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Subject: The shipping dilemma rss

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Dean Hunt
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I love participating in auctions to help people out and try and snag a few bargains...

But based on my experience, the cost of shipping almost always makes buying a used game through an auction on here more expensive than getting a NEW copy from Amazon (I have free shipping with Prime).

I suppose the key to get around this is multiple items at once from the seller, but that can be tricky to achieve.

Any tips, thoughts or suggestions?
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Evan Dunn
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before bidding, estimate your expense on average $13 higher than the amount you are bidding. Then decide if it's still a good deal for you.
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Robert Sell
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largelylegit wrote:
I love participating in auctions to help people out and try and snag a few bargains...

But based on my experience, the cost of shipping almost always makes buying a used game through an auction on here more expensive than getting a NEW copy from Amazon (I have free shipping with Prime).

I suppose the key to get around this is multiple items at once from the seller, but that can be tricky to achieve.

Any tips, thoughts or suggestions?
I was in the same boat. I don't even bother with newish games I can get at Amazon, but in auctions I go for bundles. It bothers me when my bundle gets broken, so lately I have mostly ignored auctions.
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Panda Bear
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Another way besides lot dealing / buying a bunch is requesting things w/o their box or various frivolous accessories - granted this is a bit extreme for some games, but for card games especially it is really easy to re-box or find a nice home for things and an easy decision if you plan to keep the game forever.

Otherwise it is up to sellers to find inventive ways to make it worthwhile or just eat the shipping on their end. Almost nobody can compete with Amazon, CSI, or MM when it comes to shipping...but like supporting a FLGS, sometimes you spend a little extra to invest in the community.
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Isaac Shalev
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Unless I get local pickup, or the game is out of print, or it's a small game or qualifies for regional priority shipping, the auctions don't make sense for me either, since I'm also Prime.

I have sometimes PM'd an offer for multiple games to ensure combined shipping.
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Ricky Dang
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I suppose if you go to conventions to purchase the item and then arrange for a pickup at the convention or just do local pickups in general.
 
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Patrick C.
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I also have Prime, but still find a number of items affordable in the auctions.

Two things to watch for:

1. Look for sellers within approx. 500 miles of your location. Obviously, the closer the better.

2. The sellers state they will ship according to the wishes of the buyer and not automatically use flat rate.

Small games can easily ship for $6.

Another thing: Two Ticket to Ride size boxes fit inside a flat rate board game size large flat rate box. So the cost per game is about $8.

A lot of this depends on the flexibility of the seller. Definitely read the header of an auction to see just how flexible a seller is.

Like others have said, it's frequently best to win multiple games. Look for auctions with BIN's which will mean you know you've won what you're bidding on.
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Bryan Thunkd
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quietcorn wrote:
before bidding, estimate your expense on average $13 higher than the amount you are bidding. Then decide if it's still a good deal for you.

Agreed... if you're not factoring in shipping when you determine your bid then you're overpaying. Don't do that.

Like you said, multiple games from the same person cuts the shipping cost. Be careful though, if you get overbid on some but not all of the games in an auction then you've just lost that shipping savings.

Don't bid on cheaper games. If the game doesn't cost much normally, then the amount you spend on shipping is going to be a huge piece of the total cost of the game. You're not going to get that game cheap enough to make it a good deal. Exception: if you're already buying games from this person.
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Michael Guigliano
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Three words:

Cool
Stuff
Inc.

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Scott M.
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clarkkent22 wrote:
Three words:

Cool
Stuff
Inc.



BOOM!


[/End mofo thread]
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Michael Guigliano
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Right?

I mean, free shipping over $100...

If the price of the auction game is even close, for a new copy...

It's a no-brainer.
 
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Dean Hunt
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Why Cool Stuff Inc over Amazon? Which has free shipping on MOST board games. (for prime users)
 
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Patrick C.
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largelylegit wrote:
Why Cool Stuff Inc over Amazon? Which has free shipping on MOST board games. (for prime users)


Because even with Prime Coolstuff . . . or ANY major online seller (except for Funagain - why is CSI getting all the attention here?) is cheaper once you reach the free shipping threshold. I constantly check the prices. The difference is anywhere from $3 to $10 and sometimes more. If you're buying 4 or 5 games it's a no-brainer. That said, if all you want is one game then Amazon with Prime can be an acceptable deal.

