Timothy Young
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I recently purchased several games through the BGG Marketplace. Upon receiving one of these games I was very disappointed in the game's condition.

Here is the information that was presented by the seller in the game's Marketplace listing:

The Seller wrote:


Condition: Like New

Item Notes: Stored on my shelf B15. Unpunched in lightly worn box.




Now, I've purchased numerous second-hand items via the internet over the years, so I'm aware that one person's idea of "lightly worn" can vary from another's. Because of this I decided to reach out to the seller before making the purchase and ask if he could offer a little more information as to the condition of the game box. Here's a copy of our correspondence through Geekmail:

I wrote:

The description says the box is slightly worn. Could you elaborate?


The Seller wrote:

Not really. Check my Marketplace feedback to see how often buyers are unhappy with condition assessments.


This seller has over 300 sales in the Marketplace. While there are a few transactions with negative feedback, the positives come out to over 95%. So I figured there are always those few folks who are like the guy at the restaurant who complains about only getting two pieces of bread when the waiter brings him an entire loaf, cut in half. And even if the box wear was a little heavier than 'light wear' it would probably not be a big deal. So I placed the order.

The game arrived in a timely fashion. But when I opened the packing box and saw the game, my heart sank. The condition of the box was not "Like New" nor was it "lightly worn". At least not in my assessment. But perhaps I'm wrong. Maybe I'm being too critical. Which is why I'm writing this post- to see whether other BGG users agree with my assessment, or whether I'm being overly critical and making much ado about nothing.

Here are some photos of the box lid, for your consideration:








Now, to be fair, the components are unpunched. So I guess I see the logic behind listing the game condition as "Like New". But I feel like that logic is flawed, given the condition of the box. Also, the game was listed with a price lower than any others at the time. But I can't help but feel like I was deceived, and if I had known of the game's true condition I would have been content paying a higher price for a game in better condition.

But what's your opinion? Have I been deceived? What would you do in this situation? Should I contact the seller and ask for a refund? Should I register a complaint? Should I let the issue lie and get on with my life?
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Jeremy Mease
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Seller should absolutely have called out the box lid was torn in multiple places. I, for one, love my boxes and try to keep each game pristine if I can, so a box like that would not make it on my display shelf.

What an odd non-answer they gave:

I won't answer you simply, just research my feedback instead!

???

EDIT: IMO, the right thing to do would have been to put this as "Acceptable" condition, and provide photos. At this point, I think you are stuck with the game. I would leave feedback that describes what happened to warn others.
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D. Shannon
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That box is far beyond "lightly worn." Any tears in a box puts it beyond worn and into damaged. Now, a damaged box is not a dealbreaker to me personally. Damage like that I would likely have my wife (who has steadier hands than I) lovingly repair with packing tape (which I know some people find abhorrent, but it keeps the best balance of structure + appearance of anything I've found).

You did your due diligence. You reached out and asked for more details which the seller dodged (HUGE red flag to me btw). Definitely worthy of negative feedback, the seller deliberately misrepresented the item. I would reach out for a partial refund, personally, but with this guy's attitude I wouldn't hold my breath.

Is it worth escalating beyond that? Probably not, but that's your call. But definitely warn others of this dude, that is some sketchy/unethical behavior for sure.
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Sounds like you should leave feedback with said conditions notes.
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Jerbear
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Is it possible that it happened in transit? I guess I would see if that is the issue first. I figure someone with 300 sales wouldn't have much reason to lie. (But of course they could.)
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Joe Salamone
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"Can you elaborate?"

"Not really."

This would send up the warning flags for me.

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Bryan Thunkd
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Is there a compromise that you’d accept? For example if the seller offered to refund you X dollars would that settle the issue for you? If so, contact them and tell them that the condition wasn’t what you were promised and ask for the compromise. Wait to leave feedback until you see if a compromise can be reached?

How did you pay for the product? If it was through PayPal you can probably file a claim stating that the product wasn’t in the condition that was listed and get your money back.
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Russ Williams
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Yeah, that's obviously more seriously damaged than just "lightly worn". I'd leave negative feedback about a seller who apparently flat-out lied about the condition of the damaged box.

(And if they agree to refund you some money in compensation, I would still say what happened in the feedback, while noting that at least they compensated you after you complained about the blatantly false description of the condition. This sort of behavior should be called out.)
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Jakub Kircun
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TIM0THY wrote:
I'm aware that one person's idea of "lightly worn" can vary from another's

True... I've bought games listed as "Like New" that would have been considered "Fair" in my book. Unfortunately your only options are usually to either return the item for a refund (and pay more postage), or keep the game with the flaw.
 
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Jeff Plank
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That's really insane that the seller called this "like new". I don't have any advice, but just wanted to say you're absolutely right to be angry about this.
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David Matzer
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This happened to me as the seller last month. I listed the game as very good. I did note that the box had some scuff marks on it. At some point between me looking in the box to answer some questions to shipping received one side of the box top was broken. I did not realize the box damage and saw in my feedback that he was a little disappointed I had not disclosed the fact. I apologized and offered to reimburse some for the trouble since it was not his fault and may have been my fault.

I would ask nicely for some sort of compensation and see what he says. When I sell I do not want someone disappointed especially if it was my fault or a misunderstanding.
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that Matt
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TIM0THY wrote:
Should I contact the seller and ask for a refund?

Yes.

The seller (with hundreds of trades/sales) has decided that it's not worth their while to actually look at the games they are selling. The consequence of that decision is that they're going to need to dole out some apologies and refunds now and then.
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Kirk Roberts
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tumorous wrote:
TIM0THY wrote:
Should I contact the seller and ask for a refund?

Yes.

