Woodgrain scam?
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 10:59 am 
 

I've noticed quite a few discrepancies between this auction:



http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 99753&rd=1



and the relisted:



http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 5914765089



Let's see:



A. The seller indicates in the second auction that the box is an incorrect one. He knew this in the first auction, having put the books in it by his own admission, yet never mentins it.



B. Where are the reference sheets that were originally included? Were those "added" in as well?



C. Quote: The white box itself (not the OCE) was mine from my first set - and my books are also on e-bay (see the neat "BE" on the covers). I just used to box for this set as it had none, and my original books are long gone.



Huh?? The books are long gone, yet they are up on eBay as we speak?



D. Where is Greyhawk? Obviously, since they were both cancelled, someone made an offer on that too, and I'm sure it was a hefty one.



E. The seller states that he sent it to the buyer, and then the Postman returned the package saying he couldn't post it.



Huh?? Since when did the Post Office accept packages, then bring them TO YOUR HOUSE and say "Oh, sorry, we can't handle this, it's international." The USPS can't ship an international package? That is just a baldfaced lie. Show us a scan of the shipping label, and/or a receipt.



So what happened is this: The seller asked the buyer to make an offer. He did. Seller accepted. Some asswipe on the Acaeum pulled his usual stunt and e-mailed the seller with the whining and bitching act, and the seller never sent the books, lamely claiming that they couldn't be shipped, because he wanted to post them back on eBay to get more money than what he had ACCEPTED from the original buyer.

This interference shit is really beginning to piss me off. Someone in here just cost a buyer a good deal (that the SELLER offered him), and caused the seller to commit mail fraud. I have a good idea who it is, but I will not point fingers until I am 100% sure, and that is being worked on. You bitch and whine about people like Game EmPoorium, and then use behind-the-scenes antics to get a different seller to commit the same crime. Grow up!


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 11:26 am 
 

Not really caring for the previous post...  not really caring for being called a liar.



1) I did not mention it, as it did not seem to matter - I missed (entirely) that the set was a first printing, hence, it made no diff to overall valuation, no statement was needed



2) There were no reference sheets with the set originally listed (yes, the listing had them, but only because I copied the OCE listing.



3) I have the box form my original set (white box, non OCE) but not, my original books (they were cut up and pasted to form books about 1/4 size that I could carry in my pocket for gaming, I left only the info I needed in my tiny books.  They were late discarded, however a friend of mine has a photcopy of that cut up set).



4) I have not yet relisted the Greyhawk, it wil there later today, with an expanded description clearly indicating that it is a photocopy.



5) I indicated that the package was posted - that means that a mechanically created postage "stamp" (imprint actually) was printed and affixed.  The package was then appended with a customs form (the small green one as it was under 4#) and tossed in the pickup tub (I ship enough  items that the post office comes to my home 6 days a week to pick up - just like a post office - and my usual mail carrier is a counter person - just like the carrier that picks up at leased PO's - that means the carrier has a round eye - which in turn means that he can pick up insured, registered and yes, international mail.  The upside for me is that I never go to the post office.  However, my regular carrier is on leave and the substitute that came by to make the pick up is not a counter person, so no round eye, no cannot pck up international mail - and so cannot pick up David's package.  



6) the seller - that's me did not commit mail fraud.



7) Someone in here (a few of you actually) alerted me to my own error - but I had already accepted the price - which I thought was fair.  



The interesting bit on this is that if a certain someone had not been asking so many questions, I would have (maybe) been able to make to the post office to drop off the package - and then think of all the fun you would have missed out on.



So. In the end, I'll probably make some extra $$ on the books.  David will miss out on a really good deal - I'll make it up to him somehow.  I won't be under the threat of some other a-hole trying to take away a piece of my livelihood becasue he wanted the chance to bid on a book.



Any questions, drop me a note.  But, please, do not disparge me without having all the facts.



-Bill

  

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:11 pm 
 

Well, it worked. I was hoping to draw you out and have you explain exactly what happened.

So, who are the people in the forum who alerted you to your error?


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:13 pm 
 

And BTW, I do apologize for using the term liar, but I wanted to make sure you were annoyed enough to post the facts about what REALLY went on.

SOOOOOO, will you tell us who the whiners are, please?


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:54 pm 
 

Sorry, but it's not my style to call anyone out by name, unless they do something unethical.



But...  most of them have indicated on the forum in one form or another that they either made an offer, paid, or were going to snipe.



