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Subject: Course of action for Gloomhaven scam on Amazon (Brooklyn Toys) rss

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Matthew Wolfson
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Hi all, I noticed that multiple people have been hurt by this scam by Brooklyn Toys on Amazon and I want to post here on BGG to help the community avoid this type of predatory behavior.

Brooklyn Toys is a company that has had a posting for Gloomhaven since it ran out of stock around November 2017. Many people including myself pre-ordered product at a jacked up price ($289) and with a listed release date of Jan 19. Amazon recently posted a new Gloomhaven pre-order for only $136 so many people are attempting to cancel their pre-order.

Immediately after we requested cancellation, Brooklyn Toys maliciously created shipping labels for us. By creating a shipping label that is stuck in the "PRE-SHIPMENT INFO SENT TO USPS, USPS AWAITING ITEM" phase, the store can prevent us from cancelling our pre-orders. Amazon customer service claims they cannot do anything because it shows up as being in the "shipping" phase. One amazon agent is on my side, completely understands how they are exploiting the loophole, and continually contacts me. I am very grateful for her help but there is still little progress.

If you are affected, please let me know so we can join efforts in raising the issue as much as possible.

You can see multiple people have been affected and I wanted to bring it to your attention because as a victim, I know that it is the Gloomhaven game that everyone is referring to:
https://www.amazon.com/sp?_encoding=UTF8&asin=&isAmazonFulfi...=
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Offering a preorder for $300 by a date that they're going to meet is scummy, but it's not a scam.

You are a sucker, not a victim.
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Matthew Wolfson
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You are correct, pre-ordering the product at a high cost is not a scam on their part, but using the technique of creating an empty shipping label without a product simply to prevent you from being able to cancel is a scam.

They are intentionally trying to work around the Amazon system that lets you cancel a pre-order. This is not kickstarter where building the product depends on capital, this is a preorder on amazon and they are skirting the rules.
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Arguably, using a logistical powerhouse like Amazon to strongarm smaller sellers into a preorder policy determined entirely by and designed to benefit Amazon, leaving the smaller company on the hook for the cost of the wholesale/distributor orders they are no longer able to fulfill, is a bigger scam than "I bought it but now someone else offers it cheaper."
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Pete
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piman wrote:
Arguably, using a logistical powerhouse like Amazon to strongarm smaller sellers into a preorder policy determined entirely by and designed to benefit Amazon, leaving the smaller seller on the hook for the cost of the orders they are no longer able to fulfil, is a bigger scam than "I bought it but now someone else offers it cheaper."
I have no doubt that they will be able to sell their copies of Gloomhaven at a profit, even if it will not be a 400% profit like they were hoping for.

Pete (has zero remorse for Brooklyn Toys if they get smacked for this)
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plezercruz wrote:
piman wrote:
Arguably, using a logistical powerhouse like Amazon to strongarm smaller sellers into a preorder policy determined entirely by and designed to benefit Amazon, leaving the smaller seller on the hook for the cost of the orders they are no longer able to fulfil, is a bigger scam than "I bought it but now someone else offers it cheaper."
I have no doubt that they will be able to sell their copies of Gloomhaven at a profit, even if it will not be a 400% profit like they were hoping for.

Pete (has zero remorse for Brooklyn Toys if they get smacked for this)

I've got no remorse for BT or any corporation, but it's dangerous to pretend that this is anything other than Amazon wielding its logistical efficiency over all other market participants.

Amazon was happy to take the $289, happy to keep its "no refunds after printing" policy despite whatever human emotion its CSRs might show, and is now happy to undercut BT to grab the rest of the profit.
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Pete
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piman wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
piman wrote:
Arguably, using a logistical powerhouse like Amazon to strongarm smaller sellers into a preorder policy determined entirely by and designed to benefit Amazon, leaving the smaller seller on the hook for the cost of the orders they are no longer able to fulfil, is a bigger scam than "I bought it but now someone else offers it cheaper."
I have no doubt that they will be able to sell their copies of Gloomhaven at a profit, even if it will not be a 400% profit like they were hoping for.

Pete (has zero remorse for Brooklyn Toys if they get smacked for this)

I've got no remorse for BT or any corporation, but it's dangerous to pretend that this is anything other than Amazon wielding its logistical efficiency over all other market participants.
I'm buying Gloomhaven from an FLGS. They're charging me about $140, which they claim is MSRP. Amazon coming in at about $4 less is not "logistical efficiency" (though being the first to do so probably is).

