eBay Board Wargame Collector’s Digest          Volume 1, Number 1




The idea for this newsletter came from a series of game transactions I had with John Bowman, one of the most prolific and best traders I’ve run into on eBay.  In our email chats, we noted that board wargame collectors and gamers on eBay are really a great group of people that we run into and deal with time and time again as we manage our personal collections and buy and sell games on the service.  Then it hit us – why not start an electronic newsletter devoted to our favorite online activity!


John started collecting the names and emails addresses of the people he’s had the pleasure of dealing with online, and I sent out a “feeler email” to gauge the response to something like this.  The response was in a word – incredible!  In a few short days, I had received positive emails of interest from more than 50 eBayer wargamers!


I originally planned to get this first issue in your hands a few weeks ago, but had to take care of some business and work issues first before finding the time to devote to this.  This holiday weekend was the perfect opportunity for me to work on this!


The goal of this newsletter is to discuss out-of-print and new board wargames, share ideas on best to utilize the eBay service to buy and sell collectible wargames (i.e. how to describe wargame conditions), to keep an eye on good and bad traders, to track going rates and trends, and more. 


One thing that is clear is that we can’t do this alone, and I was thrilled to see many of your volunteering to help track prices and write articles- we need your help!  I also want to make this a true community newsletter – any and all ideas and suggestions would be very much appreciated, and I expect that this newsletter will continually evolve over time.


My current goal is to put out a 5-10 page issue every two weeks or so, more or less depending on the activity and interest we generate.  One of my first goals will be to move this newsletter from its current Word document format to an HTML web-based format so everyone can read and contribute regardless of computing platform or browser.



Many thanks, and enjoy!


Peter T. Szymonik

EBay = Xorg

311+ eBay Rating



Game Price Tracking:


Every week I’d like to track closing auction prices for “mint” and “punched but excellent” wargames on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis.  Over time people can use this as a guide to gauge what they can expect to get for a particular game title before posting it. 


I realize there are other wargame price guides out there, Mike Boone in particular has an excellent one.  However, my experience with these price guides is that they often contain dated information.  Additionally, since they track auction prices from conventions and sales prices from the newsgroups, they really aren’t a great guide for auction prices on eBay, which is the goal of this section.


Here are the closing prices of some collectible wargames that closed during the past week on eBay:


SPI               Highway to the Reich 2nd               MT BK           $230.03

SPI               War in Europe                              EX FT           $153.51

GDW             Avalanche                                  MT ZP           $122.00

SPI               War Between the States               EX FT           $105.50

Marshal         La Bataille de la Moskova               MT ZP           $  76.00

COA              Home Before the Leaves Fall          MT               $  61.56

SPI               Blue & Gray II                              MT FT           $  50.00

SPI               Modern Battles I & II                    EX FT           $  49.00

The Gamers    Thunder at the Crossroads             MT               $  49.00

SPI               Wellington's Victory                      FT EX           $  46.00

SPI               Operation Typhoon                       EX BK            $  45.95

SPI               Blue & Gray                                 BK MT           $  44.44

SPI               Outreach                                    FT MT           $  41.01

GMT             June 6th                                      MT               $  37.00

COA              Kolin                                          MT               $  34.56

GMT             Thunderbolt Apache                     MT               $  31.00

SPI               Battle for Stalingrad (John Hill)       MT               $  28.00

SPI               Battle of the Nations                    MT BK           $  26.00

SPI               CityFight                                    MT BK           $  24.00

GMT             In Their Quiet Fields 1st                 MT               $  20.50

West End       Druid                                         MT               $  18.27

SPI               Pea Ridge                                   MT BK           $  16.31

Hist. Sims      Manassas                                   EX                $  12.50


Guide:           MT – Described as Unpunched and Mint

                   EX -  Described as Punched but Excellent


                   FT – Flat Tray Packaging

                   BK – Bookcase style packaging

                   ZP – Ziploack packaging

                   (  ) – No listing – game only has one package style


What do people think about expanding this list to include buyer’s and seller’s eBay handles?  A good way to see who is buying and selling what, or too much of an invasion of privacy?  My thoughts are that it would nice to find out if certain bidders are only interested in SPI monster games, GDW titles, etc.





