Monday, February 24, 2014

FEATURE: Only suckers pay retail.

Warhammer isn't cheap. Ask anyone in the hobby, and it's the first thing they'll tell you. Here are some tips for saving cash.

First, let's get this out of the way; GW is gouging the shit out of you at retail. Both Deet and I work in the toy business, and we can tell you exactly how much each of the GW kits costs in both materials and tooling, (the crafting of the molds) and trust us, the retail price points are INSANE.

We all enter the hobby with sticker shock, but as we are immersed in it over time, start to accept the retail markup. "Those new Hive Guard are only $75, that's not too bad!"

SCREW THAT! Here are a few great ways to save money, and still get what you want. Remember, people are leaving the hobby EVERY DAY for one reason or another, any they're trying to get rid of their stuff.

Quite possibly the greatest invention since the internet itself. And there's a TON of Warhammer stuff up for grabs. Typing in "Space Marines" in the games category nets over 11,000 results! It's searchable by so many parameters that you can instantly find what you want. Devourer bits? Razorback twin link lascannon? Ork heads? It has them all.

New in box, used, bits - ebay's got it. But there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Shipping shenanigans: "Hey, these fire warriors are only $5... and the shipping is $15! WTF?"
This one's pretty frequent. You'll see a great item price, and tucked away in the corner is an insane shipping fee. Simply avoid these. As mentioned, there are literally tens of thousands of listings, with new lots added every day. Keep looking, you'll find what you want at an amazing price.

2. Combined shipping: SAVE EVEN MORE! Some sellers will allow you to combine shipping on multiple lots. You bought that Assault Squad for an amazing $12, with $5 shipping - why not see if he has some Scouts for sale as well? If the seller is combining shipping, you'll get both sent to you for the single $5 fee.

3. It's OK to buy used. You can find countless items new in box for 10-15% below retail, but if you're willing to put in a little time and effort to strip and clean models, buying used can save you 60-80% over retail. HORDE PLAYERS, this one's for you. You need three termigant broods for your swarm army? That's $132 (plus tax!) from GW. I bought 40 gants off of ebay for $38 plus shipping - assembled and primed!

This one's a little more hit and miss than ebay, but the upside is that you can negotiate price, and if you see something you want, you can get it the same day! I troll CL daily looking for Warhammer items. Doesn't matter if I play the army or not, if some mom is clearing out her son's closet now that he's gone to college, and I can get two land raiders and a Chaos battleforce for $30 because she doesn't know what it's worth, you bet your sweet ass I'm buying them to resell later.

Just last month, I found a complete, NIB Space Marine battleforce for $60. I met the guy at a local starbucks, talked him down to $50, and he threw in a free 5th edition Dark Angels codex! I sold the Assault squad, Scout squad, five of the fifteen Tactical Marines and the codex on ebay for a total of $60. That's a $10 profit, and I kept a ten man Tactical squad and a Rhino for myself! Free Warhammer figures? Uhm, yes, please!

online retailers
Almost all online retailers sell GW items at 25% off retail list. GW put some weird restrictions in place, and you won't see items listed on their sites, but if you call or email, they'll sell you the kits just the same. The online retailer Deet and I use most is The War Store. These guys are great, they ship at a flat fee, and they're quick as hell. Most orders go out the same day, and arrive within a week. I buy ALL my new GW kits through them. Harupsex I showed off last week? Warstore; 25% off retail. $75 for Tyrant Guard? Nope. $52. LOVE these guys. (and no, I don't get a bonus for mentioning them)

other players
If you stop at a local gaming shop often, you've probably met a lot of players and made some friends and acquaintances. Players are starting new armies all the time, and everyone is looking to save money on the hobby. Maybe that new Tau player is looking to offset the cost of his army by selling his old Dark Eldar that he doesn't want anymore.

One of the players at my local shop has a massive Eldar army. In casual conversation he mentioned that he used to play space marines, and had thousands of points worth of unpainted models for sale. I gladly purchased some from him and we both got what we wanted.

A single point of caution on this method is to make sure that you deal with the players out of the watchful eye of the store manager. By buying models from other players, and not the store, you're taking money directly out of the store's coffers, and that wont sit well. Keep your dealings discreet, and in the parking lot.


Well, there are a few suggestions for saving money in an expensive hobby. If you have your own hints or money saving tips, pleas share them in the comments below. I know I say that often, and almost nobody comments, but this is a real chance to help out your fellow players.

Remember, only suckers pay retail!



  1. 3 Kroot hounds, Krootox, ethereal- $15. Thanks ebay!

  2. Ork Warbikers, Nobz and a assembly kit at £35!

  3. I have about 5000 points of Nids that I got from Ebay. All used, most in good condition. I spent about $800 for what should have cost me closer to $1500. An amazing deal. Since then I've rounded out my army with new kits at discount from local stores.

    Plus I'm trying some potentially shady Chinese sellers right now. They have good feedback from around the web though, so I 'm hopeful.

    Good call on the CraigsList thing as well!