Pimpcron’s Guide to Online 40k Auctions

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Here’s everything you need to know auction shoppers.

Good day to you all! Your least favorite food, Pimpcron, is here this week with a guide on how to buy 40k auctions online. I’ve been doing this for a while, and for about two years I practically had a 2nd job on eBay selling 40k. I was on there all the time and became quite familiar with all the ins and outs.

“Pro Painted” Items

You’ll see many lots on eBay that say pro painted in the title. It is exactly at this time that you can put your worries aside and just click “Buy It Now”. The entire eBay community is quite honest and post their lot titles to very exacting standards. If it has that arrangement of letters, you can be confident that a Duncan-level painter spent hours on it.

I’ll let you decide on this guy…

Well, okay, I have seen a few that were maybe mislabeled. The Board of 40k Auction Titles must have been in recess on that day. Come to think of it, I’ve seen quite a few models with paint thrown on them haphazardly and labeled “Pro Painted”.

Actually, after further contemplation, I realize that most “Pro Painted” models aren’t pro painted at all. Hmmm. Ya know, what? Maybe you should just look at the model to be sure.


After a lot of research, I’ve discovered that this phrase has several meanings so it would be helpful for me to explain it to you guys. The traditional definition of OOP is “Out of Production” which refers to a model or terrain piece that is no longer manufactured by the casting company. But there have been several times that I have seen still-in-production models and sets labeled OOP. So now better know what you’re looking at before clicking buy.

When OOP doesn’t mean Out of Production, sometimes it means “Out of Print” and usually refers to printed publications such as Codices or Supplements. But once again, this isn’t always correct so be careful.


Other times OOP doesn’t mean either of those things. Sometimes it means “Out of Package” meaning it is just a set of sprues without instructions and/or the original box. Better look at the picture and description.

You may find a listing where OOP doesn’t mean Out of Production, Out of Print, or Out of Package.  Sometimes it means Out of Prison and you better be careful. Being that they have so much time on their hands, Warhammer is quite popular with inmates. The issue is how they get the models in and out of jail. So if you buy a model that you suspect is “Out of Prison” is prudent to wash them thoroughly.

Lots Versus Items

If it says Lot in the title it means it is a lot for auction, which usually means a bunch of stuff together. But sometimes a Lot doesn’t mean a lot. Like, a lot can be a lot of stuff, but sometimes a Lot isn’t a lot because a Lot is a term for something up for auction no matter how small. Also, beware of lots of land for sale. I accidentally bought my house that way. Sloppy eBay searching is a dangerous thing. Always check the picture before buying, but to be honest I thought I was just buying scenery.

Pictures Never Lie

You can always be sure what you are buying when you look at the picture. Just ignore the title all together because it a just a mess up there at the top of the page. You can always count on the picture posted to explain what you are bidding on.

I’m just selling the Mad Dock figure. Why would you think the others were in this lot?

Unless it is one of those annoying broken-up lot for different prices posts where you select the thing you want out of a bunch of things pictured.

Or unless you’re buying terrain which pictures a model next to it but is not selling the for-scale model shown. That can be tricky.

Don’t trust the picture if they are selling something with a stock image because it will often be out of the box, or unassembled despite being pictured painted, or the box shown. That will get you if you’re not careful.

Sometimes the picture will have other stuff in the picture too, that isn’t actually for sale. I tried to buy a cat one time but just got the Land Raider that was in the foreground. Should have read the description. Ya know what? Ignore the title and image, just read the description.

Descriptions Are Your Friend

All of that title and picture stuff is nonsense. Just read what they wrote and move on. But I have seen times when they include a description, or have some blanket statement for all of their listings. Hmmm.

Okay, so it is a jungle out there. Titles are unreliable, pictures can be misleading, and descriptions only work or are even there half the time.

Go to a local store and buy something. Online auctions for 40k are a bad idea and that’s why, like, nobody uses them.

What Nonsense Have You Ran Into on eBay?

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  • ILikeToColourRed

    wasnt expecting something so serious from pimp
    still amusing though

  • Fergie0044

    Need some new terrain? Go on ebay and buy some vehicles. Doesn’t matter how banged up or badly painted, just knock some holes in them, do some heavy dry brushing and bingo – you’ve got some wreaks to litter you’re battlefield with!
    And if the item is in worse condition than the pictures/description suggest? Who cares, its not a bug, its a feature!

    • Iconoc1ast

      XD i have been hearing that said in a lot of YT videos lately but the other way around. “it’s not a feature. it’s a bug.”

    • Muninwing

      i have five landspeeders that i got in two lots, for less than $20 all told. bad condition. slopped superglue, popped hoods, missing doors, broken parts… the whole shebang

      i could have turned them into scenery. instead i rehabbed them. used an old sonic cleaner to strip their paint, scraped stuff off, added new bitz or made some parts, magneted their weapons, filled cracks… and now i have five landspeeders for less than i’d pay for one.

      that’s what ebay is for.

      • LordKrungharr

        But with all that time and effort you could’ve spent working to make money to buy new ones instead!

        • Muninwing

          just like the other hobbyist parts of the greater activity:

          if you look at that work as a cost, then you’re right, i could have used my time better. i can actually get $50/hour tutoring or PM teaching (which is where i am now, or will be in fifteen minutes), so taking one day a week could buy me those units.


          if you look at the work as a part of the hobby itself, not unlike restoring furniture or fixing cars, then the time spent is actually an asset because it’s part of the fun of the activity.

          that second one is how i feel about it.

  • Kritarion

    *has just bought the new Saint Celestine only to later realize id did not come with the Gemini Twins*

  • Averam

    You can get some fantastic bargains on eBay – but like with anything else, read the description before you commit to purchasing. If you don’t then there’s no one to blame but you.

