Yes BIN prices are high. You will notice that the seller will have a figure starting at say $4.99 with a BIN of $40. The reason they put a high BIN is for the unsuspecting buyer to end the auction & they will make more money than what it is worth. Sometimes you just have to bid the opener & watch to see what happens in the ending days. If there is something you are really interested in, always make sure you are at your computer at the dying minutes. I never put a proxy in as to me it just serves no purpose puting in a proxy to find out someone just wants to bump your price up.
Now prices on the Vader are not too bad. $27. CDN is a good price. Take into account that a mint Luke figure will cost you around $40. - $50. CDN.
If you want, you can always check eBay Canada. Best part, no customs.
The most expensive figures to go after are the POTF last of the 17. These are them:EV9D9
R2 Popup Sabre
Best figures to start off with, Jawa R2-D2, C-3PO, Gen. Madine, Ackbar, Niem Numb, Imperial Commander, Stormtrooper, AT-AT Commander, B-Wing Pilot, 2-1B, FX-7, Emperor, Biker Scout, Bossk, Zuckuss, Dengar, Hammerhead, Red Snaggletooth, Nikto, Greedo, Walrus Man, Weequay, Klaatu, Bespin Guard, Lobot etc.
You can get these at a fair price.
No weapons to go with them around the $10 - $15. CDN range. If they have weapons, add $5. - $7.
Like you mentioned, if you can find them inhand in town then thats good. You can really have a good look at them. Just remember, there prices are not set in stone. Say the store asks for $20. for a figure, offer him $17. & see if they go for it. Just like a flea market. Haggle.
As for online in Canada, I am not sure whats around. Never used it before. Most of my figures came from eBay & around town.
When I started, I went for the gusto. I started the hard ones first to get them out of the way. My first was Yak Face & he was $105. US. The odd figure in between working my way up. The last rare figure was the Vinyl Cape Jawa. The last regular figure was the R2-D2 with Sensorscope.
As for vehicles, I did them towards the end. My Droids A-Wing & Imperial Shuttle cost me $150. US each.
Lot figures are usually good for bulk figures with a lot of wear. Unless you find a Blue Snaggy in it you go for it.
Always remember, if you get worn figures that you like, down the road you can always upgrade. Lord knows I have.
And on another note, with the more experience you have on prices the better it will be to see an auction with a BIN that the seller has for a good low price. $90. US for a 12 back C-3PO was one of my best.