With the economy the way it is, it can be hard to justify spending your hard earned cash on models for your hobby.
One way that I have been able to continue stockpiling models has been buying them for pennies on the dollar from other folks that have grown away from the hobby and decided to part company with their collection. Some of this is poorly painted stuff that needs some work to be usable, while other stuff is new in the box or still on the sprue.
I have seen plenty of folks trying to sell warhammer models for more than the store price with the logic that since they assembled it and painted it it is now worth more, or they think they have " pro painted " it and you should reimburse them for their work, the last big lot I bought I was told " there are some awesome models in there, stuff you might have seen in White Dwarf " perhaps he meant the rhino assembled with a glue gun.
With a bit of determination and some luck, sometimes you come across a big box full of stuff that Mom is trying to get rid of, that her son is just not interested in anymore, or a regular guy who's friends don't play anymore and wants to get some cash together to start air soft. This is where the deals are to be found.
Here are some pointers for bargain hunting using local adds.
1. Keep it simple. ( this works for Ebay also )
When searching, think of what you are looking for, and describe it in terms that a person that is unfamiliar with the item might use to describe it, or "think like a Mom" use search words like Warhammer , Ork, Games Workshop, figures, etc. Most moms don't know what a Tyranid is and would call it a "monster figure".
2. Be polite and to the point.
If you call or email about an ad, act like a normal person and get to the point, something like " Hi, I'm calling about the Warhammer ad on Craigslist. ", if it is still for sale, make an appointment as soon as possible to come check it out. Waiting till next Tuesday will let other buyers have a chance to swoop in on your deal, and also tells the seller that you are not too serious.
also verify that the price is as it says in the ad, this will save everyone involved some hassle if the ad's price is a typo. ( you would be surprised how often this happens) also it lets the seller know that you are aware of the cost and willing to pay it.
3. Set a meeting place, and bring cash.
Some folks don't want to have you know where they live, which is fine, pick a safe, public location that you both know ( like out in front of Starbucks at 8pm ) just make sure you are specific (especially if it is a chain that has 14 franchises on the same street.)
Have cash with small bills, so you can negotiate.
4. Keep your cool
If there is a Forge World Titan in the box of bits, pay them what they are asking, give them your email info ( in case they find some more loot) say thanks and drive of into the sunset, you can save the happy dance for when you get home, or at least down the road a bit.
Never tell the seller that you just scored on them and that they could have gotten way more for the stuff, you will just make them feel stupid, and guarantee that they will not be calling you when they find the other box in the garage.
If the box is full of Lego, keep your cool, and let them know what they have, and kindly pass on the deal, if there is only some good stuff, make them an offer, and be polite if they pass.
5. Do your homework.
If you are going to checkout some Imperial Guard , take a look at the current prices to give yourself an idea what kind of deal you are getting.
Make sure that you are not missing any important parts.
Before you leave ask if they have any other related stuff they might like to sell, you never know.
I hope this helps some of you find some good stuff. I had a good day bargain hunting on Sunday and have been sorting all the bits out for days, It's like Christmas, but in dusty shoe boxes.
This is after the first stage of sorting, and lots more to go.
You never know what might be in the bottom of that trunk full of Warhammer stuff Mom is getting rid of.