How to get the Star Wars figure you've always wanted!

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You know the figure you're after, but a whole bunch of imperial drones keep getting in before you. Annoying isn't it. Will you ever get your own copy of that vintage 1977 Chewbacca or 2006 Special Collectors Edition Darth Vader? Well, against my better judgement, I'm gonna tell everyone how I get my hands on my favourite collectables. Learn here now in 10 easy steps.

1. Scout out the figure you want, but don't just find one, find a couple of them. If you have a few of them lined up, you better your chances of winning at least one of them.... Eh... method to this madness. Remember to put a check box in the radio button (the little square box) next to the listing, you'll need it for the next step.

2. Compare the current price, does it have a buy it now option, if it does and the price is very good in relation to what the finishing price might be on some of the others, then put this one as your top priority figure. This is the one you probably should get. Remember to check the finishing price on other similar items before you go crazy and start bidding on like 50 of the same thing though. You'll look like Darth Maul when he gets cut in half at the end of episode 1 if you won half of them, and you'll feel like an idiot too! Add all these items to you watch in my ebay list.

3. Check the postage. Is it good or are they rip off merchants like Watto? Some people charge just a few bucks, some like to charge like a jawa at a droid convention. Do they ship with regular or express postage? Ask yourself how much you really want this figure. Is it really worth the few extra bucks? Be objective and think with your head, not your need to complete your collection.

4. What payment methods do they offer. Are you ok with them. Some people offer only paypal, others offer everything but paypal. If there is a payment method there that suits you, then things are looking in your favour. Remember, if you win it you gotta be able to pay for it. You don't want negative feedback. Negative feedback leads to the darkside of the ebay community.

5. Bid on that sucker! Bid now! This is the fun bit, you've done the homework, got the hard stuff out of the way, now to start enjoying the fruits of all that gut busting work. Are there others bidding on the item too? See the trends that they set. Most people are like devaronians, they don't really use they're smarts. You gotta be like R2D2 here. Think outside your metal casing. Someone does bids in one dollar lots, then you do yours in one dollar and five lots. Trust me, I've won by five cents before.

6. Keep an eye on that prize. Watch it to the end. If it's gonna go on for a few days, then maybe you should find something else to occupy your time meanwhile. If it's gonna end in a few minutes, don't hit the hyper drive, just stick around... Take a note of what time the auction is gonna end. You don't want to miss it. Days off work or school are good for this, if everyone else is elsewhere, they can't come in at the last minute with the extra fifty cents and win that baby. Also, if you don't mind loosing some sleep, go for some of the auctions that end late at night. Again, same reason as above.

7. So... Did you win? Good for you... If not, well, don't loose heart. Try again. If you added all the items to the my ebay watch list, then you don't have much scouting to do, you've done the hard part. If not, you're a true small minded bantha, I told you to put them in there... Check the prices and the bidding trends. Fingers crossed for you this time round.

8. Once you got that ever elusive figure, you gotta pay for it. Do the required stuff to get the credits to the seller. Fast payment always makes them as happy as Han Solo when he shoots at Darth Vader's tie fighter at the end of episode 4, you know, when he comes from nowhere and does his whole "Yeehah!" thing. Plus they post the item quicker, meaning you get the booty even faster than you might have expected. I've had stuff show up 2 days later, and I've been as happy as Han.

9. Feedback. Wait until the item arrives safe and sound. Be Fair. The seller didn't tear the post packaging before they sent it. This stuff happens sometimes, you just gotta live with it. The important thing is that they wrapped the item nicely deep inside the packing. Not a scratch, you hear... If they got cheap on you and just put it in a paper envelope, tell them you're not happy. Put that in your feedback if you want, but Be Fair. And don't be abusive or say something offensive like "You mother was a Rodian!",  or "You'll be sleeping with the Twi'leks at the bottom of the ocean soon pal" (no offense to any Rodians or Twi'leks out there). Ebay has a new feedback system, so you can rate the seller on all aspects of the purchase. All the Jawa's out there are pretty pissed about it too I hear.

10. Enjoy that prize. You deserved it for all your hard work. You could probably use a good kiss. You won't be getting one from me anytime soon, but having that figure you've searched your entire week for, you'll feel like you just got one from Leia herself. Or Chewbacca, if you're into that sort of thing. Anyway, be mindful of what you have learnt here padiwans. Happy bidding.

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