Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
35 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: The Reality of Game Collecting Frustration (rant) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Brett David Spain
United States
Lee's Summit
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
Have I gone mad? I'm afraid so. You're entirely Bonkers. But I will tell you a secret, All the best people are.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Rant begin...

I am so frustrated.

Why can't people describe the condition of a game accurately when they attempt to sell or trade it? Many people on this site and others purchase games site unseen as a means of collecting. When you see an item listed as "like new" or "mint" or some other similar adjective, it should indicate a particular condition of an item. That is not always the case.

The book industry has developed a rather standard grading scale:

Very Fine/Mint
Fine
Very Good
Good
Poor


It seems to work well, but I understand that one man's Fine is another man's Very Fine. It is subjective. However, why isn't their some sort of standard scale for games?

I have purchased several items recently through BGG and eBay where the condition of the item does not match my expectation. I don't know if there is any recourse other than venting. Perhaps my scale of grading items is higher than others, but the conspiracy theorist in me believes that people know exactly what the condition of their item is and hedge their description to earn more money or trade value from it. When you ask for photos, somehow, you are never shown those "problem areas."

I don't believe the lack of an accurate description is attributed to ignorance. If that were so, the monetary value or trade value someone assigned to an item would likewise, in all probability, be skewed from the market average. This is typically not the case. It appears that people research eBay and past sales here at BGG to determine a value for an item. They then, perhaps, evaluate their item and make themselves believe it is in the condition they want it to be, not what the real condition is...

Rant over...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
♪ Isaäc Bickërstaff ♫
United States
Greer
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
Entropy Seminar:
badge
The results of a five yeer studee ntu the sekund lw uf thurmodynamiks aand itz inevibl fxt hon shewb rt nslpn raq liot.
Avatar
mb
JeremiahClayton wrote:
I will rate a game in MINT condition only if I have played it 3 or less times and the game is undamaged. There are some people that consider any punched game.. or even a game out of the shrinkwrap as being in less than MINT condition. I think that's extreme.. but I am a board gamer first and a collector second.


To me, THIS is extreme. A game is only in mint condition when it is in the same condition as if it were bought brand new. Out of the shrinkwrap, punched, and played isn't mint. It's VERY GOOD, at best.

Out of the shrinkwrap and punched might qualify for LIKE NEW (at least, that's how I've rated some of my games for sale), but calling them MINT would be misleading, to me.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Leighton
England
Peterborough
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
To be honest the serious book dealers I know have only have FINE as a condition. Anything less than FINE and they detail all the defects. If it is only suitable as a reading copy that is stated as well.

When looking at less scrupulous dealers, and in particular individuals who may be auctioning off books you are stuck in exactly the same situation you describe with games.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Juuso Mattila
United States
Arlington
Virginia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Whining about shrinkwrap is somewhat stupid, IMO, because as I've seen working in a FLGS/onlinestore, you sometimes have to sell stuff where the shrinkwrap is torn already when the game arrives there for you to sell. Shrinkwraps, it seems to me, can sometimes easily tear even during the careful handling of the postal system. Therefore, ... stupid...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Synge
United Kingdom
NEWTON ABBOT
Devon
flag msg tools
badge
Go get 'em, Floyd.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
throwingmuse wrote:
Why can't people describe the condition of a game accurately when they attempt to sell or trade it?


Simple - it's because at least half the sellers of games on ebay have no interest in the condition - or even the completeness - of the game. They are dealers who are trading to maximise their profit and they could equally well be selling watches or CDs. You may be making the mistake of thinking that they are parting with a cherished item from a personal collection and that they have the same standards as you. The only way to get any assurance whatsoever is to treat descriptions with scepticism and to proceed only after an exchange of emails. If you ask the right questions, you will get a fair idea of the attitude of the seller.

I have been caught out several times. It is equally possible to find "bad" ebay sellers in the UK, the US and Germany.

As for the sellers on BGG, I guess that's more disappointing, but perhaps the same pre-bid checks need to be carried out if that's what experience suggests.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jonathan Franklin
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
I think this is an issue because you often don't know who you are dealing with.

I'd guess that players substantially outnumber collectors on BGG, so descriptions are aimed towards players. I think the burden is on the collector to get a more detailed report on game condition than that offered.

