Chinese Forgeworld: When Will I Learn?

So, back in September I stumbled upon a magical website with deals too good to pass up (which, now that I’ve experienced it, should be read as “too good to be true”).  I know I’ve written about buying pirated models before, and recommended against it, but I’m a really slow learner.

I’m not exactly sure how I stumbled upon the site.  I think I was just doing some random google searches and came across a website that was selling all sorts of obviously counterfeit resin Forge world and GW material for 50% (or more).  Naturally, it was from China and, given my previous experiences with such manufacturers, I was more than a little leery.  Still, I’m such a cheap bastard, that I decided to give it a go.

I wound up ordering the following:

  • Nurgle Fantasy Champion
  • Skaven Verminlord (FW)
  • Nurgle Sorceror (FW)
  • Azhag the Slaughterer
  • 2x Whirlwind Hyperios Kits (FW)
  • 3x Hive Guard
  • 3x Pyrovores
  • 1x Khorne Lord on Juggernaut

In total, retail on that comes to approximately $461.44.

It seems weird to have such a precise amount, but then precede it by the word “approximately.”  I use that term for a couple of reasons, including a lack of shipping/customs charges, current currency conversion rates, and several of the models aren’t available anymore (including the champion and the Whirlwind kits), so I just used approximations on them.

The Chinese website wanted $199.36 for the lot, shipped, which comes to about 57% off current prices, and I fell victim to greed.

Since we’ve had some issues with compromised credit card accounts, wherein VISA sends us new cards due to some compromise in their account database and resulting in a semi-annual ritual of calling all companies we have on autopay to change the card information (not much fun, I can assure you), I had the good sense to buy a pre-paid mastercard from Walmart and use that to make my purchase.

When I went to place the order though, it errored out five times, and I ultimately had to call Walmart to figure out what was going on.  It seems that they’ve had problems with that company/website in the past and wouldn’t honor charges to them.

450x450This was an obvious red flag, and I really should’ve stopped there.

Instead, I told my wife that I was going to use my actual credit card, against my own better judgement.  She called me an idiot and insisted that when we got our next series of replacement cards, I was going to have to call each vendor and change the numbers myself, which seemed a perfectly reasonable demand.

The only other information that I think is required to understand how this works is to clarify that this website is a middle-man for vendors.  I pay the website, and they release funds to the various entities upon confirmation of the order.

Anywho, I went ahead and placed the order and began waiting.  A detailed breakdown of actions as they occurred follows:

    • 9/30 – Order placed with four vendors.
    • 10/10 – First order (Nurgle Fantasy Champion) ships
    • 10/19 – Second order (Whirlwind Kits) ships
    • 10/21 – First Order arrives in full.  Cast in metal, and great quality.
    • 10/29 – Secord Order arrives in full.  Cast in resin at reasonable quality, but unavailable from FW anymore, so I’m happy.
    • 10/19 – Third Order (Verminlord) ships.  Vendor informs me that the other two items (azhag & nurgle sorcerer) aren’t in stock and will be sent when available.
    • 11/03 – After following up on third order, other kits are no longer available and should be refunded after the package arrives.
    • 11/22 – Third order arrives.  Verminlord is broken in several places that would make it difficult to repair.  I request a replacement part and put in an arbitrary amount for refund request (unable to leave the field blank).  I also start a claim on the two missing parts requesting a full refund on those.
    • 11/25 – $10 refund for third order granted.  Meanwhile, my claims for the other two items on the same order are seemingly cancelled and the order status is set to “complete.”  I wind up emailing the vendor several times without a response, and also emailing the website directly.
    • 12/03 – Refund for missing parts in order three received (no communication from anyone informing me of this) to my credit card.
    • 12/11 – Order four (everything else not already listed) still has not arrived, nor has any communication from the seller.  Tracking information is provided, but is not valid on either the Chinese or USPS websites.  The exceptionally long order creation and shipping times have been exceeded, so I start a dispute to get my refund.
    • 12/13 – Seller refuses dispute.  Says that the shipper lost the package and they’ll send me new ones.   I change their dispute and escalate.
    • 12/18 – Apparently, my dispute was granted in my favor (no communication from anyone informing me of this), because it says so on the website.  I still haven’t received the funds.

450x4502The overall review is far from positive.  It seems that I’ve either received all of the products and/or appropriate refunds (or at least that I will receive the refunds).  What I did receive was largely good quality and came in a month’s time (with the exception of the Verminlord which was only part of an order, broken, and took two months).  Ironically, the ones that were sent were models that are no longer available from the manufacturers.

Still, the process was a little hair-raising, convoluted, worrisome, slow, and a general pain in the rump.  Recently, I considered working with my credit card company to get my refund—especially after the incident on 11/25.  Despite that, I found myself wondering if I shouldn’t place another order for more stuff…

Naturally, I didn’t, but I really contemplated it.  The roughly 50-60% off prices don’t justify all of the problems that I have to deal with though, so I’ll just order direct from GW/Forgeworld next time.

Anyway, I figured I’d post my nightmare in case anyone else was thinking about ordering from them.  The interesting part of this post is that I don’t’ think I’ve mentioned their name yet, and I’m not sure that I even should.  If I do so, it’s almost certain that someone else will try to buy from them and will seemingly get trapped in the same mire as I did.


6 comments on “Chinese Forgeworld: When Will I Learn?

    • Hrmmm, this wasn’t supposed to go live this morning.

      To answer your question, most of it’s repairable. I’ll pin the various parts and he’ll look fine, though the parts of his staff are too fine to pin, so I’ll have to come up with another solution there (likely plasticard, green stuff and wire)–or maybe I’ll just replace it with a Nurglish bit?

  1. Ail express are nothing but cheating, stealing scum, avoid them like the plague. They have no governing body protection like ebay does, they say they do but they are either mindless golems or just deliberately useless. I lost £50 to them and after months of wasting my time being ignored or at best speaking to someone who pretended to not be completely useless ( but really did exactly zero) via an online messenger thing, I just gave up, it was not worth the hassle which they clearly rely on. I hope their poisonous, thieving, scabby company goes up in flames and the people responsible are imprisoned in a cell with Bubba the bum raper.

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