Recently an unpunched and mint bookcase style War in Europe sold for $535 on eBay.  By contacting some of the bidders after auction, I found out that many of these people weren’t aware that War in Europe has recently been updated and reprinted by Decision Games, and is available for between $170-250 online or direct from Decision Games web site www.decisiongames.com


The new version comes in an odd shaped long box, adds 480 new counters, and updates the counter manifest to allow for more “what if” typical scenarios.  The rulesbooks has been updated, as have all of the map and counter graphics.


On the downside, the new version has some rules problems which have been addressed in errata, and which will be fixed in an upcoming “Gamer’s Guide to War in Europe” that will be released later this year by Decision Games. 


The new counters are also a tad on the thin size, and many gamers prefer the older style cardboard counters when playing this classic, which may explain the appeal of the older and very collectible bookcase version!



PayPal Warning!


PayPal is a wonderful service, I have no clue how I did business on eBay before without it.  Recently PayPal has been promoting upgrades to its Premium and Business Level service offerings to its Basic Service users. 


I recently upgraded to their Premium Service and really like to ability to download my transaction logs, but there is one change to their system that can really catch you off guard!


I had my PayPal account set up so that any payments I made for eBay auctions that exceeded my PayPal balance would be charged to my Wingspan credit card.  I set up the PayPal account by linking it to my SFNB online checking account, a separate checking account that I keep very little money in and use solely for online purchases.


However, PayPal recently upgraded their payment screens.  One change they made is that you now have the ability to select whether payments that exceed your balance are charged to your credit card or linked checking account.  BUT, they fail to warn you that this screen now defaults to your checking account!! 


By making this change without my authorization, PayPal posted three payments I made towards the end of August to my checking account instead of my credit card, causing me to bounce two checks for the first time in my life.  This cost me over $75 in bank fees to correct, never mind the embarrassment of having to contact the sellers who got those two bounced checks. 


To say I was furious is an understatement, and PayPal is looking into the problem.

Pay close attention to this new screen when making PayPal payments, or you too may be in for a rude surprise!

Game Description Guidelines (My apologies to those who have seen this before – just trying to fill some first issue space!):


Wargame Auctions – A Game Grading Guide


Back in the late 1980s, hundreds of veteran board wargamers gathered together on the now defunct GEnie online network.  Over the years they played PBEM games, discussed their favorite hobby, worked on new games, and had a very active online auction area. 


Recently I returned to my board wargaming roots after spending most of the 1990s in the computer gaming world, and was simply floored at all the wargame auction activity on eBay.  On any given day, there are over 1,000 old board wargames up for grabs on this leading auction site.  Over the course of about two months, I’ve successfully bought, sold, and traded well over 200 games using eBay’s auction service. 


I highly recommend eBay to any gamer interested in finding great copies of rare and long-lost wargames, or to update and manage their collections.  Now, as great as eBay is, there is one problem…


Given that wargames are being sold on eBay by all sorts of people (including non-gamers cleaning out their children’s closets!) the definition of a game’s overall condition can be confusing and open to interpretation.


With this in mind, I pulled out an old copy of the guidelines I drafted back in 1988, and have started updating them.  My goal is to create a structured game grading guide people can refer to when buying or trading old collectible wargames, much like baseball cards, stamps, and coins have their standard grading systems.


Being realistic, I don’t expect everyone on eBay or other auction sites to automatically begin using this guide.  But if enough people do start using it and word of mouth spreads, we’ll all benefit.   The original guide was the culmination of the work of dozens of GEnie pioneers who contributed to the original document, and its stood of the test of time. 


Hopefully, this update will be even better than the first one!  I consider this a living document and work-in-progress, any and all feedback and input would be greatly appreciated! 