As a game player (rather than collector), I notice split corners, but usually not dishing, unless it is prominent.

If you are a collector, and ask the seller for as complete a description as possible, the seller/trader can tell you if the cardboard frames from which the pieces were punched are included, whether pieces are in their original baggies, or a replacement ziploc, etc.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Slyvanian Frog
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Because you are not dealing with fellow collectors, but people who play and enjoy games? The types of people who only know "mint" or "not-mint" because they don't care about the anal retentive categories collectors use, and believe that if there are no holes in the box, all of the pieces are there, nothing is heavily rubbed or worn, that the game is fine for it's intended purpose, playing?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jonathan
United States
Mankato
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
To me:

Mint = still in original shrinwrap.
As New/like New= Opened but unpunched.
Excellent/Very Good = Only played a few times.
Good = Played but nothing is missing/damaged.

I really only care that as all the parts are there and I can play the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J Boyes
United States
Unspecified
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Perhaps the geek marketplace needs to post a set of standards for everyone.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Li'l Ronnie Post
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
I understand the frustration, but it can be greatly mitigated by the simple expedient of asking questions of the seller. You're NOT going to be able to get everyone to use the same scale. It's just not going to happen. So protect yourself and ask as many questions as you need to find out what the seller means when he says his copy of Monopoly is "el-perfecto".

Sure, sometimes the seller won't respond, sometimes there's not enough time, sometimes.. whatever. Oh well - don't bid/buy. There'll be another opportunity.

I've had this lesson drilled into me on Ebay by all the scuzzbags, er, sellers there who add exorbitant handling charges to circumvent the listing fees. I may think someone's a scuzzbag for charging $20 to ship a copy of BANG!, but as long as he doesn't misrepresent anything (including the shipping cost), then he's not a dishonest scuzzbag - at least in my book. If I don't read the description, bad on me. Similarly, if the condition of a game is critical to you as a collector, do yourself a favor and take the time to stack the deck in your favor. There will still be times when you're unhappy, but hey, welcome to life.

Still frustrated? Yeah.. it sucks sometimes. Go blow off some steam. Fire off some high-caliber rounds and blow up a few things. Makes me feel better every time. YMMV.
(oh, and good luck!)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Li'l Ronnie Post
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
Jpwoo wrote:
Perhaps the geek marketplace needs to post a set of standards for everyone.

It actually does (although I'm not sure that it does for trading):
Quote:
Board Game Geek Condition Policy:
New - A brand new unused, unopened, and undamaged game in perfect condition. The original packaging and all materials are in brand new condition.
Like New - Game just removed from shrink wrap. No wear and tear, all facets of the game are intact.
Very Good - Very minimal wear and tear. All game materials are present. You would give this item to a friend as a gift.
Good - Minor damage to the box and/or its contents. All game materials are present. Game maybe played once or twice.
Acceptable - Some damage to the box, but the game is still intact. Possible split corner(s) on the box. Maybe missing a non-crucial game piece. Possibly missing rules/instructions, but are available on the web. Scuffing on the game board.
Unacceptable - Major damage to box and its parts. Possibly missing several important pieces. Broken or missing board/box. No rules/instructions, and they are not readily avaiable. Do not sell this game on Board Game Geek.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hunga Dunga
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
"Mint" means the local air hasn't touched the game components. Anything less is obfuscation!



Good eBay traders will list exactly what is deficient about a game, for example: broken corners, stain on board, ink marks on rule book....that sort of thing. If these are not listed, a good eBay trader will provide photos or descriptions of game contents when asked. If you can't get this information, don't bid or trade, unless you want to take a chance at being disappointed.

I was burned this way once: $25 for a game in such bad condition it was good for nothing but the garbage bin.

Never again.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Slyvanian Frog
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
JeremiahClayton wrote:
Quote:
"Mint" means the local air hasn't touched the game components. Anything less is obfuscation!


That definition creates a situation in which CCG cards never be rated in MINT condition lest they're still in the package. Nonsense.


Exactly. All that is doing is making "Mint" another word for "New in box," which is kind of pointless. For example, I do not believe a coin has to have never left the actual stamp to be deemed "Mint."
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Mellon
United States
Erie
PA
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I use the BGG marketplace ratings for my trades, as that is where my trades are based.

