Auction Watch #130


Does UofM hurt sellers? No. They do it to themselves.

Selling M.U.S.C.L.E. toys is different from selling Star Wars, Transformers, and just about any other popular collectible. There are some auctions this week that wonderfully illustrate the uniqueness of M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting.

Sellers are so often concerned with getting what they think they deserve for an item. This already puts a seller in a terrible position. Sadly most M.U.S.C.L.E. items are not worth very much. And many M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors get to their collecting “finish line” very quickly give the relatively small scope of the toys. The best way to attract the largest M.U.S.C.L.E. audience is to start low – very low.

Here are three auctions, 3 Auctions – All Start at $0.01 with FREE Shipping!, that perfectly exemplify that idea. The seller has good items, clear pictures, a low starting bid, and even free shipping. Why is this a good strategy and not dangerous?

They’re nice items in nice condition. The weakest of the three auctions (the two 4-packs) helps itself by including both 4-packs instead of trying to break the 4-packs into two separate lots. The gaming aspect of eBay will help this lot because the potential buyer will need to apply their top value (plus wanting to win) to two 4-packs instead of just one.

With everything being in great condition it also attracts M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors that may be looking to upgrade their collections. These three auctions are M.U.S.C.L.E. auction perfection.

The next auction, M.u.s.c.l.e. Men Figures Trash Can Sealed Rare, is at the opposite end of the perfection spectrum. The auction is for the most common of the 10-packs – the all color version.

The auction has a $149.99 starting bid. Not only is it a ludicrous opening bid it’s a terrible price. There are certainly times when 10-packs sell for around $100, but that tends to be the exception and not the rule. Consider this, the last Flesh 10-pack spotlighted in Auction Watch #126 sold for $54.01. Attempting to hold out for that $149.99 price tag is a terrible waste of time, money, and resources for the seller.

But what about popular M.U.S.C.L.E. items? Should Non-Poster figures be started at $0.99?

Yes, they should. Here is proof.

However with higher ticket items like a Non-Poster figure, the starting bid can be higher – but it hurts the auction. For example, the current SHA figure, Vintage 1980s M.U.S.C.L.E. spinning head ashuraman figure EXTREMELY RARE no head, without a head.

It has an opening bid of $625 and a BIN of $799.99. Those are terrible opening prices, especially for a figure without a head. However, the last headless SHA sold for $676. But that auction is also a classic example of the M.U.S.C.L.E. Rule of Two. It seems very unlikely that another headless SHA could sell for quite that much.

This is where casting the widest net is key to getting M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors. The figure may approach a couple of hundred dollars or more, but only if the bidding sucks in the most possible M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors. Seasoned M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors will not pay $799.99 to instantly own a headless figure. However, if they get sucked into the auction (and the game of eBay) then they might be willing to spend just a little bit more than normal.

Most importantly, Spinning Head Asuraman is a popular Non-Poster figure. M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors are not going to let a figure like that slip through the cracks. They are always able to sniff out the best M.U.S.C.L.E. figures in any lot.

Does that make the $0.99 opening bid perfect for M.U.S.C.L.E. toys? No. M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors will uncover the treasures and ignore the mundane – which is appearing more and more as Class C single figure auctions. These figures should always be sold as a lot. Approximately 25 to 30 figures seem to be the ideal size of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. Even if a buyer values the figures at $1 per figure it keeps the total price very affordable.

Attempting to sell single Class C M.U.S.C.L.E. figures is also a terrible waste of time for the seller. If the figure sells for $0.99, then eBay takes approximately 1/3 of the money and PayPal takes approximately another 1/3 of the money. That means the net is approximately $0.30 per figure – but that doesn’t factor in all of the time (pictures, listing, mailing, etc.) to complete the entire transaction.

Still not convinced selling a single figure is a waste of time? Minimum wage in the United States is $7.25, which breaks down to about $0.12 per minute. Sellers would need to complete an entire single figure transaction in about two or three minutes just to be on pace with minimum wage.


To see the Final Results of the auctions – CLICK HERE

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