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Opinion on Ebayer's Selling "Pro" Built Models

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  • Member since
    November, 2005
Opinion on Ebayer's Selling "Pro" Built Models
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 12:04 PM
Just wanted to get the forums opinion on those Ebayers (and other auctions) that sell the models they have built. Myself I could not imagine selling something I took the time, the frustration (and often blood Blush [:I]) to build. I cannot imagine that the price you get would be worth it. I hope I don't offend anyone, but I feel that maybe people are trying to make a quick buck. And who buys these things, I can't imagine placing something on my mantel saying, "yea I know it looks nice, I bought it on Ebay." Again just my opinion.
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 12:11 PM
The other day on ebay, i saw one of those Tamiya fire support vehicles that the Aussies used in Vietnam, painted in Desert Storm markings and touted as the workhorse of Operation Iraqi Freedom. And the worst thing, it evetually sold for 90 dollars.
  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Long Island
Posted by Moses on Friday, June 13, 2003 12:14 PM
I hear where your coming from hattels. You'd be surprised at how many people buy pre-built . At alot of model shows, you will see models already built, weathered and on bases for sale. Actually I do most of my Armor model purchasing from Basline Models in Mineola, Long Island, and the owner has a huge display where we display our models for others to see. Some are for sale, but I would never sell mine. To each is their own.

Cheers

Rob
"ZIM FIRST, ASK QUESTIONS LATER!!"
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 12:21 PM
Capitalism! It's what makes this country great. I, personally, would not sell the fruits of my labor either but as long as there's someone out there willing to pay, people will sell anything.

I do have a problem with Cader's example above. Someone sold an inacurrate model taking advantage of the war in Iraq. Those people suck. Whether they sell models, flags, shuttle debris, or anything else that takes advantage of such an event. That is flat out wrong.

That's my $0.02 worth.
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 1:39 PM
Well, whatever floats your boat. Some folks just like to display nice models. They commission other dudes to build them up for them, then put them on display. It's fine. They might be military vehicle enthusiasts w/o being modelers.

In a way, it's like those nice wood display airplanes you see advertised in magazines. I'd happily display one of those birds on my desk. No shame in that.
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 4:46 PM
Are we not assuming the "Pro-Built"models on e-bay are actually built by the individual selling them? If this person is a professional modeler one would think the individual would have his own web-site and advertise his skills for hire. Me, I'd rather build my own stuff.
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 5:22 PM
hey....... if u just like to build models and not display them why not? ur making money for something u like to do.
  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: United Kingdom / Belgium
Posted by djmodels1999 on Friday, June 13, 2003 5:29 PM
Well, guys, i'm not sure I agree with you all on this one. You and I have, for various reasons, the ability to build decent looking models. Let's remember that many other do not have this ability and for them, buying already built replicas is the closest they will come to the 'real' thing. After all, why is die-cast collecting so popular? But also think of people too old or maybe who are disabled and can not build anymore models. Of course, there also the 'lazy' ones, those looking for 'instant gratification', but then collecting die-cast is a bit like instant gratification, no..?
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 5:37 PM
You make an interesting point DJ.

In rebutial...I don't have the skills to play professional baseball, I always wanted to play professional baseball...?...!

or

Not everyone makes thier own furniture, but you buy it from someone who does...?...!

Not as black and white as I originally thought.
  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Sunny Florida
Posted by renarts on Friday, June 13, 2003 6:09 PM
I agree DJ. THere is a market out there for it and one of the beautys of a free market society is that there is always someone willing to buy anything.

Take advantage of it. If you have a talent that someone doesn't share, there is no moral dilema in being payed for doing the work that they can't or have no desire to do. If that were the case, we would all be scratch builders.

If artists only did art for arts sake, they wouldn't go looking for galleries to sell their work or have agents pimp them. If they want to sell a painting to eat or to make a living, they will cater to a market willing to pay for what they are doing or adapt their style to fit a market desire.

As for selling stuff on e-bay, that is definately a buyer beware and consumers need to educate themselves. A market niche like the guy that sold the truck as the Desert Storm workhorse, may not have wanted it for that but was interested in having a model of the truck itself. Regardless of what it was wrongfully touted as. Opportunists will always prey on peoples whimsey. That's marketing.

I could see you being upset or divided if you had to sell something to get out of debt. You would hate to see your stuff go. But if you do it with the intent of selling it, I see no dilema.

