Selling Your Action Figures
What is the best way to sell my action figures?
There are a number of ways to sell your action figures. You can sell your action figures in an online marketplace, to a dealer, or to another collector. Each method has various pro’s and con’s. Each way to sell your action figures is discussed here.
This information assumes that you are a collector or otherwise a person that has some action figures you want to sell; in other words, you aren’t a professional action figure dealer. If you are an action figure dealer and are interested in selling action figures on Collector-ActionFigures, click here.
The following are the key things you will need to do to sell your action figures, regardless of where or how you sell them:
- Identify the figures you have
- Describe the figures
- Photograph the figures
- Value and price the figures
- List your figures in a marketplace
1. Identifying your action figures
If you are an expert collector, this might be a simple step for you. But even if you are an expert, it doesn’t hurt to check your facts. Collectible action figures are notorious for having variants, series updates, etc. that can affect the value of your items. Checking a comprehensive resource like Collector-ActionFigures’ Catalog will help you avoid misrepresenting your figures for sale and confusing a buyer.
If you have loose figures only, only by consulting resources like the DASH Catalog will you be able to really identify what figure you have. Sometimes, posting questions and photos to forums of expert collectors can help too.
2. Describe the figures
One reason to spend the time identifying your figures will be to compile the necessary information to properly describe your figures. For example, you really must be able to identify the series and year for your figures. Collectors rely on this information when they search to buy, and so if you don’t get that information right, many buyers will simply never find your figures.
Another source of potential confusion is simply the name of the figure. While this seems like it would be a straight-forward issue, it turns out that, even when you have the full packaged figure, it is hard to really give that figure a name that other collectors will also use. For example, here are two figures from Hasbro’s The Original Trilogy Collection. Both figures have the name “Darth Vader” on the package. Both are 3 3/4” figures from 2004. For you to properly describe your figures, you need expert resources that will help you identify your figures precisely. The Collector-ActionFigures’ Catalog will help you identify these separate figures, and its unique DASH ID system gives you a reference pointer to help the buyer to see even more information about these figures, such as the figure’s UPC, a photo of the back of the package, etc.
If you are listing your figures on a marketplace like eBay or Amazon, it is up to you to write a description of your figure. You should include the figure’s name, year, series, and size for sure. These are really important pieces of information your buyer will use to be sure to know that your figure is the one he wants.
Next, you will need to describe the condition of your figure. For packaged action figure collectors, the actual condition of the figure’s packaging is often terrifically important. DASH strongly recommends that you read the Action Figure Grading and Valuation Guidelines.
However you do it, the better (and using the terms most understood by the collector community) the more likely you are to end up with successful action figure sales.
3. Photo your figures
Buyers love to see photos. Period. Pictures help confirm that the seller is actually selling them the figure they have described. Pictures also help buyers see (with their own eyes) the condition of the item they are buying.
Unfortunately, taking pictures, keeping the photos associated with the right listings, and uploading them is a real pain! A real advantage of using a marketplace like Collector-ActionFigures is that the DASH Catalog has high-resolution photos of literally tens of thousands of action figures already. While these aren’t photos of YOUR figure, they do accomplish the buyer’s first goal of getting a visual confirmation that the figure you are selling is the one they are looking for.
Another innovation they DASH team has come up with to help collectors sell some of their own figures is through their mobile application. Today available for the iPhone (coming soon for other phones!), the DASH Action Figure application syncs down the seller’s collection (aka their inventory). To upload a photo, the seller just taps in the iPhone app the name of the figure, taps the camera icon, snaps a photo, confirm that it’s a good photo, and DASH will automatically upload their photo to the user’s Collection and Marketplace listings. This can save a seller several minutes per figures at a minimum per action figure they are selling!
4. Value and price your figures for sale
When selling action figures, knowing how to value and price your figures is one of the toughest challenges. Doing this well depends on your accurate identification and description, as well as taking into consideration of knowing the general market value for that figure. Lastly, obviously, how motivated you are as a seller too matters - after all, the lower the price, the higher the likelihood that your figure will sell.
DASH again recommends that you review the Action Figure Grading and Valuation Guidelines. A common technique for valuation is to look up “Completed Listings” on eBay for similar action figures. To do this accurately, you need to be sure that the seller on eBay knew what they were doing when they sold their figure (since it’s easy to mess up an action figure description - packaged vs. loose, condition, etc.). You’ll need to manually sort this list of completed listings to discern per figure you are selling what like figures are selling for. An easier method is to use the Packaged and Loose Value Ranges in Collector-ActionFigures. These are just guidelines, but they are generally pretty accurate and because DASH actively solicits the feedback from the collecting community in maintaining these values, they represent the most useful compilation of specific action figure values available.
5. Pick a marketplace and list your figures
This document assumes you are looking to sell your figures in an online marketplace. As such, common choices are Collector-ActionFigures, eBay and Amazon.
As discussed, Collector-ActionFigures has a number of clear advantages to you in selling action figures. In addition to the convenience features, with thousands of collectors using DASH who have marked more than 10,000 specific figures as “wanted,” DASH gives its sellers a functional advantage. When a seller posts a figure that is wanted by a DASH member (or reduces its price), the DASH action figure collector gets a notification automatically.
Another key advantage is pure economics. With all fees taken into account, for a $20 figure, eBay will cost a seller about 15-18% of the total. Amazon is even more expensive, with total fees ranging above 20%. Collector-ActionFigures today charges only 4.95% transaction fee!