craggy wrote:I'm not sure my idea of "helping out a fellow collector" includes a hefty profit margin. Of course, there are folks who might rather buy from a member on here than some faceless ebay seller from who knows where. And, shipping and paypal fees aside, all money will go to the person who bought the thing. Last thing I bought from a person on here, I stuck in a few extra $ because with the exchange rate as it was, it wasn't a huge deal to me, and the guy was doing me a big favour.
Not saying that's a bad idea, I'm just saying not everyone wants to do that unless they are familiar with the person. The guy I know in Singapore only enlightened me to the supply near him because he knows I collect the toys and offered to help if I needed anything. Guess part of what I was trying to get at is even upon reimbursing my friend for the cost of buying the figure, shipping it and covered the fee's of paypal so he wasn't losing anything, it ultimately costs about the same as on ebay (within a few dollars). So the nameless wonders of ebay are no different than anyone else selling you a figure unless, of course, you know and trust that person. The trust factor is really what you you'd be benefiting from.
A friend is willing to make little to nothing to help you out. Someone who doesn't know you, not as likely. I mean, yes, of course their are some collectors who wouldn't mind helping out other collectors they don't know for little or nothing, but you have to admit it's time consuming. One has to gather the goods, deal with the transaction(s), wrap everything up nicely and wait on line at the post office/shipping facilities.
Kind of why I don't bother selling any of my figures. Haha. Only did it once because I discovered a duplicate in my collection back in January and it was too late for Toys for Tots. Was nice to make my money back but next time I'll just shove it back into my closet and wait for Toys For Tots to start back up. Far less of a hassle that way.
Like you though I throw in some extra cash to thank the friend for their troubles in sending me a figure I can't find. It's not really intended to cover the exchange rate however. It's meant to be a courtesy, like a tip. If it's a friend who lives nearby it's one thing, but if it's a friend who lives afar (or in this case overseas) I feel they should be making something for going through the hassle of wrapping, shipping & writing out custom forms. I know I dislike the ordeal. It's not a "huge profit" as you said, but it is something I feel they deserve.
edit: @That Bot - I was looking at FE Bulkheads on ebay just yesterday, out of curiosity (I already own Takara's). There were several ranging from $70-85 and that's with shipping. At $50 in Singapore that's pretty much what you'll be spending when you factor in international shipping charges.