Seems like everyone is throwing the baby out with the bath water. Deals can be had in the auctions. It just requires paying attention and patience.

Subscribe to the games you want to buy. Pay attention to the alerts when you see that a game has been listed for sale or for an auction. Grab the game when it's for the right price. I do this all the time. And it's cheaper than all the retailers. One exception: The hottest games usually aren't worth it unless they're already hard to find. But games a year or older can frequently be had for less than retail. With exceptions, of course.
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Michael Guigliano
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Well, everything has exeptions, right?
 
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Bryan Thunkd
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largelylegit wrote:
Why Cool Stuff Inc over Amazon? Which has free shipping on MOST board games. (for prime users)

Well, occasionally Amazon will have a really great deal where the price can't be beat, but day-in day-out Cool Stuff has much better pricing.
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Michael Guigliano
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And you can't get everything through CSI.
i.e. Robinson, Terra...
 
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Jeremy Shelton
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clarkkent22 wrote:
Well, everything has exeptions, right?


Except for the things that don't.
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Michael Guigliano
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Touché, salesman...
 
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Mr. Blue
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Thunkd wrote:
largelylegit wrote:
Why Cool Stuff Inc over Amazon? Which has free shipping on MOST board games. (for prime users)

Well, occasionally Amazon will have a really great deal where the price can't be beat, but day-in day-out Cool Stuff has much better pricing.


Comparing apples to apples (not Apples to Apples), you have to look at CSI's 2nd day shipping cost to meaningfully compare with Amazon Prime. My understanding is the $100-threshold free shipping at CSI is the standard surface mail that can take a week or two. The one time I did that, I recall it took at least a week to get my (cool-) stuff. So, even if an item is a few bucks less at CSI, I will go Amazon Prime and get my stuff more quickly. In my experience, even with "2nd" day shipping from Amazon, I often (~50%) receive it the very next day.

But back on point to this thread, I definitely take shipping costs into account with the price of the game when looking at items offered in geeklist auctions. I notice a commonly occurring issue where a soft reserve + shipping = higher than new price for the game. Doesn't make sense to bid on that kind of an item. I have purchased a couple of out-of-print titles or bundles of games where the shipping makes sense and the titles aren't readily available online or my FLGS.
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Joe Potteiger
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clarkkent22 wrote:
And you can't get everything through CSI.
i.e. Robinson, Terra...


You are talking about two hard to find games. I just looked up on Amazon. Terra Mystica is selling for $299. Robinson is selling for $110. If you are paying those prices, I highly doubt you are worried about shipping costs.
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Adam Kazimierczak
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I usually buy OOP games on Geekbay auctions. They have better deals than Ebay and the people are nicer.

As for selling games, I think it's up to the auctioneer to get creative and drum ip some interest with good deals that beat Amazon and CSI while still getting a decent return.

(Insert shameless plug for my auction ending Wednesday: My First Jones Theory Auction with FREE SHIPPING and BIN Madness! - CLOSED!)


Seriously though: I researched the prices on the competition and offered free shipping and bulk BIN discounts. Even if nobody bids on a single item more the auction has been a success AND people got some great deals.

I feel a twinge of vicarious embarrassment when I see auctions on BGG with overpriced minimums on thrift store games. If you want to gouge someone ignorant, go on Ebay.
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Mr. Blue
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kaziam wrote:


(Insert shameless plug for my auction ending Wednesday:


Nicely done, Adam. thumbsup I took a look. Sadly, they aren't games I'm looking for, but I appreciate the effort.
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Silver Bowen
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Some games can be a tremendous deal via geekbay. For instance, I just bought everything ever published for Tide of Iron in one huge lot. It was a bit less than $110 with shipping. OLGS prices would have been around twice that. Bulk purchase FTW.
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