Pete (thinks Brooklyn Toys is the outlier, not Amazon)
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Matthew Wolfson
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JayJ79 wrote:
piman wrote:
Offering a preorder for $300 by a date that they're going to meet is scummy, but it's not a scam.

You are a sucker, not a victim.

I'd have to kind of agree with this sentiment.

If they promised you one thing and didn't deliver, that would be a scam.
But in this case, they promised you something that they are delivering on.
Printing the shipping labels more than a week ahead of when they are able to actually ship the items IS pretty scummy, but not a scam if they actually deliver the product as advertised.

The only reason you're accusing them as scamming you is because you saw a cheaper price somewhere.


You guys are correct that scam probably has too harsh of a connotation. They are going to deliver the product. Any better words for when a company lies to you?

I actually have a lot of faith in Amazon to recognize that BT is trying to get around their policies in an unethical way. Amazon is able to deliver products and keep people happy because they have these standards in place.
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Jay Johnson
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plezercruz wrote:
I'm buying Gloomhaven from an FLGS. They're charging me about $140, which they claim is MSRP.

The info I've seen from Cephalofair (as of Dec. 6, 2017) also says that MSRP is $140.

http://www.cephalofair.com/2017/12/whats-happening-gloomhave...
(in the comments section, a short ways down)
Quote:
Cephalofair on December 6, 2017 at 9:15 pm
The MSRP is $140.
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darhoth of darhothland
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utiemyshoes wrote:
Hi all, I noticed that multiple people have been hurt by this scam by Brooklyn Toys on Amazon and I want to post here on BGG to help the community avoid this type of predatory behavior.

Brooklyn Toys is a company that has had a posting for Gloomhaven since it ran out of stock around November 2017. Many people including myself pre-ordered product at a jacked up price ($289) and with a listed release date of Jan 19. Amazon recently posted a new Gloomhaven pre-order for only $136 so many people are attempting to cancel their pre-order.

Immediately after we requested cancellation, Brooklyn Toys maliciously created shipping labels for us. By creating a shipping label that is stuck in the "PRE-SHIPMENT INFO SENT TO USPS, USPS AWAITING ITEM" phase, the store can prevent us from cancelling our pre-orders. Amazon customer service claims they cannot do anything because it shows up as being in the "shipping" phase. One amazon agent is on my side, completely understands how they are exploiting the loophole, and continually contacts me. I am very grateful for her help but there is still little progress.

If you are affected, please let me know so we can join efforts in raising the issue as much as possible.

You can see multiple people have been affected and I wanted to bring it to your attention because as a victim, I know that it is the Gloomhaven game that everyone is referring to:
https://www.amazon.com/sp?_encoding=UTF8&asin=&isAmazonFulfi...=


So I canceled my order yesterday with Brooklyn Toys, noting that the original posting said nothing about an indefinite release date, had a specific release date and used the shipping notification to bypass Amazon's requirements. I got an email back from Amazon within 2 hours that my order had been canceled and the full amount refunded.
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darhoth of darhothland
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JayJ79 wrote:
piman wrote:
Offering a preorder for $300 by a date that they're going to meet is scummy, but it's not a scam.

You are a sucker, not a victim.

I'd have to kind of agree with this sentiment.

If they promised you one thing and didn't deliver, that would be a scam.
But in this case, they promised you something that they are delivering on.
Printing the shipping labels more than a week ahead of when they are able to actually ship the items IS pretty scummy, but not a scam if they actually deliver the product as advertised.

The only reason you're accusing them as scamming you is because you saw a cheaper price somewhere.


You need to cut people a little slack here. They actually did NOT deliver on their promise. Not all of us fully knew about Gloomhaven when we went go buy it.

I first heard about Gloomhaven back in November and went to Amazon to buy it (like I do most things). At that time, Brooklyn Toys did not list it as a pre-order and instead said it would be delivered in November. I had no idea that there was not a firm release date at that time (again - I am sure a lot of people were in the same boat). So I ordered it. Once I found out what was going on and and the actual pre-order window was confirmed with Amazon, I canceled my order. I got a full refund after emailing Amazon, noting that the posting was not listed as a pre-order and that Brooklyn Toys was fraudulently creating shipping labels to bypass Amazon's process. My next step is the New York attorney general/consumer protection if I had not gotten a refund.
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After receiving the game, is it possible to return it within x days to get money back? Partial refund is also a possibility if Brooklyn Toys is ready to negotiate terms after delivery.
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Mark Johnson
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Brooklyn Toys has been creating shipping labels for the pre-orders to get around Amazon's requirement that a product is shipped within a month of when it was ordered. When someone's "pre-order" got close to 30 days from order date, they'd print a shipping label despite not having a product to ship so that Amazon wouldn't complain.

