Ah, the "joys" of ebay: A cautionary tale
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Thread: Ah, the "joys" of ebay: A cautionary tale

  1. #1

    Default Ah, the "joys" of ebay: A cautionary tale

    Before we start - yes, I know about caveat emptor. I checked past feedback before buying, saw a couple of comments about slow postage/poor comms, saw plenty more very positive feedback, and took a calculated risk. This is more for... public awareness, I guess? If you pop in, roll your eyes at me and say "Well, durrr!", more power to you, I guess. *shrug*

    Anywho, that said, I've wanted a Titan Dragon d'Aarklash for ages. Pretty much since they were released, really. I regret not picking up the one I saw in my FLGS in Mannheim years ago. What with deciding to dust off the paints and brushes again, and having not bought any minis for years, I figured I'd sneak a peek on ebay and see if I could find one for a semi-sensible price to treat myself with. Rather to my surprise, I did - an auction that ended on the 1st of September. It was advertised as being just the mini, no box or cards. Well, ok - who plays Ragnarok these days anyway? I mostly want this bad boy as a friend for my long-awaited Heresy dragon, I think they'll make a cute couple! Did make me pause a bit, though. I ended up narrowly missing out on the actual auction, but got a second chance offer from the seller, which I took (not without thinking, just how many of these do they have?! They've sold at least one other in the recent past and have yet another up for auction now). Paid right there and then, then ended up away from home for over a week helping my sister while she was in labour and having her first baby. Didn't get back home until the 9th, during which time nothing had arrived and I'd had no delivery notice, either. I sent a polite message on the 10th to ask when I could expect delivery, but got no reply. If I'd been a bit less busy (as well as a new baby, we also had a plumbing leak that flooded my bedroom and the room below), I might have started trying to cancel the purchase and get my money back. On the 13th, I suddenly got a delivery confirmation email with delivery estimated as being between the 9th and 17th of September. Fine, ok, whatever. I was away again for another week and the mini showed up on the 18th, almost 3 weeks after I paid for it, in a rather squashed box with Ukrainian postage details all over it. The item description states that the mini was being posted from Italy. I've carefully inspected the mini because, by this point, I was seriously wondering if it was going to prove to be a re-cast or something (more on that below). Fortunately it doesn't seem any the worse for wear despite the damage to the box. After pondering, I left neutral feedback yesterday that noted the slow delivery, poor packing, poor comms and different origin country. Suddenly, the seller has figured out how to use the ebay messaging system - they've sent a request for feedback revision and promised to send me a free mini if I change it to positive, which I am not inclined to do. I'm seriously considering following the advice of a couple of friends and bringing the message to the attention of ebay, since I'm pretty sure they have rules about attempts to influence user feedback.

    (Holy wall o' text, Batman!)

    Anyway, all that aside, I've been looking over my new toy and checking it all out. It has (imo) fairly odd origins, and perhaps I was stupid to have bought it under those circumstances. But.... I don't think it's a re-cast. The details on all parts are really crisp and sharp - this is one spiky s.o.b. - there are very few bubbles (and some things I though were bubbles might actually be detail), the flash is pretty minimal (though there are biiiiiig chunks of sprue) and the mould lines are few and far between and even the ones you can find are pretty minimal and mostly in places like the edges of the wings, where you'd expect a bit of clean-up needed. I'm no expert with casting, but it strikes me that it would be quite hard to get this level of detail without proper masters and casting kit. So what, then? So... some of the resin in the wings and base seems to be really thin, and having never seen one of these guys in person, I don't know if that's to be expected or not (I suspect not). I took a few pics, and if anyone has more experience of these guys, I'd welcome your opinion.


    One wing has thinness issues much worse than the other. Not sure what I should do about mitigating it, or whether it'll be less of an issue with several coats of primer and paint on it.


    The amazing see-thru base! Not sure how bothered I am in this case, since I may well not use it for the dragon.


    Those are some rather large chunks of resin there - shame I can't redistribute it a bit! Not seen this on other images of this dragon on unpacking, dunno if it's expected or not.

    With all the thin bits/lack of cards/no proper box, I'm wondering.... factory second, perhaps? Or perhaps that's just how these things are? I might just be being paranoid at this point! :P Though, I am still glad I have one at last, even under less-than-ideal circumstances. But if you were looking for one of these on ebay and the above would bother you, I'd advise applying more caution than I did! Now, where did I pack my craft knives....?

  2. #2

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    I think it's quite likely that this is a recast, the guy is also selling forgeworld stuff too...

