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Lord Ashram

Are people on eBay insane?

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4 minutes ago, Borthcollective said:

It is a chopped up Galactic Heroes Millennium Falcon.

 

Thanks for the info.  I figured, judging by the canopy hinge and a few other things, that it wasn't a really quality model.

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On 1/2/2019 at 6:48 AM, Lord Ashram said:

So out of curiosity I did a search on eBay for Star Wars legion... and are people nuts with these prices?

 

There is one guy selling a crashed Falcon for 800 bucks.  EIGHT HUNDRED BUCKS.

 

A Polish auction has the core set for $700, and frankly... they aren’t that nicely painted.  Certainly not seven hundred dollars nice.

 

There are a bunch like this.  I don’t get it.   Why on earth are the legion prices so high?

 

Seems to be a combination of:

Material cost + cost of labor + markup for profit.

As with most things, the biggest chunk is markup. Extreme markup.

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I sell my painted figures on Ebay as a side gig. I really enjoy the painting process and the hobby sort of pays for itself. I don't make a lot of money doing it but one time a Boba Fett I painted sold for 120 USD! I almost fainted.

I use an auction listing where I price the minis a little over retail and see how much my paintings are worth to someone else.

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Pricing for hobby games on eBay is a fascinating study - I've had unpainted, unassembled minis go for above MSRP while fully painted/based models of decent quality are getting ignored at half MSRP (not an ace painter by any means but my stuff looks complete). I've also had bits of promo pieces go for outrageous sums - the alt art Darth Vader movie still sold for nearly $100 which is pure insanity. 

But as with any kind of elastic good, an object is worth what your audience is willing to pay. if someone decides a piece of cardboard with a weirdly cropped picture of Darth Vader is worth $100, who I am to judge? Gotta afford this hobby somehow :D

I can agree with the general idea that no piece of terrain is worth a full $800 to me, but maybe there's someone out there with a boat load of money who's looking for that perfect piece. When it comes to "commissioned art" $800 ain't that bad. It does look good, so props to the maker. 

Not saying I would personally spend that much on any piece of terrain, but the market do as it do. I would be curious to hear how those who paint minis for cash make money on the deal. The hours invested in each model would suggest either a highly inflated price or an undervalued piece of art - anyone willing to share their math?

As is, until someone is willing to pay for my paint job at a rate that matches my hourly work rate, I'll stick with my day job 😀

 

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Posted (edited)

If it was $30 for a single rare old oop figure, and I only need 1 to be done, I might hem and haw but give in. But much more than $30 some serious analyses of "What else could I get instead for (in this case) $800?" kicks in.

I could get a new musket for reenactment and hunting. That's probably a better use of $800 fun money, with a higher resale value down the road.

8 core sets for Legion and coach a miniatures league at a local library or somewhere, free loaner armies for all and sundry. That sounds pretty good.

A ton, and I mean TON, of Geo-Hex scenery, and sculpt awesome tables that put a mere crashed spaceship to shame.

It goes on and on like that. I'm not saying the artist didn't put $800 worth of hours into it. But I am saying $800 for a crashed ship, no matter how artful, is a bad use of my fun money. If it's about art collecting, I'll put that $800 towards a nice piece of art, an artifact, or a really good fossil to display. $800 something that can easily get ruined in a game? No thanks.

Edited by TauntaunScout

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On 1/4/2019 at 1:19 PM, Lord Ashram said:

Okay.

 

So, specifically about that Falcon piece... no, it is most assuredly not worth 800 bucks to any reasonable miniature collector.

 

Again, I've been painting miniatures and building scenery for nearly 40 years.  I've been to gaming conventions for decades, have chit chatted minis with the Perry twins, maintain a hugely popular gaming blog, have done commission work, had my miniatures showcased in rule books, have sold and bought collections for thousands of dollars, and had my game room featured in a magazine.  I'm not saying this to show off or brag (can anyone actually brag about toy soldiers?:)) ; I am merely establishing context and credentials.  I think I am about as good a judge of the value of miniature related stuff, especially at the higher end, as anyone.  A chunk of my crowd IS the "$1000 bucks on a single piece" crowd.  And looking at that piece... I am well aware that it isn't a 3D printed piece (not sure how that got into the convo... it's obviously not 3D printed.  I helped start a 3D printing miniature company, so I would get that), I appreciate the water effects... but it is most assuredly not worth that much.  It looks like it is a chopped up Kenner toy; you can see the hinges on the cockpit still.  The lichen used is sort of baseline Woodland scenics stuff of the cheapest quality, that will eventually get dry and brittle.  The tree is decidedly eh (a tree that big from BTC, for example, would cost you MAYBE 60-80 bucks.  MAYBE.  And Doug does nice work.)   The rocks around the crater of the crash are all huge, instead of varied as they should be.  There is an unpainted lego gear sitting on it... like, it's not even shaded or weathered.  You can have pros... like, SERIOUS professionals... build almost an entire TABLE for that much.   

