Leonard Moses II
United States
Hixson
Tennessee
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The strategy:

-a flimsy cardboard box.

-stack Kanban the heaviest game first, then The Golden Ages, then La Granja but do not use dividers.

-put airbag on the bottom and all around the sides. Close on top with tape.

-smartpost per USPS.

The bonus:

-you only have to pay for a flimsy cardboard box and airbags. You can price your games cheap.

The results:

 


Only a small corner ding. Still would make Very Good for condition probably. Not too bad.

 


Whoa how on earth did a side split get on the box of The Golden Ages. Maybe internal shifting of components on a hard jolt? Wow. I guess these boxes moved around inside that cardboard box quite a bit eh? This would have to be listed used as Acceptable if I should ever want to sell it.

 


Here is Kanban's large side split. A lot of shifting happened during shipping didn't it?

 


And Kanban took a bit of a small knock too.

 


Here is the strategic system as described above.

 


Closer up of the box and air bags.

 


That is a very flimsy box.

And finally...

Here is how it should be done. You can compare these pictures to see the difference. Question and answer time. Did I contact the retailer? Don't get me wrong here. Yeah, I did. Miniaturemarket.com you have provided me with about 20% of all of the games I have here on my 7 Sams Club shelves. When I see the little imperfection on Magnum Sal that I bought from you because over two years ago you didn't use good packaging either oh yes, I think of you. Boards and Bits always knocked the fire out of your operation. That is why I switched to them and they have like 30% of my games that are on the shelf. The other half is Timewellspent games. Why? I just placed a 220 dollar order with TWS today. I was in the mood to buy games.

I use them because? This:

 


Means I get games like this:

 


And in the long run that makes me a lot more like

And also when you account for me selling games I don't like? Well, they are cheaper.

1. I contacted the retailer detailing what I would be doing.

2. I made this thread.

3. I will patch my boxes of my games with super glue inside and out.

4. I will hope that I will like them and keep them.

5. I will sell La Granja if needed as Very Good disclosing the small corner ding. I will sell Kanban if needed as Acceptable disclosing everything. I will sell The Golden Ages if needed as Acceptable disclosing the side split.

6. I will never ever place another order with miniaturemarket.com

7. You are welcome to out my letter I sent you retailer lurker. I have a copy of it in notepad and it brings me great joy. I feel no need to post it but might enjoy it being posted.

Pssh. You think I went overboard and was angry. You should have seen my wife crazycatlady's response. She looked at me like I had done something wrong and I should have known better ha ha. She admired Tom at boardsandbits and admires Dave also at TWS so much. When you get your package it looks like someone cared to try hard. I just felt like trying it again. You said you had changed. You made a thread. I made one too.
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Scott LaBlanc
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Pleasant Hill
Iowa
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I received a copy of Champions of Midgard from MM yesterday, one corner was dinged so badly that I could hardly get the box lid off.

I wasn't going to complain, now I'm thinking I should.
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Shelby Smith
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Augusta
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I've spent over $1000.00 at mm. My only problem was legendary encounters alien had a smashed corner. I called them right away. They offered to send me another one and I could return mine or a $10 credit. I took the credit. Easy peasy. Not discounting your experience, just sharing mine.
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Andy Andersen
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Michigan
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I have my fingers crossed as I have a big box of MM games out for delivery now.
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Kendahl Johnson
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Syracuse
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slablanc wrote:
I received a copy of Champions of Midgard from MM yesterday, one corner was dinged so badly that I could hardly get the box lid off.

I wasn't going to complain, now I'm thinking I should.
Really the only way they change procedures is if enough people complain.

That being said, I've ordered from MM three times with enough games to hit the $99 free shipping threshold, and have never had any dents or dings.

My story is way worse. The Air Force moved us and our last move, they did a terrible job packing my games. Every box had games with box damage. I filed a claim, they rejected it, but gave me $500 as a consolation. There was $5000 worth of damage. I still get mad when I pull some games out to play and see the damage. (Sorry to hijack your thread.)
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Leonard Moses II
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Hixson
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Don't get me wrong. I knew the risks, and I took them. This is not an isolated incident at all. No one made me place an order for these games there. I chose to.

I will even tailor what games to buy in the future as far as in stock status and just not getting that one If Tws does not have it in stock at the time. I am done with feeling gipped. It isn't worth it. Tws was not running a 10% sale and did not have La Granja in stock.