I've only finished 3 trades, but haven't had a problem yet.

If you're uncertain of the condition of a game, ask for a description of the game condition in detail. You'll have it in print, and if it doesn't jibe with what you got, return it.

It's not that hard.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J P
Canada
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
My suggestion and what I do whenever I purchase any used item online is to expect the item to be at least one grade lower than described. And bid accordingly.

Unless of course it is a new item from a dealer. In which case I have the same expectation of quality as I would expect from any Brick & Mortar.

Hope for the best but expect the worst


Edit: It is probably worth mentioning that I'm not really a "collector" though and tend to buy items to use/play. If I were collecting for investment purposes then I would likely be equally fustrated.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
George Kinney
United States
Bellefontaine
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jpwoo wrote:
Perhaps the geek marketplace needs to post a set of standards for everyone.


It does - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geekstore.php3?action=viewcondp...

Personally, I have never bought a game via the BGG marketplace and had a seller misrepresent it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ron Pfeiffer
United States
Surfside Beach
South Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Quote:
Board Game Geek Condition Policy:
New - A brand new unused, unopened, and undamaged game in perfect condition. The original packaging and all materials are in brand new condition.
Like New - Game just removed from shrink wrap. No wear and tear, all facets of the game are intact.
Very Good - Very minimal wear and tear. All game materials are present. You would give this item to a friend as a gift.
Good - Minor damage to the box and/or its contents. All game materials are present. Game maybe played once or twice.
Acceptable - Some damage to the box, but the game is still intact. Possible split corner(s) on the box. Maybe missing a non-crucial game piece. Possibly missing rules/instructions, but are available on the web. Scuffing on the game board.
Unacceptable - Major damage to box and its parts. Possibly missing several important pieces. Broken or missing board/box. No rules/instructions, and they are not readily avaiable. Do not sell this game on Board Game Geek.


I really think that the ratings described above are not only fair but an acurate desciption of how a game should be rated. Except for the final comment at the bottom. "Do not sell this game on Board Game Geek" which could be replaced with. "Game good for parts". Some of us might indeed already own a game that has missing parts and would like another copy just to combine the games in order to get one comlete game. As long as a proper description of what is in the box and what is not in the box accompanies the description then there might be some one out there who is interested in buying the game. Having an asking price that reflects the desription might also be a good idea.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hunga Dunga
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Nonsense.

...says the man who plays a game three times and then sells it as "Mint".

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
mike hibbert
United Kingdom
Gloucester
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Kobra1 wrote:
juuzzom wrote:
Whining about shrinkwrap is somewhat stupid


On BGG i've never had a bad order, Ebay on the other hand, can be dodgey, which is why I call it "ScamBay". I'd say a full 80% of the sellers on Ebay are shifty.


80% is a huge over-exaggeration! I have bought and sold hundreds of time, and have only had 2 cases where I paid for something and it was a scam (luckily it was a CD so I only lost a tenner).
The vast majority of people on eBay are honest decent people like me and you, just trying to sell their own stuff so that they can buy someone elses stuff. There are traders on there, but they are easy to avoid.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tony Nardo
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As has been pointed out, obsessing over shrink wrap carries its own dangers:

1) Some product does not come from the factory in shrink wrap.
2) Shrink wrap can be reapplied.
3) Even when the shrink wrap is original, that doesn't mean the factory got the components right. I've opened games straight from the maker (direct order) and noted missing parts, defectively printed parts, etc.
4) No guarantee against dings, dents, or an 800 pound gorilla having sat on the box when Shrinkwrapped=Mint.

I prefer to consider the condition on a shrinkwrapped item as simply "Sealed". Beyond that and box condition, no other claim can be made for the contents.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Von Ahnen
United States
Dallas
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ah the difference between collectors and players. The collectors value the game as an art object, to be admired. The players value the game as it is played.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tony Nardo
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
JeremiahClayton wrote:
MINT refers to the condition of the item. I assume a majority of BGG users are board gamers first and collectors second.. and in that context.. a game with no discernible damage resulting from gameplay.. in my opinon.. should qualify as MINT condition.

