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Shpadoinkle: Looking for Input on an eBay Transaction Issue

ShpadoinkleShpadoinkle 13 hours West of BillundMember Posts: 420
edited November 2012 in Buying & Selling Topics
Hello! I recently had some difficulties with a seller on eBay and he is so adamant that he is right that I thought it would be wise to bring the issue here and get a consensus from everyone in case I am in the wrong, (though I am 99% certain that is not the case.)

I recently got a large UCS SW set used from eBay, and was happy to pay $20 over the original price for the set, the box, instructions, and unused sticker sheet. The set was listed as "complete" in the title and the description made it clear that while the set had been put together once, it had been carefully stored since then.

I get the set yesterday and begin assembly only to find about an hour in that 4 of the 10 light gray balls for the turret cannons are missing (and subsequently find a couple more tiny pieces missing.) I contact the seller, let him know that I'm putting together a list on bricklink of the missing parts, and that I would like him to find them for me, (I do my best to be polite, but firm.)

I get back some of the biggest attitude I have yet seen in any Lego transaction. Basically, his position that those are "extra" pieces (though they are listed in the inventory) and the set is "complete" and "can still be displayed" without them. I counter by saying that with inventory parts missing that the set is not complete, and that had he put the usual "some parts may be missing" notice in his listing he would have certainly received less money.

Ultimately he has agreed to send me the required parts once I have completed the set and get him the list, so this is relatively academic, but his position is that a set can be "complete" as long as the entire thing can be built whereas I have always understood it to mean that every piece in the inventory is accounted for and present.

Am I wrong?

Comments

  • ColoradoBricksColoradoBricks Denver, CO, USAMember Posts: 1,676
    I consider complete a set with all the parts needed to build the model (and the alternative models if any) and its minifig (extra parts, stickers, instructions and box can be missing as long as it is stated in description).

    I once bought a #8448 listed as complete, but it was missing all the parts for the alternate model, in agreement with the seller, I bricklinked and ordered the parts, let him know of the cost and he refunded what I paid to get a "complete" model.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    Complete means complete. All pieces 100% accounted for. What you received is most certainly 'incomplete'. :)
  • andystarandystar Member Posts: 275
    edited October 2012
    ^agree
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    If a set is listed as "complete", I take that to mean that every part listed in the inventory in the instruction manual is present and undamaged, along with all minifigs, stickers (which may have been applied to parts already), instruction booklets, and if relevant, any extras like a comic book and so on.

    Lego always includes some extra tiny pieces, but I figure that sellers are like most people and simply dumps extra little pieces into their parts box, without noting what they were, so it's unreasonable to expect a seller to include those (since they're not in the count in the parts inventory).

    What you've got is definitely incomplete, since all of those parts are in the parts inventory.
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    Complete means "100%". Its does not mean 100% less a few minor pieces. The auction should have been listed as "incomplete".
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    if the set was missing only the "extra" small pieces that LEGO generally includes, then it's still complete.

    Conversely, if even *one* piece required to build the complete model is missing, no matter how small or insignificant, then the set is incomplete.
  • BoiseStateBoiseState Member Posts: 804
    Ya, I don't expect a seller to include the "extra" parts.. Those go right in my bin. But there has to be enough pieces to build the entire set.
  • ShpadoinkleShpadoinkle 13 hours West of BillundMember Posts: 420
    Thanks for reassuring me folks! I definitely wasn't talking about the "extra" parts, but instead actual parts the manual tells me to install are missing Yet he was asserting that even though they were gone the set would still be considered "complete" because it would look complete!

    I've dropped the argument I was having with him because it's apparent that I won't convince him, but I am relatively new to the collecting end of Lego and was afraid that I had got it all wrong!
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    no, you definitely got it right. but what matters now is getting it resolved. You can take a hardline and file a "not as described" dispute, return the item, and get a full refund. however, that is probably not in the best interest of anyone. As long as the seller is willing to send you or reimburse you for the missing pieces, then you should be good to go.

    If he doesn't already have them, I'd recommend trying to source them yourself on Bricklink, and ask for a refund in that amount (including shipping) from the seller. Easiest resolution.
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    edited October 2012
    A set is either complete or it's not. By almost any reasonable definition, complete means everything is included that the set came with new. So the seller is clearly incorrect and a bit ridiculous by saying "the set can still be displayed without them". Technically speaking, the set could be displayed in some capacity with a single piece. That the set can be displayed with or without pieces missing is largely irrelevant from the fact that the set you received is incomplete.

    I will say that I would not leave it up to the seller to procure the missing pieces. I would tally up what it would cost you on Bricklink and send him the bill. If he doesn't refund you that amount within a reasonable time frame, I would send the set back and get a full refund through him or ebay. Think about it- the seller has already demonstrated himself/herself to be dishonest, careless and/or incompetent. Do you really think it's wise to trust someone like that will go through all the trouble to track down and send you the pieces via Bricklink? I wouldn't. And by the time you establish s/he didn't follow through, your ebay statute of limitations might have run out.

    Anyway, just my $.02 :)
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    And regardless of the outcome, in your feedback, I would be sure to mention that he sold you an incomplete set labeled as complete, even if you leave positive feedback. Future buyers will be more cautious about his descriptions.
  • DougoutDougout Member Posts: 888
    Definitely incomplete. Describing it as complete when it is not is unacceptable for a seller. I ignore auctions when the seller claims he is unsure if it is 100% complete or doesn't have the time to count the pieces. Sellers should be accurate with their Lego listings and if they are too lazy to do so that just shows what type of seller they are.

    I would consider leaving him neutral feedback if he is still stubborn. I've considered it in the past, but the sellers I've been unhappy with were always pleasant to deal with. They don't have much control over their buyers because they can't leave bad feedback anymore. Another reason they should be extra careful with their listings.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    Mildly related question... if you were to sell a used Desert Skiff somewhere down the road... would you include all four antennas and visors, which are definitely in the parts inventory, but not used for the completed model at all?
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ personally, I'd call those extras
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,742
    edited October 2012
    If the instruction booklet calls for the use of parts that are missing then the set is patently not complete, and if the seller says otherwise then he's an idiot.
  • peterlinddkpeterlinddk DenmarkMember Posts: 170
    The small helmet-accessories are always shown (and delivered from LEGO) in groups of four, no matter how many are needed.

    I would consider a set complete, if it had enough accessories to build the model displayed on the box and in the instructions - even if it is less than is in the parts inventory.

    However, I would also appreciate if a seller took care and noted how many were actually included with a used set for sale. Detailed photographs, and a small note in the auction-text can resolve a lot of potential problems.

  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    edited October 2012
    If the parts missing are listed in the inventory then they are certainly not "extra" parts. The guy misrepresented what he was selling. Leave him negative feedback so your fellow ebayers don't get scammed and don't buy from him again in the future. I have always had issues buying used sets on bricklink and ebay (sometimes with megablocks substituted I kid you not). Now I only buy sealed sets online and only buy used sets from my local dealer.
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