I’ve been buying and selling on ebay for nearly 11 years and so far have only been screwed over twice. once was a book that was described as having slight water damage to the back cover, which was fine except that the damage actually affected 3/4 of nearly half of all the pages and made it near impossible to open. That one didn’t go well as she played the system, ripped off half a dozen other people at the same time,  closed her account and vanished.

The second time was this. Can I just point out before I start the rant that this is no reflection on Academy Games, the publishers, or the designer. This is down to an independent trader on ebay.

Now it doesn’t seem that bad really and in the great scheme of things its minor.  But .. well his description was ..
Conflict of Heroes – Storm of Steel Kursk 1943. The box is ever so slightly buckled on one corner (hardly noticable). “. At £35 it was £20 under the retail so I figured I’d stick a bid on, wholly expecting to be out bid at the last second owing to it being such a bargain. So I carried on with life, trying to find a job, building this site etc. and was distracted until I got the ebay message saying I’d won. I was gobsmacked. Chuffed to bits as I’d wanted this game since its release but then I wondered how on earth to explain it to my wife that despite the current crop of issues I’d just spent all this money on a game I’d already decided months ago I couldn’t afford. Thankfully I had enough in my Paypal account to cover it. So I waited for it to arrive.

So one morning I noticed a parcel propped against the back door, in the pouring rain. Nice one postie. But at least these are always packed well so it should be fine. But no. This £50+ worth of sophisticated war game was wrapped in bubble wrap and then brown paper.  Where was the protective cardboard box that EVERYONE who deals in games lovingly wraps their sales in to protect them from the postal staff who haven’t the time or inclination to treat your parcels with any degree of care. Admittedly it was wrapped nicely, even the bubble wrap had been cut, sellotaped and wrapped very cleanly and evenly. It was no half hearted affair. He’d shown some respect at least. Just no common sense. He charged me £10 for P+P and I expected better.

So I pull off the sodden paper, dry off and then peel back the bubble wrap and . .well the first thing I notice is the bloomin big buckled corner. ‘Hardly noticable” (sic) he’d said. Right. So I suppose I wouldn’t also notice that the box had been stacked on top of something small and below something heavy which had collapsed the underside of the box and torn one edge.So I decide to start photographing this thinking I’ve got to go through another bloody Paypal routine of back and forth, back and forth. (It had taken a photo to win me the first book case.)

Inside it becomes apparent that the contents have suffered. The dice have worked lose, gouging away the printed side of several of the chit sheets (yes that’s spelt right!), damaging two of them, only slightly, but they’re not going to last as long now. Thankfully the mapboards are ok and the only damage is to the box and those two chits. The box damage is a pain though as its now very flimsy and has lost alot of its strength.

You can see here the first apparent damage to the chit sheet. This chit was actually ok

This is the damage to the next sheet, looks a lot less but..

This is how the lamination has been compromised.

This also looks innocuous enough..

until you see that this chit is also damaged.

OK so I imagine some of you are thinking I’m borderline aspergers and that come on, its just a game and its still playable so stop going on and on you moaning old git .. and yes you’re right. But its the principle of the thing! (Can’t believe I actually said that). Firstly his description was deceptive. Then the packaging was crap, not fit for purpose and not worth the money. Then its the over all lack of respect. I look after these games as best I can. They’re an investment in both money and time. Everyone I know who’s into the hobby feels the same, so its very annoying when someone who’s gaining from it financially doesn’t show the same level of care and respect of what is after all, someone elses property. I don’t know of any game retailer that would do that.

Anyway I suppose it serves me right. Because I’d not expected to win I hadn’t checked the guys feedback before bidding. Several mention inadequate packaging and deceptive descriptions etc.. I’d of steered well clear. Now I’m left with the decision of whether to send it back and lose £20 (postage is never refunded by Paypal. They don’t like to encourage disputes.) or keep it. Well since originally bidding on it I’ve been made redundant so losing £20 isn’t an option. I also don’t like the idea of him selling it on to some other poor unsuspecting, trusting, fool.

So I’ll keep it. And most certainly enjoy it.

Its a very, very good game.