The seller (with hundreds of trades/sales) has decided that it's not worth their while to actually look at the games they are selling. The consequence of that decision is that they're going to need to dole out some apologies and refunds now and then.

Definitely talk with the seller before you leave negative feedback.
Rather than asking for a refund right away, tell them what you have, seek clarity and see how they respond.
Maybe they will make it right.
If not, bombs away.
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Brad Miller
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Totally unacceptable.

Full refund, as well as paying for return shipping or negative feedback and massive complaint. Stick a link to this thread in the feedback comment as well.

Garbage.
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col_w
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Maybe also point the seller at this thread so they can see the loss of reputation they are risking with their attitude and if they don't work with you on a compromise.
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Rich Keiser
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I know the seller which you are referring to, and quite honestly am surprised at their poor response to your question. This person buys up lots of games and then flips them, which is a perfectly fine business model, but the associated models with that business are either - full inspection and proper description OR minimal inspection and hopeful description (leans towards better than is) accompanied by the loss risk management that will accompany each potential sale. I'm guessing that they just pass-on the description that they were marketed when they bought up the games (guess), as that would save them time.

There is another user/business on BGG that adopted this business model several years ago, and they admittedly lean on the latter model of damage control when it does arise. They also get comments like the OPs more often than most sellers. This is purely a business decision and views the customer service issues as a mere business cost - twenty good transactions against one shitty is a better net profit than twenty perfect transactions. Standard quality control practices - acceptable loss and the such.

And having an OK understanding of the act of selling used games, as many BGGers do, there is almost zero profit when time is factored in, if you lean towards the high customer service delivery model - every game is inventoried in full, accurately described, and customer satisfaction is key - at least on a bulk scale.

This seller is operating on a high input, high output, high overhead model, so they are targeting sales and accept the occasional sucky transaction that you experienced.

That is their strategy/choice and your only recourse is to lodge your complaint to them, request a return/refund/or appropriate discount.

What you and the community shouldn't expect is a change to the business model that they are employing. You can be armed with the knowledge that when you purchase from this buyer, that you are rolling the dice when it comes to reality matching the marketed. Perhaps the $ discount (whatever that is) from perfection/new to something less than, is worth the risk.

Sorry this happened to you, but there is no question that this will happen again, and no matter how much the community collectively pushes, the model won't change.

The reason for that is that the model is unsustainable in any other format. If it were, everyone and their sister would be running it.

Even Noble Knight, the biggest of them all, operates under the same model. Their's is actually sustainable, because of their margins (purchase .5 of market value, sell at 1.25 to 1.5 of market value). That profit margin, times hundreds of thousands of items, allows them to keep hundreds of thousands of items in inventory. And when they do have CS issues such as damage, incompletions, etc., they always make it right without much hassle. The loss in $ every so many transactions is a minimal cost for their throughput.

The two sellers on BGG that operate mini-versions of this model can't have those margins, because BGGers are notoriously good with not parting with their hard earned money (me, included).

Noble Knight doesn't have to worry about that, because their huge customer base, going waaay back before BGG was even an idea, has more money than time, and doesn't mind paying an elevated price to acquire a title they normally couldn't get.

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Big Sean
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col_w wrote:
Maybe also point the seller at this thread so they can see the loss of reputation they are risking with their attitude and if they don't work with you on a compromise.


Ditto to that.
 
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Rich Keiser
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silverfox63 wrote:
col_w wrote:
Maybe also point the seller at this thread so they can see the loss of reputation they are risking with their attitude and if they don't work with you on a compromise.


Ditto to that.


It is a business cost to them. They won't care and the idealism that the buyers can affect change isn't going to happen. That doesn't mean someone shouldn't submit a complaint via the appropriate channels, but don't expect a revolution.

The only power the potential buyer has with this seller and the other that operates on this scale is to integrate this information into their buying decisions - either taking the risk to get a game at a great price or not buying. This isn't Apple or Amazon, where one can get them to blow in the wind with a few tweets or BGG posts.

* There are a few other resellers with an actual store front on BGG, two that come to mind, but they operate a different model, because they are a mix of MSRP retail, most likely have a B&M operation, and aren't solely flippy used games in bulk.
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lee t
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What is the name of this seller? So we may heed this warning.
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that Matt
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leelee220 wrote:
What is the name of this seller? So we may heed this warning.

The recent price history of each board game, presented in the BGG marketplace, includes links to information -- including buyer and seller -- on each of the previous sales.
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Jeffrey Drozek-Fitzwater
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Also, a good reason not to accede to demands to pay via PayPal gift. If you use the proper method, you at least have that as a possible way to get a refund.
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lee t
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The guy from maryland?
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Who Am I?
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I believe it's against forum rules to specifically name and shame; although that sometimes is in good interest for the community, it oftentimes isn't.
However, anyone is free to check the marketplace history for any particular game to see all transactions; so the information isn't hidden if you are truly curious. Just click through the "price history" link on any game page.

This is clearly NOT a "like new" product, and should have been better described with photos. At best, this is a misleading listing; at worst an outright lie from the seller. Either way, I'd be incredibly disappointed in the result and looking for some kind of compensation.

From the pictures you show, it looks like most of the tears could be repaired well enough with some patience and effort - that doesn't make it acceptable, but if interior contents are like new then at least it's not a complete write-off for you if a return with full refund isn't available...
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Rich Keiser
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leelee220 wrote:
The guy from maryland?


I guess you want you or a fellow geek to spend their holidays in the BGG Coal-stuffed stocking?

You never, ever call out a specific BGGer for such things, even if you are the agrieved. Settle things offline. If you really need to know, then you should PM the poster and ask nicely.

Honestly, my pet parakeet figured it out after three pecks.
 
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Runs with scissors
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If you don't get resolution through the seller, you might consider contacting Octavian.
 
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