Question about selling lead miniatures
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:49 pm 
 

Hey everyone,

Just thought I'd wander on by and ask a question or two...

Recently I came across all the lead (and non-lead) miniatures that I'd put away in storage ages ago, and I've decided that it's time to part ways with them...  :(

A lot of the miniatures I bought were part of boxed sets, and I did save some of the boxes.  Trouble is, most of these sets are now incomplete due to trading that I did in my indiscriminate youth...  :roll:

My question is -- should I try to sell off the incomplete sets as-is, or is it not worth the bother?

Also, I have an awful lot of single Ral Partha / Grenadier and Julie Guthrie "three-stage" character sets.  If possible, I want to sell the complete "three-stage" character sets as one lot, but what about the other single ones?  Sell them individually, or group them into lots?

Or should I just try to sell them off in one great big lot and hope for the best?

Plus, some of the miniatures were painted by me (I got better as I got older), but most of them aren't painted.  Does painting reduce the value of the pieces, or does that depend on the quality of the paint job?  (I used Polly-S acrylic paints with sable brushes, BTW.)

Any advice regarding this would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance,
JohnH aka Wandering Monster

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:28 am 
 

Hi John,

I'll start off by asking if you are trying to maximize profits, or move everything with the least amount of hassle?

If you are going for a bit of extra cash, then I would sell the boxed sets individually, regardless of them being complete or not. For the 3-Stage characters, sell your singles individually. Same for any other loose minis (individually, that is to say). Starting single minis at .99 is usually a safe bet.

If you would just assume move them as fast as possible with the least amount of work, then sell everything in one big lot. You might not get quite as much as breaking stuff down into smaller lots, but it's a lot less work in my opinion.

Just make sure you take good pictures of everything. If you go the big lot route, take one massive group shot of everything, and then shots of smaller groups (boxed sets, the 3-Stage characters, and then all the loose and single minis together, or in small groups of 6-10 minis).

With regards to painted minis, I wouldn't list one for less than an unpainted one - after all, a bath in Simple Green cures any mini of a poor or middling paint job.

When you decide to put them up for sale, make sure you post it over in the Classifieds section. There's a few of us lead junkies here who are always looking to give wayward figures a new home ;)


Regards,

Tom


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:57 am 
 

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the advice -- it's much appreciated!  :D

Naturally, I'd like to get as much for these guys (and gals -- and others) as I can, but as you say, it's a lot of work.

Part of me was thinking of just trying to sell them here at the Acaeum rather than eBay, but I'd have to do some research first to see which might be the better route.

Do you (or anyone else out there) know of any websites that detail the names and product code numbers of Ral Partha and Grenadier lead miniatures?  I remember that most of my minis came in individual "blister packs" with evocative names, and I know that if I list any auctions with this info, those auctions would stand a better chance of selling for more than if I just describe them as "25mm Lead Miniature AD&D Elf Magic-User" and so on...

And what is this "Simple Green" of which you speak?  :)

TollHouseGolem wrote:Hi John,

I'll start off by asking if you are trying to maximize profits, or move everything with the least amount of hassle?

If you are going for a bit of extra cash, then I would sell the boxed sets individually, regardless of them being complete or not. For the 3-Stage characters, sell your singles individually. Same for any other loose minis (individually, that is to say). Starting single minis at .99 is usually a safe bet.

If you would just assume move them as fast as possible with the least amount of work, then sell everything in one big lot. You might not get quite as much as breaking stuff down into smaller lots, but it's a lot less work in my opinion.

Just make sure you take good pictures of everything. If you go the big lot route, take one massive group shot of everything, and then shots of smaller groups (boxed sets, the 3-Stage characters, and then all the loose and single minis together, or in small groups of 6-10 minis).

With regards to painted minis, I wouldn't list one for less than an unpainted one - after all, a bath in Simple Green cures any mini of a poor or middling paint job.

When you decide to put them up for sale, make sure you post it over in the Classifieds section. There's a few of us lead junkies here who are always looking to give wayward figures a new home ;)


Regards,

Tom

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:36 am 
 

Wandering Monster wrote:Hi Tom,

Thanks for the advice -- it's much appreciated!  :D

Naturally, I'd like to get as much for these guys (and gals -- and others) as I can, but as you say, it's a lot of work.

Part of me was thinking of just trying to sell them here at the Acaeum rather than eBay, but I'd have to do some research first to see which might be the better route.

Do you (or anyone else out there) know of any websites that detail the names and product code numbers of Ral Partha and Grenadier lead miniatures?  I remember that most of my minis came in individual "blister packs" with evocative names, and I know that if I list any auctions with this info, those auctions would stand a better chance of selling for more than if I just describe them as "25mm Lead Miniature AD&D Elf Magic-User" and so on...

And what is this "Simple Green" of which you speak?  :)



You have received good advice so far.  Another alternative is to sell them in groups of ten to twenty minis on eBay.  You cut down significantly on your work load and it doesn't hurt your profits too much.  Group by type (fighters, humanoids, decor, etc...).  Realize monsters do better than humanoids, so make those groups smaller.  Giants, dragons and demons should all be sold individually.

