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Reselling abbreviation and opening boxes to confirm contents

I gave this a little bit of thought and I didn't find a thread exactly like it so I thought I would present this thought. I know it has happened to people when they open boxes that they are missing contents or someone ripped off a package and cleverly concealed the resealing of a box. While I don't want to sell a set and claim it is MISB or NIB or Unopened and have that not be true, it is possible unless the contents are confirmed. I've heard of people receiving sets that have been opened through vendors like Amazon.com. Much like MISB = Mint In Sealed Box or NIB = New In Box is there any slang out there for 'box opened only to confirm contents so neither of us get cheated in this transaction?' I don't think personally a set should be worth less if it is cleanly opened to have the contents verified and all the actual bags are still sealed and all other contents undisturbed. I understand it is no longer unopened, but the risks or inconveniences a person runs if a claim is opened up that stuff is missing from the box doesn't seem worth the hassle either. I would suggest a new slang word is created to fit in a title to tell people this for example BOCC = Box Opened to Confirm Contents. Just a thought.

Comments

  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    edited November 2012
    I've already seen terms like MISB abused (one eBay seller tried to claim it stood for "mint in sealed (sandwich) bags") and this would just end up being the excuse for selling used sets as new.
    rocao - 10/31/2012 - removed unbelievably insensitive comment
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,725
    sadowsk1 said:

    I don't think personally a set should be worth less if it is cleanly opened to have the contents verified and all the actual bags are still sealed and all other contents undisturbed.

    It depends what you want it for. Some people want to open their sets, others don't.

    If you have bought sets new through a decent retailer, then there should be no problem - how many mistakes do lego make? Sure they make some, but a tiny fraction of a percentage. Even then, are you going to check the contents of every bag? If not, the contents have not been confirmed.

    Amazon do not send out opened sets do they? In the UK, anything like that (customer returns) goes through amazon warehouse, not amazon itself.
  • Nadana86Nadana86 Member Posts: 65
    Isn't NIB the same as BOCC then?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,725
    Isn't NIB like MISB, just without the M.
  • Nadana86Nadana86 Member Posts: 65
    It's without the S so not sealed?!?
  • wilburwilbur Member Posts: 49
    To me, if I buy a MISB set I expect a brand new set that is sealed with a box in nearly perfect condition (not dropped or torn on a shelf. If I buy NIB then I know the set is brand new, but perhaps the box is a little worn. I also know that this set might not be sealed. I have seen MIB (mint in box) also, meaning the set still isnt sealed, but at least the box is mint condition.

    I see the issue here being about trusting the integrety of the seller. Putting fraud aside, when you buy a sealed set you are buying a guarantee that the set hasnt been tampered with. Buying a NIB or MIB set doesn't necessarily come with that guarantee. And Sadowsk1's point is that the guarantee really isnt a guarantee anymore thanks to thieves. So the question is, is there a way for resellers to market a guarantee that the contents of the box haven't been tampered with by breaking the seals and checking first hand, while also giving the effect of "sealed" status?

    Unfortunately, once the seals are broken there is no going back, unless you want to do what the criminals are doing and hide your handiwork, but then why would you advertise that you had done that! That would just call more attention to yourself! I think adjusting MIB to MIBCV (mint in box, contents verified) would be good. NIBCV could work also. Using CV or something similar would clearly indicate the seals had been broken, but that the set is complete and in new unused condition!
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,725
    edited November 2012
    wilbur said:

    I have seen MIB (mint in box) also, meaning the set still isnt sealed, but at least the box is mint condition.

    A lot of the problem is that even the words mean different things to different people, without the complication of replacing other words for the same letter in the acronym. To me, if something is mint in box (but opened), then the thing in the box is mint. If the box has been opened, it cannot be mint. Mint condition (as it left the factory) is sealed.
    StuBoy
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    Please lets not rehash the old MISB = 'mint box' argument agian...
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    I often ask eBay sellers the clarifying question, "Is this set still completely factory-sealed?" if the listing doesn't make the status of the seals clear.

    Even though I buy every set to build, I'm not keen on open seals, even if it's just for content-verification, because I'm always afraid that the seller has accidentally let something fall out of the box while he's verifying contents.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,371
    When I see someone say they opened it 'just to check contents' I tend to regard it as a red flag that they are just trying to get more for a used set or something else is awry with the deal. Maybe that is just me but I don't go anywhere near an auction like that
  • gifinimgifinim UKMember Posts: 174
    If the box is still factory sealed then why do you need to open it to check the contents? If you don't trust LEGO to put the right content in the boxes then you'd have to open the boxes in TRU or Tesco or wherever before you take them to the tills.

