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Subject: You Be the Judge rss

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Rik Van Horn
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Recently a site member Tygo or Thomas Tyler recently held an auction.

His stated postage cost was $15 for the first item, $5 for each item after that.

I bid on a number of items and did not read this initially. I posted saying that I thought $30 for four games was an exorbitant amount. It was pointed out to me that Thomas had stated he would refund the difference in postage.
I ended up wining 4 games. I asked to have them mailed parcel post, which
Thomas did. I paid for the games plus $30 for postage with the understanding the difference would be returned.

After closing the auction on May 10th, he contacted me on May 23rd for payment.
Payment was sent the same night it was asked for.
On June 13th he finally notified me he had mailed the games. I received the games on the 19th of June.

The postage cost on the box was $18.52, so I messaged Thomas asking for $11.48 back.

He sent $7 and told me he had mailed 60+ packages and his average cost per package was $4.50, so he would not return that amount.
60 times $4.50 is $270.
Mind you this is not postage costs.

My $4.50 was spent on a beat up reused Boards & Bits box, a handful and a half of peanuts and a few inches of tape.
I was not happy. Here's a photo of the box.


So here's the question; am I wrong to feel ripped off?
Did anyone else involved in the auction feel this way?

Also, since he never bothered to run the sales through the marketplace, there's no way to give out feedback either, for any of the buyers.
I have no idea if he paid the 3% he owes BGG or not.

I do know one thing though. I'll never have any transactions with this user again.
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Andrew Brannan
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Rokkr wrote:
told me he had mailed 60+ packages and his average cost per package was $4.50, so he would not return that amount.



Bull. Running my recent auctions, I bought boxes and packing material at The Container Store (I dare you to find a more expensive way to do this). A bag of biodegradable peanuts, which lasts 6-7 boxes, was $4, and the individual boxes were less than $3 each. So, going the most expensive route, it cost me about $3.50 per package. There are about a billion ways to get free boxes, and a stack of freebie newspapers (or ones salvaged from the recycling bin) doesn't cost a dime.
 
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Rokkr wrote:


My $4.50 was spent on a beat up reused Boards & Bits box, a handful and a half of peanuts and a few inches of tape.

So here's the question; am I wrong to feel ripped off?


Seriously? Is this what we get to see people bitch about on BGG. Feeling slighted for $4.50 in handling charges.

Jeesh...
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Rik Van Horn
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MWChapel wrote:
Rokkr wrote:


My $4.50 was spent on a beat up reused Boards & Bits box, a handful and a half of peanuts and a few inches of tape.

So here's the question; am I wrong to feel ripped off?


Seriously? Is this what we get to see people bitch about on BGG. Feeling slighted for $4.50 in handling charges.

Jeesh...

It's not the amount. It's two things. One, the principle and two the notion he added a $200 profit by doing so.

I'll put you down for a no though. Who'd have guessed?
By the way, what's your limit for feeling stolen from? It would be nice to know how much extra anyone trading with you can gouge you before you take notice.
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Ray Swan
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A couple of things.


#1. My main concern, looking at the amount of packing material is "did the games arrived in good condition?" that few peanuts really scares me. If they did not arrive in condition they were sold to you in, I'd be furious.

#2 You are making the assumption that every shipment had $4 or more wiggle room left in the shipping fee after the actual postage was paid. That is a really big assumption.

However to be fair, I don't recall in that auction any comments that there would be handling/packaging charges.

Presumably you were happy with said price of games even if you did not get any shipping costs back as you bid for them knowing you may end up with the full $5 on each additional package being used.

It's possible there are packages that he lost money on.


Just my $0.02 .
 
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Rokkr wrote:

I'll put you down for a no though. Who'd have guessed?
By the way, what's your limit for feeling stolen from? It would be nice to know how much extra anyone trading with you can gouge you before you take notice.


You just outed a BGG member for $4.50 in handling fees.

Here is some perspective. To find a box, pack it up nicely and spend time to take it to post office takes time out of my day. And what is $4.50? That would be around 1/15th of what I make an hour, and it'd take me longer than that just to "handle" that package.

Would I feel shipping was excessive? Possibly, but that is something I would assess before I agreed to the terms. It's not worth demanding returned from a shipper, and it's most definitely NOT something I would come on to BGG to complain about.
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Mike Jones
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Mines $39.80.
 
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Lance
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With all the free boxes you can get from pretty much anywhere, including the USPS, I do find this very sketchy at the very least.

Is $4.50 something to get worked up about? I am not in a position to tell anyone else how they should feel, but I have definitely gotten bent out of shape over less if I felt the situation warrented it.

I would personally send the dude another email and see if you could come up with some sort of agreement. If you can't, jusy chalk it up to a life lesson and move on. If $4.50 is all you lost out on, I consider that a cheap lesson.
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Rik Van Horn
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UndeadViking wrote:
With all the free boxes you can get from pretty much anywhere, including the USPS, I do find this very sketchy at the very least.

