Most items on eBay are the tired, run-of-the-mill pieces that aren't good enough for dealers' stock. Things like figures of the Seasons on square bases, mundane classical figures, and figures devoid of bocages and other important elements. These figures may be academically interesting, but they have minimal value. Where else to try and move them on, other than eBay? You can buy a lot of these figures inexpensively on eBay. You will build your collection quickly, and the figures may be interesting for one or other reason, but basically the figures are of little merit. You are buying junk, and if you want to sell it, the ONLY place to do so will be on eBay.
All this is fine. I buy on eBay, but only rarely. And some of us don't mind shelves of broken, valueless figures. But what burns me about eBay is that so many items are misrepresented. I pulled a few this week for you to look at.
First, a tithe pig group (item 170844645654 while the listing lasts). Clearly the enamels are bad, and the seller lists the flaws in detail, including the fact that the figure on the left has been "broken and detached."
The second item is described as a "pearlware mummer figure, v v rare." (Item 16080387316 while it lasts.). Currently this item is at GBP51....and rising, with a good while to go.
Actually, this figure represents the great comic actor John Liston in his role as Lubin Log. The seller says the head has been off, the hand and arm are restored, and the maroon coat is a suspect color....but nothing came off when it was scraped with a penknife, so the seller says it is OK. OUCH!!
Figures of Lubin Log are obtainable in very good condition at a very modest price. Why would you want to buy this one? And why would you want to buy anything from a seller who is so unskilled at detecting restoration that he has to scrape with a penknife to assess enamels?
The fine figure of Lubin Log on the left is just one of the many that Andrew Dando has had in the past. These figures fall into the lowest price tier I am using in the price guide for my new book. Note that Andrew's figure does not hold an umbrella. That's right, Lubin Log is not meant to have an umbrella....something the eBay seller clearly didn't know!
This pair are offered as dated mid/late 1800s, but I think they were made in the 1900s....there just is no way of knowing the exact date. The seller has two pairs of these nasties on eBay. Bidding on this one starts at GBP145.