eBay – A guide to buying Cadians & Catachans
This isn’t so much a guide, it’s just a story about what I have done in the past and what I’ve found most effective. It’s nothing fancy, nor anything that eBay veterans won’t know. But I thought it might help out someone, so here we are. It’s all about P&P costs and avoiding them, by buying in groups and using the bulk buy to wipe out the P&P costs. Let’s begin.
I say this is for Cadians, but it could applied to any unit that requires lots of models.
I have bought many pre-built Cadian and Catachan models from eBay. I’ve of course built my own too, but the shear amount of models you can end up with in a Guard army is just mind blowing, so building them all can be a chore and the cost can be a great burden too. But I would say this is more about saving money, than saving time.
First identify what you wish to buy. I find that already built models are best to target because their value is subjective.
Value is in the eye of the beholder.
New models, in the box, unbuilt, will sell for just below the price that cheapest indie retailer will sell them for. These are a bad choice, the demand is high and prices are effectively fixed by Games Workshop and independent hobby stores. The value of these products is known and fixed.
Where things get interesting is with built models. Their value is viewed very differently by different people. Some will see them as useless because they can’t be built and posed to their exact requirements. Others will see them as useless because they haven’t had all their mould lines filed off, etc.
As a commander of the Imperial Guard, a defender of the Emperor, you know a man’s soul is worth exactly the same – mould lines or not. He’ll block just as many shoota bullets and fire just as many Lasgun shots with or without mould lines. Mould lines can also be removed through prayer and love for our Emperor.
Get searching for models, I look for naked or primed units of Cadians or Catachan models, usually from sellers who sell only hobby type items and have 2,000+ positive feedback. They’re effectively online stores, pro sellers. My approach doesn’t work so well with individuals selling off their whole armies. The images in this article give a good example of what you’re looking for. These are some stores I have used in the UK.
- AA War Games – Great for groups of models as we’re discussing here.
- The Bitz Store – Does what it says on the tin, Bitz!
- Anvil Industry – Custom guns, bits and lots more.
These pro sellers will post up groups of 10 models or groups of 5 models for command units or 3 models for heavy weapons teams. Which is exactly the unit composition we need as Guard players. You also want to find items that end very close together, I find this is often the case as sellers upload everything in one go, so you get similar items that end within minutes, if not seconds of each other.
I find that with these types of models P&P is very high, perhaps £4 for just ten models. It’s this high P&P that we want to erode, this will make our bidding more effective. If the item has free P&P then this approach won’t work. By eroding the P&P and bulk buying from a single seller we can bid higher than someone else, but still get the item cheaper than if we bought it elsewhere or bought it on its own from the seller.
This is also why we want the items to end close together, so we can pay in one go and get a discount Its no good getting items that are days apart as the seller may get impatient with having to wait for you to finish all your bidding before paying.
The iOS eBay app has notifications so you get pinged when new items are added that match your search terms, I am sure other eBay apps offer this too. The app is very hand for keeping on top of what’s on eBay. You can ignore items that are no good and start watching items that you may want, ready to bid in a week’s time when they’re closing. Use at your own risk – I am not responsible for your bank balance!
Let’s run over an example. There is perhaps an hour to go on these 5 items, pretend, bidding is currently at £3 each and P&P is £3.50 per item.
- 3x units of 10 Cadian Shock Troopers
- 1x Cadian Company Command Squad
- 1x Heavy Weapons Team
To buy these items new from Wayland Games would cost £81.40 with P&P, individual item prices are as follows.
- 1x Command Squad £12.40
- 1x Heavy Weapons Team £19.20
- 3x Cadian Shock Troops £14.40
- P&P £4.80
And from Games Workshop it’s £93.50. We won’t even mention that again.
Using the P&P from eBay and the Wayland prices we can now work out the highest price we can bid to before it becomes cheaper to buy from Wayland. We’ll call this the highest viable price, I’ve added it in bold below.
- Command Squad £12.40 – £3.50 = £8.90
- Heavy Weapons Team £19.20 – £3.50 = £15.70
- Cadian Shock Troops (£14.40 x 3) – (£3.50 x 3) = £43.70 or £17.90 each
Now we have identified our highest viable price for each item we should do the same again, but assume that we win all the items and therefore our P&P costs are greatly reduced. Just be sure that the seller offered multiple item discounts on P&P, just send them a question and ask. In the past I’ve been charged the full amount of P&P once then 40p per extra item. With this in mind we have completely new prices we can go to before the items become more expensive than Wayland. I’ve attributed the full P&P cost here to the Command Squad.
- Command Squad £12.40 – £3.50 = £8.90
- Heavy Weapons Team £19.20 – £0.40 = £18.80
- Cadian Shock Troops (£14.40 x 3) – (£0.40 x 3) = £44.40 or £14.80 each
In my experience these types of items never sell for this highest viable price. They sell much lower because of people’s perceived value of the product or because the high P&P turns them off. If we assume the worst and we win all the items at that highest viable price the total is £72.10. That’s a saving of £21.40 compared to Games Workshop and a £9.30 saving over Wayland.
But I’m going to go ahead and assume that these items sell for less than that high price. Why? Because other people will hopefully be bidding on individual units and will have to factor in that high P&P into their bids. So they give up. If we assume this the savings are even greater than £9.30 against Wayland.
But it’s eBay
I know its eBay, and I know some of you will be saving that the models will be bad, poor quality, half painted, broken, etc. That’s true, but there are so many infantry models in a Guard army who will notice? Plus who hasn’t got 500 spare arms, heads and guns to fix those models that aren’t perfect?
Buying from eBay isn’t for everyone. But there are a lot of different needs and army requirements that can be filled from eBay so it’s worth looking at it from time to time. If you like building absolutely everything then this won’t be for you. If you like painting models then this is for you. If you want to increase the amount of cannon fodder in your army, this is for you!