Is $4.50 something to get worked up about? I am not in a position to tell anyone else how they should feel, but I have definitely gotten bent out of shape over less if I felt the situation warrented it.

I would personally send the dude another email and see if you could come up with some sort of agreement. If you can't, jusy chalk it up to a life lesson and move on. If $4.50 is all you lost out on, I consider that a cheap lesson.

This wasn't posted with the notion of recouping the $4.50. And yes, I take it as a lesson.
But I also want folks warned that if dealing with this user, they have the potential to end up feeling used as well.

For the guy that didn't understand the potential profit, the $4.50 was NOT part of the postage cost that was paid in addition to it.
Basically I got charged $4.50 for a used box, a few inches of tape and the small amount of peanuts seen in the picture.

It may or may not be so, but it feels borderline scamlike to me.
Especially multiplied by 60+.
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Tony C
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Without having read followup posts:

Did he charge what was quoted in the item listing?
Did the item/s arrive to your address, packed securely, in good condition, in a reasonable time frame?

The only thing sticking in my craw is that he "had stated he would refund the difference in postage". If that's true and not clarified, then yes, I would assume that meant the difference between "what I paid for postage" and "what's on the postage meter". "Handling fees" are a generally a load of crap, imho, and are usually used to artificially jack up the profit margin or minimize the fee given to the marketplace. Roll those fees into your asking price or minimum bid.

It might not be worth repeatedly pushing for a refund, but it would definitely be worth keeping in mind next time I saw his auctions.

I also think if it's costing someone 4.50 to package (not ship) an item/s that's not a Ming vase, he's an idiot. You can greatly help your profit margin by minimizing costs as well.
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Rik Van Horn
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MWChapel wrote:

To find a box, pack it up nicely and spend time to take it to post office takes time out of my day. And what is $4.50? That would be around 1/15th of what I make an hour, and it'd take me longer than that just to "handle" that package.


Spare me the "my time is oh so valuable" protests. It's not so valuable that you didn't feel it a waste of time to have read and responded twice to a thread you think isn't even worth reading.
I could have packed two boxes in the time you spent on this thread.
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Rokkr wrote:


Spare me the "my time is oh so valuable" protests. It's not so valuable that you didn't feel it a waste of time to have read and responded twice to a thread you think isn't even worth reading.
I could have packed two boxes in the time you spent on this thread.


Yes, but I'm not selling you anything and this isn't a business transaction. Therefore you get a well deserved noodle lashing from me for free.

Isn't that a great deal?
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Rik Van Horn
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MWChapel wrote:
Rokkr wrote:


Spare me the "my time is oh so valuable" protests. It's not so valuable that you didn't feel it a waste of time to have read and responded twice to a thread you think isn't even worth reading.
I could have packed two boxes in the time you spent on this thread.


Yes, but I'm not selling you anything and this isn't a business transaction. Therefore you get a well deserved noodle lashing from me for free.

Isn't that a great deal?

It sure is. But before you put that noodle away, give yourself a few for continuous waste of your valuable time and an inconsistent application of logic.

And a couple for pointing out in a roundabout fashion how much you make a year. I always felt it's a bit pompous when folks feel the need to tell people how much they make.
 
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Rokkr wrote:

It sure is. But before you put that noodle away, give yourself a few for continuous waste of your valuable time and an inconsistent application of logic.




You are the one who is questioning the value of peoples time. You think that sellers shouldn't put into the equation that value as if it should be included in the price of the game. Handling is a valid 3 part of any auction you'll find on eBay, and that doesn't have to include packaging value. It's a value the seller and buying agreed upon in addition to the value of the game, and the shipping costs.


Quote:

And a couple for pointing out in a roundabout fashion how much you make a year. I always felt it's a bit pompous when folks feel the need to tell people how much they make.


blah blah blah, put away the faux outrage. It has nothing to do with the topic in question.
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Rik Van Horn
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MWChapel wrote:
blah blah blah, put away the faux outrage. It has nothing to do with the topic in question.

Tell you what, I'll put away the faux outrage when you stop making faux excuses for pointing out how much money you make.
I pointed it out mainly because people who feel the need to do so are not people to be taken seriously in general.
 
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Does not seem like any shenanigans to me. We're talking about $4.50 in handling fees for four games, or 10 bits of additional charge per game purchased. Doesn't seem like any excessive fee to me.
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I'm curious why it wasn't run through the system to make sure BGG gets it's 3% (are we sure he didn't donate?) and everyone getting to give feedback. That seems strange for such a big auction.

I'm staying neutral on the shipping. I've gotten worse and gotten better, everyone seems to have their justifications for their actions, especially the 'make so much an hour' argument, which frustrates me.
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If you say that a certain amount of money is nothing to get worked up about because it is nothing compared to what you make, it devalues your argument since you have absolutely no knowledge of the other party's financial status.

