Auction Watch #276


The results from the last Auction Watch are disappointingly uneventful. The rouge Imaginext figures seem to be selling. The price dropped to $120, closer to my suggestion, and sold. And the poster are still too high.

I think I may have discovered the painfully simple solution to getting top-dollar as a seller of M.U.S.C.L.E. items: Don’t be greedy.

“I’m not trying to be greedy! I’m trying to get a fair price!”

Nope. Sorry, that’s not how the M.U.S.C.L.E. hobby works. Sellers can point to other hobbies, but M.U.S.C.L.E. is just too damn small.

The first auction, M.U.S.C.L.E Green Claw (muscle #153 action figure), is too greedy. Of course, occasionally someone will overpay for a #153 figure – but exceptions are not the rule. People sometimes die biking down Haleakala, but most people don’t. I would say the rule is that you’re going to live. (Although I’m never doing it again.)

“Well smart guy, what’s a fair price?”

I don’t know. Given the popularity of the figure, I can see be spending $5 to $10 on it. But I would be the first to say #153 prices can be very subjective. While Purple #153 has been trending down it is still difficult to predict.

That is why I am such an intense champion of selling M.U.S.C.L.E. items in an auction format. If sellers are truly fearful of not getting a fair price, then BIN is the real risk. The situations with BIN that stick out in my mind is when a M.U.S.C.L.E. collector identifies a grossly under-priced item and instantly snags it. (Of course, there can be problems with that too.)

The most recent Epilogue already highlighted the next listing, but it fits too perfectly into this post to ignore.

The second auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. MUSCLE Men Mattel Super Rare SHA Spinning Head Ashuraman YSNT, is a SHA starting at $0.99.

The last headless SHA sold for $305, but it did have three replacement heads – and wasn’t missing any fingers.

This SHA is missing most of its bottom left hand – plus its missing the head. I have no idea what to suggest as a fair price and I’ve wasted nearly 20 years, as an adult, hyper-focused on M.U.S.C.L.E. toys. If I don’t know, then some seller isn’t going to stumble blindly into a fair price.

The only way to sell an item like this one is an auction format. I am expecting to be shocked by the end result.

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  1. #1 by Jason A. on January 8th, 2019

    Let’s not forget about Jessy’s data in the Dec ’17 Sunday Paper. Based Jessy’s data, this green claw is not that far off from the average purchase price.

  2. #2 by Chad Perry on January 9th, 2019

    Yes, the $38.73 is based on 30 auctions. However, I don’t like drawing any conclusions from that. That is a snapshot of one person’s experience over one year. Certainly interesting, but hardly conclusive.

    I would argue a better analysis of the data would have been a confidence interval around a mean. It’s good for something like dollar-amount, is based on the t-distribution, and does factor in sample size.

    For example, say these were the 16 sale prices we recorded: $20, $30, $6, $7, $66, $4, $99, $1, $35, $35, $10, $10, $11, $13, $40, and $45.

    The simple mean is $28.13. Ok.

    But with a 95% confidence interval (and we could adjust that higher or lower) we get a range from $13.78 to $42.49. I think that’s much better for discussion purposes because there are some many factors that can influence the price of a #153 figure. There’s the MRT, color, condition, seller, buyer, etc.

    If I was using data and saw a Class C Green #153, then I would say data and logic would suggest it should be on the lower and of the above range. The Class B Red and Salmon versions would probably be on the higher end.

    But that’s just if I was using logic and data.

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