In the future I will wait for or not play La Granja. Or try Amazon lol. I mean they are actually better on condition issues than this. Particularly when only one game at a time is shipped.
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Mario Lobato
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Cedar Park
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And I got a copy of Space Cadets yesterday where there was a scratch on the cover caused by shipping. Thought was just bad luck, but reading this thread I can see was not well packed. Going to reconsider buying from MM in the future.
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Michael Berg
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Medford
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I always smile when I open an order and see honest-to-goodness packing peanuts. CoolStuffInc has treated me pretty well in that regard. I worked at a UPS Store for a long time, so I know how annoying it is to work with peanuts and wrap things properly.

The kicker: Their business is pulling a box off a shelf, putting it in another box and putting that box on a truck. Take some care and show some love, because the transit companies don't have time to. Just about every package undergoes one four foot drop at some point in the process, you have to prepare for it.

That said, I'm a gamer, I don't mind a little cosmetic damage. But spending a couple dollars more to receive games in good shape just makes sense. Some of the trades/auctions where games are crammed into the smallest possible priority mail box makes me cringe, but thats a bit off topic.
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Chris Talmadge
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Clinton
CT
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darkestoceans wrote:

5. I will sell La Granja if needed as Very Good disclosing the small corner ding. I will sell Kanban if needed as Acceptable disclosing everything. I will sell The Golden Ages if needed as Acceptable disclosing the side split.
The shoddy packaging is unacceptable. My sympathies for the damages.

Individual game boxes should ALWAYS be fully wrapped in 3/8" bubble wrap. This protect the sides and corners from potential shifting damage during shipping AND helps protect game boxes in case the outer shipping container is breached. Shifting damage; however, should never occur, as all open spaces within the shipping container should be filled. This is Packaging 101. And while individuals might not have access to all the proper packing materials, there's no excuse why a business that ships goods to customers should not. In addition, it appears that the employees doing the actual packaging are in need of some re-training.

When trying to re-sell the games; however, a game's condition refers to the overall condition. Everything. Not just the game's box. Where you would certainly detail the box condition as full disclosure during the sale, the overall condition of those two latter-mentioned games would certainly be higher than just "acceptable", unless the contents were also damaged.
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Hinckley
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I think a lot of poorly paid warehouse staff don't actually realise a board game box is actually part of the thing we purchase - it's not packaging to be thrown away like the box containing a frying pan. Training is the solution, of course, but that costs money ...
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Chris C
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Bristow
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Agree completely! I received a damaged game last Order and contacted customer service - game returned and a replacement received...this one also damaged. Miniature Market's response to this second failing - we'll provide you with a $5 credit for use only at Miniature Market. Seriously? You fail twice to deliver an undamaged game, why would I want to make further purchases at your store?
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Andy Andersen
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Orangemoose wrote:
I have my fingers crossed as I have a big box of MM games out for delivery now.
Update - games arrived, box is somewhat flimsy, but games were surrounded by air bags and are in excellent shape.
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Gary Tanner
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Logan
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I can only say that in my orders from MM, I've never had the slightest bit of damage. Maybe I've been lucky, maybe some others have been unlucky, but I don't know of any retailer that no one has ever had a problem with (typically at least one or two a week) that they felt was completely unacceptable and posted about. Which results in talking about how great the other companies do it, which results in the reminders of the times those companies didn't do it so great, etc. Rinse, lather, repeat.
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Tom
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Plainfield
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slablanc wrote:
I received a copy of Champions of Midgard from MM yesterday, one corner was dinged so badly that I could hardly get the box lid off.

I wasn't going to complain, now I'm thinking I should.
I had the same problem. Corner almost looked like it was soaked in water it was so smashed in. They offered 10% back which is about $5. I suspect I could have asked for a new version but I just wanted to play the game. Don't know what to say, they tried to make it right but I hope in the future this isn't too common. The arms race of free shipping means most of the online companies are trying to find the cheapest ways to ship. Cutting corners in order to cut costs means I am starting to think I will pay more for shipping as long as it is packed better.
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Scott LaBlanc
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johnnyspys wrote:
slablanc wrote:
I received a copy of Champions of Midgard from MM yesterday, one corner was dinged so badly that I could hardly get the box lid off.