We need commercial builders. If not for the numerous hollywood, museum, educational displays, at least for being willing to cater to an appreciative if inept portion of folks that do not have the talent or ability anymore to do what we so lovingly and enthusuisticly take for granted or enjoy doing. What is your time worth to you? Someone else may really like WWII vehicles or planes, or modern ones but doesn't have the time to sit down and not only develop the skills to be able to build the particular item they are interested in to the level that they would want to own, so they will pay for the privelage to have someone competent, profficient and talented enough to do it for them so they can enjoy that F-16 on their mantle or the Destroyer on their desk.

Ask yourself too, why do I do an immaculate paint job and weathering on a model. Is it because you are building only for yourself? Nah...You could paint it all white and leave it if you painted it at all. You know in your minds eye what it looks like, why do it diferently. It because you want others to see it. You wnat others to appreciate it, so that when they look at it they see a scale example of that vehicle. Youare selling them your ability and talent. They can't keep it, but you are selling them their appreciation of your talent. The only difference is now they are paying you physicaly to take that talent with them as a tangible item.

If they are willing to pay, I'm willing to build.

Mike
Mike "Imagination is the dye that colors our lives" Marcus Aurellius A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn...that was fun!"
  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Rain USA, Vancouver WA
Posted by tigerman on Friday, June 13, 2003 6:14 PM
Isn't builing the model what it's all about to us modelers? I suppose I would purchase a model of an aircraft which I admire but could never duplicate in terms of realism etc. How do they ship it with out breaking it?

   http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y269/wing_nut_5o/PANZERJAGERGB.jpg

 Eric 

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: UK
Posted by gregers on Friday, June 13, 2003 8:00 PM
I can't imagine selling any of my models , can't imagine anyone wanting them for that matter but i have built one to give away it was a fairey firefly 5 i built it for- and gave it to- a gent that served onboard an aircraft carrier during the korean war, he worked on fireflies and seafuries i worked my guts out on that one and it looked superb i did it as one of the aircraft that he had photos of that he worked on.He was very pleased with it and so was i. Any way on the original subject if someone wants to try to make money out of this hobby then good luck to them but they should'nt make money by exploiting disasters and should'nt con the buying public, Lets face it how can they call themselves profasionals if they sell inaccurate models ....Gregers
Why torture yourself when life will do it for you?
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 9:17 PM
Why would people buy assembled/finished models? Why not?!

Seriously, a lot of people don't have the time and/or skill to build models. People like to collect things, have knick-knacks and what-not. I don't see how much different it is to buy a model from someone vs buying die-cast, plastic toys, or stuff like the Franklin Mint sell.

Back in the military, a former room-mate and friend of mine was very good at taking Sheridan kits and with some additional materials, making models of the BMP-1 VISMOD M551 Sheridan. His finished models were awesome!! A lot of people I knew would have loved to own one of those models. Sometimes he built them as a gift for good friends, otherwise he built them for $100+ for some of the Troop CO's.

Anyways, the reason these models were in demand (aside from the workmanship) is because those vehicles were part of our job. We worked on, trained in and lived in those vehicles for weeks at a time. Yeah, there were times many of use would have loved to have seen them melted down for scrap or something. But honestly, although to the casual observer all those vehicles looked the same, each one had it's own history, it's own stories and it's own crew that gave each vehicle it's own unique "persona".

Sometimes those models serve as a way to remember the good 'ol days -- the friends, the memories and the pride we had serving our country.
  • Member since
    January, 2003
Posted by shermanfreak on Friday, June 13, 2003 9:40 PM
Having built and sold some of my models over the years I'd have to say that if there is a market to sell them, why not take advantage of it. Many people cannot or will not build a model kit but for some reason or another they would still like to have one on their shelf. Would I sell them one of the models that I have built for my own pleasure.....not much of a chance but if the price was right it would get me thinking. I will build on commission, I will build to give away for a special occasion, but mostly I still just build for myself.
Happy Modelling and God Bless Robert
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 9:54 PM
The only real problem that I have with people that put their models up for auction is this: what makes it "pro-built?" If I built something and put it out on ebay, it may sell for what I bought it for. As soon as I stamp it pro-built, the price tripples. Why? There are several examples to back me up right now on ebay.

