Like you pointed out Matt, I honestly see value in preferring AFA graded items when you're a carded collector that needs a guarantee on quality, especially on vintage. The extra cost that it brings to the figure is probably justified to some collectors just to know exactly what they're getting, when youíre talking mid to high triple digit pricetags.
Dave's eBay hunt points out very well how few modern figures are actually in need of an AFA grade. There are probably less than a handful of figures that will cost anyone a large enough cash outlay to justify the ďinsurance/assuranceĒ of it. Itís rather pointless to pay $51.00 for a C9+ Ric Olie, when you can pretty much guarantee tracking down an equal quality one for less than 10 bucks. To the sellerís credit, since we know the cost associated with AFAíing a figure, thatís probably a fair price once you factor in shipping to GA, AFA fees, and return shipment to the seller. Why you'd bother, who knows.
Itís interesting to start to see some pattern to the economics of this. I wouldnít pay $400 for a carded Sacul (hell, Weequay either) but I do understand why super-anal carded collectors might. Itís just not us.
BTW, someone bought that Ric Olie. That, I donít understand.