Its important to understand that there are three distinct groups of people auctioning old collectible board wargames online.  Each group has a different set of ideas and thoughts regarding what a wargame is, what its worth, and what kind of condition it should be in. 


One of the first steps to take when bidding on any wargame online is to understand who you are dealing with.  More than anything, this one step can prevent many misunderstandings and conflicts.  Ask the person questions in email, check their feedback on eBay, and read their game descriptions very carefully.



The Collectors:  These are people who bid on wargames because of their intrinsic value as highly collectible works of intelligence and art.  Each historical board wargame title represents an incredible research, design, and production effort. 


In order to make a playable yet historically realistic wargame, reams of research has to be done, piles of documentation has to be created, and months of effort has to be expended by designers, testers and producers. 


Collectors treat board wargames as like rare books, and well they should.  Many wargames had print runs in the low thousands, if not hundreds of copies.  Factor in their age (most SPI titles are now 20-30 years old), and the rarity of a particular game title becomes a serious issue affecting a wargame’s overall value to a Collector.


Most Collectors are only interested in wargames that are in the very best condition, and they will pay top dollar for them.  They are a finicky bunch – Collector’s who are willing to drop upwards of $200+ on an individual monster game title want to know exactly what they are buying.  As with any collectible, any imperfections or alterations can have a dramatic impact on a game’s value in a Collector’s eyes.



The Gamers:  Gamers buy wargames to play them – pure and simple.  While they may also collect games, their primary goal is to acquire games so they can lay them out on a table and recreate a battle either playing solitaire or with a local gaming buddy.  (Many Collectors started as Gamers, and may still play an occasional game or two.)


Gamers are generally interested in wargames that have been used, but not abused.  Most Gamers will not pay top dollar for a mint out-of-print wargame.  It’s simply not worth it to them because it’s far easier to find punched and played copies of the games they want at far lower prices than mint copies at collector prices.


Unlike Collectors, Gamers are generally willing to overlook minor flaws and alterations, as long as the game is generally intact and in good condition.  One or two missing counters, or minor rules or map notations generally don’t bother Gamers as long as the game can be played.  In return, Gamers expect a wargame’s pricing to be realistic and affordable.



The Non-Wargamers:  This is a relatively new and small group, I only started running into these people when I started using eBay.  These are people who have come across wargames at estate sales, in bookstores, or are cleaning out a son or daughter’s closet. 


Most of the time, these people don’t even know what wargames are, and they treat them just like any other board game such as Risk or Monopoly.  While there can be bargains to be had with this group, these people are also the ones most likely to misrepresent a game’s condition – ask lots of questions of these folks!





So what exactly is a “mint condition” wargame?  To some people, “mint” means that a game is like new, looks the same way it did 20-30 years old, even if it has a minor production flaw such as an off-center row of counters. 


To others, this original and minor printing flaw with disqualify the game from the “mint” rating, even though the game was otherwise like new.


Finally, some people list “mint” condition games that are “punched and unplayed.”  While this may seem an odd concept, apparently many wargamers took the time to carefully corner clip their countersheets when they bought their games, but never actually laid the maps flat and played the game.  Is this a “mint” condition game?


Its because of these widely varying concepts that this Game Grading Guideline was originally created, and here it is!





A game in like-new condition, unpunched and never played.  The game's box may show very light wear from storage only.  No rips, tears, stains or markings of any kind on any component.  The game's original packaging must be complete and intact, this includes the original coversheet for flat box games.  Minor production flaws are acceptable if they are original to the game and clearly noted in the description.


This is the condition a Collector wants to see the game in.  Only games in this condition would bring top dollar at auction.





Only one type of game fits this description, a game that would be in MINT condition, except for one minor flaw.  As an example, a game may have a few rows of counters punched out to play in introductory scenario.  Or the maps were laid flat to examine them.  No tears, pinholes, stains, or markings of any kind on any component, a game that would be otherwise perfect. 


Most Collectors would be happy to acquire a game in this condition.  A game at 90-95% of its MINT condition value.