Except that MINT is a term intended to draw collectors, and there are collectors as well as game players on BGG.

The most common understanding one will find for "mint" is: "A piece that is in Mint Condition is in virtually the same condition as it was when it left the manufacturer."

Revising the definition to suit personal wishes may be appropos for Humpty Dumpty ("When I use a word, it means what I choose it to mean -- neither more not less."), but it's not very helpful in a marketplace.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
José Carlos de Diego
Spain
Zaragoza
Zaragoza
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

CONDITION GUIDELINES


Box Condition

Mint - A box is mint only if in the original shrinkwrap. A completely unplayed game which has been unwrapped is not mint. Some games, especially some of the left over Avalon Hill stock, sometime comes without shrinkwrap. Even though completely new, we will not rate the box as mint.

Excellent - This is an opened box with either no flaws or a very minor flaw, such as a small amount of corner or edgewear.

Very Good - A box that is rated as very good will have some flaws associated with it. Some of these flaws can be more extensive edge or corner wear, some minor tape damage, a broken corner or two, a small amount of writing, a small tear in the litho or some minor fading. Usually only one or two of these flaws would be present. The overall appearance of the box will determine whether it is very good or a lesser rating.

Good - A box in good condition can have several of the flaws described above and usually to a greater degree of severity. These could include heavier wear and more extensive rips or tears. However, the box is still intact with the cover still in presentable condition.

Fair - This condition indicated major flaws with the box. These could include extensive and heavy wear, missing side aprons, box artwork badly damaged, all corners broken, etc. There is usually no collector value to this box. It only barely serves the purpose of holding the contents.

Poor - This box is basically trashed. You might as well store the game components in a cardboard box. Very seldom will you find a box in this condition on ours, or anyone else's, games lists.



Contents Condition

Mint - Contents are mint only if they are completely unused and like new. Punched games are not mint.

Excellent - Excellent components have been played very little, if at all. Counters can be punched and there can be a minor flaw.

Very Good - This is a game that has been played but has been well taken care of. There can be some flaws such as small creasing or highlighting in the rules, some wear on the map creases, or some minor stains. It is still a nice copy for the player or possibly the collector.

Good - This is a well-used game. There could be some wear (or even writing) on the counters, the map could be torn or stained, the rules have been read many times with possible heavy highlighting or writing in them. It still serves the purpose of the person who wants to play this game or wants to collect a less expensive copy.

Fair - This game will have extensive wear on all components and has obviously been played many times or has been subject to a natural disaster.

Poor - You will not find any games with poor components on our lists. I will throw it in the trash can if I come across a copy like this.



Regards from Spain,

JC
http://ludere.ual.es/bsk
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tony Nardo
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Overall, a good guide. But the box guide...
jcd2001es wrote:
Mint - A box is mint only if in the original shrinkwrap. A completely unplayed game which has been unwrapped is not mint. Some games, especially some of the left over Avalon Hill stock, sometime comes without shrinkwrap. Even though completely new, we will not rate the box as mint.

... remains inadequate, as a shrinkwrapped box sat on by an 800 lb. gorilla remains "mint" by this definition.

(And yes, I've bought a couple games online described as both "mint" and "shrinkwrapped" that did indeed look like they were flattened by a VERY heavy object!)

I'd also be hard pressed to verify "original" shrinkwrap unless I was the one who bought the game originally from the company, and even then only on direct order.


Finally, for the sake of completeness, your contents condition list should add:

Unverifiable: The contents are sealed, and thus not open for inspection to verify completeness or quality of production.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Severus Snape
Canada
flag msg tools
Pascal said, "The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me."
badge
"The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of."--Pascal
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Very Fine/Mint
Fine
Very Good
Good
Poor

It seems to work well, but I understand that one man's Fine is another man's Very Fine. It is subjective.


I buy a lot of books--too many books--via the internet where I cannot see the condition of the book. In my experience, U.S. booksellers often over-rate the condition of their books. I've bought books that I considered to be in unreadable condition, but the sellers listed them as good/very good or better. I have found European sellers to be more reliable in regards to rating condition. Yes, it is subjective, but sometimes one has to wonder if it isn's something else at work for some of these yo-yo's. goo
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.