 

So sure; anyone can pay whatever they want for something.  And I REALLY appreciate that piece, and ALL of the terrain people put their time and energy into.  I do.   In a world where we aren't discussing pricing and selling and commerce, I'd have zero issue with it, and I'd be SUPER happy to play on it and talk about it with the creator.  But that doesn't mean the asking price is reasonable or reflective of the actual quality, in the same way that someone selling a beat up 87 Mustang with a buy it now of $42,000 isn't being reasonable or reflecting the actual quality, even if I do enjoy the car.

 

Anyway... I know this is a small argument, but...:)

Yes yes, I'm sure you're very important and have very rich friends, but you're still sailing right past the point.

The piece could be made out of sand and cardboard that costs literally pennies, but you're not paying for what it's made out of, you're paying a person the value of their skilled labour, and for the value of the time you saved by not having to make it yourself. I really don't get what's so difficult about this concept for some people.

You might look at this and decide it doesn't meet your own apparently rarified and exotic standards, fine. You might look at some guy turning out tabletop quality models and think "I wouldn't pay that much for that level of paintjob, fnar fnar", OK. But that's you, and you are not - despite what you evidently seem to like to think - Big Chief High Heidyin Of Wargaming And Objective Assessor Of All Value. I've seen cash-rich/time-poor people pay a lot more for pieces and projects that, in my own opinion, are far less appealing than this specific work, but I wouldn't start bandying them about on forums trying to get folk to dump on the creator.

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1 hour ago, Yodhrin said:

The piece could be made out of sand and cardboard that costs literally pennies, but you're not paying for what it's made out of, you're paying a person the value of their skilled labour, and for the value of the time you saved by not having to make it yourself.

There appears to be a good amount of hours into this thing but the techniques are fairly basic. It's not skilled beyond what I could do myself, and I'm not very good. Still, it's definitely the overall quality I'd expect for custom, professional work. But the pricing is also not what I'd expect, compared to what else I can buy.

It's like the few copies of the old Indiana Jones RPG on Amazon: they're currently all listed at about $3,100. People have better ways to spend $3k. I suspect on person typoe'd their price by misplacing a decimal and now everyones pricing algorithms are repeating the mistake.

I suspect that in the case of this Falcon, the maker is asking for the moon, they set the "make an offer" option so it's sort of a reverse auction, I think they're trying to find out what it's worth to others.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Yodhrin said:

Yes yes, I'm sure you're very important and have very rich friends, but you're still sailing right past the point.

The piece could be made out of sand and cardboard that costs literally pennies, but you're not paying for what it's made out of, you're paying a person the value of their skilled labour, and for the value of the time you saved by not having to make it yourself. I really don't get what's so difficult about this concept for some people.

You might look at this and decide it doesn't meet your own apparently rarified and exotic standards, fine. You might look at some guy turning out tabletop quality models and think "I wouldn't pay that much for that level of paintjob, fnar fnar", OK. But that's you, and you are not - despite what you evidently seem to like to think - Big Chief High Heidyin Of Wargaming And Objective Assessor Of All Value. I've seen cash-rich/time-poor people pay a lot more for pieces and projects that, in my own opinion, are far less appealing than this specific work, but I wouldn't start bandying them about on forums trying to get folk to dump on the creator.

This is a truly strange response.

 

Let me quote something from my own post:

“I'm not saying this to show off or brag (can anyone actually brag about toy soldiers?:)) ; I am merely establishing context and credentials”

 

Your entire response basically ignored this essential bit.  Therefore, I have no idea how to respond to it.

 

As I said... I am aware of how much work should go into that piece, and I see the end result.  While it is fantastic for what it is, and I’m sure was a lot of fun to make, and I’d enjoy playing on it, the asking price is completely unrealistic.  I feel that it is in the best interest of both seller and buyer to reflect actual value when setting prices.

Edited by Lord Ashram

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Posted (edited)

I feel bad for the person who posted the piece of terrain on eBay that has become the baseline of the bashing board that this thread has become. 

I agree with @TauntaunScout that the seller is trying to see what this piece is worth to others. I hope they do not read this thread and get discouraged by all the negativity and criticism on their work. 

I have stated time and time again that I enjoy seeing what others have done and shared in this forum but this has become the exception for the painting thread. @Lord Ashram if you don't like the piece of terrain you don't have to bid on it. This topic has nothing to do with the Painting thread. One post you are bashing the quality and value of the piece and another post you are praising the piece, so which is it? 