A game that would be otherwise MINT or NEAR MINT, except that it has been played a one or two times.  Some minor wear is allowed, but no rips, tears, or stains or markings can exist on any of the components.  No edits, writing, highlighting or coloring anywhere on the rules or map.  Must be 100% complete and the original packaging must be in excellent condition.  These are games that have been extremely well cared for, even though they may have been played a few times.


Still some Collector value, but this is the condition a Gamer would love.  75% of its MINT condition value.





The next step down from excellent, wargames in this category have been played a few times, but are still well taken care of.  Minor rips, tears, or stains are allowed and must be clearly noted.  The game shows signs of wear, but nothing that would adversely affect game play. 


The maps may have some pinholes or small tape tears on the corners, but absolutely no damage to the map area itself.  Counters and the game box may show signs of handling wear.  Minor dents on the game box or minor cracks on flat box are allowed, but no split corners, the box must be intact. 


Games in this condition are clearly Gamer’s copies with little Collector value.  These games can fetch between 25-50% of their MINT condition value.





Valuable only for gaming purposes.  Rips, tears, stains or markings allowed and the game's packaging may be well worn.  Some counters or other original components may be missing, but the game still contains everything needed to play it.  There may be a couple of substitute counters, a xeroxed copy of the original rulesbook, etc.  A game you wouldn't mind tossing in the back of a car.


Games in this condition have no Collector value at all, and most Gamers would consider a game in this condition barely acceptable.  10-25% of its MINT condition value.





A game that’s in really bad shape.  Played dozens of times, pieces missing, box is trashed.  It’s dirty and may even smell bad.  Enough may be missing to prevent the game from being played and it might only be good for spare parts.  A game you wouldn't mind throwing across the room.


Games in this condition have almost no value.





You wonder how a game could have ever gotten into this condition.  Mere shards of the original game remain, lots of missing components, the box is in tatters and has mold growing on it.  A game you wouldn't mind letting your dog play with.


Needless to say, this game shouldn’t even be listed for auction out of shame.





There will always be exceptions to these guidelines.  For instance, how to rate a game that is in excellent condition all around, but those rules have been highlighted?  Rate the game as excellent, but CLEARLY note the imperfection in the game description.


ALWAYS put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer – how would you rate the game if YOU were shelling out hard earned cash for it?  If the game is not truly in like new condition, do not list the game has MINT or NEAR MINT.  If the game is worn, say so.  If it smells like smoke, let the buyers know.


The most critical component of any successful auction is COMMUNICATION.  There is no such thing as too much information, there is definitely a problem when a game is simply listed as:


“SPI – The Conquerors.  Good shape.”


If you see one of these, buyer beware!


The very best way to grade a game is to grade each individual component separately.  These components are:


          Game Box

          Game Maps

          Game Rules and Charts

          Game Counters







SPI's plastic flat boxes are notorious for falling apart and cracking.  In general, it’s exceptional to find an SPI flat box that does not have at least one minor crack on the plastic box top.  A good test is to shake the flat box side-to-side.  If the top falls off, it deserves special mention.


The bottoms of SPI's flat box trays can also become unglued.  This is a simple fix, just carefully re-glue the bottom, or wrap a few large rubber bands around the entire box.  DO NOT staple the bottom back onto tray!!  The staples will damage other flat boxes when stacked.  DO NOT tape the bottom back on, collector’s hate taped flat trays.


As with any collectible, most Collectors frown on any type of attempted repair.





Over the years people have developed a number of methods to make large wargame maps lie flat.  By far the best method is to buy a cheap sheet of plexiglass and put on top of the mapboard.  Another is to pin the maps down onto some corkboard.


The absolute worst thing to do is to tape the maps down – this applies to clear tape, “magic” tape, or masking tape.  Tape sticks map boards and will tear them when you try to pull it off. 


Maps with small pinholes can be listed as excellent, those with stuck tape cannot.  ANY damage to a wargame’s map boards must be listed in the condition description.





