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Subject: BGG Marketplace rss

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Rik Van Horn
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Ok, I recently saw a game I wanted in the marketplace. It was a game I've been looking for.
When I clicked to purchase it, I got this message:
Quote:
Your purchase is a contract - When you confirm your purchase on the next page, you will enter into a legally binding contract to purchase the item from the seller.

Today I got a message from the seller:
Quote:
The seller 'xxxxxx' has canceled the following transaction.

My question is this. Why am I contractually bound to buy the game, but the seller is not bound to sell the game?

I'm a little irked here. In my opinion either both of us should be bound or neither, but not just one.

Has anyone else experienced this inequity?
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Steve Bachman
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I haven't experienced it, but I absolutely agree with you here. A binding contract should be going both ways.
 
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Scott Alden
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How would you suggest I go about remedying a seller that won't/can't sell a game?

Perhaps they don't have it anymore and forgot to delist it from BGG, or some other reason?


I think a seller that doesn't fulfill their end of the bargain would get enough negative feedback, or bad word of mouth - is that enough recourse?
 
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Rik Van Horn
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Aldie wrote:
Just out of curiosity - how would you suggest I go about remedying a seller that won't/can't sell a game?

Perhaps they don't have it anymore and forgot to delist it from BGG, or some other reason?


First of all, as soon as someone clicks to buy it, it should disappear from the sales list and not be able to be sold again.

As far as what should you do if someone withdraws the sale after it's been accepted?
The same thing you'd do if a buyer refused to buy a game he commited to.

The seller in this case gave as a reason that "his wife has seller's remorse."

I'm a pretty reasonable person. If he'd contacted me, told me the problem and offered to complete it, but hoped I'd understand I would not have forced him to complete it, but extracted a promise that if he did, he'd contact me and sell it to me for the price agreed before relisting it.

I think if you feel making the seller contractually bound impossible, you should give buyers the same benefit.
 
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Rik Van Horn
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So if I read your edit correctly, you recommend me giving this person a bad seller rating?
Is this possible with no sale? If so can this be done to anyone? I'm not sure I'd like that.
 
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Scott Alden
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Rokkr wrote:
Aldie wrote:
Just out of curiosity - how would you suggest I go about remedying a seller that won't/can't sell a game?

Perhaps they don't have it anymore and forgot to delist it from BGG, or some other reason?


First of all, as soon as someone clicks to buy it, it should disappear from the sales list and not be able to be sold again.

As far as what should you do if someone withdraws the sale after it's been accepted?
The same thing you'd do if a buyer refused to buy a game he commited to.

The seller in this case gave as a reason that "his wife has seller's remorse."

I'm a pretty reasonable person. If he'd contacted me, told me the problem and offered to complete it, but hoped I'd understand I would not have forced him to complete it, but extracted a promise that if he did, he'd contact me and sell it to me for the price agreed before relisting it.

I think if you feel making the seller contractually bound impossible, you should give buyers the same benefit.


When a game is put iinto a cart - it's not available to be purchased - there shouldn't be any conditions where a seller can sell 2 games.

Hmm it might be possible to leave the transaction in the system where feedback can be left for a bum seller.
 
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Scott Alden
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Rokkr wrote:

I think if you feel making the seller contractually bound impossible, you should give buyers the same benefit.


In *reality* it's fairly impossible to bind either side. If someone repeatedly abuses the system, then we block them from using it.

It's all we can do really.
 
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Rik Van Horn
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Well, I'm not looking to blacken anyone's name anyway. I had a wife in the past and I'm well aware what a pain a spouse can be if crossed. Or even perceive as having been crossed.

I've not sold any games here, so I wonder, does the seller get the stern "you're entering into a binding contract" warning?
 
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Marc B.
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Rokkr wrote:
I've not sold any games here, so I wonder, does the seller get the stern "you're entering into a binding contract" warning?


Not that I recall. I have only sold a few things but dont remember a warning like that, though I do remember seeing it when i buy. I can understand your frustration as I had that happen before in both the marketplace and with a trade. I was irritated that I didn't get the game I was planning on acquiring.

