This is a training tutorial for our amazing price squad members. If you'd like to get involved with pricing at hobbyDB, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org! We'd love to get you started! :)
Welcome to the Price Squad!
We’ve always prided ourselves on providing the most accurate possible data and that involves the discerning, knowledgeable eyes of our Price Squad team. The process depends on a keen eye for detail, the available variants of a particular item and squeaky clean mint condition! Here’s some important factors to keep in mind as you’re getting started:
Condition! - all pricing assigned to listings must be in Near Mint condition. In the system, this will tend to be denoted by the term “new.” Although, “used” or "Near Mint" listings may also be Mint. We do not want to include anything out of box either! If you want to be sure, you can click the title of closed sale to proceed to the actual marketplace link
Fakes! - I think we all know that fakes have become an issue in the collecting community and it’s important those aren’t added to the data. If the sale price of an item is far off from the estimated value in our system, something could be fishy. Check out the original marketplace listing and see if you can spot anything unusual. If it seems suspicious we would prefer if you delete it.
Details such as stickers, packaging variations or the back of a pin! - since we’re looking to provide the highest level of detail for every collectible, we have variants for each item representing the different possible stickers placed on the packaging. Make sure that you’re watching for this and assigning exact matches while you’re going through listings. If you don’t know, you can ask or put that listing back into the pool.
Price anomalies! - if a particular listing seems inordinately high or low compared to the estimated value and other recent assigned listings, we should take a closer look at the listing. Always reference the Estimated Value of an item before matching a listing to it.
Lots! - a big no-no for adding listings to the database is lots of more than one item. Since we can’t reliably break the price per item down when more than one item is sold in one sale, we can’t include those kinds of sales in the database.
Pre-Orders! - we do not add preorders, presales or “confirmed” orders to listings, as we have found they are often based on speculation and frequently do not actually happen. Closed listings should only be added if the item has already been released.
So now we know the basics, how do we get started?
Once you’re logged in, you’re going to click “Curation” at the top bar. You’ll see a bunch of options open up beneath that. So we can get started assigning listings, first we have to take some listings. So get busy clicking the “Take Listings” button!
Once you’re there, it’s time to take some listings to assign. We’ll have already set you up with a specific collectible type or brand (Funko, Hard Rock Cafe etc), so all you need to do is take as many listings as you think you’d like to do. We recommend starting with “TAKE 100,” as you can always put any listings back into the pool that you haven’t completed (make sure you do that, though!).
Once you’ve taken your listings, it’s time to start assigning! You can quickly get to the assigning page by hitting “Assign” (near where TAKE 100 is). You can also hit "TAKE 100 & ASSIGN" and it will take you to the same place in one step. It will take you to this page:
On the left-hand side, is the listing which needs to be assigned. You’ll see a variety of information presented, most notably the listing title (at the top) and some metadata from the sale which includes the sale price and condition. For more valuable items, we highly recommend inspecting the listing directly (for any potential item damage etc), just click the title above the photo. Unfortunately we cannot do anything about the listing photo size, it is handled by eBay. If you need a closer look, click through to the listing. It will tell you the listing has ended and you need to click the image again to get to the actual listing.
On the right-hand side, you’ll find the database entries which the system has picked to match up with the listing you’re working on. It’s usually pretty accurate, but sometimes you’ll need to use the search bar above to search on a more specific basis. Things you’re going to want to watch for are: variants of a particular item, the estimated value (is the listing within reason compared to EV? watch for green and red. green means it's close in value), info about store or convention exclusive.
Let’s take a closer look!
The Listing View:
What does it all mean?
The first button of interest is “Delete.” Use this for anything not Mint condition, anything that is in a lot of more than one item, anything that shows evidence of price gouging or a suspiciously low price, or any preorder items.
The next, “Temporarily Ignore,” you’ll want to use if you’re not sure about something and you want to come back to it. It will just shuffle back through your queue.
Next, “Send to Admin.” Any items you aren’t sure about that you would like one of our data admins to take a look at, just hit that button. We’re big fans of the “when in doubt, ask” policy. So please do that if you’re not absolutely sure about something.
“Send to Admin,” If you’re not sure about a particular listing, please send to an admin with this button. We’ll review the listing and ensure it is properly dealt with.
“Reload Initial Matches” will reload the original items that the system matched to the listing. Sometimes when you start searching, the originally presented matches do not return as they were originally shown. This brings that back for you.
“Release ALL Listings” is to return all the listings you have “taken” back to the pool so that other users can assign them. If you are done working on listings for a bit, please make sure you return all your listings back to the pool. Don’t hoard them! :)
“Release THIS Listing” just sends the currently shown listing back to the pool. This can be useful if the listing is not actually part of the series or brand you’re working on. Occasionally the wrong listings will get pulled into a certain queue. Just return them and we’ll handle it later.
“Undo Last,” is a button you can use to undo the last listing you assigned. When you get into a flow, you can start moving pretty quickly and then realize you made a mistake. The Undo button takes you right back again so you can redo that listing.
At the bottom you’ll see your Stats for the day so you can keep track of how much good work you’re doing! We recommend trying to do between 100-300 when you sit down. They end up going pretty fast once you get into the swing of things.
Matched Database Entry View:
As I’m sure you know, there can be several variants for a given collectible. This is where you’re going to make that assessment. The trick with looking through the matches section is to watch for specific indicators for the correct variant. Remember that newly added items might not present matches yet because they don’t have many listings assigned, so you may have to search. Each database entry will provide all the information you need to make that assessment:
Estimated Value: This can be a quick way to select the correct variant of an item. Prices will generally be in the same ballpark as the estimated value. if there’s a big difference between the listing price and the estimated value for the matches, you’re going to want to take a close look at the listing and the match.
Select: The select button to the right of the database item is what you’re going to press to actually assign an item. You only have to press it once, so be sure! If you make a mistake, that’s what the “Undo Last” button is for. Make sure you’re sure, though!
Metadata: The bullet-pointed data beneath the listing will contain a lot of relevant information that will help you. Information like Store or Con Exclusive, release year, character depicted in collectible, and related brands/media. It can all help you narrow down your options.
That’s about it!
We recommend going slow at first to make sure you’re being careful about assigning but you’ll notice that it speeds up as you go. Just always make sure to stay diligent and ensure you’re helping us provide the most accurate data possible. Again, when in doubt, either release the listing or send to an admin. We’re available via email at email@example.com if you have any questions on the job. We’re also working on getting a discord group together so that the pricing squad can communicate with one another.
Now go on and help us make hobbyDB/PPG the best it can possibly be!