However, I have no problem if someone wants to brag about how much money they make, they most likely have earned that spot in their life and therefore have earned the right to be proud of their success. Even if they didn't earn it, I have gotten to the point in my life where things like that don't really bother me all that much.
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Rokkr wrote:
I pointed it out mainly because people who feel the need to do so are not people to be taken seriously in general.


Well here is something else I am pointing out. People who complain about "agreed" upon charges are not people to be taken seriously in general.

See how that works?

And from the responses you got so far, it doesn't sound like I'm much off the mark.

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UndeadViking wrote:
If you say that a certain amount of money is nothing to get worked up about because it is nothing compared to what you make, it devalues your argument since you have absolutely no knowledge of the other party's financial status.


Then maybe I should instead be channeling Dr.Phil instead. Should I start stating that if you are complaining about $4.50 of your disposable income on an expensive hobby as board gaming, maybe you shouldn't be buying games to begin with.
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Rik Van Horn
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MWChapel wrote:
UndeadViking wrote:
If you say that a certain amount of money is nothing to get worked up about because it is nothing compared to what you make, it devalues your argument since you have absolutely no knowledge of the other party's financial status.


Then maybe I should instead be channeling Dr.Phil instead. Should I start stating that if you are complaining about $4.50 of your disposable income on an expensive hobby as board gaming, maybe you shouldn't be buying games to begin with.

Wow.
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Rokkr wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
UndeadViking wrote:
If you say that a certain amount of money is nothing to get worked up about because it is nothing compared to what you make, it devalues your argument since you have absolutely no knowledge of the other party's financial status.


Then maybe I should instead be channeling Dr.Phil instead. Should I start stating that if you are complaining about $4.50 of your disposable income on an expensive hobby as board gaming, maybe you shouldn't be buying games to begin with.

Wow.


I know, truth hurts.
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Rik Van Horn
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MWChapel wrote:
Rokkr wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
UndeadViking wrote:
If you say that a certain amount of money is nothing to get worked up about because it is nothing compared to what you make, it devalues your argument since you have absolutely no knowledge of the other party's financial status.


Then maybe I should instead be channeling Dr.Phil instead. Should I start stating that if you are complaining about $4.50 of your disposable income on an expensive hobby as board gaming, maybe you shouldn't be buying games to begin with.

Wow.


I know, truth hurts.

Didn't hurt a bit. It might have had it actually been true and not just nasty.
 
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MWChapel wrote:
UndeadViking wrote:
If you say that a certain amount of money is nothing to get worked up about because it is nothing compared to what you make, it devalues your argument since you have absolutely no knowledge of the other party's financial status.


Then maybe I should instead be channeling Dr.Phil instead. Should I start stating that if you are complaining about $4.50 of your disposable income on an expensive hobby as board gaming, maybe you shouldn't be buying games to begin with.


I know sarcasm was your point here, but that is a more valid point.

Regardless, the OP stated that the money was not so much the point as the integrity of the situation. At that point however, since we are dealing with opinions based upon moral interpretations of the situation, no amount of spirited debate is likely to change any of our opinions.

I merely wanted to point out that someone with, for example, $100,000 in his pocket telling someone not to get worked up over $10 when they have no idea how much that dude has in his wallet is not only uninformed but possible insensitive as well.
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The "my time is worth X" is sort of a red herring.
My time is worth X/hr, because that's what I get paid at work. However, I don't pack and ship items on the clock, and I work a set schedule, I can't create my own overtime. If I spend 10 minutes packing a shipment at 2 PM on Sunday, and I work M-F for X dollars an hour, is that 10 minutes worth 1/6 of X? I don't think so.
Also, you get paid X/hr for doing something else - engineer, astronaut, teacher, etc. You are getting paid for that specific set of skills.
If I am a NASA engineer working on supporting the space station for 100$/hr, and I take a moonlighting job bagging groceries, should I hold out for 100/hr from Harris Teeter because that's how much "my time is worth"?

Of course everyone else also has their "personal" value of time - I pay for oil changes rather than doing it myself because the cost + time for me to do it myself is worth more to me than the cost + time for me to pay to do it - on the other hand, I mow my own lawn.

I've always rolled 'packaging and handling' costs into the shipping or selling price, and considered it a cost of doing business. Then again, apparently it's not as much of an ordeal for me as it is for many - I have boxes and envelopes, I'll usually ship (and charge) Priority (with their boxes), I print and pay for postage from home, and the USPS picks up from my doorstep.

Complaining about 4.50 in "handling fees" is sort of a waste - so is defending that nickel-and-dime stuff as "my time is worth this month, so I'm condescending and doing you a favor even selling you the item" (which is how it always sounds to me.)

And I have no problem with trying to save 4.50 - if you can do that once, it's lunch; if you can do it four times, it's an expansion. There's nothing wrong with trying to make an "expensive" hobby (purely a subjective consideration) less expensive (yes, I buy online rather than at FLGSs, but that's another thread.)

And yeah, "it's only 4.50, deal with it, or stop spending it", is merely a slightly better way of saying "Wow, you must be poor, *I* don't have a problem with blowing 4.50."
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