A couple weeks ago I was at a game night and some kids were interested in my copy of Star Wars Life, the Jedi's Path. I let them have it. This was a friday night. saturday morning I log on to the geek and check my email. I have a marketplace order pending. For, you guessed it, the same game. I was in a panic. I promptly contacted the buyer and was honest with him and offered him a beatup (but playable) copy I had for almost nothing. He kindly accepted my apology and declined the offer. it is now one of my quests to find a nice copy of the game at a thrift and get it for him.

My point to all this is, stuff happens to even the most hard-trying seller sometimes. I try to go out of my way for any trader/buyer/etc I am dealing with.

I think that's why the "seller must confirm" step happens so that no money can change hands too soon. If the seller confirms and sends payment information and then backs-out, that is shady.
 
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Håkan König
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I cancelled one order once when the intended buyer only had an adress listed as 'Eastern-Europe-Country' and no more info on shipping. I replied and told him he was welcome back once he had enetered his full address in the BGG system (including sending the link to this page).
 
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Chris Okasaki
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I recently canceled a transaction as the seller. I had arranged a sale through geekmail of an item I hadn't listed in the marketplace. To make sure BGG got their commission, I put it up in the marketplace with a comment that it was for a specific user. It was listed at a good price, so somebody else--not the specified user--immediately tried to purchase it. I canceled the transaction (with a note explaining why) so that the right person would get the item.
 
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James Perry
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cokasaki wrote:
I recently canceled a transaction as the seller. I had arranged a sale through geekmail of an item I hadn't listed in the marketplace. To make sure BGG got their commission, I put it up in the marketplace with a comment that it was for a specific user. It was listed at a good price, so somebody else--not the specified user--immediately tried to purchase it. I canceled the transaction (with a note explaining why) so that the right person would get the item.


This is why I think we need a "private sale" feature...

Most online sales systems have a provision that the seller can cancel an order due to the product is no longer available, they agreed with the buyer to terminate the transaction, the product is damaged, etc.

I do not have a problem with that. Further, I do not have a problem with the buyer being contractually obligated to purchase said item.

Aldie, I think you have done a good job with the marketplace.
 
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Occu Pant
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Not sure what the right answer is, but...

I sometimes sell stuff to non-BGGers. So, my "inventory" is not always perfectly in synch with what is listed on BGG. I do try to update but sometimes am in a hurry and forget and since I am not a store but just an individual, I do not spend all my time at this.

Perhaps if we change the model just a bit? Rather than treating the seller listing as an offer with the buyer accepting the offer to form a contract--instead we change the listing to more of an ad (like you get in the Sunday paper). Then the buyer submits an offer to purchase and if the seller accepts the offer then a contract is formed (offer+acceptance=contract). The wording of the message to the buyer could be, "Your offer to purchase will become a legally binding contract - When you confirm your purchase offer on the next page AND it is accepted by the seller."
 
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Rik Van Horn
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RoamDog wrote:
Not sure what the right answer is, but...

I sometimes sell stuff to non-BGGers. So, my "inventory" is not always perfectly in synch with what is listed on BGG. I do try to update but sometimes am in a hurry and forget and since I am not a store but just an individual, I do not spend all my time at this.

Perhaps if we change the model just a bit? Rather than treating the seller listing as an offer with the buyer accepting the offer to form a contract--instead we change the listing to more of an ad (like you get in the Sunday paper). Then the buyer submits an offer to purchase and if the seller accepts the offer then a contract is formed (offer+acceptance=contract). The wording of the message to the buyer could be, "Your offer to purchase will become a legally binding contract - When you confirm your purchase offer on the next page AND it is accepted by the seller."

That really wouldn't change anything. You'd still have a situation where the seller can withdraw his offer to sell by delaying acceptance, but if they accept immediately, the buyer has no chance to withdraw.
All the flexibility lies with the seller, none for the buyer.
The situation as described is the seller yells to the crowd, "give me $XX and this game is yours!"
Someone in the crowd yells back, "I'll take it, here's your money!"
The buyer hears this and yells back, "Sorry, I changed my mind."

