There will come a time where you’ll go hunting for a certain Funko Pop Vinyl, to either help complete your amazing collection or perhaps as a gift for someone.
You search everywhere – all of your local stores and online retailers – but no one seems to have that special Pop in stock. So you look on eBay. And there it is! It’s also a great price too!
So what’s the harm in buying Pops from eBay?
Well, what you see is not always what you get. Sadly, there are many people on eBay who will happily sell you fake Pops or something else entirely.
I’ve already written about How To Spot A Fake Funko Pop, but I want to help you find the genuine sellers and avoid the cheats before you purchase, so you avoid the pain of finding out too late that your Pop isn’t the real deal.
So should you buy Funko Pop Vinyls on eBay?
The answer is yes, but with extreme caution. Due to the high number of fakes, you’ll need to be able to recognise genuine products and sellers. The four things you need to look out for are:
- Find out the sellers location
- Ask for recent photos of the Pop
- Always check the customer reviews
- And know the value of the Pop Vinyl you are after
I’ve created the Funko Blog guide below for buying Pops from eBay to help you know what to look out for, so you can get your dream Pop.
Knowing The Sellers Location Is Super Important!
I’ve mentioned this in the Funko Blog How To Spot A Fake Funko Pop guide already, but I will go into more detail here as it is absolutely essential to research this when buying on eBay.
The seller’s location is a great indicator as to what you are buying. Buying locally is always best (though you still need to be careful, as mentioned below) and buying from the other side of the world is not a good idea. And by other side of the world, I mean the East.
Basically, don’t buy a Pop Vinyl from China or Hong Kong. Period.
It might sound strange considering Pops are manufactured in China, however every single time I have heard people buying their Pops from a China or Hong Kong seller, it has been a fake. Don’t be tempted by the low price either, they are not the real deal!
When searching on eBay, you can see usually see it on the list page, next to the photo. For example, below you can see that this seller is from Hong Kong:
These are the one’s to avoid instantly, plus if you did purchase it too late and found it was a fake or not what you ordered, you are going to have difficulty getting it refunded – it will cost you more money to send it back than you originally paid, so you’re pretty much stuck with it.
Be Careful When Buying Pop Vinyls From Sellers Claiming To Be Locally Based
This is a tricky one, but there are tells. I’ll use the UK as an example.
You find a store or seller who claims to be from the UK and the post and packaging is free for the UK, but chargeable everywhere else. Look below at the eBay image – this seems legit, right?
Well, upon digging deeper, this store turned out to be a seller from China (or possibly a dropshipper). How did I find this out?
I tried looking at the information given about the Pops (the description which was quite generalised – a bit of a copy and paste job) and searched the profile, but couldn’t find an address pertaining to be anywhere in the UK.
So I looked at the reviews, which seemed mostly positive. I then checked the negative ones. Many were claiming their Pop was damaged, badly painted or not what they ordered and when requesting to return it for a refund, were given an address in China. Also this seller was also selling everything else, from headphones to sex dolls – so not really the toy specialist one would hope for.
Bottom line, don’t just trust what you see on face value. Research a bit more before you purchase (that’s what the Funko Blog is here for!).
When The Seller Doesn’t Provide You Their Location
If you can’t find anything at all that tells you the sellers location, then check what else they are selling.
If it’s only a few Pops or other items on their selling list (you can check the Sellers Other Items) and the pictures are from a camera phone, then it should be fine. It is worth messaging them for more photos if you’re still unsure.
However if they are using stock Funko photos and they are selling tons of irrelevant stuff, then avoid at all costs. It’s just not worth the risk.
Recent Photos Are The Best Indicator That The Seller Is Legit
Photos are the first thing we look at on eBay. So what should you look out for?
There are two types of photo – stock images and photographs.
Stock images (the ones supplied by Funko) are used by eBay stores when selling new Pops. Stock images are only reliable when you have confirmed the seller is a genuine online toy store; by reading up on descriptions, location, reviews and what other products are sold by them.
There are many eBay stores that are genuine – and sadly, many that are selling fakes or cheap knock-offs. As mentioned above and shown in the images, stock photos are not the best indicator that what they are selling is legit.
Besides online stores, sellers shouldn’t be using stock images at all as the Pops are second-hand. They should be using photographs – and lots of them.
Sometimes regular eBay sellers do use a stock image of a Pop. If this is the case, message the seller to provide photos of the Pop with a hand written note with a date next to it. Also, ask for multiple images of the Pop and box – you want to make sure it’s the real deal.
If they don’t respond to your messages, something smells fishy. Their Pop could be damaged, fake or non-existent. Walk away.
Also, If it is a rare or limited edition Pop Vinyl you are hunting and you know you can’t get hold of it online or in stores, you should only go for listings that provide photographs of the Pop. Avoid listings with stock photos, particularly if the price is too good to be true.
Check The Description, Profile Page and Customer Reviews
As already mentioned in this Funko Blog, research is key. If something seems out of place, then dig deeper into the seller to make sure you ain’t getting ripped off.
If the description is a copy and paste job or just gobble-de-gook, it’s not a great start.
If the profile page is a bit spammy, again proceed with caution. It’s also interesting to see if the grammar is correct on these (I know some people are not great with words, but when you start seeing some poorly structured sentences and really bad English, it’s likely – though very rarely not always – to be a dodgy seller).
Personally, I believe that customer reviews are usually the best place for finding the truth.
I know this sounds pessimistic, but going into the negative reviews needs to be done, even if the seller has a 99% customer satisfaction rate. For example, when investigating the ‘UK Seller’ above, this person had a great score of 98.7%. The remaining 1.3% of unhappy customers were mentioning the key things that unearthed the fact that it was based in China (Chinese newspaper as packaging material) and the items were not genuine, broken or the wrong one – with no way of returning it.
Below are just a few of the UK Seller Reviews – this is the type of thing you need to keep an eye out for:
Know The Prices Of The Pop Vinyls You Want
A bit of common sense is required here and a knowledge of how much the Pop you’re hunting is valued at. The price for a Pop on eBay is a good indicator for what is legit and what is fake.
Most Pops that are easily obtainable, such as new releases or common Pops, are available from an online store or local shop quite easily. When you see these ‘standard’ Pops for sale at half the price brand new, they are likely fake – why would they be so much less than the regular selling price?
If they are second hand, low cost Pops can easily be legit, providing you get recent photos, and you know what to look out for in terms of what the figure looks like, box design etc (check our guide How To Spot A Fake Funko Pop for things like this).
When you see the exclusive Pop Vinyls or rare Pops for sale at standard retail price, you need to stay away, or at the very least, be extremely cautious; checking location, reviews and photos. It’s likely to be bullshit.
I saw a rare metallic Red Hulk Pop with a stock photo for £40 the other day, when it is valued at £500. Sometimes you can tell if a listing for a special Pop is fraudulent if you see the same one next to it for the actual price it should be going for.
A good place to check the value of Pops is the Pop Price Guide website – we use it all the time for our Funko Blog.
Some of you may be thinking that this Funko Blog is suggesting I am against buying Pops on eBay. I’m not.
If you want that rare Funko Pop to complete your collection, it’s one of the best places to find them. Just be super-careful where you buy from. People selling their Pops or collections are usually fine.
So long as you have good actual photos of the Pop and the price is what you expect to be paying due to it’s exclusivity or rarity, then you should be golden.
Also purchasing from official UK eBay stores is fine too, however you need to do your research to make sure it is legit. Check our guide on How to Spot a Fake Funko Pop for more information.
However, never buy from China or Hong Kong stores as it will be fake or just crap.