Epilogue – Week of January 24th

First and foremost, if you are waiting on me to ship something to you – I haven’t forgotten. I was out of town last week. Next week should close the book on shipping. (This was easier than emails, thanks everyone.)

As of writing this only nine people had voted on the poll from MMMM #66. I know UofM polls don’t always draw huge numbers, but I thought Professor Terry had given us a fun, and interesting, one. This is the first time I am legitimately surprised by such a tepid response.

If you haven’t voted, then please cast a vote. I was going to close the poll today, but I want to keep it going for a little bit longer.

At first I thought this was a good deal, but those 4-packs are not in great shape.
Nazi Ronald?
Two things about this auction made me smile: (1) “Things are the STRANGEST things!” from the auction description; and (2) Green #180.

Picture Taken From: Here

The “STRANGEST things” really made me laugh. I will be forever entertained by eBay sellers, because I will forever be curious about what they were thinking. Pictures. Auction descriptions. Prices. What were they thinking?

I think the “STRANGEST things” made me laugh because I imagined an old lady saying it. I imagined her supplementing her teaching pension by selling things on eBay. She has her set template and routine; posting all types of garbage like a well-oiled machine. But then she has these M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. She takes the pictures and, literally, says aloud, “These are the STRANGEST things!”

Then, smitten with her own comment, she smiles and adds it to the auction description.

This should be an auction. I could have been roped in with a auction format.
49 Quik Figures. Wow.
Who knew #82 was a punker?
I’m kind of surprised this has a bid. The last Class A #60 I can remember sold for $10.
$50 for a Red Class C #3. Umm…

Picture Taken From: Here

Y’all know me.

You all know how I feel about single figure auctions.

But I’m starting to think there’s a new wrinkle in the MRT discussion. A new trend that has emerged and that I would like to label.

The MRT is basically a bell-curve. I think for M.U.S.C.L.E. auctions the MRT is still 100% accurate. And because it’s basically a bell-curve it applies to other hobbies too (even if the populations are larger). For comparison’s sake, I took a quick look at loose, vintage Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper Disguise figures. The price of that figure has not significantly changed since I was actively collecting in the early 2000’s.

However, M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting has seen an irrational spike in the prices of figures. There has not been a resurgence in M.U.S.C.L.E. popularity, nor has there been anything that could meaningfully explain the price increases. If the Luke Stormtrooper figures’ price had increased, then you could probably point to several possible explanations.

What is the cause of these M.U.S.C.L.E. price spikes? I believe they are simply a ruse; the M.U.S.C.L.E. Ruse (it pained me not to say M.U.S.C.L.E. Mirage).

These insane prices for M.U.S.C.L.E. figures hope to ensnare a singular unknowing and/or impatient buyer. The price does not subscribe to any rule or structure. I do not believe it is meant to showcase a collection either. The insane price is just a trap. A trap left; waiting to snare a victim.

I do not believe it is even about the money from a strictly logical perspective. I believe the M.U.S.C.L.E. Ruse is more like buying a lottery ticket. Sellers don’t really expect to win/sell, but you never know.

“You gotta play to win!”

I have often heard sellers talk about getting a return on their investment. This is why I do not believe the M.U.S.C.L.E. Ruse is strictly about money. Most conventional investments would not yield the returns these sellers are looking for with their sale prices. You certainly would not earn that return from banks. And you probably wouldn’t earn it on a stock (but you can check, in a very simple manner, with the Capital One (What If I Had Invested…) Tool). What logic or data would support the price?

If the ROI isn’t based on logic, then the price is not logical.

Am I wrong? I really would love to know your thoughts.

  1. #1 by Godofon on January 29, 2016 - 9:51 am

    Yeah, people just list these figures to see what they can get for them. They’re not necessarily greedy, but they probably get a tiny thrill from listing lots and figures high and seeing what happens. Then, when they don’t sell, they fall into “setting a trap” mode and think to themselves, “Well, I’m not GIVING these away for a low price, so I’ll keep relisting them until someone bites. And if not, who cares? I don’t need the money.”

    Here’s the way I look at it: If you’re listing these on ebay, then you obviously don’t want the figures anymore. So why wouldn’t you sell them at a reasonable price to a collector who would appreciate them?

    To a lesser extent, I think the old “These items are old (i.e., “vintage”) so they must be worth a good deal of money” fallacy kicks in for many as well. Overall, it’s a sad state of affairs. But that being said, I give a wholehearted “Thank You” to those ebay sellers who have sold their figures at a reasonable price. Through these people and patience, I have been able to get within a few figures of completing a flesh set.

  2. #2 by Chad Perry on January 29, 2016 - 10:46 am

    Godofon :
    But that being said, I give a wholehearted “Thank You” to those ebay sellers who have sold their figures at a reasonable price.

    That’s a great point. I agree with you 100%.

  3. #3 by Milo on January 29, 2016 - 8:20 pm

    I keep seeing these hoping one of my auctions would get featured, but alas, it does not.

    I wanted to thank the people from University of MUSCLE who have helped me with pricing my auctions. I’ve been very happy with the results. I only have enough MUSCLES for 1 or 2 more auctions, but I will continue to check out the university for updates. These things are such strange things indeed!

  4. #4 by Chad Perry on January 31, 2016 - 1:21 pm

    Milo :
    I keep seeing these hoping one of my auctions would get featured, but alas, it does not.

    Milo, there are probably four possible reasons you haven’t been featured:
          1. Most likely, I’ve simply missed it. No other special reason. I just didn’t see it for whatever reason.

          2. Another reason could be that the auction was going to end before Friday. I try to list things that are still ongoing.

          3. Or your auction was perfectly fine, but I just didn’t have anything to say about it.

          4. The final possibility, and I doubt this is the case, is that your auction deserves to be ignored. There are some auctions that I just choose to ignore. Maybe it’s been re-listed 100 times with the same stupid price. Maybe you’re trying to take advantage of inexperienced buyers. Maybe your clogging up eBay with stupid auctions. Those sellers don’t deserve extra attention from collectors.

    Also, because of your kind words I’m going to give the entire UofM staff Monday off. Maybe Tuesday too.

    Except for Professor Terry. That guy has to work every Monday. 😉

  5. #5 by Terry on February 1, 2016 - 1:11 am

    If I do 4 weeks work on 1 Monday, can I have the other 3 off??? 😀

  6. #6 by Chad Perry on February 1, 2016 - 11:37 am

    To get tenure at UofM, you need to do 4 weeks of work every day.

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