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selling action figures online

Selling Action Figures Online: A Beginner’s Guide

18 min read

No longer is collecting action figures only for kids; many adults have become passionate about these small, posable plastic characters that are often genderless.

Action figures vary from comic books, TV shows and films to bands—and the rarest of them all can be worth thousands per piece even without their original packaging! This has fostered a worldwide collector’s market that continues to flourish today.

Want to be a part of this movement and start selling action figures online?

Keep on reading.

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Is It Worth It? Action Figure Market at a Glance.

The action figure toy industry has experienced an impressive growth spurt in 2021 and is projected to reach a value of $15.2 billion by 2031, registering a CAGR of 5.3%. The Asia-Pacific region is likely to lead the way as the major driver of this expansion over the next ten years.

The market for action figure toys is immensely successful, thanks in part to their staggering profitability. The mark-up on these toys is typically twice the wholesale price—a remarkable advantage that has only strengthened its success among shoppers worldwide.

As disposable income rises and urban populations all around the world expand rapidly, demand for action figures is projected to surge during this period.

Additionally, the presence of major manufacturers and retailers also significantly increases sales volume which results in considerable revenue generation for key players; thus propelling overall growth during the next few years.

The expanding number of web-based stores has rendered goods more inexpensive, as well as easily accessible. Consequently, it’s predicted that these factors will motivate potential customers to make purchasing decisions.

4 Quick Steps to Start Selling Action Figures Online

Ultimately:

  1. Doing a market research
  2. Gathering your stock
  3. Creating a listing
  4. Launching ads

Now one by one.

Market research

Determine which action figures have the most potential to be lucrative investments.

According to different sources, some of the most desirable brands for reselling are G.I. Joe; Masters of the Universe; Micronauts; Robotech; Space 1999; Star Wars (pre-1990) and Transformers (Generation 1). You can refer to sites like Action Figure Checklist or AFT in order to learn all about pricing & details on new as well vintage action figures!

Inventory

Buy some figures, keeping in mind the three aspects that make them valuable:

  • their rarity
  • condition
  • popularity.

To find your desired item, make sure to browse the online marketplace of eBay. Alternatively, you can search offline and attend garage sales, flea markets or swap meets near you. Don’t forget to post a “wanted” ad in local stores or media as well!

Before making any purchases, carefully examine the figure and its packaging for potential damage. If buying online, always ask for pictures from multiple angles to ensure the condition of the product. Common issues that can decrease a figure’s value include torn or creased cardboard backing; staples, glue or other indicators of repackaging; cracked plastic with discoloration; as well as scratches and general wear on the actual figure itself.

Listing

When creating a listing for any action figure, make sure to include the character’s name and where he appeared, what series/generation they are from, their age (if available or can be estimated), grade of condition it is in, plus if there is a certificate of authenticity included.

After doing your research on the toy, determine what price you’d like to list them at—with this knowledge you’ll have all the details necessary for potential buyers!

Optional: Create your action figure online store

Do you sell action figures online? Create a free Ecwid store and boost your revenue by expanding your reach: sell on social media, Google, your website, or in person. We don’t take transaction fees, so your profits stay where they belong—in your pocket. Try making money by selling action figures online with Ecwid.

Advertising

Promote your collectible figures across a wide variety of online platforms, from eBay and DealBid to more specialized sites you find on the web. To cast an even wider net, take advantage of Google Shopping, Facebook Ads and Pinterest. And the best part is that all this can be done right from within Ecwid’s control panel!

As you wait for those sales to come in, make sure you store your action figures safely — keep them out of direct sunlight in a well-ventilated room away from pets and children..

The Best Places to Sell Your Action Figure Collection

If you’re ready to get rid of your Marvel Legends, DC Universe Classics, Star Wars, McFarlane and/or NECA action figure collection, then look no further! This guide is here to provide you with the best places for selling off your action figures so that you can reap all the rewards.

