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A Pop Collectors Alliance Guide to eBay!

Pop Collectors Alliance breaks down buying and selling on ebay with tips, tricks, and our mistakes

When Pop! Collectors hear the word eBay they cringe, while flippers rejoice. As collectors, we buy and sometimes sell there, but it certainly will always be a flippers paradise. eBay is the wild west of reselling / flipping Pop!, but it also does a great job of quickly establishing the value of and item. Whether you’re an experienced or new collector, you will eventually need to purchase something from eBay. But how do you navigate this rough untamed terrain to build your collection for as cheap as possible? Luckily for you the PCA took time to put all the information in one place.

We talking about Coupons man! Coupons!

Not many people know this but eBay periodically features coupon codes from 10 – 25% off of eBay items. (Good to know those fees are going somewhere). Jump on these because 10% with free shipping is a great deal, especially if you can eliminate the risk of getting scammed on Facebook.

  • The codes are generally featured on the home page and are entered as a coupon code when completing your purchase.
  • Start of the season and holidays are the best time to find these deals, however, you may stumble upon a random coupon code every now and then.
  • Check your email for eBay. Occasionally eBay will drop them in a newsletter or just as a “Hey you haven’t purchased anything in a while correspondence”

Beware of the Incredibly LOW Prices and Counterfeit Pop!

A general rule of thumb is, if a price is too good to be true then it is. You may discover a vaulted pop for $50 – $100 under PPG or Stashpedia, but more than likely it’s coming from China and Ships from China = Fake!

  • Review the country of origin to see if it is China, most items that are shipped from there are fake (Ships from China = Fake). They charge a small amount to recoup their costs and make a quick profit. When you receive the Ships from China Dragonzord, and it looks like a turtle, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
  • Look for real photos, AVOID stock photos. This is not always the case, especially if it is a pre-order reservation (in that case refer to the ratings), but at that point, you are probably overpaying anyways. You want photos that clearly details the condition, and validates the authenticity of an item.
  • Also, if you are very concerned, ask them to show you the bottom of the Pop! figure to see the Funko markings. (Refer to our Identifying a Fake Pop Article to assist with this)
  • Make sure the pop matches the box images, Iron Patriot and other Ironmen were faked and the details on the suits did not match the box images.
  • Look at the boxes, the Martian Manhunter was faked and his box had distinct characteristics identifying the counterfeit piece.

Negotiate Even When there is no best offer:

Sometimes eBay sucks and where it sucks the most is fees. I understand they need to charge fees to exist and make a profit, but this leads to raising the price floor. Most sellers incorporate that + 12.9% in fees into the price of each item they have listed.  However, this doesn’t prevent you from messaging a seller directly with the best offer.

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  • Reference our rating guide from Novice series podcast, especially if there are images attached, to determine condition. Every seller should take photos from every side of the Pop! and focus in on any damages. If images aren’t attached, you can message the seller for more detailed images of its condition.
  • Again it never hurts to ask here….. Remember set the price ceiling and lower your offer below that to meet your price goal.

Check Ratings and Reviews

Much like buying anywhere else, ratings and reviews give you the insight on whether the seller is going to cradle your pop like a baby or play soccer with the box before it ships.

  • Also research other reviews for items listed by the seller. If they’ve listed other Pop! and received good ratings, it’s likely they care about what they are shipping and will take adequate care of your Pop!
  • Never be afraid to reach out to the seller discuss shipping and inform them you are an in-box collector that cares about a safe and undamaged delivery.

Using Auctions to Buy Grails

Similar to anything else on eBay auctions are a unique way you can secure a great deal on a grail you have been searching for.

  • Always remember to “watch” auctions or items you are interested in. Even items listed as Buy it Now may decrease in price if the seller is motivated to sell the product quickly.
    • HINT: Especially for someone who relisted an item multiple times. They may be more receptive to your offer.
  • If you are serious about something know your ceiling and enter it in when you bid. This can help to avoid those last minute bidders that want to slide in and steal an item at the last minute (or seconds).
  • Look for auctions starting directly after something sells for its record high. Generally after a Pop! sells for a high amount, the remaining similar items trend a little lower than that. Use this to your advantage. Additionally, don’t put a pop up for auction if it just sold for a TON!!! You will lose all the monies on this.

eBay Hunting Tip

If UPCs aren’t publicly shared and if you can’t locate one when you are asking an employee to search for something, use eBay. Most sellers take photos of the bottom of pop boxes which can be used as a reference.

Summing it all up

Avoid eBay for Pop! purchases if it’s possible to get an item through a retailer or from someone you trust in a trade, but if not use this as a guide. eBay is not all bad and deals can be found, but again buyer beware. In closing, if it’s something that just released in store and there will be restocked, avoid this as an option AT ALL COSTS!!!!

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