    If someone buys it from you and finds parts are missing they can simply contact LEGO in the normal way to report the parts as missing.

    I think it's important LEGO know when parts are missing from boxes to help with their quality control process.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    When I see someone say they opened it 'just to check contents' I tend to regard it as a red flag that they are just trying to get more for a used set or something else is awry with the deal. Maybe that is just me but I don't go anywhere near an auction like that

    Me either, it is a screaming red flag... Who on earth opens boxes to "check contents" then sells them as new?

    Yes, I get it, some people have been burned by buyers claiming junk was in a sealed box, but you can't go around opening every box because of that.

    Well, you can, but I won't buy any of them.
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    edited November 2012
    ^I'm sure a lot of people sold sets like that when there were Chrome Vader or C-3PO's inserted in them.

    As for me a seller can use whatever abbreviation they want. I personally title my auctions as simply sealed, no abbreviations. What's important is the description in the auction itself. A seller should always write out the exact condition of the set so there are no misunderstandings. I can't stand auctions where there is barely a word in the description itself. If you can't bother to be accurate than I can't bother to bid/buy from you (made that mistake once, never again).
    dragonhawkStuBoy
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,725
    And pictures too. Real photos of the item. If a seller is serious about selling especially an expensive set.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    I open any boxes that look suspicious to me, and check their contents (doesn't happen that often really, as most suspicious boxes are beat up or otherwise unsellable as MISB, and I pass on them). I then reseal them. I can do this without anyone being able to tell. I then still sell them as MISB, and have no qualms about doing so. It's still MISB as far as I'm concerned. If no one can tell the difference, it just doesn't matter.

    Like people have said, saying you opened it is a huge red flag. Why would I say that? I'm not trying to hide anything...
  • jpczjpcz Member Posts: 95
    this is interesting, as i recently opened a box to make sure the contents were good. Quick backstory, i bought GG off an amazon seller, and the seals looked a little odd, although there was no tearing or anything. Although i plan to build the set someday, i wanted to make sure it was OK since i wasnt going to build it within the timeframe i have to report an issue.

    When i opened the box everything was there except one of the bags had broken and a few pieces had spilled out. According to the bag count here, i had everything, so i wasnt worried. It also gave me the opportunity to put the instructions in cardboard to prevent further destruction from being loose.

    Just an example as to why someone may want to "open to verify"...if they dont plan to do anything with it in the next 45 days (amazon, paypal, etc. deadlines) then they may want to make sure everything's there. How much would it stink to open the box on the 46th day, only to find it filled with mega blocks or ziplocks?
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    edited November 2012
    ^^Of course, when the buyer claims you sent them a box of rocks and you say, "No I didn't. I opened the box that I said claimed was MISB to verify the contents before I sent it to you," then you're probably opening yourself to a whole new set of problems.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,711
    gifinim said:

    If the box is still factory sealed then why do you need to open it to check the contents? If you don't trust LEGO to put the right content in the boxes then you'd have to open the boxes in TRU or Tesco or wherever before you take them to the tills.

    If someone buys it from you and finds parts are missing they can simply contact LEGO in the normal way to report the parts as missing.

    I think it's important LEGO know when parts are missing from boxes to help with their quality control process.

    Because there are those scumbags that have bought LEGO sets, peeled the seals back, yanked all the set pieces, replaced with trash, or parts from other sets, or stole the figs, etc) then resealed the boxes expertly then returned them to the store. So while a set bought from a store 'should' be un-tamptered with there is no guarantee.
    This is one reason I do not buy from B&M stores unless it is from a LEGO store but even then I keep an eye on the seals... Many sellers do not, or the thief does a great job is resealing the box. Conversely I have had seals open up on boxes from LEGO and all the contents are there, the seals just went wonky.
    All in all there is a thread explaining all of this somewhere here.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    y2josh said:

    ^^Of course, when the buyer claims you sent them a box of rocks and you say, "No I didn't. I opened the box that I said claimed was MISB to verify the contents before I sent it to you," then you're probably opening yourself to a whole new set of problems.

    Actually I would love for this to happen, as I'd actually know the guy was trying to rip me off, and I wouldn't be out any money. Nothing about the definition of MISB says that I didn't open it and reseal it. I am still selling it Mint In a Sealed Box. Now if the acronym was MIFSB, Mint In Factory Sealed Box, that may be a different story, but it's not. If you assume that that's what MISB means, well, that's just an assumption that may or may not be true. It's the nature of the seals that allows this ambiguity.