As a personal example, I sold a 40K army to a 16 year old friend of mine who said he was trying to start up an army. The next week, I saw all of my work being auctioned off on ebay. The rub was the fact that he claimed it was "pro-modelled," and that he did all the work himself! I asked him about it, and he just looked at me and said, "Too f****** bad! What do you care?" When people take advantage of your generosity, it's bad enough. When they also prey on others, it goes too far.

Just my humble opinion...
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 10:09 PM
If you sell your model for a profit then you are not doing it as a hobby and it becomes an occupation. I am a "hobbiest" I would NEVER sell something I have built (not really a problem because I don't think any would want one) I have a lot of pride in what " I create. You cannot call yourself a pure hobbiest if you sell something for profit! Again just my opinion.
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, June 13, 2003 10:33 PM
I totally agree with you in some respects, Richard. I personalyy wouldn't sell my kits for profit, unless it was, of course, to buy another kit. I have on many ocassions, though, given them away to family and friends. Don't models make great stocking stuffers?

On a personal note, seeing "IYAAYAS" brought back alot of memories... thanks Sarge. Of course, to us squiddies, it's IYAOYAS (ordinance). Same sentiment, I'm sure...

demono69
  • Member since
    January, 2003
Posted by Jeff Herne on Friday, June 13, 2003 11:21 PM
I guess I'm in a unique situation...

I've built models professionally for about 10 years now...I have a list of clients, and I build what I want...when I 'retire' the model from the show circuit (10-15 shows a year here in the NYC area) I will usually make it available to my client list...I make sure I get what I want from it dollars-wise... they get the model, I get paid, and I've had the satisfaction of showing it. If it's something I really like, I simply don't sell it...

This works for a couple of reasons. I've been the director of aviation museum for the last 5 years, the NJ Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum in Teterboro, and at age 35, I can honestly say I've found my dream job...but, I'm not getting rich doing it...so this not only supplements my hobby, alot of times it helps pay the bills...since I don't have a high-salary job, I don't have a big house with lots of space to put my built models...so selling them keeps the process streamlined.

I've seen some nice models on Ebay (I'm always lurking for resin kit deals), but I've seen far more garbage than I have 'pro-built' quality. It's taken me about 10 years of full-time building to build up my client list... there's about 40 people I email when a model is put out to pasture...and I've only had 2 or 3 request being taken off the list in the last 5 years. I run my own private auction...I send the initial offering, and someone bids on it by replying to everyone else on the list. That process goes on for a pre-determined length of time and the winner gets the model...with all the emails going to all the parties involved, everyone gets a fair shake at the model...

Technically, if you get paid to do something, you're a pro...it doesn't necessarily mean you're good at it.. :-)

My two cents,

Jeff Herne
Modelwarships.com
Director, NJAHOF
www.njahof.org
  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: United Kingdom / Belgium
Posted by djmodels1999 on Saturday, June 14, 2003 2:55 AM
I too build for various people, and have been at it for 4 years now. 99% of what I sell is patterns rather than painted/decalled models. There is a fine line between hobby and business, in my case, but I still consider what I do as my main hobby. It's not just the building. It's also the time and efforts spent collecting the info. I love that part. Parting with patterns is not that hard. The money I get in exchange fuels my hobby, allowing me to buy kits and material and tools I would not have if I was only building stuff for me. Parting with completed models is a different thing, but again, I'd do it if I was asked to build a particular subject by someone, like a veteran, or a son wanting to please his Dad who flew..., for a grand-dad who was... You know what I mean. Now as far as MY models are concerned, there is a difference. Other that for getting out of debt or something as bad as that, I'd never sell my models again. I said 'again' because I did it once, a major exchange against a high-tech compressor I could not afford as a kid. To this day, I regret having got rid of my WWI aircraft collection that way. But I'm not regreting having built over 150 patterns and sold them.
  • Member since
    January, 2003
Posted by Jeff Herne on Saturday, June 14, 2003 8:45 AM
I think it's different when you compare what we do to what most of these Ebayers do...personally, I'd be embarrassed to put my name on most of those 'pro-built' models anyway.

I love building models for vets...most can't afford my prices, but that's ok, there's others that do...so most of the time I don't charge them a cent, it's my way of paying back a debt I feel I owe those guys for what they did 55 years ago...

Some of my most significant builds for vets have been a 1/700 USS Cole, an Amati 1/72 U-boat for a well known former U-boat captain, a liberty ship for a former crewmember, a couple of aircraft mdoels for some famous folks who flew them, and a 1/32 RF-4C of my dad's plane for his birthday.

Regards,

Jeff

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