Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Trading by Forum: WargamerAU Buy Swap & Sell
I have often heard from both podcasts and blogs the bad experiences people have buying second hand models from forums and eBay. I wanted to share with the world some of the great experiences I have had buying 40k models from the Buy Swap & Sell forum (BSS) on the WargameAU site. I also have a few ideas on why we on this forum have had a better experience than the average.
Note: The BSS has recently been hidden except for members with a certain post count. I wrote this before the changes but it is still a great resource for active members of the community. Its a pity though that others are excluded.
The BSS forum operates under a few simple rules. The most interesting (and awesome) of these is that you must give a price for everything you are selling. You can't ask for offers and then auction off your sale for the highest price. Instead the seller picks a price as high as they want. If it doesn't sell, they lower the price and try again. This process continues until someone bites and a deal is done, or the seller gives up and goes to eBay.
The second important rule is that the seller is obligated to attempt to sell to the first user to post on the "for sale" thread. It is also illegal for buyers that missed out to make a counter-offer with a price higher than the items were originally listed at - they call this "gazumping" for some reason. You can post something like "interested pending pics" or "PM sent" and then ask the seller questions by PM, but you must post your interest on the thread or you are not in the buyers queue.
Note that you are not required to give a price, or take the first offer, if you are looking for trades - only if you actually want to sell for cash. As trades are more complicated the participants at free to negotiate the sale as they desire. Still it is normal practice to favour the first poster if possible.
So what does this do? Well it creates an environment of good natured bargain hunting. As buyers can't compete with each other (besides being fast enough to get the first post in) we can also relax and enjoy the occasional deal that comes our way. Most sell at a reasonable price and those that don't are just ignored.
One of the worst things about buying on eBay is when you are trying to buy an army across multiple auctions but are only able to win half of them. You end up with half an army, which will now require more time and effort to complete. On WargamerAU I always know what I can buy, and by posting interest early enough I get everything I want. No annoying surprises.
Besides buying from a sale, you can also post a wanted-to-buy (WTB) thread, listing the products you are after, then hope that someone out there has what you are looking for. Usually the sellers suggest a price with their offer, although there is nothing to stop you listing a price with your initial post. This can be more hit and miss than buying, but at least twice now it has helped me find the bits I needed, in the weeks before a tournament. That's when I love the BSS!
Posted by Plague Marine