Epilogue – Week of November 3rd


I talked about it enough last week. But I do want to share one final thing.

The Buyer of the Inaugural ULTIMATE AOTW Battle of the Champions Winner – $250 Empty Box

The Buyer of the 2nd ULTIMATE AOTW Battle of the Champions Winner – $1500 BIN for a $3 Figure

The Buyer of the Changing Marketplace #153 Lot – $200 BIN

I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that they are all changing together at the same time.

At this point, I guess, all I can say is, “I’m glad she’s a fan!”

As I look through my eBay search results I realize I haven’t blamed eBay enough. That corporation is an almost equal partner in the crumbling of the M.U.S.C.L.E. marketplace. I blame them for wanting to be Amazon. Instead of just ranting about my feelings, I was curious what business publications had to say. The article that jumped out at me was The No. 1 Reason Investors Should Avoid eBay from The Motely Fool.

The piece of data, that best serves my point, was the reduction in their gross merchandise volume. They are selling less stuff. This is unsurprising to me. Common sense says there are more options today. Instead of being the best at something, eBay decided to be more like Amazon (or any on-demand purchase site) and move away from the business style that led to their success.

I’m not one to suggest businesses should remain stagnant; far from it. But eBay seems reactionary to the ever-changing marketplace instead of establishing their own path to success. So how does that relate to M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting?

We get stuck with the same crap listing again and again.
– Here’s a seller clogging eBay with almost 400 listings of shitty custom figures. (These aren’t even bad head swaps. This is lazier; like putting a Boba Fett helmet on a Zombie figure.)
– The endless Chinese extra stock/bootleg Super7 lots.
– People with a single lot’s worth of figures trying to sell them individually; like this guy.

There are a lot of things I would do if I was hired as a consultant for eBay. If investors want to see the gross merchandise volume increasing, then that should be the absolute priority. The most simple solution appears to be ending the endless clog of unsold shit. Incentivize sellers to move their products. Shorter auctions? Less auction fees? Increasing BIN fees week after week?

This lot will not make eBay any money. There are plenty of similar lots. I believe this lot will make eBay some money (it took 7 pages to find an example). It does not seem hard to fix investor confidence. It is tied to a movable metric.

The forth champion was crowned last week and now it is time for these warriors to clash.

Cast your vote and crown the next AOTW Battle of the Champions Fatal-Four Way winner. Here are the past four winners:

vs.

Remember to cast your vote and crown this week’s AOTW Battle of the Champions Fatal-Four Way winner:

Who is the Winner of the 2nd AOTW Battle of the Champions Fatal-Four Way?

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There was sadness when our ULTIMATE AOTW Battle of the Champions Fatal-Four Way Winner #1 was no longer selling her empty box.

We thought this was the fine image of our old friend.

It was painful to consider our journey was over. We watched as she started at $250. Unable to sell it, dropped down to $160. The drops continued: $149, $145, $139, $135, $125 and finally $120…for a beat-up, empty box.

When she did stop, we knew there was a zero-percent chance it actually sold. It is an empty box. M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors see crazy things, but this sale was simply impossible. Plus, there is no feedback posted by either party.

We now have irrefutable evidence the box did not sell. It has been relisted with a $150 BIN.

Oh dear lord. Some other dope has “bought” the box and there is feedback from the buyer this time. Interesting that the seller didn’t leave feedback.

I think there is zero percent chance this belt has actually sold. It will be relisted. Pay attention sellers, this winner perfectly demonstrate the level-of-asshole it takes to be an ULTIMATE champion. She truly is the ULTIMATE AOTW Battle of the Champions Fatal-Four Way Winner #1.

Our inaugural champion has a very worthy companion.

The initial listing for the $3 figure was for $1500. The entire story was covered in AW #284. Apparently, there’s still a little more to add. The figure is STILL for sale with a $100 BIN.

This seller probably could be a repeat winner with their other listings.

An original SHA, with the head spur still attached, in the original Flesh color was sold for about $185. This seller is attempting to sell a yellow, headless version for $1,000. That is the level of commitment needed to become the 2nd ULTIMATE AOTW Battle of the Champions Winner.

Sadly, it looks like our second champion has paused their grifting efforts. I do not see the figure for sale, nor do I see any feedback.

This poor guy to the left has to just wait. It is going to be quite some time before his three challengers emerge.

  1. #1 by madmaxrebo9885 on November 8, 2019 - 12:05 pm

    The one thing that you didn’t mention that I see a lot in the muscle lots I’ve looked at lately on ebay is shipping costs. I consistently see $10 for shipping on these, even the auction you pointed out. Cost of shipping to me factors into the bid price (or BIN) and it seems sellers are charging double the shipping rate. Almost like a handling fee? I’ve sold on e-bay in the past and always tried to set free shipping or reasonable shipping costs. Just seems like a growing crack in the ebay armor.

  2. #2 by Chad Perry on November 8, 2019 - 5:25 pm

    You’re 100% correct.

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