I wasn't going to complain, now I'm thinking I should.
I had the same problem. Corner almost looked like it was soaked in water it was so smashed in. They offered 10% back which is about $5. I suspect I could have asked for a new version but I just wanted to play the game. Don't know what to say, they tried to make it right but I hope in the future this isn't too common. The arms race of free shipping means most of the online companies are trying to find the cheapest ways to ship. Cutting corners in order to cut costs means I am starting to think I will pay more for shipping as long as it is packed better.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I was so anxious to punch and sort that I won't worry about. Just something to file away for future purchases.
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secoAce -
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I've ordered from MM several times and have always been impressed with the packaging. I've never received a damaged product.

HOWEVER, I haven't place an order with them since they've switched to their flat rate FedEx shipping earlier this year. I wonder if FedEx handles packages rougher that's causing more damage to the package contents.
 
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Jeffrey Goetz
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My last order from them had similar problems to this... luckily, it was a couple expansion boxes (the contents of which I'd store in the main box anyway) and Fields of Arle, which I knew I was keeping, that took the brunt of the damage, and the two games I was less sure about made it unscathed. I complained and received 20% (maybe it was 15) back on the damaged games in the form of MM credit, which amounted to something like $20.

Of course, then I had to order from them again for the order I'm currently waiting on, and seeing that my problem wasn't a one-time thing is a little more concerning, especially since there are preorders that I *think* I'll keep, of course, but can't be sure. Maybe if they keep having to refund people for damage, they'll change their packaging.

I'm also disappointed in the switch to SmartPost for free shipping, though I get it at least. I'm sure it's *substantially* cheaper over time.
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Isaac Finkelstein
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Leonard, why not contact MM and insist on a damage credit or replacement of the games?
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Kevin Marema
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I deal almost exclusively with Miniature Market, but I'm largely exempt from the shipping issues since I pick everything up in store. However, in the few instances where I honestly wasn't sure of the next time I'd be able to drop by their shop, I've just had it shipped. The boxes have always come to me with just enough packaged air to hinder the contents from moving around too much. That being said, anything I've had shipped has been in perfect shape, but it's also making a VERY short journey across town. In all honesty, their packing is still better than the majority of the boxes I get from Amazon.

My favorite part in all this is that when I drop by their store, I always peruse their Dent & Ding section and will grab nearly perfect games for 50-60% off retail. A lot of these are games that people have sent back due to shipping damage, but some of the games get damaged on their way to Miniature Market. In either case, as long as the game inside is in perfect shape (and they always are), I couldn't care less about some blemished boxes. So please, keep sending those damaged boxes back for me. laugh
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Jonathan C
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Orangemoose wrote:
I have my fingers crossed as I have a big box of MM games out for delivery now.
Whaaa?? You buy games Andy? Who woulda thunk it. whistle
 
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Jacob
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In contrast to the OP, I received my first MM order ever just yesterday and was surprised as to how well it was packed. Everything was in excellent shape.
 
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Joe Salamone
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I have placed a few "free shipping" sized orders with MM. The only game that came damaged was Road to Enlightenment. One corner of the box was slightly crushed. It wasn't anything major and it may not have even happened during shipping. Plus, it was a $12 clearance game. I can live with that and I will probably buy from them again.
 
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Andrew Shegda
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I've bought one game from MM and I'll never do it again. The box was damaged (sunk in on the bottom a lot like someone took the box and used their fingers to push up really hard on the bottom of the box) although it wasn't damaged in the shipping process I'll never buy from them again.

The publisher Griggling Games, Inc. wouldn't replace the box and in fact tried to SELL me an entirely new copy of Quartermaster General... I'm like yeah that's helpful... no.

I assumed MM wouldn't do jack about it. Maybe I should complain to MM about it and see if they'll do anything.
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that Matt
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I've received dented and split games from poor packaging at CSI as well as Boards & Bits (RIP) and Board Game Bliss. And I won't talk about the horrors that Amazon has committed. Each of the aforementioned board game retailers all offered me discounts in return for their screwups, ranging from reasonable to quite generous. That's the only reason I stick with them --- and why I no longer order board games from Amazon. I like a nice box, but I like bargain basement prices even better.

I've only seen genuinely well-packaged games when I ordered them straight from the publisher (e.g., Treefrog, Lookout, or Splotter).
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John Hansel
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I've ordered a number of games from MM because I'm in the Midwest and their shipping is the cheapest. Every game I've ordered bar one has had at least minor damage. When I have complained, they've refunded me a small portion of the cost.
I would rather have games in good condition and not have to worry about a refund.
I keep thinking surely they'll get it right but they still haven't. Glad I'm not the only one. Maybe this thread will help.
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