Auction Watch #79


If any eBay seller that thinks selling M.U.S.C.L.E. figures is going to make you rich, then they are incomprehensible stupid. However, eBay sellers that want to actually sell their M.U.S.C.L.E. figures can do a few things to help maximize their earnings.

Over the past few weeks it seems that a trend may be emerging with some M.U.S.C.L.E. auctions. Essentially the trend looks to be low opening bids and low or free shipping (e.g., Auction Watch #77). This allows M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors to drive the price of the auctions and puts more figures into the hands of collectors.

“But I could have gotten more if…” Sellers with this thought process will probably disappointed with every final sale price. They are probably the people that have attics, basements, and garages full of junk that they see as investments. They are the “antique” dealers that you laugh at when you go to a flea market hoping to find that undiscovered gem.

Selling M.U.S.C.L.E. figures is about cash. It’s better to get $2 for ten figures, instead of hoping to get $5 for ten figures. The time, energy, and space needed to finally achieve that $5 price tag will never be equal. Selling M.U.S.C.L.E. figures is both a science and an art, and the next four auctions are great examples.

The first auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. Lot of Coloured 1980’s, essentially features a Ziploc bag full of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. Normally an auction like this would attract little to no attention. However, the opening bid is $0.99 and shipping is only $2. Many collectors would be willing to take a gamble on this auction.

Perhaps there is a Non-Poster figure or a Class A figure hidden in the bag. Or maybe it’s just a chance to get some custom fodder for a low price. And maybe it’s a new collector trying to build up their collection. The low entry price point makes this an attractive auction for many collectors.

The final price of this auction will be $8.50.

The second auction, Vintage M.U.S.C.L.E. Muscle Men Lot, shows how a few minor changes can hurt a M.U.S.C.L.E. auction. Unlike the first auction, this seller has provided a much clearer picture of the M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. Because the figures are easily identifiable it would seem likely that this auction is more likely to find a potential buyer.

However, because the figures are basic Class C Poster figures it seems unlikely that most collectors would be interested – because the opening bid is too high. $3.99, plus $2 shipping, makes this auction appealing to only two types of collectors: (1) the completely inexperienced novice; and (2) the collector unwilling to buy/sell/trade outside of eBay.

Subtle differences the two previous auctions have surprising impacts on the end result. Unless the first type of buyer finds the second auction, it will go unsold. The first auction will also probably end higher than the opening bid price of the second auction.

The third auction, M.U.S.C.L.E Men Muscle HUGE Lot of 150 – Various Colours – FREE WORLDWIDE POST, starts the examination of these same ideas with larger auctions. The third auction features a lot of 150 Color M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. It also has clear and properly representative pictures of the figures. However, it is the opening bid (approximately $1.50) and free international shipping that will propel this auction to a higher final price.

The final price of the third auction will be $82.50.

The fourth auction, M.U.S.C.L.E MEN FIGURES 99 IN TOTAL MUSCLE MEN VINTAGE, is similar to the third auction. There are only 99 Color M.U.S.C.L.E. figures, but it also has a clear picture of the figures. And while the opening bid wasn’t as low as the third auction it was still lower than normal. However, there is one major deterrent with this auction. The shipping price is not listed anywhere on the auction. It simply states, “Economy Shipping.”

When the shipping is not stated in the auction it opens the door to potentially exorbitant shipping costs. The seller decides to supplement the final price of the auction with excessive shipping costs. The possibility of this will keep the per-figure-price of the auction lower than the third auction.

The final price of the fourth auction will be $47.50.

The fifth auction, 220 Deka Kinkeshi!!! M.u.s.c.l.e Kinnikuman, is different from the previous auctions. This auction features a huge lot of “deka” Kinnikuman figures. These kinkesi figures are approximately twice the size of regular M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. This is an incredibly huge lot of figures.

While this fifth auction isn’t necessarily a M.U.S.C.L.E. auction it is simply too cool for M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors to ignore. Due to an almost complete ignorance surrounding deka figures there won’t be a final price offered. However, given the size of the lot, and almost complete lack of auction this size appearing, it seems safe to assume that the final price will be quite high.


Follow-Up: The first auction sold for $7, which was $1.50 less than the predicted price of $8.50.

1st Auction
Final Screen Shot


The second auction sold for $3.99, but there was not a firm prediction. However, it was stated that the 1st Auction would have a higher per-figure price then the 2nd Auction. That prediction was correct. Even if the 1st Auction was assumed to have approximately 15 figures, the per-figure price would be around $0.47 per figure. The 2nd Auction had a per figure price of $0.36.

2nd Auction
Final Screen Shot


The third auction sold for $108.42, which was $25.92 less than the predicted price of $82.50.

3rd Auction
Final Screen Shot


The fourth auction sold for $56.44, which was $8.94 more than the predicted price of $47.50. Like the 2nd Auction, the 4th Auction was predicted to have a lower per-figure price then the 3rd Auction. This prediction was also correct. The per-figure price of the 3rd Auction was $0.72. The per-figure price of the 4th Auction was $0.57.

4th Auction
Final Screen Shot


There was not a final price prediction for the fifth auction. The lot sold for $223.86.

5th Auction
Final Screen Shot

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