Edited by C3POFETT

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Lord Ashram said:

While it is fantastic for what it is, and I’m sure was a lot of fun to make, and I’d enjoy playing on it, the asking price is completely unrealistic.

Yeah pretty much. It looks great but there's just so many other ways to spend $800 that also look great and have far more utility. And won't be destroyed by one spilled soda. And won't be destroyed naturally over the years by glue coming undone. That crashed Falcon is made from lots of different materials which all have different rates of expansion and contraction when humidity and temperature slowly change throughout the year. Models like this eventually tear themselves apart under normal playing conditions.

This sort of valuation is what finally got me to stop buying GW stuff. Back in the day they'd put out an awesome squad of 10 guys for $32, and the competition would put out a way less nice squad of ten figures for $20, and I'd buy the GW figures every time. Nowadays, GW puts out a really nice looking box of five figures for $50. Right next to it on the shelf is a box equally nice figures, over 40 in a box, for $35. It's just no contest anymore which one's more fun for my money. 

I would never bash the work of this crashed falcon, it's what I'd expect to see if a professional artist made it. But the price is a distraction. Most of the hours appear to have gone into gluing on lichen, which is labor, but not skilled labor. The trees growing through it are awesome though.

Unless you are doing this kind of work in-house as a professional on staff somewhere, or contracted for a museum diorama or something, you just can't realistically recoup the hours you put into something like this.

Edited by TauntaunScout

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3 hours ago, C3POFETT said:

I feel bad for the person who posted the piece of terrain on eBay that has become the baseline of the bashing board that this thread has become. 

I agree with @TauntaunScout that the seller is trying to see what this piece is worth to others. I hope they do not read this thread and get discouraged by all the negativity and criticism on their work. 

I have stated time and time again that I enjoy seeing what others have done and shared in this forum but this has become the exception for the painting thread. @Lord Ashram if you don't like the piece of terrain you don't have to bid on it. This topic has nothing to do with the Painting thread. One post you are bashing the quality and value of the piece and another post you are praising the piece, so which is it? 

Hah!  I wouldn't worry too much... I am sure they haven't seen it, and if they have, hopefully they've seen that almost everyone has said it's a nice piece.  That said... several people have said they do not think it is $975 good.  That might help the person, if they really want it to sell.

 

And I'm sorry you haven't enjoyed the thread.  You could avoid posting in it.  Or you could join the conversation about online pricing of painted Legion stuff and share your thoughts.  I certainly am not bidding on it; I don't have a ton of disposable income, and what I have I wouldn't spent on that; I enjoy making my own terrain, and do not think that is worth the price being asked.  I think the topic absolutely has to do with the painting forum; there is no rule that every thread just has to be about the same dozen or so painted units of minis.   And I think you are confusing two things; I've said that it is a perfectly nice piece, I'd enjoy playing on it, and I'd enjoy looking at it.  But I've also said it isn't nice enough to warrant a price tag near a thousand dollars.  That's it.  I wouldn't read any more into it than that.

 

People seem to always take things at their most negative, online.  I'd suggest take things at their most positive, and you may get closer to their true meaning.

 

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Consumer Economics are the simplest thing in the world.  All you have to ask is “is this thing worth the price for me?” If yes - then buy it.  If no- don’t buy it.

People get hung up on other questions like “what was the cost to make this item?” That have no bearing on their decision.  Not to single out the OP, but usually people only complain about the cost of things and start getting into discussions of irrelevancies (like how much did it cost to make) when they really want something but it’s too expensive for them to buy causing them to resort to all kinds of rationalization about why it SHOULDN’T be so expensive because they should be able to have it.  This is what used to be called “covetous” but we started lumping with other forms of greed a while ago (I guess covetous seemed too fancy or biblical), and then decided was “entitlement” because each new generation we can’t commit our father’s sins we need our own special ones.

I am really pretty wary when people want to complain about the price of things.  If it’s bread or electricity you have my sympathy.  When it’s someone to paint your toys for you, I’m sorry but I have none.  Our current culture (i.e. the internet) encourages people to lash out in anger and attack makers/creators if the stuff they make is too expensive (i.e. more than you want to pay). But I only see bad things coming from this.  Making almost anything is harder than you think - whether it’s a painted miniature or a paper towel.  “I don’t want to pay that much” doesn’t make it any cheaper.  It may, however encourage people to stop making things.  And I don’t think that gets us anywhere.

As far as the “fair” price (a pretty meaningless but often quoted term) for a painted miniature, I think it makes sense not to ask what it cost the person making it, but what it would cost you to make it instead. I have been painting miniatures for almost exactly one year.  In that time I have done roughly 150-175 miniatures. I am slow and inefficient and most of my miniatures (in my opinion) fall on the high end of “tabletop quality.”  They are well below the standards of most “on the side” commission painters.  I average about 2 hours a miniature (which is a super rough estimate) and I have spent exactly 1 zillion dollars (USD) on paints, brushes and other supplies.  

