Friday, September 7, 2012
Auctions and the Hobby
Either way, you can't ignore the fact that auctions and our hobby don't just exist together, they live together. What we should be talking about is whether or not auctions are a detriment to our hobby.
*Note: After some amazing comments made, please consider the full article to INCLUDE the comments. OST, Mordian7th, KrautScientist, Humie Stompa and Frontline Gamer all have made excellent points and well written views, and I encourage you to take it all into consideration for this topic.
"C'mon Tim, how can this not be a good thing? Auctions enable us to get models at a cheaper rate, as well as models that just might not be available any more!"
Well, I won't argue the fact that auctions give us the ability to get a figure that was either limited in its casting run, or out of print, or anything similar. Heck, I've been looking for the Limited Edition Space Marine Veteran figure from the 2004 army box for a while...under a hundred bucks. However, I don't think these are the auctions that some hobbyists have issue with.
I've heard an opinion, however, that auctions that concentrate on more models for your money actually hurt our hobby. How, you ask? Well, follow me here...miniature company X makes a figure, then you buy said figure. You've now given miniature company X a profit, which enables them to stay in business and continue to make more figures and the hobby continues, huzzah! Now enter the dastardly villain, the auction, and let's continue that scenario. Let's say you put that figure on eBay, or into a local auction and another person buys it at a lower cost, since that typically is the norm. You may have given miniature company X a profit that they can continue to operate on, but the guy that bought it as an auction piece only gives their money to you. While money in your pocket may sound great at first, where's the money that allows the miniature company to continue making miniatures that you want to buy?
I know that this little microcosm of an example isn't exactly how economics work on a large scale, but it does illustrate my point well enough. This isn't a black and white issue though. Our hobby is expensive, and I myself have a wife, son, house and all the financial responsibilities that go along with them. While I spend my fair share of cash on new product from different companies, I also take part in auctions. So where do I draw the line? eBay. No, I don't have anything against eBay as a whole, and have used it for other things, I won't use it for the hobby. Why not? Because it does nothing for my local gaming culture. If I'm going to put some of my stuff in auction, I'd rather it be at a local store where I might see it gracing a gaming table in the future, and if nothing else, it contribute to my local scene rather than somewhere else across the country, or world. Does this mean I have something against folks who use eBay? No, of course not. It's just not my choice.
So chime in here. What's your position on auctions and our hobby holding hands? Have you partaken as a buyer or seller? If you have, would you again? If you haven't, why not?