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MFC & The Novice Buyer: The Debutante

PekolaPekola11 months agoDiary
As the title mentions, this blog will focus on MFC sellers and my initial impressions versus my observations now (EDIT: The title makes no mention of that at all, curse my need for cute titles!)

Initially I found MFC sellers to be on the expensive side. Which struck me as somewhat odd. It was my belief that once a figure is opened, it shouldn't be sold at the same price as a new one (assuming it wasn't a super rare item that shot up in price).

Mint is king, or so I've come to believe. So why do these sellers expect to sell figures at such a high price?

That said, not everything was expensive. Thanks to a few members here, I've managed to obtain figures I wanted at competitive/favorable prices.

PENGU sold me ITEM #270949. Initially they were apolegetic because they couldn't send it as soon as they'd have liked and even included a Sakura keychain. But the transaction went superbly well. 

GREEN_POND sold me ITEM #283033. The price was utterly economical so I was skeptical. Once the item arrived, it was in perfect condition as if it was never used. I was very happy with my purchase.

GUZ
sold me ITEM #13777. This one came without a box. But I was happy because the seller was communicative and understanding. The price was also too good to pass up.

DANCINGPOLARBEAR sold me ITEM #5769,
ITEM #276879, ITEM #287786. What was interesting about this one was that they allowed me to do a payment plan and divide payments by two. The price was also good.

SERAZIEL sold me ITEM #189145. Again, really good price and really easy communication.

So overall, my MFC scouring and asking around lead me to some really great finds and some really flexible and nice sellers.

I'm still very new at this. I don't always understand proper buy/sell ettiquette. But my first year has been fruitful.

Now, I do have some questions that might help better my experiece buying/selling. So please share your insight.

What do you think about MFC prices? Too high? Too low?

Do you think asking for shipping quotes means you have to follow-up with the seller and say if you're interested or not?

Do you think figure prices should be lowered on the basis of being opened/displayed?
1,682 hits • 14 comments

Comments14 comments

Selected Comments
34pt
Kuromii Haikyuu nerdlord
In my honest opinion I think most MFCers overcharge, and hugely so. I can always find what I'm looking for for a much better price on manda and so I barely ever buy from sellers here.
11 months ago
13pt
Muntoe Lover of cacti ♡꒰*・ω・人・ω・*꒱♡
There's a fine line on here between trying to recoup the costs of the figure you (over)paid for and wanting/needing to get rid of an item because of money reasons/are trimming your collection/moving/etc. I think it's important to remember that the vast majority of figures do not inflate in price (in fact, most fall after release these days) and that a lot of figures can be found much cheaper on the aftermarket. Every item I've sold on here has been at a loss on my end so I understand wanting to charge more but at the same time I just want the items gone lol.

Although many people overcharge if you are patient and subscribe to a figure's comment section you can find some really good deals - I've purchased second-hand on here multiple times and have never had a problem. :) I don't really care about opened box condition but if an item has been displayed for an extent of time and has some wear I don't think it's fair to charge retail price. However, this is highly subjective and dependent on rarity - for example, people would pay more for ITEM #4329 opened/displayed than they would for ITEM #166982 MIB.

There are a lot of factors that cause price rises/drops (e.g. re-releases, geographic location) but you'll notice trends the more you're in the hobby and will get the hang of it after a while :)
11 months ago
Recent Comments
0pt
What's wrong with a new user asking for opinions on the general trend of pricing on MFC?
It's not like he's complaining about a specific person.

Also I agree with the general overpricing, but sometimes it saves shipping+customs as I live in UK (so I don't get taxed if I buy within EU), so I do buy from MFC sellers. But of course I do my homework on other sites first.
10 months ago
1pt
AkibaMelon (11 months ago) #17245328All those comments on MFC sellers overpricing =_= If I don't like the pricing of a certain item I just don't buy it and take my money elsewhere. In my humble opinion, I find it a tad bit rude to comment on another collector's price policy. It is what it is, isn't it? So you either go with it or search somewhere else.
Personally, I find shopping for figures (especially those harder-to-get ones) on MFC pretty cool. If you happen to live in a place like the US - with no custom taxes, usually cheaper shipping from JP to US compared to EU and much more collectors within your own country - than yeah, you might feel that most items on here are overpriced. But as an EU collector, I'm quite happy that I can buy from other european collectors within reach on here and therefore still save me at least some money. I used to love Mandarake and the like but with shipping and custom taxes adding up, the oh-so-good prices of secondhand shopping sites from Japan don't do much for me anymore unfortunately.


Just as you have the right to complain about Plamoya's insane prices, you have the right to have an opinion on MFC sellers' prices. A good deal of people really do overprice and there is nothing wrong with calling that out.

That said, they have the right to post insane prices. Market forces will move the items with reasonable prices and the crazy ones will be collecting dust for a long time. I periodically get New Sale emails from MFC and a few people keep popping up with their item -- for years.
11 months ago
13pt
All those comments on MFC sellers overpricing =_= If I don't like the pricing of a certain item I just don't buy it and take my money elsewhere. In my humble opinion, I find it a tad bit rude to comment on another collector's price policy. It is what it is, isn't it? So you either go with it or search somewhere else.