The large number of questions - and the incredible response once the auction was pulled was the first clue...  the requests for imprint data on books 2 and 3, printing version requests - repeatedly to verify none on the book...



The blind "at least $500.00" offer - the $800.00 offer (repeated after relisted)....



There were a few clues...

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 1:03 pm 
 

BillEdwards wrote:The blind "at least $500.00" offer - the $800.00 offer (repeated after relisted)....




$800!  8O  That's definitely too rich for me.  But so is $500.  I'll carry on holding out for a bargain.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 1:37 pm 
 

N.B. I started typing this before the above two posts. Have only just spotted them now. Also checked with Bill whether OK to post this (for the majority of text, below, with relatively trivial adds mostly at the end, since).



====



Great, and I've got anonymous hatemail via email, now...



OK, I was wondering whether I was going to have to try to clear this up again; and there were already enough rumors flying around, yesterday.



Per the previous thread: • Collecting General •  The Acaeum , "I already had (ed: quite a few hours previously, btw) an enquiry in with the seller to try to figure out whether it's a 4th- (know someone who needs one) or an "interesting hybrid" (*points to the now familiar interesting difference in cardstock colors of the booklets*), etc."



My initial enquiry pointed out that the box was white not woodgrain, that the set (I presumed set) should've been from 1975 (reference to Paul's woodgrain hybrids stated late-1975 with the same book set, too), and that there might not be a printing line to indicate thus.

Was hoping that would get a few answers, but in the interim I noted that I would be putting in a bid and checked with Bill that he wasn't going to end early should the auction not have taken off (i.e. a warning to Bill not to worry if it was only $60 was a day to go, say, since there were going to be a few snipe bids).




Bill's response was to make him an offer, which I genuinely had not expected.

Since I was meant to be re-starting full time work today for the first time in 2 1/4 years, I thought what the heck; (yet) another "celebration present" to myself... my current white box is vandalised (undescribed on listing), I'm still trying to work back to my 3rd printing woodgrain which was stolen, and the "early cover" Men & Magic was a good start (all this again still presuming Paul's late-1975 theory to have a reasonable weight).



Working on the basis of a 3+/4- (having screwed the edition features, as admitted on the other thread) or somewhat uncertain later "remnant stock" from the same era in a rather nice white box, I guess-evaluated the condition as VGish (VG/VG/G/VG+ box; writing on outside of books, one cover colored, unknown amounts of writing inside) and using the Acaeum figure, put in an offer of $150. (If it has been a second printing and the value had been $500-$650, say, I'd've said I don't have that amount of money (trying really hard not to hit my credit cards just now...). So wherever that rumor about a $500 offer came from, it wasn't me).



Bill had been hoping for around $200 but agreed my offer was fair, and I paid up (I didn't know he'd actually reduced his expectation by $50 as a "present", either. Thanks :)).




(aside: I paid $20-25 for that (very interesting curiosity) duplicated copy of "True First" Greyhawk, depending on how the monies are split).



Even now, knowing the printing details do actually match Paul's books (as far as can be told- which was long after they were in the post and "rejected", I presume), I have several reservations regarding the listing/assumptions/etc., most of which I've made known to Bill and no doubt Paul and others will chime in on (citing Gary Gygax, etc.).

*

(In addition, for example, no number of first/early edition supplements can serve to prove anything. I've got here a 5th white box which came with a 2nd printing Greyhawk and several other firsts. The copy of "Men & Magic" therein even has an "impossible" date of 8-14-75 penciled on it!).

*

However, I am certainly not looking to spoil the re-auction, despite having had the books "in the post" to me and being very disappointed as to how this has worked out, and the amount of hassle it has caused.

(aside: I pondered over whether to trans-ship via a friend in the US, or to ship directly to the UK; chose the latter and added a generous top-up to Bill to make it worth his time packing and form signing. If I'd've chosen the former, I'd've had the set, although once the true details were known (still presuming late-1975, but with a botch-up on my behalf about the 4- printing), I may have tried to top up what I paid once the monies were available; i.e. first pay packet).



I am no expert on such matters, anyhow....



==



(And having had missed the 3-4 hours sleep I was hoping for last night, I thought today couldn't have gotten much worse. It did; but I'll save that moan for later, if anyone's still awake!)



Take care y'all,

David.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:34 pm 
 

Thank you. More hatemail...



