Auction Watch #328

When I saw the sale price of $95, I couldn’t stop laughing. Not at the sale price – actually, that seems pretty reasonable. I was laughing at the $299.99 poster and tube. I laughed ever harder when I saw it was still listed and unchanged.

I needed, and appreciated, that laughter.

The combination of that $299.99 laughter and the listings from eBay that I wanted to highlight got me thinking. For several years I have bemoaned the direction M.U.S.C.L.E. prices were trending. Recently I started joking that the $0.99 starting price was the “secret handshake” for real M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors. I believe we are in the midst of a very, very significant M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting divergence.

We all know the hundreds of terrible M.U.S.C.L.E. listings on eBay. Sellers that have figures worth, at most, $1 listed for 900% more than they are worth. Often it can be 1,900%, or more, than they are worth. As M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors we can neither influence nor stop these terrible listings from sellers. We also can’t stop the chumps willing to pay those prices.

However, we can choose to not participate. I know everybody likes to fill a hole in their collection. And spending a few extra bucks to scratch that itch is easy to rationalize. Don’t do it.

Obviously, it’s not that easy. Why should anyone listen to my suggestion?

Because we’re seeing more sellers (and I believe M.U.S.C.L.E. fans) starting listings at $0.99. We’re starting to see that $0.99 starting price be normalized. We’re starting to have a choice as buyers. Choose to buy from M.U.S.C.L.E. fans.

Let me use the first listing, Rare Mattel Kinnikuman Figure #153 Red Claw M.U.S.C.L.E. Muscle Men, as my example.

Longtime readers of this site know I have soured on the #153 figure, but I fully understand his iconic place in M.U.S.C.L.E. history – which results in people wanting the figure. Sellers often want to use that desire to price gouge (like this asshole).

The only people that want M.U.S.C.L.E. figures to be expensive are sellers. That’s it. Nobody else.

“The only thing I sell is extras. I can’t lose money on my collection. I use the money to fund my collecting.”

I imagine there is somebody reading this thinking some version of those three sentences. You are part of the problem.

“But I know what the figure is actually worth. $15 isn’t really too bad – especially considering what I paid.”

I also imagine that thought went through the mind of somebody reading this AW. You’re still part of the problem. And, actually, the fact that you are listing it at $15 shows you’re afraid it won’t sell for that much otherwise.

The $0.99 Red #153 is my evidence of that fear. That sellers knows collectors will want a Red #153 figure. As of writing, the price is $26. I expect the price to go higher. My impression is that the seller knows it too and that is why they started at $0.99. They aren’t afraid.

Knowledgeable M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors know what will sell. They know what other M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors covet. And those knowledgeable sellers are willing to gamble on the unknown. What is the worst possible outcome of their gamble? Another M.U.S.C.L.E. collector will add items to their collection and they will receive something for an item they no longer wanted or needed. That’s not a very scary gamble.

The second listing, M.U.S.C.L.E MEN Custom Garbage Can Figure – Kinnikuman 1980s, serves as another great example of an unafraid M.U.S.C.L.E. collector selling an item.

This seller has the iconic Super Rare M.U.S.C.L.E. Can from Tyler and Eric started at $0.99. This can originally sold for $25. It would have been in this TTT, but it’s really more than a figure. And without any signs it is being recast – you need to add it to your collection ASAP.

I have no idea what the final price will be and neither does the seller. I believe that’s why they have wisely started the bidding at $0.99. At worst, another collector will get this worthy-of-holy-grail-status item and the seller will get some cash for an item they no longer need/want.

My oldest has started selling some of his grandfather’s card collection. He had dollar signs in his eyes and listed some of the cards with those delusions. When they didn’t sell, he lowered the prices. On his own he came to the conclusion: some money is better than no money for stuff he doesn’t care about. He’s a good kid. He’s learned that simple lesson at 13.

We see too many people selling M.U.S.C.L.E. items that haven’t learned that lesson.

What’s the best case for the seller of the Super Rare can? Shit. Who knows? I wouldn’t be surprised if it sold for more than $100. I think it also serves as an antidote to listings like this piece of shit.

“Yeah, but these aren’t ‘rare’ items! It’s not really a gamble. The can be ‘fearless’ because there really isn’t any risk.”

Maybe somebody thought this? I would understand if someone did think it.

But we’ve seen people like the King of $0.99 Class A do it for years. He has listed dozens of Class A figures with $0.99 starting bids. Jon did it recently with the 10-Pack Box. And viver_28 recently had 11 Class A listings start at $0.99 which seemed to workout pretty good for him.

That’s why seeing eight Class A figures, from 68style, all started at $0.99 isn’t completely shocking. It’s an unafraid seller. It’s the difference between an actual M.U.S.C.L.E. fan and a greedy M.U.S.C.L.E. seller. It’s the kind of M.U.S.C.L.E. seller we need to support and continue to encourage.

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  1. No comments yet.
(will not be published)