    If Lego were to switch to a tamper proof type of seal, that would change a lot of things. But I have a feeling they use the seals they do on purpose. I don't think it has been an arbitrary decision with no thought behind it...
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,725
    And why not go the whole hog and open the bags as well, then heat seal them again. The pieces would still be sealed in the original bag.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,725
    jpcz said:


    When i opened the box everything was there except one of the bags had broken and a few pieces had spilled out. According to the bag count here, i had everything, so i wasnt worried. It also gave me the opportunity to put the instructions in cardboard to prevent further destruction from being loose.

    Did you check the piece count of the bag, or just the bag count? If a bag was open, I'd check the contents.
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    Bandit's comment is why I explicitly ask sellers if the box is still factory-sealed and none of the seals have ever been opened.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    Amberyl said:

    Bandit's comment is why I explicitly ask sellers if the box is still factory-sealed and none of the seals have ever been opened.

    So then the question becomes, with my 100% seller rating, if you asked me that, and I truthfully told you:

    "Good question! To tell you the truth, when I bought this set at Walmart, the seals on one end were a little loose and looked like they may have possibly come off in the past, so I expertly removed them to verify the contents of the box, and then reapplied them. The seals actually look better than they did before, and the set is in absolute MISB condition. You would never be able to tell I removed/reapplied the seals.

    As a crazy, anal collector myself, I would be 100% happy with this box. I have 100% verified everything that should be in the box is there, so please feel confident with your purchase. I don't do this often, but sometimes I end up with sets that just don't look quite right or give me a bit of pause, and I want to make sure my buyers are getting what they ordered. Thanks for the question!"

    Would you still buy from me, for full MISB price? And/or would you feel more confident or less confident?
  • Nadana86Nadana86 Member Posts: 65
    edited November 2012
    To me it doesn't sound right. Especially if I got that answer back when there were the C3POs in the boxes...
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    If Lego were to switch to a tamper proof type of seal, that would change a lot of things. But I have a feeling they use the seals they do on purpose. I don't think it has been an arbitrary decision with no thought behind it...
    Wouldn't the tamper-proof seal alleviate all or most of the hassle? If you're looking at a set with a tamper-proof seal, you'll know if someone's been in it or not, thus eliminating your need to open it to check.
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    I know of two:
    MISB (Mint in Sealed Box)
    MIsB (Mint in a squashed box)
    herekittykitty
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    y2josh said:

    If Lego were to switch to a tamper proof type of seal, that would change a lot of things. But I have a feeling they use the seals they do on purpose. I don't think it has been an arbitrary decision with no thought behind it...
    Wouldn't the tamper-proof seal alleviate all or most of the hassle? If you're looking at a set with a tamper-proof seal, you'll know if someone's been in it or not, thus eliminating your need to open it to check.

    Yes, it would. I'm just saying I think TLG has made a conscious decision to not go that route. I think, for whatever reasons, they like using stickers that can be 'restuck'
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,725
    ^ Why do you reckon that? Price, or something else? The cost of those tamper evident ones can't be that much can it? So I wonder what the reason is.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    ^ I think that, just because TLG is really smart and they know what they're doing. I'm sure there were/are countless meetings and much discussion on the stickers to use on boxes. It wasn't just an arbitrary decision. They went the way they did on purpose, and spent time thinking about it.

    Could it be purely a cost issue? "Meh, it doesn't matter, go with the cheapest stickers we can get!" Maybe. But I have to think other factors came into play. Maybe retailers asked for them. Maybe they figure collectors want to be able to remove the stickers without damaging the box. I can't say I can think of a really good reason *not* to use some kind of better tamper resistant sticker, other than maybe cost, but I just have to think there's something.

    I dunno. Or maybe I'm giving TLG too much credit. :)
  • mountebankmountebank Member Posts: 1,237
    edited November 2012
    I would be astonished if TLG used taped seals for any reasons other than convenience and cost.

    I would be astonished if TLG were to change their sealing method in order to support the AFOL reseller market.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    Changing to tamper resistant seals wouldn't be for the benefit of the AFOL reseller community (although it wouldn't be a bad thing), it would benefit everyone, specifically consumers and retailers. Consumers would be assured that sets they buy haven't been tampered with, and retailers would be assured that returned items hadn't been tampered with.