A lot of careful wargamers will use Xacto knives to get counters out of a countersheet.  Some also go the extra mile and use a nail-clipper to clip the edges off the counters.  Both methods are fine and recommended, especially for newer games with highly detailed counter art.


However, if the counters were simply pulled out of the countersheet and some of the counters are ripped or damaged, the game cannot be listed as near mint or excellent.  Because most wargamers do careful punch or cut out counters, most counters should be in excellent condition.





These two components will often show the first signs of wear and abuse.  Charts are often altered, rules are highlighted, and coffee and beer mug stains are evident.  In these cases, the game can no longer be listed as mint or excellent.  Nothing will infuriate a Collector more than a game with highlighted rules.


Most careful wargamers will make copies of the original rules and charts and work

off the copies rather than the originals.





Magazine ratings follow the same basic guidelines regarding condition, but special attention should be placed on any special inserts the magazine may have.  Some

magazines had mini-games or scenario sheets inside them that disappear too often. 

Be very careful to note whether or not those inserts or games still exist when selling magazines.



Again, these are only guidelines!  Potential problems can be all but eliminated through communication.  If everyone follows the guidelines above and the two parties communicate, there is no reason for misunderstandings to exist.  If there is ever any doubt as to a game's condition, ASK!









There are lots of ways to pay someone for a wargame, and a lot of misconceptions regarding various forms of payment.  This is also one area that has changed dramatically over the past ten years, primarily because of the Internet.





The very WORST way to pay anyone for anything purchased online.  Period.  NEVER, EVER, SEND MONEY THROUGH THE MAIL.  I've had baseball cards stolen out of envelopes in the mail, imagine how long a few greenbacks would last...





A lot of people have misconceptions about personal checks.  Due to new Federal regulations, all checks have to be cleared by a bank within three days after being presented for payment.  If your bank takes longer than that to clear a check, something is wrong with your bank.


Sending a bad check through the mail and across state lines is a Federal offense.  This means that anyone receiving a bad check in the mail can file a complaint with the United States Postal Service and the FBI.  The FBI now handles online fraud cases through their web site.  These agencies *will* investigate, and the offending party can be prosecuted, levied a hefty fine, or jailed.  This is serious stuff!



Money Orders:


Regardless of what anyone may tell you, money orders are NOT a cash equivalent, and are really no safer than personal checks.  A stop payment can be placed on a money order just as easily as it can on a check.  The only real advantage to paying with a money order is that the recipient can cash it immediately instead of waiting three days.  The big disadvantage is that money orders cost money, and the buyer has to go to the bank to get one - a major hassle.





Several new electronic payment systems have appeared on the Internet over the past year, and PayPal is by far one of the best for completing online transactions.  I found out about this service a few weeks after I started on eBay, and now I have no clue how I used to conduct trades online before without it.


Here is how it works: 


After registering with PayPal, you can link your PayPal account with any checking account or credit card.  From that point on, anyone who owes you money for an online auction can pay you instantly online.


When someone sends you payment, the amount is automatically deducted from thier PayPal account, billed to their credit card, or deducted from their checking account.


You receive the funds instantly into your PayPal account, and can either leave it there for other online purchases, have PayPal send you a check any time you wish, or transfer the amount to a linked checking account.


This is ridiculously convenient and incredibly fast.  I’ve had people pay me minutes after an auction has closed, allowing me to ship their game the same day without having to wait for a check or money to arrive!  PayPal also lets me pay for my auction purchases the same way, so I get my wargames much faster.


Best of all, PayPal is complete free.  (www.paypal.com)


BillPoint is eBay’s way of competing with PayPal, but I find it more difficult to use, and eBay unfortunately charges a premium for this service. (www.billpoint.com)



The bottom line is that any kind of online transaction boils down to a certain level of mutual trust and honesty.  I can report that in the 14+ years I’ve been trading wargames online, and out of the hundreds of people I’ve dealt with, only one transaction has ever gone bad, and even that one was resolved after a stop-payment on a $500 money order got the guy's attention.





