Welcome to Idle Hands, my weekly segment where I discuss conversions, painting, and strategy for the Warhammer tabletop game…
As I write this, it’s the last day of school. Why would I be writing during the last day of school? Because “technically” yesterday was the last day of school, today is make-up test day. It’s the last chance for finals for some kids, so my wife is at the school dealing with a few things. I’m here, getting things ready for the going away party for the school’s principal later in the evening. But that’s only a fraction of what’s been going on this week, and between Diablo III’s release and everything that’s been going on at the school there wasn’t a lot of time to get things finished here. I did however get some solid work in, to the point that I should be hitting the tables with my tourney list in the near future (even if it will only be partially painted)…
THE EBAY FILES
One major point of contention that has slowed recent progress has been eBay. More specifically, a purchase I made last month. The deal was for 16 Knights of Chaos, 2 partially assembled – rest on sprue. Basically, I was getting three boxes of Knights for the price of two. I was scheduled to receive my order on the 5th (at the latest) but waited patiently till the package arrived, nearly two weeks late. What I found was slightly confusing. Inside the box were no Knights, but 3 boxes of Warriors, 2 assembled, rest on sprue (I’m sensing a pattern here).
So, I took a picture of the contents and put the box on my work shelf. I then sent an eMail to the seller, I decided to give him 24 hours to respond before taking the situation to eBay directly. The next morning I checked my mail, nothing in my inbox or the post office. So, I submitted a grievance with Paypal and of course gave the seller the old 1 star (because it doesn’t go lower than that). Later, I received a package with my Knights in it, however there was a box of Knights missing. I then noticed this package had a completely different return address, thoroughly confused I again contacted the seller. A week passed, and I received absolutely no response…
Then Monday around lunch time I got this message from the seller;
“Packages were mixed up, the other buyer shipped the knigths to you, please do the same to him. or send them back to me”
Call me crazy, but I see no admission of a mistake there. No explanation for the lack of communication remember, by this point it was a month after I was scheduled to receive my Knights and he was asking me not only to eat the loss of the Knights, but also asking me to pay to ship his mistake to the correct person. I guess I should be happy he said please instead of now. I’m proud to admit I stayed a perfect little Fonzie throughout the exchange, I simply reminded him that he still hasn’t completed my order – and that until that was resolved, I wasn’t going to relinquish the Warriors. Further, that I can’t afford to pay shipping twice when I’m now at retail for the Knights. And yet further, if I wanted to pay retail, I could’ve bought them at the local gaming shop and had them a month earlier. So no, I won’t be shipping them (at my expense) and certainly not until things are made right on my own order.
“Then just keep them as I am assuming the guy that got the knights first took five of them. I’m done with ebay after this debacle so feel free to escalate it if you decide it is needed.”
It’s not needed, what is needed is communication. And more Jules. I don’t expect head, but when something is messed up with my order I want to know about it in a timely fashion. Not a month later, when you need me to help you fix your fuck up. Is that too much to ask? Apparently, but I stand by it. Maybe I am taking it too serious, maybe my experiences wheeling and dealing in games has caused me to think a certain way – but this was not the way to handle business. And that’s what this was. How could this have been avoided?
First, check and double check before sending packages. I’ve started dabbling in selling things through eBay, and this is absolutely important when dealing with multiple orders. Smalls, like Magic Cards and Miniatures are particularly troublesome because a little mistake can lead to hundreds of dollars lost. In the event that a mistake is made, react immediately and contact both effected parties. Remember always, this is business and you want (ideally) to do business with these people again. Be apologetic, don’t ask them to foot the bill for your mistake. Inform them of the problem, and be ready with a solution, and ask the appropriate questions so that the situation can be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. That’s all it takes to turn this type of problem into a situation where you now have loyal customers.
In the case above, an option would be to use the USPS.com website to order a shipping label for each package (they were both in Standard shipping boxes) and then send the link to each label to the correct party, assuming they were willing to drop the packages at their local post office. Failing that, a similar method can be used with UPS or Fed Ex to pick up the package and deliver it to the correct address. This would be at the sellers expense (as it should be) and would let both customers know that the seller is serious about making things right.
Before this event, the guy had a perfect reputation with a couple of hundred transactions. The 1 star vote and the comment will be noticed anytime he tries to sell something, because we always buy from 100% before buying from 99.8% if all other variable are equal, and sometimes when they’re not. Let’s face it, big ticket items are a risk on eBay, and there’s been plenty of times where I’ve been willing to pay an extra $5 to get the added security of buying from someone with a higher reputation. Maybe it’s just psychological, but you know when you see someone with any negative comments that you’re more likely to be the next one with a bad experience than you would be dealing with the guy who has a flawless rep. So, that is my advice for this week. eBay can be an amazing tool for hobbyists, but roll the dice enough times and you’re bound to get all 1s at some point. What’s important is how you deal with those situations, and how the people you’re dealing with handle them as well…
Armed with new models and bits I got to work on some conversions. I also assembled some more movement trays so that I now have a tray for each unit in my Tourney list. For now the trays will stay bare, but I’ll be texturing them all to match the bases on the army.
Chosen of Tzeentch Filler
Not as much cork went into this as you might think, I used scraps I had left over in my box glued together then pinned the Horror at the top. I built these so high to ensure that the Horrors were easily visible over the rest of the Chosen unit. My goal is to break up the units profile and add some contrasting color.
Chosen of Tzeentch Unit
Marauders of Khorne
I’ve broken up my Horde of Marauders, but I also purchased another box of the Marauders. So, I now have a pair of the 24 blocks ready for paint along with their filler and trays.
I didn’t have a lot of time to paint this week, but I did manage to get most of the army primed as well as a couple of stray models I’ll be working on as soon as the toruney list is finished. Mostly I’ve been playing with colors, specifically the new range from GW. As Rushputin put it over on the Warpstone Pile,
“The new paints are good, mind you. I like the way they handle. I like the additional selection. I’m extremely disappointed in how they compare to the old paints, however. I know that they (GW, GW employees) have to say they’re equivalent, but they just aren’t. To suggest that Mournfang Brown is comparable to Bestial Brown (nevermind Calthan Brown, too) is insulting.”
I’ve been messing with the paints since they came out, little by little. I’ve added several different colors from the new range in the past few weeks and I’m getting a feel for them, maybe I’ll put together a review of the paints in the near future.
Chosen of Tzeentch
I painted a test model for my Chosen unit, and started base coating my first rank. Since the unit is small, they shouldn’t take too long to paint even with the marbling technique I’m using in the blue areas.
Filler and the rest of the Unit
While we’re on the subject, let’s talk about the filler for the unit. I made a couple of last minute changes. I ended up using the legs from the older plastic Warrior models. These are a little shorter, because the legs are bent in different poses. But, it helps to create a more varied look to the unit. Also, there’s the filler. This was a necessity that arose from the varying poses. They just don’t rank up that well unfortunately. However, it was a great opportunity to add some Daemon to the unit, to tie into the bits already used on the Musician and Standard bearer.
Most of the models for my tourney list are now assembled, my immediate goal is to finish converting and assembling the models that are left. That means the Exalted Heroes: a BSB on Mount, a Hero on Disk, and a Hero on foot (in the event I ever decide to cast Call to Glory). And I’ve got 4 Chariot crew to put together, my chief concern is getting everything ready for some games. So, I need to paint and assemble the remaining chariot and finish these conversions soon…