I'm not a contract lawyer, but legally I suspect a contract was offered and accepted here and could be enforced in court.

There's probably no ideal solution here. Unless the marketplace model becomes a LOT more formalized, the seller will always have the advantage over the buyer here.
 
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Chris Okasaki
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Rokkr wrote:
... You'd still have a situation where the seller can withdraw his offer to sell by delaying acceptance, but if they accept immediately, the buyer has no chance to withdraw.
All the flexibility lies with the seller, none for the buyer.
The situation as described is the seller yells to the crowd, "give me $XX and this game is yours!"
Someone in the crowd yells back, "I'll take it, here's your money!"
The buyer hears this and yells back, "Sorry, I changed my mind."


I highlighted the word immediately above, because that strikes me as the heart of the issue. The yelling scenario you described sounds unfair to the buyer, but only because of the timing. Now, change it so that the seller makes his offer and a year later the buyer wants to take the deal. In that situation, is it unreasonable for the seller refuse to honor the original deal?

I think it is reasonable to consider an offer (whether to buy or to sell) binding for a limited amount of time, but not indefinitely. I believe that is true when buying, where the seller has a limited amount of time (48 hours) to agree before the transaction times out and the buyer is released from his obligation. In contrast, when the seller lists an item in the marketplace, it may be months or years before anyone shows interest. (The situation is similar to trades, where a BGG Trade Proposal times out after a limited amount of time.)

It is impractical for parties to commit to a transaction simultaneously over the internet. So one party is going to commit first, and then the other. It is an accident in the BGG marketplace that the buyer commits first, and then the seller. BGG used to support pre-orders, where the situation was reversed. (I don't think pre-orders are still supported, although they are still described in the BGG marketplace documentation.)

 
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Rik Van Horn
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cokasaki wrote:
Rokkr wrote:
... You'd still have a situation where the seller can withdraw his offer to sell by delaying acceptance, but if they accept immediately, the buyer has no chance to withdraw.
All the flexibility lies with the seller, none for the buyer.
The situation as described is the seller yells to the crowd, "give me $XX and this game is yours!"
Someone in the crowd yells back, "I'll take it, here's your money!"
The buyer hears this and yells back, "Sorry, I changed my mind."


I highlighted the word immediately above, because that strikes me as the heart of the issue. The yelling scenario you described sounds unfair to the buyer, but only because of the timing. Now, change it so that the seller makes his offer and a year later the buyer wants to take the deal. In that situation, is it unreasonable for the seller refuse to honor the original deal?

I think it is reasonable to consider an offer (whether to buy or to sell) binding for a limited amount of time, but not indefinitely. I believe that is true when buying, where the seller has a limited amount of time (48 hours) to agree before the transaction times out and the buyer is released from his obligation. In contrast, when the seller lists an item in the marketplace, it may be months or years before anyone shows interest. (The situation is similar to trades, where a BGG Trade Proposal times out after a limited amount of time.)

It is impractical for parties to commit to a transaction simultaneously over the internet. So one party is going to commit first, and then the other. It is an accident in the BGG marketplace that the buyer commits first, and then the seller. BGG used to support pre-orders, where the situation was reversed. (I don't think pre-orders are still supported, although they are still described in the BGG marketplace documentation.)


I think you're missing part of the point here.
A seller listing a game to sell is making the commitment by the very act of listing it. Just as much as a a buyer does when he clicks the button to buy it.
If you're only thinking about selling something, you don't put an ad in the paper telling folks you might sell the item.
If you're looking to sell at a non-fixed price, that's called an auction.
In other words, "if you don't want to sell it, don't list it" is just as applicable as "if you don't want to buy it, don't click on the buy button."

There are legitimate reasons to not sell something you listed, but they all relate to loss of the item or exigent circumstances, such as the death of the owner, not simply changing your mind.

