Today sees the much publicized launch of Miniature Bids - the internets latest miniature wargaming auction site.




The team behind it said

“Miniature Bids is a new website launching this Saturday designed to allow you to auction off your unwanted table top gaming stuff FREE; no listing fees and no final selling price fees.

So fed up with the madness that is Ebay fees (and the latest changes to them!) we decided enough was enough and set about creating a free auctions site just for the table top gaming hobby.

You will be able to create auctions and bid on others free of charge. You can sell and buy anything that falls under the ‘table top hobby’ umbrella from wargames models to RPG books from board games to dice games. We will have a category for it all. And if we don’t have a category but there is demand for it, we will create it!

Miniaturebids.com will be 100% free to post actions and buy stuff forever. Well, except for the PayPal fees but no matter what payment gateway we use there will be fees. As we use PayPal to manage the payments, both the buyer and the seller are protected by PayPals buyer and seller protection.  You can even list your items on a ’14 day Buy it Now’ type item.”

Intrigued I wandered over for a nosy around.

First Impressions

The site looks good, its clean, crisp, sharp and has a suitably professional style to it. The navigation is clear, the terms, conditions, privacy and all the other legal shite is well placed, concise and present. So far so good.

My first action is to register for an account and head over to the listings page via the All Auctions button. In total (remember this is the sites first ever day of operation) it has around 300 listings, so it's reasonably promising on the activity front.

It's free to list items by the way and they claim it always will be, evidently they plan on an advertisement based monetization method. Whether they will achieve this aim will depend largely on the promotion they receive. This is one of those sites that has tonnes of potential but to realize that potential it needs traffic and awareness. Reason being? people will lose interest and stop listing if there isn't a large enough audience to sell to. The same applies with all kinds of websites, it's great having all the bells and whistles, but when there's no one around to hear them you might as well pack up and jog on.

Testing A Listing

My next job was to place something up for sale.  This was easy, I whipped out some paint, slapped them on a spare model and listed it for £150 pro painted (because we're all pros on auction sites right?). If it doesn't sell the site is obviously a joke and they're DOOMED - joke.



  Chalky the HipHop Snowman.

Come See Me On Miniature Bids!!

Right, the submission process is easy.  The boxes are boxy and the options cover pretty much everything you need. So far, so good. Like Snowman's lyrics, this is smooth.

Suggestions

I think they need to differentiate between listings from other countries a little more clearly.
Here's the reason.




There is nothing on the main listings page to show the original location of the item. A simple flag for each country somewhere would be good. See below.


There, with the simple addition of a flag I know not to bother clicking that link. Of course, I could filter it by the advanced search options - but why not drop this in? If it makes it more accessible to the guys that just browse it's a good thing right?


In Summary

Right, to summarize my experience - registering, listing, browsing was all good. Actually, if you search for something that isn't there - for example I searched for UK based Orks - because I have an obsession with green things right now - it just skips back to the main listing page which was (for me at least) confusing for a split second. Other than that this site has a whole lot of good going for it and needs one thing.

IT NEEDS YOU TO SELL AND BUY ON IT AND TELL PEOPLE ABOUT IT

...and also, if you want to own the Hip Hop Snowman buy him - he's a real bargain and buying him means you wont have to face him. He's a badman.




 
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