    • Kefka

      Absolutely true. I got some Warmachine minis REAL cheap, only to find that the infantry wasn’t, as I knew, the box of 3-4 different sculpts, like PP likes to do, but literally 10 of the same sculpt…sigh. The pic provided a tiny pic of the overstuffed blister.

      I’m miffed, but I do NOT dare complain for the amazing price.

      • marxlives

        Ya this is why I started used FB with a preference for local sells, whether I am selling or buying. It is just way more trustworthy.

    • Patriarch

      There used to be a guy selling Land Raiders starting at £1. In fact, these were Epic scale Land Raiders at 1″ big, but you couldn’t tell that from the auctions. I think he relied on kids getting into the hobby for the first time so they’d happily spend £10-15 on a “bargain”…

  • The_Illusionist

    Re: “Pro-painted”.
    “Professional” just means that they do it for money. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are any good at it.

    Also, NEVER buy anything from China or Hong Kong. Over the last decade I’ve bought hundreds of lots, from individual models to vehicles and centre-pieces, and the only ones that consistently fail to arrive – with the Seller mysterious having closed their account within hours of the auction ending – are from China/Hong Kong.

  • ellobouk

    And never forget, overseas bidders will happily bid over retail price for something, because even when they pay an extra £20 and shipping to Australia, it’s still cheaper than buying from GW over there. This however does mean ‘ebay bargains’ are harder to find.

  • Thomas Whitehouse

    I’ve never been satisfied with anything that has been assembled or painted from ebay.
    Either the painting is pants, so I have to strip them, and it would’ve been worth my time buying new… or they’re assembled in weird, contorted poses with so much glue you can’t see the detail or you need to break stuff to get it apart.

    I’ll only buy new boxed, or on the sprue items, unless I’ve seen them in person.

    Pimpcron should’ve done something about buying paints off ebay too! Phrases like “hardly used” come to mind… means the pot has been opened and dried out, but the paint is mostly there of course.

    • Pimpcron

      Ew. I didn’t even know used paint was a thing. I always just buy from the local store.

      • euansmith

        It sounds like the second-hand underwear market… ew!

        • LordKrungharr

          That market is huge in Florida.

    • Muninwing

      worth is relative.

      i make enough now that i can buy new, assembly how i want, kitbash if i have a good idea, and in genera; i can afford a budget for my fun spending.

      but even just a few years ago, money was tight. and ebay rehabbing of models can be super cheap if you know what you are doing.

      there are many consideration, of course… and not every rehabilitation works. but there are plenty of options, and plenty of ways to create an army on a budget that involve someone else’s ebay castoffs.

      i’m finishing up about 3000 points of Ravenwing right now, and i paid less than $150 for the whole thing… including buying a LSV and a squad of Black Knights from a store. half the army is bitz, half is mods from DV lots. but i’ve got almost 30 bikes and 5 speeders. new from GW, i couldn’t get 12 bikes for that.

  • Rainthezangoose

    eBay is an amazing tool when used correctly.

  • benn grimm

    The scalping seems to be from unscrupulous scam buyers nowadays, flea bay’s attitude towards supporting sellers is pretty awful by all accounts.

    • ZeeLobby

      As a pretty frequent seller I can agree with this.

  • Xodis

    “The issue is how they get the models in and out of jail.”

    No the issue is how do they do it without a chainsword model ruining their day?

    • benn grimm

      Oooh, keistered chainsword, can’t unthink that now….;)

    • EnTyme

      Beware those who would attempt to “smuggle” a Dark Eldar model.

  • Moonsaves

    I buy plenty of metal, actually OOP models from eBay with little problems. Wouldn’t bother with plastic though, apart from my Chimera that immediately ceased being a Chimera and was used to make the Battlewagon it was born to be.

  • Rob brown

    To be honest, I think you need to check reviews and comments before you buy. I sold a total of £1500 of Warhammer Fantasy models in lots of £80-100, some campaign sets and a lot of scenery that can no longer bought. Granted in most cases my things were unpainted or just spray under coated black. But because I was paranoid about bad reviews I always made sure I over delivered – added a few freebies and put plenty of pictures up.

    The feedback I got is that the buyers were really happy and got some stuff that’s very hard to get your hands on now for a cut down rate and it made me a lot of space and cash to spend on products for which the world hadn’t been destroyed. Win win.

    But read the reviews – if they haven’t got them or have bad ones. Beware!!

  • eMtoN

    The only time I’ve used eBay to buy a model was when I was rehabbing a basilisk I owned that was missing a set of treads.

    So I bought a sprue of chimera parts a guy was selling individually. For some reason he sent me two sets.

    But, yeah, the things listed on eBay are scary. Took me an hour just to decide to pull the trigger on what amounted to $10 of stuff.

  • marxlives

    Seeing those space marines made me laugh, reminds me of some of my earliest work. Are you sure you didn’t pick up my eBay sale Pimpcorn?

  • Commissar Molotov

    It ain’t the buying, it’s the getting! I haven’t bought hobby stuff off of E-bay since 2000 – I bought a bunch of old RT-era plastic orks, paid with a certified check, and couldn’t get the guy to post ’em. I finally had to threaten him with mail fraud (a Federal felony!) to get him to send me my merchandise. Never again!

  • euansmith

    As someone pointed out elsewhere on the thread, it might be that the buyers come from a country where GW items cost a fortune in the shops, so getting stuff off ebay might make economic sense… or they could be slack-jawed buffoons being separated form their money. Personally my purchases tend to be NiB from Darksphere or Weyland Games.