To determine make or group, there are several useful web-sites.  Here are some of the best:

http://www.miniatures-workshop.com/lost ... =Main_Page

http://leadpoisoned.com/

http://www.solegends.com/maingallery.htm

None of these sites are complete and it may take a while, but it should help your eBay listing if you have some information about each mini.

If you are wanting maximum value for your collection, eBay is the way to go.

When taking a picture of your minis, place a quarter or ruler or some other well known item so buyers are clear about the size and scale of what you are selling.

Packing them properly is sometimes a challenge for folks who have never sold minis before. It's time consuming, you'll want to wrap each one individually in bubble wrap and them pack them snuggly in a cardboard box, especially if there's more than one in the package. Box content movement usually results in damage during shipping.

Do be careful to wash your hands after handling them as many of these contain lead. Another thing to look for is lead rot. Lead rot is to lead as rust is to iron. Rust is reddish brown and lead rot is greyish white. Rust is flakey, and lead rot is powdery. Like rust, lead rot is bad. It takes away details and impacts value. Lead rot is unfortunately more common among TSR minis and Grenadier minis than Ral Partha, for example.

Simple Green is a cleaning product sold at Wal-Mart.  It removes paint.  I wouldn't mess with all that trouble.  Paint does significantly limit lead-rot, so it's not all bad.

I have bought and sold thousands of minis, so if I can help, just ask.   8)


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:52 am 
 

Hi Ben,

With a few exceptions, my monster miniatures are long-gone, alas...  I sold off my fully-painted Grenadier Monster Manscript box sets to a now-ex-friend who was greatly interested in them at the time and had money to spare which I needed...

Most of the other monster sets and/or complete sets went up on eBay years ago.  These are mostly the humanoids/adventurers that I've got left, partly for sentimental reasons and partly out of laziness/not wanting to bother with the work. :wink:

I've noticed that a couple of my "Ralladium" (i.e., non-lead) miniatures have a strange brownish cast to them -- is this a phenomenon similar to the lead rot that you mentioned?

And I do have prior experience with wrapping lead minis individually in bubble wrap and packing them securely so that they didn't get damaged in transit.  I particularly remember this because the last person who bought minis from me on eBay had the nerve to leave me neutral feedback on a very carefully packaged set!  :evil:

Thanks,
JohnH aka Wandering Monster

benjoshua wrote:
You have received good advice so far.  Another alternative is to sell them in groups of ten to twenty minis on eBay.  You cut down significantly on your work load and it doesn't hurt your profits too much.  Group by type (fighters, humanoids, decor, etc...).  Realize monsters do better than humanoids, so make those groups smaller.  Giants, dragons and demons should all be sold individually.

To determine make or group, there are several useful web-sites.  Here are some of the best:

http://www.miniatures-workshop.com/lost ... =Main_Page

http://leadpoisoned.com/

http://www.solegends.com/maingallery.htm

None of these sites are complete and it may take a while, but it should help your eBay listing if you have some information about each mini.

If you are wanting maximum value for your collection, eBay is the way to go.

When taking a picture of your minis, place a quarter or ruler or some other well known item so buyers are clear about the size and scale of what you are selling.

Packing them properly is sometimes a challenge for folks who have never sold minis before. It's time consuming, you'll want to wrap each one individually in bubble wrap and them pack them snuggly in a cardboard box, especially if there's more than one in the package. Box content movement usually results in damage during shipping.

Do be careful to wash your hands after handling them as many of these contain lead. Another thing to look for is lead rot. Lead rot is to lead as rust is to iron. Rust is reddish brown and lead rot is greyish white. Rust is flakey, and lead rot is powdery. Like rust, lead rot is bad. It takes away details and impacts value. Lead rot is unfortunately more common among TSR minis and Grenadier minis than Ral Partha, for example.

Simple Green is a cleaning product sold at Wal-Mart.  It removes paint.  I wouldn't mess with all that trouble.  Paint does significantly limit lead-rot, so it's not all bad.

I have bought and sold thousands of minis, so if I can help, just ask.   8)

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:12 am 
 

Wandering Monster wrote:Hi Ben,
I've noticed that a couple of my "Ralladium" (i.e., non-lead) miniatures have a strange brownish cast to them -- is this a phenomenon similar to the lead rot that you mentioned?


In a way, yes, but mostly no.  Both lead rot and the tarnishing you see is oxidation.  Ralladium is closer to pewter (without the lead) which does not tarnish in the same way as copper, lead or silver. The Ralladium metal will oxidize at a slow, even rate, which results in a patina.  Lead rot eats away at details on a mini much faster and unevenly.  Whether a mini has this patina or not, it always a good idea to wash them in a Simple Green solution before priming.

Finally, many people forget to paint the bottom of their minis, which is another inraod for oxidation and rot.  A fully painted mini should last way longer than an unpainted mini.  I take the additional step of spray painting a protective coat of DullCote over my paint job.  There are better protectors, but I just always used Dullcote.   8)


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