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Aikarin's Collection
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Buying Ponies

Buying Basicsbuying_common.jpg (15780 bytes)
  • Know what you are looking for (series, abbreviations, etc.) and how much to pay.  Research old eBay auctions & pricing guides to find out how much to bid.  If you can't find any info, ask someone on a bulletin board (see my links section).  Just because someone says a pony is "RARE" doesn't necessarily mean it is!
  • Condition will affect the price of the pony.  Most pen marks/stains are permanent and will decrease the value.  Haircuts will also drastically reduce a pony's price.  Re-rooting is a major pain & it may be difficult to find matching hair. 
  • Accessories such as combs, stickers, and ribbons usually won't impact prices much.  On the other hand - backcards, princess accessories, big brother hats, flutter wings, certain sea pony shells are extremely hard to find and may cost MORE than the pony itself!
  • Common ponies are easily found for ~$2, however, rare or mint-in-package ponies can sell for over $100.  Don't pay $100 for a common pony!  You'll be kicking yourself later when you see the pony selling for less!
    Above all - BE PATIENT - most ponies (yes, even the TAF babies) will show up again on eBay & you'll have another shot at them.
  • Know shipping charges before bidding or agreeing to ANY purchase.   Sometimes unavoidable in last second bidding, be prepared to pay outrageous prices.
  •  Ponies ALWAYS look better in the picture than in real life.   Digital camera resolution or image compression usually hides subtle defects. When in doubt, ask.

buying_ebay.jpg (7690 bytes)
buying_ebaypony.jpg (19956 bytes)With a huge constantly changing selection, eBay is one of the best places to buy ponies.  However, it is also among the most expensive.  Most of the ponies in my herd are from eBay.  I've purchased over 200 ponies from there!

A few things to remember:

  • READ the descriptions & LOOK at the pictures VERY CAREFULLY before bidding!  Ha, you may see a bunch of rare mail order ponies in the picture, but the description says "not included".  Or even a picture of a mint-in-package pony with a description of "pony not in package, pic just for illustration".   Yes, I've seen this before!!
  • CHECK the seller's FEEDBACK record.  I load all of the seller's feedback & use the "find" option on the browser to look for "complaints" and "neutrals".  Steer clear if the seller has a ton of negatives that read: item not received!
  • Watch out for excessive shipping costs.  Some people will charge $6.00 for a pony that costs less than $1.00 to send & pocket the difference.  Also, make sure that they ship to your country.
  • Most people selling on eBay are NOT pony experts.  Don't automatically believe a pony is "rare" if it's in the item description.  Some sellers will describe ponies with major defects using subjective terms such as "excellent" and "nice".  DO NOT EXPECT your ponies to be brand-new or even close when they arrive.  I figure this into the bid price.  Most eBay ponies are COVERED IN GRIME from years of play & sitting in someone's garage or attic.  Ugh.  If condition is super vital to you, buy from other pony collectors who know what to look for & clean their ponies.
  • Please, please honor your bid.  Don't bid if you do not have the money to pay.   Sadly, pony collectors have a horrible reputation for not following through on their bids.  Remember, if the seller has to re-list, you are costing him/her time & money.  You could also earn negative feedback for not honoring your bids.
  • A word on sniping (bidding in the last seconds of an auction).   Sniping is a good idea for many don't want someone tracking your bids, don't want to get caught in a bidding war, or don't want to attract attention to an item.   Remember, many of the collectors you're bidding against are also doing it.   Basically, the person with the highest bid at the auction's close wins.   Sniping is not foolproof - sometimes either your connection or eBay is running slow & you might miss out.  Usually, I just forget to bid or the phone rings & I'm distracted just long enough for the auction to end.  Yes, someone got MY $5 SS Angel that way :)  If you really want an auction badly, I suggest bidding early & not taking a chance on the sniping.  If you don't care too much & want to save money, sniping is the way to go.
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I've only bought a few times from other people's webpages & had good results.   Remember to ask lots of questions & get pictures if possible.  Ponies from other collectors tend to be in better shape than ones from eBay.  Just remember to check references & ask for an actual picture of the item you're buying...however, keep in mind that pictures don't show subtle flaws.  Always get insurance on the item if possible.

Also note: popular ponies sell VERY quickly, especially if the price is reasonable.  Sometimes, I've had ponies sell within minutes of listing it.  Many pony buyers will place things on hold & never send the payment.  

If you want to appear serious, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Type in full sentences & use proper punctuation.  No "netspeak"!
  • Be polite.
  • Include your shipping information, such as your ZIP code or country
  • Include your preferred method of shipping
  • Include your preferred payment methods (and mention that you can pay immediately, if this is true!)
  • Include references or links to references (if you are trading)
  • Specifically ask that the ponies be placed on hold
  • Although I don't use instant messaging anymore, including your screen name for faster transactions may be advisable in some cases

Example of an e-mail from a "not serious" buyer.  This is missing almost all of the information needed to process an order.  (Keep in mind that I've had some very good buyers who normally write like this...however, most sellers would give these e-mails lower priority.  It only takes a few more minutes to write a serious inquiry.)

i really relly want baby princess sparkle. ur ponies look gr8 lmk.

Example of an e-mail from an average buyer.  It has most of the information, but it's missing some pieces.

Hello.  I am interested in Baby Princess Sparkle.  I live in the US and my zip code is 10010.  Please let me know if she's still available.  I will have some money at the beginning of next month.  Thanks!

Example of an e-mail from a  "very serious" buyer.  This contains all of the information needed to process an order and the buyer can pay right away.  Sellers will love you if you sent an e-mail like this!

Hello.  I saw your ad on the My Little Pony Trading Post.  I am very interested in Baby Princess Sparkle for $20.  I live in Canada and I prefer Airmail shipping.  I can pay you immediately using Paypal.  Can you please place Baby Princess Sparkle on hold for me?  Thank you very much.

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Thrift stores/flea markets/garage sales/car boots...Ponies are getting harder to find at these places, mainly because people know how much we want them!  I've only found a few ponies in these locations & they were in poor condition.  [note: I'm very busy & only go looking for ponies about twice a, don't think that I am taking all of "your" ponies at the thrift store ;)]  This is the cheapest way to go & great if you're on a budget.  You might even find some rare ones!

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