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- How To Price Your Zoids?

Posted: 2020-11-23 19:59:34

 So, as some of our visitors are aware, we have a little infoblurb on the Names page, which discusses how to price Zoids. I wanted to make a dedicated post discussing this matter in more depth. Both because of recent events, and because of the global shipping complications. Not to mention insane claims of value like that absurd article! This is going to be a long post, but if you buy lots of Zoids, and aren't using Yahoo Japan, please consider reading.

Services Taking Advantage Of Buyers

 Lately there have been a lot of "hobby hunting" services popping up online, claiming that they can help you find any Zoid for a nominal fee. Now, this would be a fair service. The problem is, they're hiding their real fees behind heavily inflated prices. They take advantage of people unfamiliar with international markets. The buyer thinks they're finding super rare kits, and have no idea how common (or cheap!) they actually are.

 The other half of this problem is Ebay, which has had such inflated prices for so long, that many YJ sellers are now listing their products for two or three times as much on Ebay. There's a market for it, because pricing resources can be hard to find. To people unaware, these look like the normal prices, and they'll pay them.

- How Expensive Are We Talking?

 To address this question I'm going to look at Ebay. I'll provide the Zoid, its lowest sold price (including shipping) and then a comparison. The comparison will be based on YJ sales within the last 3 months, and what you'd be paying by using Buyee. They will be based on DHL shipping, a fast, reliable, and expensive shipping service. You can save more by using slower, uninsured shipping methods. The buyee price is an average, not lowest.

HMM Death Stinger Hiltz: $748*
  Buyee Estimate: $430 + $3 service fee + $2 payment fee + $60 shipping fee
  You Would Pay: $495 (Saving $253)

HMM Geno Breaker Raven: $393
  Buyee Estimate: $200 + $3 service fee + $2 payment fee + $50 shipping fee
  You Would Pay: $255 (Saving $138)

HMM Blade Liger AB Bang Ver: $303
  Buyee Estimate: $150 + $3 service fee + $2 payment fee + $50 shipping fee
  You Would Pay: $205 (Saving $98)

HMM Storm Sworder Ala Barone Ver: $340**
  Buyee Estimate: $200 + $3 service fee + $2 payment fee + $45 shipping fee (estimated)
  You Would Pay: $250 (Saving $90)

Tomy Konig Wolf: $97
  Buyee Estimate: $30 + $3 service fee + $2 payment fee + $40 shipping fee
  You Would Pay: $75 (Saving $22)

Tomy Berserk Furher: $126
  Buyee Estimate: + $3 service fee + $2 payment fee
  You Would Pay: $84 (Saving $42)

Tomy Death Saurer: $379
  Buyee Estimate: $250 + $3 service fee + $2 payment fee + $50 shipping fee
  You Would Pay: $305 (Saving $74)

Tomy Geno Breaker: $174
  Buyee Estimate: $75 + $3 service fee + $2 payment fee + $4 shipping fee
  You Would Pay: $84 (Saving $90)

 * Had no recent sold Ebay listings, so going with lowest available price.
 ** I do not have an item weight estimate, so shipping may be slightly off.

Note: Shipping fees are based on the Zoids weight, and may be higher depending on the seller's packaging. These prices were also calculated over 2 weeks ago, some may have changed since then. For example, when I made the images, the $140 (Sold) Konig Wolf was the most recent one.

Breakdown: For this example I chose popular Zoids that I often see people requesting price estimates for. I chose Zoids both from the rarer end of the spectrum (like the Hiltz) to the more common (like the Konig Wolf). If you purchased all 8 of the Zoids above from Ebay, you would pay $2560. If you purchased the same items yourself, through a proxy like Buyee, you would pay around $1753. You would save almost a thousand dollars by buying them direct from Yahoo Japan, and that $1000 could buy you at least another 5-10 rare Zoids.

- But the service does the work for you!

 Factually correct. The service goes through the trouble of setting up the deputy service account and finding it for you. This is worth a small fee. My problem is that they are giving you a "modest" service fee and then putting an enormous price hike on the item price to cover how large their fees actually are.

 So why are these items so expensive? For one thing, you're paying the cost of importing on top of importing it again to your location. So let's say the dropseller imports the Konig Wolf for $75 after all is said and done. They're in the US, and sell it to you for $140. Let's assume domestic shipping to you is then $25. That's a $40 profit before you pay any additional service fees for their time and effort. If their service fee is 10%, you should be paying $82.50 for that Konig Wolf before domestic shipping. Is it becoming more clear? They are actually charging you almost 60% service fee, most of it is just hidden in the 'rare' item price.

- Importing Is Pretty Intimidating, Though!

 True, but please believe me when I say importing services aren't as scary as they look! It basically boils down to, you enter the item URL, click bid/buy, and they handle the rest. Then when the item arrives at their warehouse, you select your shipping method, and you're done! The scary part is the fees. You should definitely research and understand the fees before buying. Learn everything you need to know in our Buying & Importing Zoids article. Contact us for any additional questions!

 Now, it's true that you have less seller protection overseas, but if you buy many Zoids, you'll still save more than you've lost. For example, if you bought the above Zoids over a few months, and you lose the Geno Breaker Raven, it's a tragedy. But, you still saved $654 with the other Zoids. You could buy another Geno Breaker Raven for $255 and still have saved $399. If you buy a lot of Zoids, it will always be worth it to import yourself. Actual loss is also extremely rare. I've only lost a couple items in the hundreds that I've purchased.

- So how do I price my Zoids?

 Check out our names page! Copy the Zoids Japanese name, click the Yahoo Japan link at the top of the page, and paste. Then click the link on the upper right (there's an image to show you where) to see sold listings. You can get a rough idea by just taking off the last couple digits. So if it is for 1500 yen, it is around $15, give or take a few dollars for more expensive items.

 After that you can use Buyee's fee calculator to get an estimate on cost. CAUTION! Buyee keeps the box in the seller's packaging, so always allow for around 400-500 g for packaging. Also be sure to keep your consolidated boxes under 3.5 kg. At that point, DHL shipping shoots up to over $200.

What if I'm buying locally? Then it's fair to include all costs of importing, because they had to pay those prices to get the item to you. They'll probably want at least a few dollars for their trouble, just make sure that they aren't hiding the actual cost! A % fee can be fair, as long as they're honest about how much it is.

Final Notes

 I know it took a long time to get to the point. I've been seeing people taken advantage of left and right, and it's hard to see this happening to other fans. I'll put it under the unique "Pricing" tag so you can easily find it again. You should all be getting a fair price on your items. I hope this helps, and Happy Zoid Hunting!

 The folks over on the Zoids Reddit / Discord also have a convenient price guide for Zoids before shipping & fees. If you want a more updated price, contact us! I'd be happy to help you get an updated price.

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