I think summer must be the best time to shop for miniatures on ebay. Judging by the prices some lots go for, there's just no real demand. I've added several hundred to my collection, at an average cost of about 20p a figure (about 10% of the retail price). What's more, many of them are painted to a reasonable standard.
I've found that the best value can be had from buying up large Warhammer collections (their Lord of the Rings range seems to be very much out of fashion at the moment). Although, now I probably have too many of certain types, in addition to my original, unpainted collection. However, it feels prudent to hold off selling the extras until September, when schools and colleges start back, as I'm pretty sure the demand for miniatures will pick up by then.