Selling action figures can be a lucrative business if you know your subject and where to find it at rock-bottom prices. It helps if you are already a collector, but even if you don’t know a G.I. Joe from ThunderCats, you can still make a profit.
Read articles, collector message boards and toy manufacturing websites to determine what the hot items are. If you’re an eBay member, which you should be if you plan to make money selling action figures, look at the completed listings to find consistent or high-priced sellers. It’s best to start out in one niche, say WWE wrestlers or Marvel Comics superhero figures and branch out as your business grows. You can also search Amazon.com to find out which figures command hundreds of dollars or more.
Now that you have an idea of what you want to sell, it’s time to find inventory. If you are planning to sell new items, you might want to consider getting a tax identification number so you can purchase wholesale items. The profit margins depend on scarcity of the product. There are several toy distributors that will let you order waves of products months before they hit store shelves, but you can bet a lot of other merchants are buying them too. You can also hit retail store clearance aisles and seasonal sales to find new inventory well below even wholesale prices.
Garage sales, thrift stores and Craigslist are effective methods of gathering used or collectible inventory. You could spend a few dollars for an item that's fetching 10 or 20 times what you paid for it. Place ads in local publications, online and off, saying you are looking to purchase gently used action figures. Regularly visit thrift stores in your area to keep tabs on the action figure activity there.
The aforementioned eBay.com is a great place to sell action figures as is Amazon.com. Generally, Amazon’s prices are 25 to 50 percent more than eBay’s. If you haven’t considered selling on Amazon, you might want to sign up for a seller account. The basic account is free. Keep in mind when pricing your items that eBay will take 15-20 percent of your ending sale price, and Amazon will take 17-33 percent of the selling price. That might sound like a lot, but if you purchased a new action figure for $2 and sold it for $35, you would still make a pretty good profit margin.