Selling your action figures can be a tricky process, since what works best for one individual may not do the same for another. For instance, someone might find that Amazon is their preferred option for selling their collection whereas another person could find success with WhatNot. Ultimately it all boils down to personal preference as well as how soon you need to get rid of everything in your possession.

Selling action figures on Amazon

Amazon Marketplace offers an amazing opportunity for those who possess the right items. Action figures can be sold at a much higher price than other stores, and listing them is surprisingly effortless—simply click a few buttons to get your action figure listed on Amazon!

Selling action figures on Amazon comes with a few restrictions.

  • First, only sealed items may be listed, and the packaging must retain its mint condition. If customers receive an item that is not up to their standards (e.g., dings on the card or bubble), they are likely to request either a full return or partial refund from you as seller.
  • Next, during the holiday season, Amazon holds a stringent policy that only allows top sellers who meet a certain threshold to market on their platform. If you do not reach these sales requirements, then your presence will be removed from Amazon starting in November and continuing throughout December.
  • Finally, Amazon charges hefty fees for toy sales. On the other hand, if you have the ideal products and are willing to pay a bit extra, it might be worth considering using Amazon when looking to sell action figures.

Selling action figures on eBay

eBay is an ideal platform to sell your collectibles, especially action figures! Whether you possess a few NECA pieces or a voluminous collection of DC Universe Classics, eBay offers the perfect space. Sell individual items or multiple collections; keep them sealed in their packaging or let them go off into the wild loose—whatever works best for you!

eBay provides both auction and buy-it-now style listings, so you can choose whichever works best for your preference. If you’re willing to wait a bit longer in order to earn higher profits, then we highly recommend using the buy-it-now option. You’ll be able to set prices for your action figures that are fair and realistic while still accepting offers from potential buyers — it’s win/win!

Keep in mind that auction prices are often lower than those available through buy-it-now listings, so be ready for potential discounts (and sometimes very steep ones). Those auctions ending on Sunday at 9 PM EST tend to garner the best deals.

To ensure success, it is important to learn how to photograph the items for your listings. Since collectors tend to be meticulous about the condition of boxes and figures, you should make sure that you are thorough in documenting any issues with each item. For example, if there is a crease on a card or joint problems with a figure, take detailed pictures and include these details in descriptions so buyers know what they are purchasing before hitting “buy now”.

With eBay’s strict policies, it is essential to remember that only genuine action figures can be sold on the platform. Failure to comply may lead to your account being terminated — so stick to selling authentic figures!

Selling action figures on forums and social media

Participating in online forums can be an effective way to offload your extra action figures, such as DC Universe Classics. For instance, the Fwoosh forum has a dedicated section for selling items; however, you may have to accept lower prices since members who frequent these outlets are not always willing to pay full price.

A tremendous advantage of online communities is that you can find a large number of collectors who are willing to purchase broken and/or loose action figures for their parts.

When attempting to sell a range of action figures, social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram can be unreliable. While some products may perform admirably on sites like these, others might not do so well. The more popular items will prove to be most successful when selling through social media.

Sell action figures through apps

With the steadily increasing popularity of various apps, selling action figures on them has become a common trend. We suggest two particularly outstanding platforms to attempt: Mercari and WhatNot. Both have amazingly straightforward listing procedures, so if you price your collectibles smartly then success should be inevitable!

With WhatNot, you have access to one of the top marketplaces for toys. However, becoming a seller on this platform can be tricky as meeting all their requirements is not an assured thing. To gain approval from WhatNot, potential sellers must offer verifiable social media handles and references like Amazon or eBay feedback. It’s completely up to their discretion whether they approve your application but with enough diligence it is possible!

How to Price Your Action Figures or How Much is Your Action Figure Worth?

Action figure collecting is a smart investment once you understand what both your collection holds and the market value of each item. If you’re looking to resell several figures in the future, it’s vital that you recognize their worth based on its state as well as how strong of demand there may be for them. As serious collectors know, knowledge is everything when it comes to profiting from this hobby!