Now, assuming I could improve to the point where I could paint a miniature as well as the average commissioned painter, I’m going to guess that I would need another two years of focused practice (at the rate I’m going that comes to about 1000 hours of training). So now, I’m paying someone for two hours of work, as well as my portion of their materials and their 1000 hours of training.  I don’t know.  That $1000 core set comes to $30 a miniature.  I know for me, to even think about doing this “as a side gig”(which I am not) it would have to be somewhere close to that per mini.  Maybe after my additional practice I will figure out how to do a squad of rebel troopers in less than five hours but that’s not the case for me.

My point is, if I bought a painted mini it would be saving me a lot more than $30 of materials, time and effort.  So I’m honestly amazed that there is any overlap whatsoever between buyers and sellers in this space.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, BigBadAndy said:

Consumer Economics are the simplest thing in the world.  All you have to ask is “is this thing worth the price for me?” If yes - then buy it.  If no- don’t buy it.

People get hung up on other questions like “what was the cost to make this item?” That have no bearing on their decision.  Not to single out the OP, but usually people only complain about the cost of things and start getting into discussions of irrelevancies (like how much did it cost to make) when they really want something but it’s too expensive for them to buy causing them to resort to all kinds of rationalization about why it SHOULDN’T be so expensive because they should be able to have it.  This is what used to be called “covetous” but we started lumping with other forms of greed a while ago (I guess covetous seemed too fancy or biblical), and then decided was “entitlement” because each new generation we can’t commit our father’s sins we need our own special ones.

I am really pretty wary when people want to complain about the price of things.  If it’s bread or electricity you have my sympathy.  When it’s someone to paint your toys for you, I’m sorry but I have none.  Our current culture (i.e. the internet) encourages people to lash out in anger and attack makers/creators if the stuff they make is too expensive (i.e. more than you want to pay). But I only see bad things coming from this.  Making almost anything is harder than you think - whether it’s a painted miniature or a paper towel.  “I don’t want to pay that much” doesn’t make it any cheaper.  It may, however encourage people to stop making things.  And I don’t think that gets us anywhere.

As far as the “fair” price (a pretty meaningless but often quoted term) for a painted miniature, I think it makes sense not to ask what it cost the person making it, but what it would cost you to make it instead. I have been painting miniatures for almost exactly one year.  In that time I have done roughly 150-175 miniatures. I am slow and inefficient and most of my miniatures (in my opinion) fall on the high end of “tabletop quality.”  They are well below the standards of most “on the side” commission painters.  I average about 2 hours a miniature (which is a super rough estimate) and I have spent exactly 1 zillion dollars (USD) on paints, brushes and other supplies.  

Now, assuming I could improve to the point where I could paint a miniature as well as the average commissioned painter, I’m going to guess that I would need another two years of focused practice (at the rate I’m going that comes to about 1000 hours of training). So now, I’m paying someone for two hours of work, as well as my portion of their materials and their 1000 hours of training.  I don’t know.  That $1000 core set comes to $30 a miniature.  I know for me, to even think about doing this “as a side gig”(which I am not) it would have to be somewhere close to that per mini.  Maybe after my additional practice I will figure out how to do a squad of rebel troopers in less than five hours but that’s not the case for me.

My point is, if I bought a painted mini it would be saving me a lot more than $30 of materials, time and effort.  So I’m honestly amazed that there is any overlap whatsoever between buyers and sellers in this space.

 

I appreciate your exact estimate on how much you've spent on brushes and the like;)

 

I think you may be oversimplifying consumer economics. 

 

I do question the motivation you apply to why people question price, though.  I have no desire at all to own that piece, or any of the painted minis I originally posted about.  I've got enough minis, and am very happy with the way they look.  Personally I point it out because I do not like when people are irrational, and some of these prices are exactly that.  That doesn't benefit the seller, who won't likely sell their goods at that price, or the buyers, who either will not buy something that they might otherwise spend a more appropriate amount on, or who might be "fooled" by the price and small photos into buying something that they then feel isn't worth what they spent.

 

And it isn't about sympathy, either.  Sympathy is feeling bad for someone.  There is nobody to feel bad for in this situation.  There is only seeing prices that don't reflect value.  To be, there is an inherent value to attributing something an appropriate value.

 

And you do start to get into trouble when assigning value to something that many people do for free and for enjoyment.  

 

I do enjoy these discussions, though:)

Edited by Lord Ashram

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Lord Ashram said:

 

I think you may be oversimplifying consumer economics.

Yes he is. Maybe in the realm of toys it's close enough but...