Personally, I find shopping for figures (especially those harder-to-get ones) on MFC pretty cool. If you happen to live in a place like the US - with no custom taxes, usually cheaper shipping from JP to US compared to EU and much more collectors within your own country - than yeah, you might feel that most items on here are overpriced. But as an EU collector, I'm quite happy that I can buy from other european collectors within reach on here and therefore still save me at least some money. I used to love Mandarake and the like but with shipping and custom taxes adding up, the oh-so-good prices of secondhand shopping sites from Japan don't do much for me anymore unfortunately.
11 months ago
5pt
ney (11 months ago) #17228608They only do business… and i'm not ok with this. Like you said, i prefer to use services like Mandarake to get something, the price has 90% of chance to be lower than MFC.
Exactly. This is why I always look at Manda and such to determine my selling price because if they can get it there cheaper then why buy here? Buyers do their research, so sellers should be doing theirs too... not just throwing up some ludicrous price that they came up with themselves.

As a seller the one thing that annoys me most is: no follow up to a price inquiry. If you ask for a price quote and the seller gives it to you, respond with a yes or no ASAP. You're not the only one that might be interested in the figure and I like to prioritize sales by first contact of interest... but if you take your sweet time deciding then its going to go to the next buyer. I'm probably just too nice though~
11 months ago
5pt
Kuromii (11 months ago) #17223526In my honest opinion I think most MFCers overcharge, and hugely so. I can always find what I'm looking for for a much better price on manda and so I barely ever buy from sellers here.
They only do business… and i'm not ok with this. Like you said, i prefer to use services like Mandarake to get something, the price has 90% of chance to be lower than MFC.
11 months ago
0pt
Kirenisa I am a collector!
I feel buyers and sellers can be tough to deal with and on MFC well if you keep an eye out like you said you can find good deals if you wait. Everyone is different on how they sell things I feel my biggest pet peeve is sellers who take days to respond (provided they replied at least once) if they never reply I don't care but if they reply I'd appreciate it if they could respond with in a reasonable amount of time.

Although buyers can be good and bad as well I've had easy transactions and appreciative buyers (because I provide free 2 day shipping and cover all fees) however I've dealt with buyers who are rude or just try and get items for basically free when I tend to sell cheap most of the time anyways.

Overall it really just depends. :)
11 months ago
3pt
A lot of MFC sellers overpriced their figures, generally I wouldn't pay more for the retail price for a figure unless it was super rare/shot up in value, but most figures don't do that. I wouldn't pay more than I would to get from a secondhand shop like Amiami, Solaris Japan, Mandarake, etc.

I have done a few transactions with sellers here who didn't overprice their items, all which went really well. I got a good deal on my Devil Homura because I found a seller less than an hour away from me who was willing to do local pickup. Which saved me money on the expensive shipping because that figure is huge, and it saved the seller on the money that would be lost to the paypal fee.

I always get nervous asking for shipping quotes, because I live on the east coast of the USA, and I know that if the seller is on the west coast, the shipping gets expensive really fast. So I don't even bother with sellers whose location is California or anywhere else over there, unless it's a small item (which can be shipped anywhere in the USA cheaply with first class USPS). And I get nervous sometimes about sellers overquoting for shipping because they know people might feel bad if they corrected them, and just pay the price anyway. Especially if it's a rare item they know people want.

I definitely believe opened/displayed figures should be discounted. The only way I'd pay retail price for a secondhand figure is if the figure was unopened (of course, unless it's rare or the market value has increased greatly). But if the figure's market value has stayed around retail price, then I'm not going to overpay for something that's been displayed, could be dusty/require cleaning, could be leaning, could have paint transfers or scratches, etc.
11 months ago
0pt
I think most prices are fair, is just shipping that causes it to suddenly seem too much. When I try to sell things, I try to go by a fair price with shipping included into the asking price. So is why I offer free shipping. But I have chars nobody wants lol...
11 months ago
0pt
Generally prices are a little high for me, or they are US based so even if they are reasonable I'd need to add shipping & possible customs. I have bought 2 items, 1 MIB, 1 opened&displayed from MFC users, but via ebay (it's amazing how many sellers you can find an equivalent ebay account for)

If you ask for a shipping quote I think that means you are showing enough interest that the seller might hold the item and thus should follow up with a Yes to buy or a 'not at this time thank you'.

Prices should be dropped a little for opened to check, and a bit more for opened & displayed. But if the were a careful owner and the item is basically still mint bar the seals being broken I don't think it should drop the price massively. If anything it might be nice to know it's been opened and is in perfect condition rather than buying something mint only to find it's damaged, that'd be real awkward for all involved.
11 months ago
1pt
I've found some very good deals here on MFC, and overall I'm satisfied with the transactions I've had on here. Many of the prices I see in ads do tend to be out of my budget, but I understand why they're set so high; especially on older, rarer, or exclusive figures.

I tend to stick with sellers who are in the same country as me to save on shipping, but I've bought from sellers in other countries if the item is uncommon enough (though my roommates teased me about it, like "what's this package from Russia??") The items always arrived well-packed and in good condition; often with a cute little thank you note to go with it. (I've kept every single one of those; it's such a nice personal touch). Once I bought from a seller who it turned out lived in my state, and the package arrived in a single day.

The one bad person-to-person experience I've had was from a user on tumblr rather than mfc; it took her three months to get around to shipping my figure >.< I understand real life getting in the way, but when someone's paid you a not-insignificant amount of money for something, it seems kind of rude to put off shipping it for so long. She was very apologetic when she did get around to shipping my figure, so there didn't end up being any hard feelings between us. I'm glad the sellers I've interacted with on MFC have all been punctual, though.
11 months ago
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