what else the seller had. I saw a lot of $2-3 dollar models that I thought would be nice to have as AM commanders or Inquisitorial Acolytes. I didn’t win the Ratling, but I did get 5 other models! All together it was $17 and with shipping it was only about $30 and I’m pretty happy about that.
I’m definitely going to be taking the advice from Imperator Guides on this post and NOT BUY ANYTHING ELSE until my current pile of models are painted. It will save me money, save me from burnout, and let me focus on what I currently have.