You wouldn't mind sending via PM instead of email, out of courtesy, so that I may respond?





EMAIL ADDRESS NOW REMOVED FROM MY PUBLIC PROFILE. Please take the hint...

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:39 pm 
 

harami2000 wrote:Thank you. More hatemail...



You wouldn't mind sending via PM instead of email, out of courtesy, so that I may respond?





EMAIL ADDRESS NOW REMOVED FROM MY PUBLIC PROFILE. Please take the hint...




You have got to be kidding?!?



Please direct any hate mail to me instead.  I completely endorse what harami2000 did and could do with a laugh.



Email available on my profile.



Now I really am going out for a beer.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 10:03 pm 
 

The selller sent me some scans of the booklets, so I thought it fair to share my opinion of them with you all:

1) I'm willing to verify that the scans he sent match a First print.  He sent a scan of the copyright page of Book 1, but not of Book 2 & 3, but unless he's out-and-out lying, it's safe to assume they have no printing date, either.  He did send scans of the rear pages of all three books, as well as the covers, and they match First print characteristics.  Book 3 is of a lighter shade than the other two, and may have a slightly cream-colored inside cover, but otherwise, it matches a First print -- it does not match any later print, by several means of comparison.

2) Damage: the owner's name ("Robert Imus") is typed (!?) on the cover of each booklet.  It's not serious.

3) The cover of Book 3 has the hippogriff colored-in with what appears to be blue crayon.  Not a bad coloring job, but not good for the overall value of the book.

Since there's no difference (that we've seen) between the First print and the "pre-publication" version, it's impossible to say that these booklets are not pre-pubs -- however, I judge it highly unlikely.  As stated on the site, the pre-pub sets are very rare, to the point where I'd doubt anyone who did not have a very close connection to a TSR staff member from the early days could possibly come by them.  Therefore, to clarify: I am not claiming that these are in any way "pre-publication" booklets.  To that extent, the auction listing is misleading.

Foul

  


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 8:57 am 
 

harami2000 wrote:Even now, knowing the printing details do actually match Paul's books (as far as can be told- which was long after they were in the post and "rejected", I presume), I have several reservations regarding the listing/assumptions/etc., most of which I've made known to Bill and no doubt Paul and others will chime in on (citing Gary Gygax, etc.)




OK.

I've spotted the "On Aug-12-04 at 16:31:57 PDT, seller added the following information:" update which addresses many of those.

Thank you, Bill.



From a financial standpoint, I am still extremely dubious about the validity of the "A previous PRE-PUBLICATION / FIRST PRINTING set sold here on e-bay in April for $2282.00" line, without any link to the actual auction ( http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 3183893547 ) which of course contains the clincher "These booklets come in the original brown woodgrain box (RARE!)".



We all know that, for better or worse, that an extremely large fraction of the total value of the earliest editions is in the woodgrain box. And latest research would appear to indicate that this also has to have a vertical grain for second (and, presumably, first??) printings, as well as other distinguishing features.

Whether anyone who is unaware of the existence of the Acaeum's fora knows this is another matter, but I would still suggest that just putting in that auction reference line without further clarification is potentially severely misleading.

(That many of us also feel that the money paid in that auction was too high, is by-the-by).



The fourth printing box does not "aproximate completeness", save in that it is an Original D&D box. Albeit a very nice one in its own right.



Just my 02 cents, of course, albeit attempting to stick to the facts on a "responsible community" basis (which other people around here also appear to advocate).... Or has everyone just gone very quiet all of a sudden? *jk* ;)



Regards,

David.





p.s. Thank you for ceasing that hatemail. Probably took me less time to hit <delete> than it took to type such thoughts, anyhow! ^^

  

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Post Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 11:29 am 
 

These boxed sets are starting to go along the lines of Abbot and Costello :roll: :



Whose got a 1st printing

Which one is a 2nd printing

and

I dont know if it's a 3rd



(Sorry, 4th prints don't work with that comedy line :D )



Since it seems that its the "BOX" that makes the set, followed by the booklets inside, and since some boxed sets have different contents that are questionable as to whether it goes with that "box" why doesn't the Acaeum just list the worth of each piece of the"boxed sets" individually?


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 12:59 pm 
 

I've wanted to stay away from posting individual-piece values, opting to stick with a very general "pieces are worth less than the set" statement.  Otherwise, a market develops for things like a woodgrain box without any contents.  And a First-print box being worth more than a Third-print box.  And someone coming forward who swears his box was purchased in Jan 1974, even though the grain is in the wrong direction (and who's to say his box wasn't printed that way...).