See here for a message from Brooklyn Toys to one buyer about it:

Quote:
According to Amazon.com shipping policy, shipping must be confirmed within 30 days. If the shipping will not be confirmed by 30th day they cancel orders automatically. When we confirmed the shipping to avoid the cancellation the status switched to "Shipped" and you received a shipping notice. Please note that the actual shipping takes place as soon as these items will be received by us from the manufacturer(a tracking number will be provided).

So they're gaming the system so that they can continue selling the game at a jacked up price despite having none in stock. This is because Amazon does not allow pre-orders from a marketplace seller - that's why everything needs to ship within 30 days.

Meanwhile, Amazon posted the game only once it was within 30 days of a guaranteed shipping date - though it's worth noting that Amazon itself is allowed to have pre-orders more than 30 days out, they just don't allow it for sellers on the marketplace.

The only reason BT was able to jack up the price on the pre-orders and not face competition from other sellers offering the game at a reasonable price is because they were doing something explicitly not allowed by Amazon, so they were the only ones doing it. Now, maybe that's also Amazon strong-arming small sellers as well, but regardless that's Amazon's policy and BT seems to be going around it to get more money from the "suckers."

You might not agree with the policies, but they're there, and BT doesn't seem to be following them.

I would say that anyone who went there and bought the game at an inflated price and received it immediately is either a sucker who didn't know better or someone for whom the extra money was worth getting the game earlier. But anyone who paid the inflated price for a pre-order got scammed and should be refunded - that's on BT, not the buyers.
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darhoth of darhothland
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JayJ79 wrote:
Selling marked-up pre-orders like that is kind of like fishing. If they get a fish to take the bait and bite into the hook, are they obligated to release the fish if the fish sees another worm (possibly with less of a hook, or hook free) afterward?
(I guess that depends on whether there are regulations in place for catch-and-release. I guess it isn't a perfect metaphor)


It is illegal to misrepresent what you are selling, which is what Brooklyn Toys did. When I bought in November, there was no mention that this was for a product without a release date. Instead it said it would be delivered in November. They wanted to get the benefits of pre-order hype without actually following the Amazon pre-order vendor requirements. They should be fully refunding people due to their misrepresentations.
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Adam Edwards
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Me too. requested cancellation on wednesday, have been in correspondence with amazon ever since. scammers.

Let's play a fun game where we all post the last 6 digits of our tracking numbers and see if they even bothered to use different tracking numbers to scam us with! (I read in previous customers feedback that BT goes so far as to use false shipping labels / tracking numbers. how fun)
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Matthew Wolfson
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darhoth wrote:
JayJ79 wrote:
piman wrote:
Offering a preorder for $300 by a date that they're going to meet is scummy, but it's not a scam.

You are a sucker, not a victim.

I'd have to kind of agree with this sentiment.

If they promised you one thing and didn't deliver, that would be a scam.
But in this case, they promised you something that they are delivering on.
Printing the shipping labels more than a week ahead of when they are able to actually ship the items IS pretty scummy, but not a scam if they actually deliver the product as advertised.

The only reason you're accusing them as scamming you is because you saw a cheaper price somewhere.


You need to cut people a little slack here. They actually did NOT deliver on their promise. Not all of us fully knew about Gloomhaven when we went go buy it.

I first heard about Gloomhaven back in November and went to Amazon to buy it (like I do most things). At that time, Brooklyn Toys did not list it as a pre-order and instead said it would be delivered in November. I had no idea that there was not a firm release date at that time (again - I am sure a lot of people were in the same boat). So I ordered it. Once I found out what was going on and and the actual pre-order window was confirmed with Amazon, I canceled my order. I got a full refund after emailing Amazon, noting that the posting was not listed as a pre-order and that Brooklyn Toys was fraudulently creating shipping labels to bypass Amazon's process. My next step is the New York attorney general/consumer protection if I had not gotten a refund.


Thanks for some backup, was kind of on my own out there. I hope that my pushing amazon two days ago with this and raising red flags about the company helped you to get your refund.

