How to buy sealed games without getting conned.

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The Problem

Buying sealed games without getting ripped off almost impossible.
Because sellers either don't want to properly examine a game's seal, or deliberately leave out details on it's condition, often compounded by blurry or low definition photos.
I've even come across auctions where the damaged part was trimmed out of a photo (obvious after I'd bought a "mint" game.
Each time  a poor condition game arrives it's disappointing as instead of the bargain you thought you had, at best it's acceptable.
It costs time and money to return, so in most cases the poor seller gets away with it.
I'm personally not keen on leaving bad feedback as I know how damaging it can be, so I either take it on the chin and perhaps knock stars down on the detailed rating, or attempt to contact the seller and let them know I'm disappointed.
Surprisingly, it's only about half who at least apologise and suggest a return, and some will negotiate a partial refund (if I get it wrong I do all 3).

The Solution

First and foremost, read descriptions thoroughly just in case a tear in the seal is mentioned; it's easy to miss details in your haste to bag a bargain, only to discover after the game arrives.

Examine pictures closely too with a critical eye; I've recently spotted an apparently perfect Zelda collectors edition on gamecube with the second picture revealing a massive gap in the seal, yet no mention of it in the description and a high star price that you'd only want to pay on a perfect sealed copy.
If in doubt, don't bid; save your money and wait for a better example.

Ask the seller to check the condition before bidding, or worst case before paying.
Some sellers are happy to give good service, others are insulted and rude, citing that because it's sealed of course it's perfect; True, but the condition of a seal can make or break whether a game is worth collecting.
Although it's upsetting when sellers are abusive, at least it's better than having to return to them (at your cost).

It goes without saying to check feedback from past sales;  treat new or low feedback sellers with caution. although of course there are plenty of very established sellers that simply may not have a clue about the collectability of sealed games.
Check whether there's specific feedback relating to similar items as I've had a seller used to selling DVDs at £2 but was incredibly rude when asked to check the seal before I purchased - he actually told me not to buy if I'm so fussy.
He turned a keen buyer into a non customer, but part of me still wants to  know whether he was angry with me to cover up a poor item or just basic poor service.

Have you ever had a £50 sealed game arrive in a single jiffy bag, or worst still brown paper? I have. To avoid this, add a message with your payment asking for strong packaging. If this only saves one damaged in transit parcel then it's well worth doing.

And lastly, if the item you're after is likely to come up again, be extra cautious and don't bid over the top. However, if from a trusted seller that you've dealt with before with good results (some are absolutely brilliant both in quality, service and packaging; real pros) then pay more than you would from a seller you're not 100% sure on; you're not just buying the item on sale, but also the service that goes with it, so pay more for a Michelin star meal and less for a roadside burger!

If you're selling anything sealed or collectable, add detailed photos, an honest description (as if you were the buyer) and don't lie or leave out  details  to get a higher price; better an honest sale, a happy customer, and an item that stays sold and doesn't come back.

I hope this helps .

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