All I've maintained here is that if the seller is allowed to refuse to sell because he changed his mind, buyers should have the same right.

This obviously doesn't apply to items shipped or money already paid. Once half the transaction has been completed the other half should be too except under unavoidable circumstances.

As for the years of being listed reference, I'm not sure what you're getting at. If something's been listed for a year, then the seller has had a year to remove the listing. If he leaves it available and someone commits to buy it after being listed for a year, what's the difference whether it was listed a year or an hour?
 
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Dom L
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Take comfort in that you at least got a reason. I had one cancel due to timing out, even though the seller logs in every day.
 
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Occu Pant
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Well said.


cokasaki wrote:
Rokkr wrote:
... You'd still have a situation where the seller can withdraw his offer to sell by delaying acceptance, but if they accept immediately, the buyer has no chance to withdraw.
All the flexibility lies with the seller, none for the buyer.
The situation as described is the seller yells to the crowd, "give me $XX and this game is yours!"
Someone in the crowd yells back, "I'll take it, here's your money!"
The buyer hears this and yells back, "Sorry, I changed my mind."


I highlighted the word immediately above, because that strikes me as the heart of the issue. The yelling scenario you described sounds unfair to the buyer, but only because of the timing. Now, change it so that the seller makes his offer and a year later the buyer wants to take the deal. In that situation, is it unreasonable for the seller refuse to honor the original deal?

I think it is reasonable to consider an offer (whether to buy or to sell) binding for a limited amount of time, but not indefinitely. I believe that is true when buying, where the seller has a limited amount of time (48 hours) to agree before the transaction times out and the buyer is released from his obligation. In contrast, when the seller lists an item in the marketplace, it may be months or years before anyone shows interest. (The situation is similar to trades, where a BGG Trade Proposal times out after a limited amount of time.)

It is impractical for parties to commit to a transaction simultaneously over the internet. So one party is going to commit first, and then the other. It is an accident in the BGG marketplace that the buyer commits first, and then the seller. BGG used to support pre-orders, where the situation was reversed. (I don't think pre-orders are still supported, although they are still described in the BGG marketplace documentation.)

 
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Eric
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I did cancel a sale as seller, after getting the game ordered, I've checked the shipping cost for the buyer and I couldn't find something for a reasonable price (was shipping overseas). I asked if the shipping was reasonable for the buyer, and he wasn't ready to pay more in shipping than the value of the game, so I cancelled the sale. He was new as well.

It would be great if there was an expiry date on the item, even if you could simply re-new them with only 1 click for 30-60 or 90 days. When the item has been listed for 3 years, chances are that the seller forgot about it, charges too much or is no longer active!

Also, if the seller hasn't logged in let's say 30 days, all market items (and trade items) shouldn't be available anymore. BGG could send an e-mail to the seller/trader to let him know that his items won't be displayed anymore. Maybe sending a reminder after 30 days that the account hasn't been accessed, and that if he wants to keep the listing active, he/she should log in at least every 30 days.

I think this is something that should be implemented, it would remove a lot of clutter on the site.

As for the "Binding agreement", I think that it should simply be removed, when you click on buy, it's really a start of the negociations, since there si no way to enforce it from either side.
 
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Greg Hacker
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Rokkr wrote:
I'm not a contract lawyer, but legally I suspect a contract was offered and accepted here and could be enforced in court.


Actually, the situation is complicated enough and has enough variables that I think that a reasonable legal argument could be made be made both ways on whether an enforceable contract was formed. I was breaking it down and realized that it would probably make a pretty decent exam question for a law school contracts/commercial law class.

It really isn't important, though, because even if a contract was formed, the situation is practically unadressable by legal means. The relative value of the contract is so low that it would have to be addressed in a small claims court. The cost of filing a case and having a complaint served (if service could even be effected on an out of state resident, a very unlikely prospect) would exceed the value of the contract, let alone factoring in the cost of taking off work, travel, etc. Obviously it wouldn't financially be worth it for either side to hire or even consult an attorney.