It still doesn't do anyone any good when pricing doesn't even approximate value. I can usually get bread for around $4 a loaf. An $8 loaf of bread is overpriced but I might pay up if it's from a roadside stand and I'm really hungry and there's no other vendors around. But at $100 for that bread, I'll just walk home hungry and make a sandwich when I get there, and both the seller and I will be disappointed.

I once read a ridiculous primary source story in which knights supposedly traded several fine horses for a little low quality wine because of dire hunger. Which is ridiculous because, in that case they'd kill one of their own horses and have more meat than they knew what to do with. The $800 crashed Falcon reminds me of that. I can get more (professionally made) scenery than I know what to do with for say, $400.

Edited by TauntaunScout

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38 minutes ago, BigBadAndy said:

My point is, if I bought a painted mini it would be saving me a lot more than $30 of materials, time and effort.  So I’m honestly amazed that there is any overlap whatsoever between buyers and sellers in this space.

A newbie can paint one that looks good enough with far fewer hours of training than that. Especially with all of today's free painting tutorial videos.

At tabletop distance, the difference between a simple toy-like paintjob and a bunch of awesome shading and highlighting can dissipate quickly.

So while it technically might be more than $30 worth of time and effort, it still might not be worth it to very many people. If  I put enough hours into something, there still has to be consumer demand, and there has to be a lack of competition. Fact is, demand is low (as evidenced by the common use of unpainted armies) and competition is fierce (in the form of DIY painting and non-Legion forms of entertainment).

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Posted (edited)

@Lord Ashram I’m glad you liked my budget estimate.  I enjoy rhetorical hyperbole - I think it makes everything in life more fun.  People seem to take everything too seriously.  On the subject of consumer economics, for disposable income and non-necessity purchases I really do believe it’s that simple. If more people accepted this reality we wouldn’t have so many people complaining about the price of things, complaining about “greedy” companies (as though there is a reason for a company to exist other than to make money) and generally fussing about unimportant things.

I wouldn’t put you in the category of people complaining about price because of greed.  Frankly I’m a little confused as to why you’re so interested in establishing that the value of the piece is not in the eye of the beholder or up to the judgement of each individual but is instead a fixed amount that is fairly and definitively arbitrated by you.  Because you are right. And anyone suggesting otherwise is just wrong.  My internet short hand for this is “keeper of the flame” mentality.  You are the keeper of the flame for the value of eBay terrain.  You have already seen a couple of people’s response to this. Generally people don’t like to hear that their opinion is irrelevant or wrong because someone else’s opinion is the definitive opinion.  Pretty much guaranteed to get a hostile response.

For the record, I think the crashed Falcon sculpture is awful.  I wouldn’t take it if he paid me $100 and if I owned it I wouldn’t put it on a table.  I didn’t bother to mention it because it seemed unnecessary. But if he worked hard on it and can convince someone to give him $800 for it, what’s it to me?  Why would I run up to the buyer and tell him “look pal, you are getting soaked here. That things worthless!” This is the equivalent of telling your friend his new car is ugly and he paid too much or that his haircut is bad. Even if you’re right, sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut.

@TauntaunScout You are bringing up elements of a different point about building a successful business model.  This involves figuring out if there is overlap between the cost of making something and the return you will get from selling it, minus your material and labor cost.  This is way more complicated than trying to make a decision as a consumer about whether to buy something.  You have to predict the value to a population of consumers and then you also have to value your own time on making it, get a realistic idea if your actual time spent and material costs - which is difficult but also crucial if you don’t want your “side gig” to cost you money rather than making it.  So it gets complex.  But I am inclined to disagree with your statement that “A newbie can paint one that looks good enough with far fewer hours of training thathat. Especially with all of today's free painting tutorial videos.”  I think my miniatures are great but I don’t think I could get people to buy them for $30 plus cost of the model.  And they are pretty objectively not as good as many of the fancy ones being sold as commissions.  Plus, you have people on here complaining that most of the eBay painted minis are “not that great.” People don’t want to pay for a tabletop adequate mini. They want to pay for a cool one.  🤷‍♂️ 

I played in a Legion tournament mostly just to look at people’s cool paint jobs.  I would guesstimate that mine were in the top 25% as far as quality of minis that people had painted themselves (so I’m not that humble).  But about 1/3 of the people I talked to had paid someone to paint theirs and while the best of my minis might have been better than the worst of their armies, the overall quality was higher. And not because of difficulty but because it would take me MORE time to paint those minis than I spent on my own.  So the trick is not just to be able to do it, it’s to be able to do it fast enough that you aren’t sinking ten hours into a mini for which someone only wants to pay  you $15.

But there must be a market for it. People clearly want to pay people to paint for them. I remain amazed that there are people who are willing to paint a whole squad of stormtroopers for less than $30.  

