When Professor Terry originally sent me the MMMM #85 post I felt bad. It didn’t make me feel great that he thought his post would be a “touchy subject.”
If there is one thing I have always wanted with this website is honesty and transparency. A large part of my original motivation was creating a M.U.S.C.L.E. resource that put everybody (buyers, sellers, collectors, and non-collectors) on more equal footing.
Of course, that will never be 100% true. Expertise takes time. I could continue, but it will basically be another version of this post.
Honestly, I don’t think I’d feel comfortable making changes to the UofM guide until a vastly improved M.U.S.C.L.E. database could be put together.
406 global auctions. When I saw that number I actually felt disappointed. I felt there should be more auctions. But was it really more or less than normal? I scanned the last four Auction Watches which had auction counts. Turns out that the average was 210 auctions. Oops. I guess I’m happy. Thank god for data.
– Turns out nearly 100 single figure auctions cause quite a bump.
– Plus another 50 from this guy.
– And another 25 from him.
I guess I shouldn’t be excited or disappointed. Not much has changed.
– I’d bid $0.99 for the can and counterfeit figure.
– Don’t remember this figure. Maybe having it in my hand would erase the negative feelings about it.
– If I had a penny for each time I got excited seeing “From Canada,” then…
– $50 looks bad at first, but the 168 Flesh figures look really good – plus all four 28-packs.
– I think I’m getting old. I really can’t tell if this is a Flesh or Salmon #153 figure. (I think it’s Salmon, but I find myself blinking hard and squinting. I feel 200 years old at the moment.)
– The current price surprised me, but the picture set-up surprised me even more – way more!
– The condition of the 57 figures vary, but it’s starting at $0.99.
– Very nice large lot. Some of the figures look very loved. I don’t love the shipping cost.
– Two cans with a $24.95 BIN makes a solid case for AOTW.
– 186 Figures with a few Future Strength thrown in.
– These are M.U.S.C.L.E.-sized? Does anyone have more info on these?
– Nice lot of counterfeit figures.
– 70 figures that started at $4.99. Nice.
– Why do you think someone was shrink-wrapping figures?
– 110 Flesh figures. Too bad the starting bid is $74.
This is the first Epilogue that I felt like I saw a good number of auctions with fair starting bids. I am daring to dream that we are seeing a return to, at least, better opening bids.
As I write this section there are 3,795 BIN listings.
– This is fucking terrible.
I can’t look at any more. I made it about 10 pages and one atrocious necklace was the only thing worth mentioning.
I wonder if eBay and M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting is starting to fall into two different groups: (1) reasonable auctions; and (2) utterly unreasonable BIN’s. I wouldn’t argue the point too strongly right now, but it feels like it might be trending in this direction. We’ll see.
As promised in Auction Watch #198 I emailed newhobby905/make-an-offer on Wednesday. Here’s the exact email I sent to her:
In your auction descriptions for M.U.S.C.L.E. figures you invited collector sites to post and discuss some of the figures you have sold for hundreds of dollars. I hoped you would participate in a short email interview to discuss those figures. Because you are an honest seller, have nothing to hide, and are always open and free to talk about any concerns I, and many M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors, look forward to your participation.
What is the best email address to send the brief set of interview questions?
Here was her response in it’s entirety:
Hello again Chad, as I mentioned you have called me out for several things including saying that something just looks off about my items? and once again you’ll never post an article when I sell a figure for 500 or even 800 dollars USD (red buka) so I turn the question to you, why do you only show the items that don’t sell when they are over priced but you neglect to show your community when one does sell for an extremely high price? I would really think that the members would be elated to see that some of their investments have really increased their market value.
Further more I would like to suggest you not assume so much on your website as we all know what you do when you assume. For your information I do run a business (with a tax number), I do pay taxes and I do have 3 employees helping me with my 4 Ebay account business.
I hope you don’t take this the wrong way as I may not agree with your tactics I do respect your passion for M.U.S.C.L.E. figures but I ask you to put yourself on the other side of the fence once in a while. Sellers are trying to make a living and trying to get the most out of every product we sell, it’s impossible to be a professional on every item in the collector world as I have completed over 40,000 transactions between all of my stores and there is an old adage saying in sales “you can always come down, but you can never go back up”
I’ve had a few conversations with some of the other heavy hitters in your M.U.S.C.L.E. world and let’s just say I’m not the only one who has been offended by your words and actions on your website. I would like to ask you one question and hope you can answer me honestly. There is a well known criminal in the M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors world that many buyers and sellers are aware of and try to avoid at all costs. He screwed my friend out of thousands of dollars, if you know how to contact him or where he is that would be appreciated.
Regards and happy Muscleing
Below is my complete response. I’ve added the links. I think it adds to the readability of the post. They were not in the original eBay communication.
Thanks for responding!
I would be happy to show an auction that ended at 500 or 800 dollars. I simply need evidence of it happening. Without any tangible evidence, how would I be able to post about it?
I would guess that you do not read the website – which is fine. For several years every Auction Watch ended with screen shots showcasing the final price of each auction highlighted (Here’s the final time it happened. And for a while I even did a yearly review of my predictions.). And for particularly noteworthy auctions I make note in the Epilogues (e.g., the $7600 saga) or entirely separate posts (e.g., the $3,113 Impact. (If this was through email, then I could have sent you links.) However, final prices were never meant as evidence of sound investing. M.U.S.C.L.E., and I believe any toy, is terrible investment. I believe M.U.S.C.L.E. is especially bad but that’s a separate discussion for another time. (e.g., my most recent investment rant)
As for assumptions, I do make them on the site. I share my opinions which include assumptions. I originally tried to write every post in objective, third person (e.g., the end of 3rd person). It got boring for me and I believe less interesting for the readers. If there was a specific assumption you were referencing, then I have no idea what it is. Sharing that you have a Tax ID might be a hint, but I still don’t know. FYI, I have one too! We’re Tax ID twins!
I do believe it is possible to be a professional on every item. But I don’t want to argue over nomenclature. I agree that it would be impossible for a seller to be an expert on each item they list. However, a professional looks at the marketplace and adapts to it. Obviously both under- and over-pricing items hurt a business. To me, acting in a professional manner means striving to reach a fair price on the goods/services for each party. I’d love to charge $1,000,000 for one project, but to be a professional and sell the services probably means several projects at lower prices.
As for the last part, I would be happy to help (and probably can). I know the name I’m thinking of based on what you said. But I don’t want to shame the wrong person. What is the name of the person?
I know who I was thinking of.
Who did you think of?
Lastly, and I forgot to address it in my response, who has such thin skin that they are offended by my silly posts? It must be a real heavy hitter. Please.I’m left with two thoughts: (1) “heavy hitters” read the site; and (2) this would be a funny contest.
What would the rules be? What if you had to find the most offense “words and actions” on the site? Each time you find one you post in the comments and that counts as an entry. That sounds like it could be funny, right?
If you guys want to give it a try, then post in the Comments below. If there are at least five interested people that post in the Comments, then I’ll officially set-up a contest (with rules, prizes, and everything) next week.
I think I want the Heavy Hitter contest to happen.