It gets even more ridiculous than the situation we have now.

Suffice to say, as with all collectibles, a complete set is worth much more than a set that is missing parts.  Ask an antiques dealer how much a drawer is worth on a 17th-century dresser, he'll probably respond "not much".  How much, who knows.  Depends on if there's a buyer who's missing a drawer, I suppose.

I myself have both Second and Third print booklets, but without a box for either.  I know they're not worthless, but neither occupies any particularly special place in my collection.  They are, in essence, "damaged goods".

Foul

  

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Post Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2004 9:50 pm 
 

Whether or not his books were originally prepubs, they are 1st prints now.

Books without box = broad without box. Totally useless. At least from a collecting point.


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2004 6:56 am 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:Whether or not his books were originally prepubs, they are 1st prints now.

Books without box = broad without box. Totally useless. At least from a collecting point.




But better than no broad at all.  Even if I'm denied the box, there is still a lot of fun to be had with what's left!  :wink:



Which is why I'm bidding.  And I still think this will fetch a reasonable price.  First prints don't come up that often.  With or without a box.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2004 11:25 am 
 

Bill, I don't think anyone is contesting that the 3rd book in the set is a 1st printing. Since both you and Stormie have pretty much identical sets, it makes little sense to assume that 2 different people replaced their 3rd book with an off-color one that is identical in both of the sets.

What I think people are annoyed about is:



1. It is not a pre-pub. There could not have been off-color books in the pre-pub, because it was a tiny run, and there is no way Gygax would have paid for and accepted off-colored books in such a small amount from the printer. And anyone who actually had a pre-pub would never have gotten rid of the box. Those were obviously collectibles the minute they came out.



2. There is no mention of you adding the 4th print box to the set. Anyone who was not a die-hard collector would obviously assume the box is original.



Personally, I don't care how you list it. I can understand certain individuals being annoyed about you reneging on a deal that YOU offered, but I have no say in that either. I'd just be careful that the winning bidder doesn't have a cow about it after the fact.

Anyways, welcome to the Acaeum shit list! I'm Frank, founding member and chairman. If you manage to get an incredible deal on a rare item, please post it here. Your rank on the list corresponds directly to how well you make out. This month's prize is a mint, shrinkwrapped copy of B2.


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2004 11:54 am 
 

:)



I thought the addition to the description would avoid contention.  



I've been checking around quite a bit - no one seems to have the off color book 3 except stormie and I - if they were printed in numbers, I would expect to have seen more - right?  Figure 1000 as a min print run from Graphic - there would be more out there.  



If there are only 2, then, why?  a short mechanical print run makes no sense $$ wise.  I think it much more likely that a very small number of books were "printed" not using an offset press to proof the books.



So a proof book theroy would run like:



1) exceptionaly small #'s

2) oddities in materials and print quality



These 2 odd book 3's conform to the exact same set of oddities - wrong size, wrong cover, wrong imprint size, bleeding (c) symbol.



We a proof sets were printed - what happened to the proof set books?  If these 2 odd book 3's were part of a noral rpint run, there would be more of them.



I think these sets are much more likely to be hybrid proof sets rather than hybrid 4th print as some have suggested.



Why no box? If we go back in time to the known proof sets, there would likely have been no box - or maybe it went away over time.  The auction, pretty clearly, indicates the box is a 4th print box.



I'm annoyed personaly that the deal was not made.  I've apologized to the agreived party and made him as whole as I can with the constraints placed on me by another.



I've come across some more copies of strategic review in the collection, a butt load of of all traveller, steve jackson, and metamorphisis alpha stuff.  I'll get it all to e-bay as time permits.



:)

  

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2004 12:02 pm 
 

Oh, it's a 1st print. It isn't a 4th.

Why are there only 2 that we know of, you ask? How many 1st prints do you think there are out there? If you assume that even 100 of the 1,000 were off colors, just to see 2 pop up is amazing.


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2004 7:48 pm 
 

I think it is just as likely the printer came up a little short on the cover paper during the first print run and ended up printing a few book threes with the closest thing they could find.  Remember, nobody really knew what this was going to become.  TSR was a little shoestring operation.

  


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Post Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:15 pm 
 

So you think the odd book threes are a subset of the rest of the first printing?

  
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