I would love to hear if anyone else on the BGG did not get their money back yet. Another amazon agent is now on my side and looking to help escalate my order cancellation. Due to the trouble I have been going through to push the issue (calling Amazon twice a day etc.), Amazon did give me $50 credit as part of an "i'm sorry, please still use us". I would be very happy to share this credit (buy a small game for someone or something) with anyone else that is also going through this trouble.
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Matthew Wolfson
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darhoth wrote:
JayJ79 wrote:
Selling marked-up pre-orders like that is kind of like fishing. If they get a fish to take the bait and bite into the hook, are they obligated to release the fish if the fish sees another worm (possibly with less of a hook, or hook free) afterward?
(I guess that depends on whether there are regulations in place for catch-and-release. I guess it isn't a perfect metaphor)


It is illegal to misrepresent what you are selling, which is what Brooklyn Toys did. When I bought in November, there was no mention that this was for a product without a release date. Instead it said it would be delivered in November. They wanted to get the benefits of pre-order hype without actually following the Amazon pre-order vendor requirements. They should be fully refunding people due to their misrepresentations.


Hi Adam! very sorry to hear you have the same issue but hope it gives you some console that others are helping to resolve it.

As mentioned in my previous post, we should recap in PMs when this is all resolved, if I get my money back plus the extra $50 id be glad to share what I can!

-Matt
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Jay Johnson
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darhoth wrote:
I first heard about Gloomhaven back in November and went to Amazon to buy it (like I do most things). At that time, Brooklyn Toys did not list it as a pre-order and instead said it would be delivered in November. I had no idea that there was not a firm release date at that time (again - I am sure a lot of people were in the same boat). So I ordered it. Once I found out what was going on and and the actual pre-order window was confirmed with Amazon, I canceled my order. I got a full refund after emailing Amazon, noting that the posting was not listed as a pre-order and that Brooklyn Toys was fraudulently creating shipping labels to bypass Amazon's process. My next step is the New York attorney general/consumer protection if I had not gotten a refund.

Wait, they were doing this #### in November? That certainly changes my opinion on things. Here I thought they were just doing it currently, when a retail release date is on the horizon (though I don't know if it has actually officially been announced)
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darhoth of darhothland
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JayJ79 wrote:
darhoth wrote:
I first heard about Gloomhaven back in November and went to Amazon to buy it (like I do most things). At that time, Brooklyn Toys did not list it as a pre-order and instead said it would be delivered in November. I had no idea that there was not a firm release date at that time (again - I am sure a lot of people were in the same boat). So I ordered it. Once I found out what was going on and and the actual pre-order window was confirmed with Amazon, I canceled my order. I got a full refund after emailing Amazon, noting that the posting was not listed as a pre-order and that Brooklyn Toys was fraudulently creating shipping labels to bypass Amazon's process. My next step is the New York attorney general/consumer protection if I had not gotten a refund.

Wait, they were doing this #### in November? That certainly changes my opinion on things. Here I thought they were just doing it currently, when a retail release date is on the horizon (though I don't know if it has actually officially been announced)


Since at least November. My guess is they did it as soon as full retail was announced to get as many people as possible.
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darhoth of darhothland
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utiemyshoes wrote:
darhoth wrote:
JayJ79 wrote:
piman wrote:
Offering a preorder for $300 by a date that they're going to meet is scummy, but it's not a scam.

You are a sucker, not a victim.

I'd have to kind of agree with this sentiment.

If they promised you one thing and didn't deliver, that would be a scam.
But in this case, they promised you something that they are delivering on.
Printing the shipping labels more than a week ahead of when they are able to actually ship the items IS pretty scummy, but not a scam if they actually deliver the product as advertised.

The only reason you're accusing them as scamming you is because you saw a cheaper price somewhere.


You need to cut people a little slack here. They actually did NOT deliver on their promise. Not all of us fully knew about Gloomhaven when we went go buy it.

I first heard about Gloomhaven back in November and went to Amazon to buy it (like I do most things). At that time, Brooklyn Toys did not list it as a pre-order and instead said it would be delivered in November. I had no idea that there was not a firm release date at that time (again - I am sure a lot of people were in the same boat). So I ordered it. Once I found out what was going on and and the actual pre-order window was confirmed with Amazon, I canceled my order. I got a full refund after emailing Amazon, noting that the posting was not listed as a pre-order and that Brooklyn Toys was fraudulently creating shipping labels to bypass Amazon's process. My next step is the New York attorney general/consumer protection if I had not gotten a refund.