Unfortunately, a lot of bidders don’t pay enough attention to a seller’s online feedback profile.  While eBay’s rating system is far from perfect and a lot of articles have been written recently in the Wall Street Journal and other publications regarding potential abuses, eBay’s feedback system DOES in fact work quite well.


It all comes down to common sense and knowing who you are dealing with online.  I believe quite strongly that a lot of people who have been burned in online transactions are the same people who would get ripped off by “get rich quick” schemes or by street corner vendors.  They get caught up in the emotion of buying a rare wargame and the thrill of bidding, and fail to pay enough attention to what will happen after the auction is over and who the seller is.


If you see a wargame you really want offered on eBay, the very first step is to carefully read the game’s description to see if it lists everything you want to know about the game, then check the seller’s feedback rating.


Here are some questions to ponder….


What is the seller’s overall rating?  It’s a safe bet that anyone who has a rating of 50 or higher with no negative feedback is trustworthy character and veteran of the system.  Over 100, even better.


Second, how frequent and current are those ratings?  Is the seller auctioning off games on a constant basis (a very good sign) or has it been months since they last had something to offer (potential red flag.)


Third, who is giving the seller feedback?  Are the feedback comments from distinct individual buyers, or does it look like the same small group of individuals are offering lots of feedback in a short period of time (a very strong red flag here.)  It’s pretty easy to spot sellers who create false IDs solely to give themselves higher feedback ratings.


Fourth, what else is the seller auctioning off?  If you see a seller offering multiple wargames at once, that’s usually a good sign, people often sell off collections.  If this is the only wargame listed and rest of the auction items are baseball cards, you’re probably not dealing with a wargamer, which may be a problem.


Finally, how much time and effort has gone into the seller’s auction listings?  Again, a game listed as:


          “SPI – The Conquerors. Good shape.”


Is not a good sign.  Either the person doesn’t care, or they can’t be bothered with detailing the condition of a 20+ year old potentially collectible game.  If they won’t put any effort into their own auction listing, how much concern do you think they will have to address your concerns as a bidder or buyer?  Listings with digital pictures are a good sign.


If you have the slightest suspicions, check the seller’s references before making any bids or sending any money.




Due credit is given to a great wargamer, Roger Eastep, for all that follows.  Ever since I bought and received my first wargame from Roger, I’ve followed his outstanding guidelines for packaging collectible wargames.



The Insides:


As a first step in packaging a wargame for shipment, carefully inspect the wargame for any damage or problems you may have missed the first time around.  The most critical step involves making every effort to keep the counters secure in their counter trays without damaging the game itself in any way.


For SPI flat trays, use clear removable Scotch Magic brand tape or an equivalent to hold down the counter lids.  Do not use masking tape – it’s next to impossible to remove!  If the box doesn’t have rules or maps to fill the space between the box top and the tray bottom, place a heavy computer magazine or a few layers of bubble wrap on top of the trays.   For bookcase boxed games, the same principles apply.


Bubble wrap can be purchased in bulk at almost any office supply store or at www.staples.com, www.officemax.com, or www.officedepot.com.  A 150-foot roll goes for around $25-30, and is well worth the investment for other household uses (cats love it!)


After securing everything inside the game, wrap each game in separate plastic garbage bags and seal it with a twist-tie.  This protects the games from the weather if the package happens to be left outside by a delivery person, and it keeps all the pieces inside the bag should the counters fall out due to rough handling.


Finally, use at least one layer of bubble wrap to wrap the game, and some elastics to hold the box tops on – especially important for SPI flat trays.  Place games in a box large enough to have at least one inch of padding between the wargames and the box.  Surround the wargames securely with crushed newspaper or recycled stryofoam chips, which can also be found in bulk at the sites listed above.



The Outsides:


Most game boxes are damaged during processing.  Behind the walls of the friendly neighborhood Post Office or UPS depot are countless heavy machines that sort, drop, and throw boxes to their destinations.  Unless wargames are cushioned in some way, they will be damaged in transit.



