Currently, there are two attractive early pearlware figure on eBay. Well photographed, both look good. The descriptions says "there may be some professional restorations." Therein lies the rub. Any restoration will impact value greatly, so a buyer MUST have full knowledge, and the eBay listing tells nothing other than "Buyer Beware." Actually, given that the eBay figures sold in a lot of 3 at Skinner Saturday a week ago for very little, I suspect there are 'issues'! My trained eye can see restoration, and I suspect one of the groups may be missing a major component--but a novice wouldn't detect these problems.
EBay doesn't have a monopoly on non-disclosure. In truth, many dealers don't disclose restoration, and the buyer only finds out later that he bought a problem. The resale value on modern paint and restoration material is, understandably, not great. Look at this rare performing animal troupe.
The secret is that figures in sound condition do not cost a multiple of a problem figures. They cost a little more and they are harder to find---but they are much easier to sell if you need to part with them because there is always a market for the best in class. Remember, figures in fine condition do exist, and they are worth a price premium because they are a good investment--in money and pleasure. That's why you should be happy to may more for them.
Most collectors have trouble detecting restoration. They can't tell a perfect figure from a restored one. To the untrained eye, they can all look the same. Dealers can and should be able to tell you the difference--but alas, this is not the case. I am often shocked at figures offered for sale. I have seen outright reproductions and significantly restored figures offered as The Real Thing, with no disclosure and a ridiculously steep price tag. What do you do to ensure the dealer is fully forthcoming? What do you do to protect your money and the quality of your collection?
The answer: buy from a reputable dealer who volunteers information and address all questions about restorations. His price will usually reflect the figure's condition. Don't buy from a dealer who treats you as stupid because you ask about restoration. Don't buy from a dealer who can't detect restoration or dismisses it as irrelevant. In the UK, buying from a member of BADA or LAPADA which will give you a measure of confidence, and buying at a vetted show protects you from the most egregious rip-offs. Wherever you buy, always get a receipt detailing repairs and restorations. If a dealer claims a figure is perfect, ask him to write "no repairs and restorations" on the receipt. Please be careful. If you work with a good dealer, you get what you pay for. There are superb dealers in the trade. Please find them.