After reading Smartah’s article on buying models online found here I thought it would be a good idea to have an article on the opposite. So, selling miniatures goes hand in hand with buying minis in this hobby. There are always new models coming out to tantalize our wallets and new armies and rules that we would LOVE to try out. Sometimes we have old armies sitting in our closets gathering dust and cobwebs that we just don’t want anymore and wish we could trade them in for a brand new army. Selling allows you to do almost just that. There are a couple of ways to sell your armies or just old models for some extra cash, most are covered with the buying article you see here on Models-Workshop, but the main options include word of mouth, online forums, FLGS/hobby store, and auction sites. In all of these options, the main thing would be to be as honest as possible with the models you are selling as far as what they are and the condition they are in.
Word of Mouth
I have only sold anything from my armies via word of mouth in a small neighborhood gaming group we used to have. With word of mouth, selling is a bit easier and nice. If you know a group of people who know people that want to get into the hobby, it’s pretty much an easy sell, especially if you are wanting to sell whole armies at a time. However, since you are selling to people you know and might be selling a huge number of models, you might not get the money you are looking or asking for. Also, even with word of mouth sales, people generally want to view models to see what condition they are in before they purchase. Though you might be able to close the sale by teaching others how the units/army works and have them test them out before buying them.
Word of Mouth Pros:
- know the models are going to someone that will enjoy them
- usually can sell whole armies
- no other fees people/sites may charge
- you can close the sale yourself
Word of Mouth Cons:
- long wait time as people can be indecisive
- usually get less money since you are probably selling to friends or people you know
Online forums are also another great way to sell miniatures. You are already on a site where there is an established community of people. There should be areas where people list what models/armies they want so there is less searching around. There are possible opportunities to trade models rather than demand money (sometimes you get better trades this way). There definitely are some downsides to this as you might not know who to trust and might not get your money back or models sent out to you, as sad as it may be.
Online Forums Pros:
- you can possibly trade for models that you have been wanting
- less of a hassle searching for people that want certain minis
Online Forums Cons:
- don’t know who to trust
- might not get money or models
- have to spend money shipping models off
Local hobby stores are also another good resource. Most of the ones that I have been to have bulletin boards and the owners usually have an idea of who wants to buy what. They also might suggest/introduce people to each other. Though as stated in the buying article, they are a dying breed as more and more online retailers surface and it gets harder and harder for these FLGS to compete. If you have one of these gems near you, I hope you do support them.
Local Hobby Stores Pros:
- more “customer base” than just word of mouth
- local hobby store owners are usually very helpful and introduce people to each other
- friendly/comfortable meeting place in which people can sell/trade minis
Local Hobby Stores Cons:
- people get interest, but don’t actually buy, since they tend to support the hobby stores
- you end up buying more miniatures than selling from the hobby store
Auction sites are probably the last place I would personally go to. I for one don’t like how tedious it is to post each individual piece, if you are selling in pieces and selling a huge army is harder to do. There are also so many sellers out there that you may not have your models picked up unless they are at low prices. Though if you do decide to sell anything on an auction site, the best piece of advice comes from Lyn Stahl over at Metalhead Minis. She has been selling minis for quite a while and says to always take good pictures, be as specific as possible, always state if there is any damage and take a picture showing the damage.
Auction Sites Pros:
- usually get the most money since people bet against each other
- largest possible “customer base”
- safest way money-wise, you get paid first then send the models
Auction Sites Cons:
- tedious process listing
- you usually have to pay for packaging and shipping
- can get blamed for damage during shipping
- people usually don’t buy from sellers without an already established reputation on the site
As with buying, there are many different ways of selling miniatures each again having their own risks and rewards. The main thing though, no matter what or where you are selling, people generally want to see what they are getting. Basically honesty is the best policy, I mean if you are looking for something, wouldn’t you want the best models for the best prices too?