How about a nice cup of [REDACTED]?

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Recently I posted a batch of 32 vintage G.I.Joe action figures on ebay. It was a 3-day listing starting Thursday night running through Sunday night (the 3 days are consecutive). I started the auction at $74.99 + shipping which breaks down to just over $2.00 per figure (not including the cost of shipping). One might argue that this is the top end of what to expect for this batch of figures, but that’s not for me to decide. We (Kate and I) try to price our listings fairly based on market values but with an eye toward actually selling them. We try to be just under market value to attract more interest, make buyers feel like they just might be getting a “deal” and hopefully, ultimately, the buyers will agree with us and while we won’t see A LOT of bidding activity… the listing will sell for the price we asked.

Includes one of the worst Storm Shadow designs EVER.

Includes one of the worst Storm Shadow designs EVER.

There were some weapons included in this lot and yes, many of them were from accessory packs which means they were NOT the weapons the figures originally came with but recolored versions that were sold later in the life of the line to replace the ones that kids inevitably lost. They are still Hasbro, they are still G.I.Joe but they are molded in different colors to distinguish them from the original ones. Anyone who is in the business of buying and selling Joes (especially someone like ME, who obsesses over Joes) knows this and can recognize the accessory pack weapons at a glance. Real collectors don’t want accessory pack weapons because they are cheap, offensive imitations (the weapons, not the collectors). I was fully aware of what I was listing and how coy I was being with my description of the included weapons (heavens, I’m just “not sure how many figures are complete”).

LEFT: Original GIJoe weapons. RIGHT: Abominations.

LEFT: Original GIJoe weapons. RIGHT: Abominations.

That said, this was still a very strong lot of figures; prominent, desirable characters, very good to excellent condition, tight joints, new o-rings, several that were complete or near-complete (Blowtorch just needs his helmet)… an excellent starter collection. At no point did I ever misrepresent what I was selling.

One day into the 3-day period I received a message from a potential buyer. As always, this is the actual, unedited email. The sender’s name has been redacted to protect their identity.

Dear htfblog,

IM not trying to be rude in any way, just being honest..

From your photos, you have about 6 complete figures… Unfortunately, 95% of the weapons in the plastic bag are repos/non-original weapons.. These most likely came from weapon packs that were released later on..

In all honesty, you won’t get anywhere close to what you are asking for these. Im really only interested in 12 of these guys. I’ll give you 40 (including shipping) when this lot doesn’t sell..

Thanks
[REDACTED]

I’m not sure which part burned me the most, the absolute assertion that I was not going to sell this lot for “anywhere near” what I was asking, the “I’m only interested in [38%] of these figures [so I’m going to offer you 53% of your asking price and you get to pay my shipping cost AS A FAVOR],” or the finality of the “when this lot doesn’t sell” statement. I assume this was a bargaining tactic. I assume this person uses it with sellers all the time. I assume he expected me to take him at his word, at the depth of his G.I.Joe knowledge. I assume I was expected to accept his $40 guaranteed handout in exchange for sparing me the disappointment, nay EMBARRASSMENT, of not making a sale 2 days later.

While I wanted to reply “GO [REDACTED] yourself” and block [REDACTED] as a future buyer, Kate suggested that discretion was the better part of customer service. I swallowed my pride (pride is what cobras inject from their fangs, right?) and responded with a polite, standard:

Dear [REDACTED],

Hello,

Thank you for the offer, but there are several watchers on this listing right now and I would prefer to let the auction run its course.

-Dan Larson

Then I crossed my fingers and prayed to my original 1982 straight-arm Snake Eyes that the listing would get a bid before it lapsed Sunday night. WHICH IT DID. In fact, it got 5 bids from a total of 4 different bidders one of whom was located in Spain. The final sale price was $92.00 PLUS SHIPPING. In your [REDACTED] FACE!

Not only did I get well above what I originally listed the item for, the final sale price was 230% more than the $40 offer that I was guaranteed was the best deal I was going to get for my paltry batch of undesirable figures. To say that I felt validated is an understatement.

I originally wrote this as an email message that I was going to send directly to [REDACTED] but ebay’s messaging system only allows for 2000 characters. It gets cut off around “At no point did I misrepr-.” It didn’t quite have the punch that I intended.

So, [REDACTED] if you happen to be reading this, I wanted to be a mature adult about this but, with all due respect, you started it. I won. Ha, ha, stick it up your butt.

Straight-arm Snake Eyes and Boba Fett #26 celebrate with a hi-five.

Straight-arm Snake Eyes and Boba Fett #26 celebrate with a hi-five.