Edited by BigBadAndy

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13 hours ago, BigBadAndy said:

complaining about “greedy” companies (as though there is a reason for a company to exist other than to make money)

The corner hardware store doesn't just exist to make money. The owner likes what they do, and knows the town needs them. These companies started out a lot more like the corner hardware store, they weren't started the way one invests cash in a mutual fund. If I start a tabletop gaming company that's a really inefficient way to make money. Getting a job in corporate finance will probably net way more cash over my lifetime. If I want to make a good living doing gaming related stuff, then starting a gaming company might be a great idea. When GW puts out a bad product via a weird decision, I don't just say "I am not going to buy that" and that's the end of it. I am also the equivalent of a longtime sports fan whose team moved to another city. I'm really losing something when that happens. For example, points creep and scale creep can combine to make my army useless: it's not worth enough points for store-play, and the new models are too much bigger than old ones for me to draft new units (and have it look good). Lots of people sell models but store-play and stability of model lines was a HUGE part of what GW was selling to me when I discovered them. I supported them for decades, they wouldn't be here without customers like me, and then if they throw me under the bus I don't just say "Welp, that's the best way for them to make money so I don't care".

This stuff is basically all art. So I think record companies are probably the best analogy for what the big gaming companies are like now. You follow a band, they sell out, the record company does stupid stuff, the singer from the band releases an awesome solo album, etc. We don't put blinders when it comes to music and on say "Well that terrible song is their business decision, what do I care?".  I follow a lot of my favorite miniatures sculptors and the like even though they are no longer with the companies they were working for when I discovered them. Perry Miniatures gets way more of my annual gaming money than GW does now. By no coincidence, back in the day the Perry's sculpted my two favorite GW armies. They kept making stuff I like long after GW stopped.

 

13 hours ago, BigBadAndy said:

@TauntaunScout You are bringing up elements of a different point about building a successful business model. 

It's all part and parcel of the discussion of "are people on eBay insane"? If "people" includes both buyers and sellers.

13 hours ago, BigBadAndy said:

🤷‍♂️

 

But there must be a market for it. People clearly want to pay people to paint for them. I remain amazed that there are people who are willing to paint a whole squad of stormtroopers for less than $30.  

There's a market but it's limited. You have to have enough money to buy up the whole competitive meta, and have money left to hire a painter, basically. That's a small number of people. Then you eliminate people who don't care how dull the grey armies look, and you have a smaller pool. Then you eliminate people who want to paint and there's very few clients left. Some. But very few.

The cheap, good, pro-painting stuff as I understand it is in Sri Lanka. Professional painters who do great work to spec for cheap but shipping is a bear. So people will pool together huge orders to spread shipping around.

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1 hour ago, TauntaunScout said:

The corner hardware store doesn't just exist to make money. The owner likes what they do, and knows the town needs them. These companies started out a lot more like the corner hardware store, they weren't started the way one invests cash in a mutual fund. If I start a tabletop gaming company that's a really inefficient way to make money. Getting a job in corporate finance will probably net way more cash over my lifetime. If I want to make a good living doing gaming related stuff, then starting a gaming company might be a great idea. When GW puts out a bad product via a weird decision, I don't just say "I am not going to buy that" and that's the end of it. I am also the equivalent of a longtime sports fan whose team moved to another city. I'm really losing something when that happens. For example, points creep and scale creep can combine to make my army useless: it's not worth enough points for store-play, and the new models are too much bigger than old ones for me to draft new units (and have it look good). Lots of people sell models but store-play and stability of model lines was a HUGE part of what GW was selling to me when I discovered them. I supported them for decades, they wouldn't be here without customers like me, and then if they throw me under the bus I don't just say "Welp, that's the best way for them to make money so I don't care".

This stuff is basically all art. So I think record companies are probably the best analogy for what the big gaming companies are like now. You follow a band, they sell out, the record company does stupid stuff, the singer from the band releases an awesome solo album, etc. We don't put blinders when it comes to music and on say "Well that terrible song is their business decision, what do I care?".  I follow a lot of my favorite miniatures sculptors and the like even though they are no longer with the companies they were working for when I discovered them. Perry Miniatures gets way more of my annual gaming money than GW does now. By no coincidence, back in the day the Perry's sculpted my two favorite GW armies. They kept making stuff I like long after GW stopped.

 

It's all part and parcel of the discussion of "are people on eBay insane"? If "people" includes both buyers and sellers.

There's a market but it's limited. You have to have enough money to buy up the whole competitive meta, and have money left to hire a painter, basically. That's a small number of people. Then you eliminate people who don't care how dull the grey armies look, and you have a smaller pool. Then you eliminate people who want to paint and there's very few clients left. Some. But very few.

