I’ve been told by people close to me that they faithfully read every blog post I put up, except those that deal with money/trades. When I first heard that, I wondered if I should stop posting those things altogether, but then I remembered why I blog in the first place.
I like that having this blog gives me a great memory (or rather, it gives me access to memories). By writing down things like battle reports and deals I’ve made, it lets me analyze my history with the game, and keeps me honest. Originally, when I started doing battle reports, it was because I suspected others of over-inflating my win/loss ratio (which turned out to be true). Likewise, I was really suspect about the amount of money that was going into my hobby spending, which lead to the Frugal Gaming section of the site.
That’s really the heart of the counterargument. I know that I’ve gone through my history there and wondered just what I’d picked up in a given collection. This is particularly true when I sell things on ebay and try to determine what I’d originally paid for it. Often in those cases, I wind up trying to recall where I’d originally gotten the model from, and if I don’t have a post on the subject, then I’m out of luck.
That was the impetus for this post. I made another deal this past week, which involved a painted model I’d acquired back in December of last year, but I failed to document what really happened. That original purchase was for $150 and was really a Chaos army that included some of the following:
- 6x River Trolls (the heart of why I pulled the trigger on this)
- 1x Mutalith Vortex Beast
- ??x Chaos Knights
- ??x Chaos Warriors
- ??x Chaos special characters
- 1x Throgg (painted)
Clearly my memory isn’t very good on this, and I’m sure it included more (there were some Vampire Counts in the lot, for sure, as well as a few Tomb Kings skeletons). As stated, I picked up this army originally based upon the Trolls. Actually, I had tried to avoid picking up the entire lot and focused on just the trolls, but he wasn’t having that and presented me with an “all or nothing” deal. The Chaos stuff ultimately wound up going to Cole in order to paint my WHFB goblin army (including the trolls), but Cole turned down the Throgg model because he already had one painted up.
Well, this particular Throgg was decent looking, done up by one of the more popular painters in the area: Tim. When I picked it up, the seller was very clearly proud of it, gushing over how great it was to own a model painted by THE “Tim.” I agreed that it was a pretty model, and figured it should fetch between $70-150 on ebay (based upon similar looking Throggs that have sold recently).
So, he sat in a bin waiting to hit ebay.
Then Tim posted up a Tyranid force for sale on the local gaming forum. It was truly one of those “too good to be true” kind of deals, including:
- 48x Hormagaunts (on sprue)
- 12x Old School Genestealers
- 20x Genestealers (on sprue)
- 17x Genestealers (built)
- 68x Spinegaunts (have other arms in box)
- 2x Biovores
- 12x Yrmgarl Genestealer heads
- Bits & bases
The asking price? $100.
Hell, that’s in my normal price range for buying armies that I don’t intend to use at all. I was in the market for some termagants (damn you, GW, for making me buy squads of 30 to make my Tervigons into troops), and after looking at it, I wasn’t opposed to having some more biovores or hormagaunts either.
Unfortunately, by the time I’d texted Tim, another person had already taken him up on the offer. He’d indicated that the buyer didn’t seem particularly interested in the non-stealers though, and pointed me in that direction. About this time, Tim had indicated that he didn’t consider the deal done until such time as the models had left his hands, and he was open to juicier offers.
While tempting, that really isn’t my style to weasel in on a deal like that. So, I contacted the buyer (who I happened to know) and asked him if he’d be interested in selling some ‘gants. He indicated that was doable, and during that conversation I let him know that he might want to pick them up sooner, rather than later as it didn’t seem they were reserved.
Things got a little weird at that point, and with me playing the pronoun game (to protect the innocent), it’d only get cloudier as this post goes on. Suffice it to say that I wound up picking up the models (with the original buyer’s permission), and we’d work out a deal later.
In negotiations with Tim, I mentioned that I had the Throgg that he’d painted available if he wanted to trade for that, and he practically jumped at the idea. When I told him what I felt it was worth, he was dismayed, but I told him that I was willing to take a home-town discount and that getting it back into the hands of its original painter was worth a little something as well. He shot out a “let’s start at $25” offer, to which I replied that I’d rather not haggle and would prefer to jump to the “let’s finish at” price. What did he really think it was worth, and was that a fair price?
He indicated that $40 was as high as he’d go, though he clearly knew it was worth more on the open market. However, he was in a bit of a pinch financially. In essence, that was going to be his best offer, and though I knew I could get far more on ebay, I was willing to part with it for an honest offer. Besides, I have no idea what I originally purchased it for, as it was more of a throw-in in a massive lot, so $40 was reasonable enough, and I was getting a good deal on $100 of models.
While that deal was happening, I was also having a conversation with the original buyer. He originally indicated that he just wanted the ‘stealers—which is why I was inspired to pick up the deal from Tim. My thought was that I’d give him the stealers at a comparable percentage of the original purchase price (so roughly 35% of the original value was in genestealers, so I figured $35 for the stealers would be reasonable). That way, he’d get exactly what he wanted, and I’d get a good deal on the rest of it. I even said to him “Do you mind if I pick ‘em up then and sell you the stealers at whatever cost you think’s fair? I’ve a feeling they won’t last long at the advertised price.”
He indicated that was fine, so I made the deal with Tim. He also indicated that he’d some interest in the hromagaunts, and later offered to give me $100 for the lot minus the original 20 gaunts I wanted.
When the deal with Tim was done, I went to square up deal #1 (of which I thought we were going to do the deal on the genestealers), but it became immediately clear that he wanted more at that point. He wanted me to honor the $100 minus gaunts offer (which wasn’t what we’d originally agreed to), and when I also suggested that there were some tentacled genestealers heads that I’d be interested in, he seemed to want to charge me for those as well.
From where I stood, we had an agreement between us (I’d buy the lot, he could have the ‘stealers at whatever price he thought was fair), and though he’d made other offers, we had no agreements on them. I traded away a model at less than it’s valued to make the first deal happen, and now the terms of the second deal had changed. The fact that I was asked to pay for bits that I’m guessing he didn’t want, furthered my disappointment.
I went ahead and gave him the deal at $100 for the lot, and I kept the 20x gaunts (And, it turns out, the 4x genestealer heads—which weren’t worth quarreling over in the first place). So, ultimately, I traded Throgg for $40 and 20x Genestealers, which wasn’t a bad deal in the end. Sure, I could’ve gotten more, but I should be happy with what I got.
My intent is really for historical purposes here: I started out this post saying that the point of this blog was to improve my memory of deals I made and games I played, and this fits into the former category. It helps chronicle three deals I’ve made (at least partially) in the past, should I ever wonder what happened next time I’m thumbing through my Frugal Gaming page and wondering what does it mean when it says -$0 = 20x Termagants.
It should be noted that “the buyer” from this story is a respected local gamer and a frequent reader of this blog. I’m not posting this to try to make him seem like the bad guy in this story. If anything, the moral of that particular twist in the story should be to make sure you have clear lines of communication. Obviously, he and I didn’t have the same viewpoint about what we had agreed to, but better communication could’ve potentially resolved that before it became an issue.