Everybody who participates in BGG marketplace transactions undoubtedly knows this, and so the statement that BGG puts up there that "Your purchase is a contract - When you confirm your purchase on the next page, you will enter into a legally binding contract to purchase the item from the seller" can't really be legally or practically seen as anything more than a message to communicate the seriousness of the marketplace (i.e. that is intended to be used by buyers and sellers to make serious, real transactions and not for just casual listings/purchases).

The real solution is not a legal one (or a threatened or implied legal one), but an internal solution whereby the standards and expectations for participation in the marketplace are well-defined, including the understanding that sellers or buyers who violate those standards/expectations may receive negative feedback or have their participation privileges suspended. Doing all of this seems to invite more debate and controversy and leads me to ask the question: Does this really happen often enough to make it worth doing something like that?

 
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Carol Carpenter
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I have found the case is more often the reverse. Someone (usually a brand-new user who has just registered) buys a game, I send the confirmation and then I never get payment. Meanwhile, I owe BGG their 3%, because even if I cancel my end, it's not officially cancelled until the buyer does the same (if I understand correctly). This is especially annoying because it's ALWAYS for a high-priced game. I know it's a small amount ($2 on a $70 game) but it adds up. I have this happen at least 3 or 4 times a year.
So the idea of anyone being forced to buy a game here on BGG just makes me laugh.
That said, I have also been guilty of not updating my marketplace items fast enough.
 
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starspangledgirl wrote:
I have found the case is more often the reverse. Someone (usually a brand-new user who has just registered) buys a game, I send the confirmation and then I never get payment. Meanwhile, I owe BGG their 3%, because even if I cancel my end, it's not officially cancelled until the buyer does the same (if I understand correctly).


I have another one of these going on right now. You're right it is always brand new users. Create account. buy game. disappear.
 
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Daniel Corban
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I don't really see the issue here. If someone has an item listed for sale, they shouldn't be forced to sell it.

If you have a car in your front lawn with a "FOR SALE $1000" sign, you don't have to sell it to the first person who comes along, or to anyone for that matter.

If you walk into a store, pick up an item, take it to the cashier, they don't have to sell you the item. Until they accept your legal tender, they have not accepted the contract.

Just because you have accepted your end of the purchase contract does not mean the seller has accepted their end. Listing/displaying items for sale is called "an invitation to do business" and in no way considered binding for any reason.
 
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Rik Van Horn
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dcorban wrote:
I don't really see the issue here. If someone has an item listed for sale, they shouldn't be forced to sell it.

If you have a car in your front lawn with a "FOR SALE $1000" sign, you don't have to sell it to the first person who comes along, or to anyone for that matter.

If you walk into a store, pick up an item, take it to the cashier, they don't have to sell you the item. Until they accept your legal tender, they have not accepted the contract.

Just because you have accepted your end of the purchase contract does not mean the seller has accepted their end. Listing/displaying items for sale is called "an invitation to do business" and in no way considered binding for any reason.

Conversely, I can pick up an item in a store, walk up to the cash register and state I'm going to buy this. They can't force me to buy it either.

The original issue is not about forcing listers to sell, but about the fact that potential buyers are being told they're legally obligated to buy.

A contract entails performance by all parties involved, not just one. And buyers are being told they're contractually obligated. If this is so, so are the sellers.
 
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starspangledgirl wrote:
I have found the case is more often the reverse. Someone (usually a brand-new user who has just registered) buys a game, I send the confirmation and then I never get payment. Meanwhile, I owe BGG their 3%, because even if I cancel my end, it's not officially cancelled until the buyer does the same (if I understand correctly). This is especially annoying because it's ALWAYS for a high-priced game. I know it's a small amount ($2 on a $70 game) but it adds up. I have this happen at least 3 or 4 times a year.
So the idea of anyone being forced to buy a game here on BGG just makes me laugh.
That said, I have also been guilty of not updating my marketplace items fast enough.


You can get your commission returned by filing a non-payment alert, then cancelling the sale.
 
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