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by kittykat23uk View Post
    I think it's quite likely that this is a recast, the guy is also selling forgeworld stuff too...
    Mmmm, I did notice that too (I don't tend to pay a lot of attention to what GW/FW do, but I know the FW stuff commands high prices...). *sigh* Ah well. At least others here might learn from my mistake, if they didn't know about it already!

  4. #4

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    Well, if it fits together well and the thinness of the resin doesn't pose too many problems then you still have a nice model at the end of the day. However you might want to wear a good mask when cleaning it up as I believe that the resin mix can be questionable in terms of impurities etc.

  5. #5

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    The bits I've trimmed up a little and test-fitted just now seem to go together as well as I'd expect from any resin kit I've ever tried. So yes, at the end of the day it seems to be a decent imitation! *still feels pretty stupid though* Thinking now that I should also mention the possibility of the re-cast when I flag it up with ebay. Thanks for the warning about the dust, I'm usually pretty good about using a mask with resin but will be extra careful with this one.

  6. #6

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    which seller was it? (link?)
    but I'm also pretty sure it's a recast, not that I'd really have problem with recasts of minis, that are long OOP. Sometimes that's the only way to get it nowdays.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAXXxxx View Post
    which seller was it? (link?)
    but I'm also pretty sure it's a recast, not that I'd really have problem with recasts of minis, that are long OOP. Sometimes that's the only way to get it nowdays.
    Here. Yeah, I'm pretty mixed about it, all things considered. In other news, I find it extremely ironic that the long out-of-stock Titan Dragon (and other sold-out items) on the CMON store is listed with a huge reduction alongside the in-stock things. Oh, I wish CMON! I WISH!

  8. #8

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    I am sorry to hear about this. But at least you got a model. Plus you can still use it. Back in 2010 I won an auction for a Citadel Limited Edition Gumshoes. They look like James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart. Unfortunately, my wife and I were back home in Vancouver visiting family and enjoying the Winter Olympics. So I didn't get to check my mail until over a month later. What was waiting for me in the mail were two Grey Knight Space marines with Psy-cannons.
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  9. #9

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    Hmmm...to be completely frank, I'm not so sure how much of a bone you have to pick with this distributor. While a little bit slow to deliver and answer your emails immediately, they DID respond to your messages with a delivery confirmation. And when they learned that you were upset with everything after receiving your goods, they offered to fix the issue by offering you free merchandise. You may find it a cheap tactic to ask that you remove your slightly negative comments in exchange for the free mini. I find it shows that they are genuinely concerned with their public image, and that would encourage me to do business with them in the future.

    Also, there is absolutely nothing about that miniature that proves it is a recast. Unless you have a couple/few examples of the verifiably genuine article, then you can't really judge it's casting quality. When I hear about obvious recasts, they generally do not fit the symptoms that you describe.

    You can be sure that the fact that it came from Italy is responsible for part of the slow delivery. Apparently postage in this country is very slow. If they promised it would ship from another country, then yes you have the right to be upset in that regard. Then again, maybe the sellers ability to track down long OOP minis requires that he seek vendors all around the globe, and he is simply headquartered in the country listed. Not sure of the rules in this regard. Anyway, better luck next time but also feel assured that you received a rare mini in nice condition and your experience has been noted by the seller.
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  10. #10

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    Item description on eBay said Italy, but delivery came from Ukraine (home of well known re-casters). If seller sells multiple copies of a rare item without box or cards or anything but the miniature, as well as other desireable minis, for fairly low prices... it is very likely a re-cast. Can't be 100% sure, but it'd be my guess. And of course a re-caster would be concerned about its public image... bad rep = no business.
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  11. #11

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    I agree with Ritual. Whenever I see a mini on ebay without the original box/cards it's a red flag. Sometimes it's very easy to tell, like when you see a resin version of what's usually a metal mini. And considering where yours was shipped from, I'm fairly certain it's a recast. Take it as a lesson learned and be happy it looks like a good one.

    I usually only look at listings from the US and Canada. In part because of shipping but also I feel more confident that I'm getting an original kit and not a recast. When it comes to display minis (more so than gaming ones like GW) there's not a great deal of profit in it for the creators. So if we want to help them stay in business and keep producing neat new figures we've all got to try extra hard not to buy from the re-casters.

  12. #12

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    Very good points I hadn't considered.
    ​You are ranked 1 out of 9149 artists.
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  13. #13

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    To be fair, recast can be a good thing. Especially with OOP models. When I lived in Asia, there was a guy in mainland China selling metal Games Workshop stuff. This was after GW had switched the models over to plastics or their Fine Cast line. IT was way cheaper too. People knew it was recast but bought it anyway because word got out how good his work was. If money wasn't tight at he time, I would have bought some of it too.