The cheap, good, pro-painting stuff as I understand it is in Sri Lanka. Professional painters who do great work to spec for cheap but shipping is a bear. So people will pool together huge orders to spread shipping around.

 

Places like Fernando Enterprises do GREAT work.  You do want to make sure you go with a reputable place, but they can simply get it done a lot cheaper than painters in non-Asian, non-cheaper-labor countries.

These figures below are about 2 dollars apiece to paint at this quality:

img2.jpg

These figures below are about $6 apiece to paint to this quality.

pic1.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)

So now we have @TauntaunScout arguing that the corner hardware store is the good guy, non-greedy business and @Lord Ashram suggesting we outsource mini painting to cheap Asian Labor.

 

I’m really just here to look at and share painted miniatures, not to debate economic models.  But I find it ironic that Walmart is greedy for selling things at half the price of the corner store. The corner store is not in it to make money but they charge twice as much. GW makes greedy horrible decisions and the solution to this is to complain vociferously but still buy all their stuff.  Look, as a consumer you really have one piece of leverage and that’s your wallet.  But if we all get hysterical because EA makes a mobile game instead of a PC Diablo, then we run the risk of not having anybody make the things we like to play with.

Edited by BigBadAndy

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On 1/4/2019 at 6:49 AM, Lord Ashram said:

And I’m not trying to bash the guy or gal who did it... but I just get upset when people have an inflated sense of the worth of something.


Might I suggest simply not buying such things and moving on, rather than getting upset over it?

It's not like you're the Price Police and have the unenviable task of protecting everyone from unreasonable prices.   It isn't like this is insulin or clean water or electricity ... this is a hobby item that is the paradigmatic sort of "luxury good" that isn't essential to human needs.  For such things, let the Free Market handle it.  People can ask for and pay whatever amounts they want.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, BigBadAndy said:

So now we have @TauntaunScout arguing that the corner hardware store is the good guy,

I didn't say they're good. I used them as an example to point out that the existence of many businesses serves more than one purpose. You have to make money, but that might not even be your bigger purpose in owning a business. If your only goal is to make as much money as possible, owning certain businesses is the wrong way to do it.  "The purpose of a business is to make money" doesn't mean that one side of the marketplace is free from, I think the earlier word on this thread was, when consumers do it, covetousness. Covetousness can and does exist on both sides of a sale. And is rampant in boardrooms and stock exchanges.

 

20 hours ago, BigBadAndy said:

I wouldn’t take it if he paid me $100🤷‍♂️

 

Neither would I since he's asking almost $200 shipping & handling!

Quote

 

I’m really just here to look at and share painted miniatures, not to debate economic models.

Wrong thread then, it was kinda sorta at least tangentially the OT's purpose. I actually find economics and art history and gaming fascinating and will tend to engage in discussions of them wherever they pop up, and if there's overlap between them I'm like a house on fire. I'll just go on and on, to the chagrin of many. But unlike a house on fire, people can safely ignore me.

Quote

 But I find it ironic that Walmart is greedy for selling things at half the price of the corner store.

I think you're the first one to bring up Wal Mart in this but I could be wrong. Even their detractors wouldn't say their prices make them greedy so your perception of irony doesn't really work for me. Usually they are denigrated not for pricing per se, but for how they treat employees, vendors, the environment, interact with locals, and the other ways that they go about enabling those prices.

Quote

GW makes greedy horrible decisions and the solution to this is to complain vociferously but still buy all their stuff.  

I don't still buy their stuff, as I said. I don't complain vociferously either, and on the rare occasions that they do still release a product I actually like, I write them a nice email telling them what I liked about it and why I bought it. There's just very little they release each year that raises my eyebrow. And again as I said, the competition nowadays is too fierce. I *might* go and buy a box of 5 Electro-Priests for $50... after all I've wanted electro-priests for 20 years but they didn't actually sell them back then, just printed their stats. But why would I when I can get that box of 40ish just-as-good plastic historical infantry for around $35? When it comes to having fun, 5 for $50 or 40 for $35 is just too stark, the decision is taken out of my hands.

This isn't just for their new stuff: Basic plastic Catachan Jungle Fighters, the exact sculpts sold right now, came out I think in 2000. So all initial investment was long ago recouped, which would usually mean prices come down in order to attack ones competition, or stay the same if nothing else in order to retain customers. When first released, they were $1 apiece, inflation would take them to $1.48 today. But they're $2.90 now. That's kinda bizarre, honestly. They've almost doubled against inflation. Now, if they were $1.48, or $1, I'd be the kind of player to endlessly buy more figures for the same faction to do endless custom squads and stuff. But instead, they lose my money altogether as I go for the competition which is just as high in quality (the ones I buy at least, though most aren't) and cost less that Catachans did 19 years ago. While everyone else manages to bring prices down even without being compared to inflation, GW goes up faster than inflation. People often use college tuition as an example of something that has had a unusually high increase against inflation. But in the period of their existence, GW's plastic Catachans had an even bigger increase against inflation.