Evaluate сondition

The worth of a collectible figure is largely determined by its condition—and there are six specific criteria for defining how well-preserved it is. They range from pristine to heavily damaged, as follows:

Mint condition (C10): A mint condition action figure is one that is in perfect, untouched condition. It should look as if it were just taken out of the box and assembled — no scuffs, scratches or chips on its paint or parts, and all accessories present and accounted for. Mint condition action figures can command a higher price than most others due to their pristine quality and desirability among collectors.

Near mint condition (C8-9): A near mint condition action figure is one that is almost perfect, but with a few minor flaws. These could include small scuffs or scratches on the paintwork, a missing accessory and/or slightly bent pieces. Near mint condition action figures tend to be more readily available than those in perfect condition, and usually cost slightly less than mint items.

Fine condition (C6-7): A fine condition action figure will show signs of wear from handling and play. It might have scuffs, scratches or chips on its paint or parts, joint looseness, minor accessories missing, and/or discoloration due to age or exposure to sun or moisture. In general, a fine condition action figure is still considered desirable among collectors and may command a premium price depending on the availability of an item in better condition.

Good condition (C4-5): A good condition action figure will typically show more signs of wear than those in fine condition. It may have scratches and scuffs on the paintwork, discoloration and/or joint looseness due to extended play or age. Some pieces and accessories may be missing or slightly bent, but it should still be attractive enough to make a nice addition to any collection. Good condition action figures are usually priced lower than ones in better conditions and can be great finds for collectors.

Poor condition (C2-3): A poor condition action figure will show extensive signs of wear due to handling and play. The paint may be heavily scratched, discolored, and/or faded, and some parts may be loose or missing. Joint looseness and missing pieces can affect the figure’s stability and playability. Poor condition action figures often come at a lower price than those in better condition, but they are not advised for use or collection.

Very poor condition (C1): A very poor condition action figure will typically be in bad shape, with paint heavily scratched and heavily discolored. Joints may be extremely loose or even missing, and pieces or accessories may be bent or snapped off. These figures are often found near mint or near new condition. They can still make great finds for collectors but should not be used for play and are usually priced accordingly.

Find the reasonable price

After you assess the condition of your figure, it is time to begin investigating its worth.

Before anything else, always remember that prices for collectibles are constantly changing and vary depending on the venue. For instance, a figure’s price in an isolated hobby shop may be far lower than its cost at a large toy convention in a massive city. Therefore, bear in mind that any value you calculate is just an estimate of today’s current rate.

Go online

Want to know the exact market value of a figure? An online search on well-known auction sites like eBay is your best bet. To get precise results, be precise with your queries. For instance: hunting for “Batman Figure” won’t give you reliable pricing compared to searching for “Batman Timeless Bushido”. After finding several figures, find an average of what they are going for and use that as a template when looking at other figures.

Open the books

If you’re looking for an accurate and up-to-date price guide, look no further than your nearest bookstore or Amazon. With dozens of action figure guides to choose from, it’s easy to find the most recent edition which is sure to be reliable and trusted by collectors across the nation.

Scan th magazines

For the action figure enthusiast, action figure price review magazine is a fantastic resource for staying up to date on the most recent figures in circulation and an extensive price guide. With subscriptions available, you can rest assured that each month brings fresh updates of current market values straight to your doorstep!

Pricing mistakes

When investing in collectibles, be sure to keep an eye out for any changes in the market value of your pieces. Prices can fluctuate quickly and drastically from year to year, so it’s essential that you check back often to ensure that you are getting the most up-to-date information on pricing. Investing wisely now will pay off when it comes time for resale later!

Additionally, remain mindful of the latest trends and be careful not to get caught up in fleeting fads. Some figures may become briefly popular then quickly fade into obscurity while others rocket to fame only to plummet just as rapidly.

Yet, regardless of its monetary worth in the present market, never forget how much your action figure means to you.

Closing

Action figure market is growing. Due to the low investment barrier the business of selling action figures can be very profitable. Especially if you sell them online. Want to start a side hustle or a serious business, Ecwid can help you to launch your action figure online store in minutes.

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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