The Post Office:


The Post Office has managed to grab a lot of business away from UPS for a number of reasons.  First, the Post Office is generally cheaper than UPS.  Second, the Post Office is far easier to deal with when processing a claim for insurance.  Third, the Post Office offers FREE Priority Mail supplies – including FREE boxes!


Free Priority Mail boxes can be found in your Post Office, but better yet, link to www.usps.gov and place an order for FREE supplies online and they will be delivered to your door at no cost within 3-5 business days.


Priority Mail boxes are wonderful because they come in many sizes.  A Medium Priority Mail box is a perfect fit for any standard SPI or Avalon Hill bookcase wargame.  SPI flat tray boxes and GDW/GRD wargames fit nicely in large size Priority Mail boxes, and SPI monster games are a perfect fit for Size 7 Priority Mail boxes.  Each Priority Mail box will have enough room to safely package a wargame with added space for cushioning.





UPS is often the shipper of choice for people sending games from a workplace or office.  While UPS is convenient from these locations, sellers have to provide their own packaging. 


One very important step when sending wargames via UPS in recycled and previously used cardboard boxes is to check for UPS codes that look like this on the side of the box:


                   161 : 12


                    32 : 07


These codes are often written by hand, and they mean something – namely, which truck the box is supposed to go in.  If you don't black these out, the package could be seriously delayed, or even be delivered right back to the sender!



In General:


Keep in mind that packages are no longer sorted by hand, but by machines. 


NEVER send a wargame or any other kind of package wrapped in twine or just a brown shopping bag – this is asking for disaster, and most carriers will now refuse your package if you send it in this condition. 


ALWAYS wrap the wargame in plenty of cushioning, regardless of whether you use styrofoam chips, newspaper, or bubble wrap.  Without cushioning, it’s all but guaranteed that the wargame will arrive damaged, resulting in a very angry buyer.


The last step before sealing a box is to include a card or letter with the buyer's name and address, in case the box is damaged during shipment.  Securely tape every edge of the box and clearly write your name and address and that of the buyer on the top. 


Magazines are best sent in padded mailers available at any office supply or drug store.  To keep Mr. Postman from bending them, clearly label them "DO NOT BEND", then surround the magazine with heavy cardboard.


Finally, if shipping an expensive item over $100, don’t be cheap - spend the extra 35 cents and have the package insured.


Most of this may seem like common sense, but the horror stories are out there.  Remember that someone is paying good money for your wargame and considers it valuable.  All it takes is a little time and effort to make sure that the game arrives in the same condition as it was sent.


Be considerate.  Treat the people the same way you would want to be treated. 


Don't cash the check or money order and then wait two weeks to send the game.  If you know a check is coming, have the wargame all packed up and ready to go BEFORE it arrives. 


Pack up the game and leave it un-addressed, noting the buyer's name in the corner of the box.  When payment arrives, all you have to do is address the package.

If the check never shows, the game is already packed up for the next person who wants to buy it.


If you're selling a large number of games and expect that it will take a few days to ship them all, let the buyers know their payments have arrived and give them a realistic shipping date. 





Communicate.  Communicate.  Then communicate some more.  And be realistic and flexible.  If the buyer isn't happy, find out why.  If the concern is legitimate, offer a solution. 


There is never a need for hostility or stonewalling, 99% of all problems can be resolved by offering potential solutions.  If a game is missing a chart, offer to copy one for the buyer.  If you can’t copy one, offer to give some money back.  If you bought a game that was in worse condition than you thought it would be, tell the seller, and be prepared to accept something to make up for it.


In the worst case, and unless the sale was clearly listed as “final”, both parties should be prepared to return the item and accept a refund.  But only as a last resort or if game’s condition was clearly not what it was presented to be.


It goes without saying that "I didn't like the game once I got it" or "It's not the game I thought it was" are NOT legitimate reasons for asking for a refund!





99% of all online transactions have happy buyers and sellers.  By using these guidelines, maybe we get that figure closer to 100%!






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