The above is not me griping, this is real economic analyses. If it makes someone uncomfortable that's not really my fault, the numbers are what they are.

To be fair to GW, they have made the barrier to entry much lower than it once was. You can have a lot more fun with nothing but two 40k core sets now than you could in the 90's.

Which brings me to SW: Legion. It's dirt cheap. If it's still true that two friends can have more or less unlimited fun with nothing but 3 core sets and two extra commanders (which I think it is) then Legion costs far less than my beloved SW D6 game did, and D6 was considered a cheap game in its day. The most commonly possible way to get figures for that game was in the low-value blister packs of 3 guys. It took about 39 blister packs of minis to get the most out of the core book, at $6 apiece plus a $20 rulebook ($254 total, $397 after inflation). Compare that adjusted $397, to $296 for three core sets and two commanders, plus it comes with dice, rulers, and some cool sci-fi lookin' fences for starter terrain! GD I love SW:Legion. I had my reservations when it was announced and I don't really like heavy use of keywords, synergies, or dice with symbols on them, but SW:L is pretty much exactly what the industry has needed for awhile.

Quote

But if we all get hysterical because EA makes a mobile game instead of a PC Diablo, then we run the risk of not having anybody make the things we like to play with.

If we react positively to companies making things we don't like, we run the guarantee of not having anybody make the things we like. Not really a risk to me per se anyways, I can have just as much fun making my own games. Even if I'm too obnoxious for anyone to play them with me. After all: "D&D is a game played around a table with your friends. But it is also a game played alone, with graph paper."

Edited by TauntaunScout

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1 hour ago, AllWingsStandyingBy said:


Might I suggest simply not buying such things and moving on, rather than getting upset over it?

 

I don't know that anyone's actually upset.

1 hour ago, AllWingsStandyingBy said:



It's not like you're the Price Police and have the unenviable task of protecting everyone from unreasonable prices. 

No one is the meta police tasked with making sure everyone has an optimized list. Still makes an interesting discussion for some people.

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I believe the piece is overpriced, but the final price (it has come down from the $800) may be reasonable to someone else. 

I love to modify my miniatures before I paint them. I would say I usually paint a CoolMiniOrNot score of 5-7, maybe an 8 for my best ones and if the reviewer was generous. I paint for table top play and I know I can do better if I take the time. I hate to paint and I am impatient with my painting.

One thing I wanted to add is that photography is another hobby of mine. I have sold some pictures to friends, just like I have sold home made jewelry to friends. So I might call myself a professional photographer or jewelry maker, but I don't because I don't do it as profession. I have seen some, IMHO, very poor quality "pro" painted miniatures. it is all in the eyes of the beholder (buyer?). I believe some painters add the term 'pro painted' to make them sound more important. I can  see paying over $30 for a single 'hero' miniature, but not that price for each squad member. 

My favorite painter is Marike Reimer - Destroyer Minis. I took one of her GenCon courses several years ago. I believed she said something about getting $500 commission for a single mini. However, I would never play with a miniature that expensive as it might get chipped or broken. 

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On 1/8/2019 at 3:43 PM, TauntaunScout said:

I don't know that anyone's actually upset.


Well, except I was responding to a quoted bit of text from Lord Ashram in which he explicitly stated: " ... but I just get upset when people have an inflated sense of the worth of something. "

So yes, at least one person was upset by someone asking the price that was being asked because that person had (in Ashram's opinion) and unjustifiably inflated sense of worth for the piece.


For the record, I agree that the piece in question is priced far more than I would pay for it, but I just think "good luck with that" and move on, it's not worth getting upset about or ranting about... yea the seller will most likely have to come way down on that piece, on even then it won't probably sell (shipping is very expensive, and the piece is huge, and even if someone bought it for wargaming they'd have to do a lot of work to get it to blend into their own home table and scenery, especially since the 2x2 piece is too small for any standard games so will need to be a part of a larger table and the piece is elevated quite a bit on its plate, which will take a lot of work to work into any table setup).  But that's the seller's issues to weigh and make judgements about, no one else's.

Edited by AllWingsStandyingBy

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2 hours ago, AllWingsStandyingBy said:

but I just think "good luck with that" and move on, it's not worth getting upset about or ranting about...

Same way I feel about debating the merits of using Environmental Stims vs Long Range Jammer on Fleet Wookies or whatever. I used to like that stuff when I started in minis but it got old after awhile. This kind of thing is much more interesting.

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