  14. #14

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    *nods* Yep, I should have engaged my brain rather more than I did. :/

    Bailey03 - I live in Europe (UK), so I wasn't particularly concerned by an item being listed in Italy! Having a listing claim to be in one country and then arrive from a completely different country though? That's a no-no. And I'm pretty sure ebay doesn't like sellers offering incentives (free mini = incentive) to change feedback - it's manipulation. If they'd offered a refund for the returned mini, I would perhaps have done something. Perhaps. OTOH, at least it looks like a usable model. I'm thanking my lucky stars for that, at least!

  15. #15

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    i know that ebay seller from my own adventures on ebay. all the stuff he sells are recasts, including this Titan Dragon d'Aarklash - it comes from this Ukranian website: http://cadwallon.com/

  16. #16

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    Welcome to the wonderful world of rescasts. The price is usually the tip off on eBay: Half the price or less of the actual company site? Recast. Plain brown box? Recast. Photocopied instructions or art work printed on plain paper? Recast. Cadwallon has nice stuff, but it's mostly recasts - actually pretty well done, but be careful with credit card info and EU and Chinese recasting companies. If you can't pay via Paypal get a Visa or Mastercard gift card for those purchases and use that to protect yourself and minimize fraud on your bank accounts and credit cards. And then get ready to clean and fill and sculpt a lot of soft and thin or missing detail. You get what you pay for. Cheaper minis = more practice with your sculpting skills - not a bad thing to develop if you ask me
    "Remember, you can't spell paint without a little pain."

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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zab View Post
    Cheaper minis = more practice with your sculpting skills - not a bad thing to develop if you ask me


    that said, cadwallon.com's recasts are pretty good in quality. That said I'd never buy KD minis from there, as KD is a living company that I'd like to support, but have no problems with Conf minis are they are OOP anyway (and I don't think legacy / cmon will bring it back ever)

    to the OP: I think the price / packaging / availability were pretty much a giveaway, that it'll be a recast dragon. So it's naive to think you'd get an original that easy.
    Still if the source is cadwallon, then the quality should be pretty good (except for the shown thinnes, but that may have been in the original too to save on weight), so clean it, paint it, post a pic (wip or finished one) and be proud that you've painted a big 'mini' like that.

  18. #18

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    I understand that recasting OOP kits can appear like a bit of a grey area. But, to play devil's advocate, someone does own the rights to produce those minis (in the case of confrontation I guess that's cmon) and it's not the recaster. And those OOP kits can become collectors items. If you own one of the originals it can be worth quite a bit of money. If pirated copies are readily available it drives down the value of the real one. Good for some, bad for others. But, whatever the kit is (OOP or not) you're still buying a pirated copy. These people aren't Robin Hood, stealing from the rich to provide cheap models for the masses. They're just trying to make money off of someone else's hard work.

    Don't get me wrong, I've bought stuff off ebay only to realize it was a recast when it arrived. And not just once. But I've learned from those experiences and try not to repeat them. Accidentally buying from a recaster happens. But knowingly buying from one, well that's something else. My feeling on the matter is we should not support recasters even if it's an OOP kit. Take the cadwallon recaster for example. They're not just stealing OOP kits, but ones from KD, Scibor, and other live companies. Even if you only buy one of the OOP kits, it still supports that company and indirectly helps them continue to hurt KD, Scibor, etc.

    Believe me, there are plenty of Rackham recasts that I find very tempting. But with so many legitimate companies out there with tons of great figures we can all find something else worth painting. My opinion is we should all use our hobby money to support the actual artists and not the pirates.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bailey03 View Post
    I understand that recasting OOP kits can appear like a bit of a grey area. But, to play devil's advocate, someone does own the rights to produce those minis (in the case of confrontation I guess that's cmon)
    Nope its Legacy Miniatures and tbh they are sitting on a gold mine if they would just make more of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bailey03 View Post
    Believe me, there are plenty of Rackham recasts that I find very tempting.
    Me too. Don't know what Legacy is planning to do with Rackham but they are wasting a prime commodity that they could do so much with

  20. #20

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    I take Bailey's points, though I do wish that forgeworld chaos dragon were still available, even via a recaster, though obviously a genuine copy would be my preference, wis I had the money to buy at the time. Was the Titan dragon meant to be a limited run? I know that Ral Partha's golden dragon of chaos was originally a limited run, but that went out the window when Dark sword started to reproduce them (legitimately I assume) but that obviously didn't help those collectors hoping that their models would go up in value.

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