    I almost think, given the nature of their current seals, and how easy it is for them to get in a bad 'state' (sat in a hot truck/warehouse too long, mishandled, bad stick on placement in the first place, or whatever else causes this to happen), TLG just uses the current seals so it's easy(easier) for retailers/whoever to reseal them if/when this happens. This would be much more difficult, if not impossible if tamper resistant seals were used.

  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,711
    Bandit said:

    Changing to tamper resistant seals wouldn't be for the benefit of the AFOL reseller community (although it wouldn't be a bad thing), it would benefit everyone, specifically consumers and retailers. Consumers would be assured that sets they buy haven't been tampered with, and retailers would be assured that returned items hadn't been tampered with.

    I almost think, given the nature of their current seals, and how easy it is for them to get in a bad 'state' (sat in a hot truck/warehouse too long, mishandled, bad stick on placement in the first place, or whatever else causes this to happen), TLG just uses the current seals so it's easy(easier) for retailers/whoever to reseal them if/when this happens. This would be much more difficult, if not impossible if tamper resistant seals were used.

    Amen
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    Bandit, I think my feeling about that is totally dependent on the seller. I only buy Lego to build (or to gift), so I don't ordinarily care about box condition or seals except to the extent that an unbroken seal means less likelihood of tampering and/or missing contents (and of course if it's for a gift I want the box to look mint). If it's someone who routinely sells Lego sets and has near-perfect feedback, I'm likely to trust that this is still fine to buy.

    I do expect that unsealing will reduce the value of a set, just like box condition will, simply because the number of bidders interested will be fewer.

    Every time I have gotten a set from anything other than direct shipment from a retailer (i.e., never exposed to consumer hands), I have immediately opened it and checked the contents. I generally also put it on top of my build queue, because I want to make sure that any problems with contents are found within the dispute window.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    Right now I have a ton of Lego sets on Ebay that are sealed, but look like they have been sat on. I've sold a few here and there. The people buying them are going to open them up and toss the box anyway, so as long as the contents inside are sealed, it doesn't matter to them. I even sold a set with a hole in it and I got a good review back.

    I don't go around opening sealed boxes, but I came across some Lego Star Wars Minis at a thrift store and they were "sealed". I opened them all up and a few of them had been opened before and some Legos were missing. I just sold one of those minis last month and I said I opened to check contents and he didn't care as long as the Legos were sealed in side and everything else was in order. I don't know how this raises a Red Flag?
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,911
    I think it all depends on the seller. I have close to 900 positive feedback (100%). A seller with that kind of feedback to me I would trust. I would expect the same.
    Pitfall69
  • DougoutDougout Member Posts: 888
    I've bought many sealed sets of older EOL'd sets from new sellers and long-time sellers and never had a problem. I opened a #10144 to check the contents one time, and I have never opened a sealed EOL'd set since unless I had plans to build it right after. I weight check them for accuracy now. I've done this with a #10179 and #10143 more recently as well. No problems thus far.
  • DougoutDougout Member Posts: 888
    I wonder what people's opinions are of the MISB term. I consider it to mean everything including the box is in mint condition. Recently, I bought a MISB #10129 and when it arrived I realized the box was not mint as I had previously thought. The pictures online must have had a low megapixel count because you can barely see the creases in every corner. Either that or the box got damaged more during transit. Is this the seller's fault?

    As a fairly new ebay seller this year (40 selling transactions so far), I am anxious to know what people consider MISB to mean exactly. I take very good care of all my stored Lego and any damage done to the boxes is done before I get them either during shipping or by the retailer I buy from.

    It is almost impossible to get an impeccably clean box especially for bigger sets. This always saddens me as many sets I have would be near perfect if it wasn't for one single dent, ding, crease or small corner crush. Does anyone else go through this type of let down or is it just my OCD kicking in?
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    There's a thread somewhere on here about what exactly is meant by MISB, but as a general rule, I don't ever list anything as mint. I will happily list a set's box as being in very good condition, but I just feel like calling something mint (even when it actually may be) is opening the door to unnecessary hassle.
    Banditdougts
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    @Dougout I do not let it bother me, but I never list sets as MISB either even if they are mint. I think mint is very subjective and in the end I never know what condition a set will arrive in to my customer after it has been handled by a shipping company. I do safely assume it will arrive still factory sealed and that is how I describe my items. Once in a long while I will have a potential buyer ask if my items are mint and I send a friendly reply stating I don't grade my items and put their username on my blocked list. I will leave the OCD collectors for other sellers to handle. If there are holes or other obvious damage I will describe as such and I have no problem selling those sets either.
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