Thanks for some backup, was kind of on my own out there. I hope that my pushing amazon two days ago with this and raising red flags about the company helped you to get your refund.

I would love to hear if anyone else on the BGG did not get their money back yet. Another amazon agent is now on my side and looking to help escalate my order cancellation. Due to the trouble I have been going through to push the issue (calling Amazon twice a day etc.), Amazon did give me $50 credit as part of an "i'm sorry, please still use us". I would be very happy to share this credit (buy a small game for someone or something) with anyone else that is also going through this trouble.


I PMed you my order number where I got a refund. Maybe you can give that to the Amazon agent to show that refunds should be happening.
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Adam Edwards
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JayJ79 wrote:
darhoth wrote:
I first heard about Gloomhaven back in November and went to Amazon to buy it (like I do most things). At that time, Brooklyn Toys did not list it as a pre-order and instead said it would be delivered in November. I had no idea that there was not a firm release date at that time (again - I am sure a lot of people were in the same boat). So I ordered it. Once I found out what was going on and and the actual pre-order window was confirmed with Amazon, I canceled my order. I got a full refund after emailing Amazon, noting that the posting was not listed as a pre-order and that Brooklyn Toys was fraudulently creating shipping labels to bypass Amazon's process. My next step is the New York attorney general/consumer protection if I had not gotten a refund.

Wait, they were doing this #### in November? That certainly changes my opinion on things. Here I thought they were just doing it currently, when a retail release date is on the horizon (though I don't know if it has actually officially been announced)


Look up at Mark's post. Someone has it on record that Brooklyn Toys admitted to falsely marking the item as shipped well before BT even had the item on hand. That is a game changer. We all need to be filing rules claims violations. The more of us that report this scammer and the more information we can provide them the faster and more likely we are to actually get this resolved.
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Adam Edwards
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darhoth wrote:
utiemyshoes wrote:
darhoth wrote:
JayJ79 wrote:
piman wrote:
Offering a preorder for $300 by a date that they're going to meet is scummy, but it's not a scam.

You are a sucker, not a victim.

I'd have to kind of agree with this sentiment.

If they promised you one thing and didn't deliver, that would be a scam.
But in this case, they promised you something that they are delivering on.
Printing the shipping labels more than a week ahead of when they are able to actually ship the items IS pretty scummy, but not a scam if they actually deliver the product as advertised.

The only reason you're accusing them as scamming you is because you saw a cheaper price somewhere.


You need to cut people a little slack here. They actually did NOT deliver on their promise. Not all of us fully knew about Gloomhaven when we went go buy it.

I first heard about Gloomhaven back in November and went to Amazon to buy it (like I do most things). At that time, Brooklyn Toys did not list it as a pre-order and instead said it would be delivered in November. I had no idea that there was not a firm release date at that time (again - I am sure a lot of people were in the same boat). So I ordered it. Once I found out what was going on and and the actual pre-order window was confirmed with Amazon, I canceled my order. I got a full refund after emailing Amazon, noting that the posting was not listed as a pre-order and that Brooklyn Toys was fraudulently creating shipping labels to bypass Amazon's process. My next step is the New York attorney general/consumer protection if I had not gotten a refund.


Thanks for some backup, was kind of on my own out there. I hope that my pushing amazon two days ago with this and raising red flags about the company helped you to get your refund.

I would love to hear if anyone else on the BGG did not get their money back yet. Another amazon agent is now on my side and looking to help escalate my order cancellation. Due to the trouble I have been going through to push the issue (calling Amazon twice a day etc.), Amazon did give me $50 credit as part of an "i'm sorry, please still use us". I would be very happy to share this credit (buy a small game for someone or something) with anyone else that is also going through this trouble.


I PMed you my order number where I got a refund. Maybe you can give that to the Amazon agent to show that refunds should be happening.


Me too please?
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Adam Edwards
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Last 6 of tracking number: 429778
Anyone else? The scammer is known to have used false tracking info. If multiple of us have the same number then that is extra proof for amazon.
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Mark Johnson
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In other news, Brooklyn Toys has a 96% seller rating in the last 12 months but only 80% in the last month. Wonder why that is.
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darhoth of darhothland
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jjaekkak wrote:
Me too please?


done
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