Home Forums General General The Buying Experience

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    Avatar photoAngel Barracks

    What are your expectations as an online purchaser of wargames items.

    I Offer

    Colour thumbnails that actually do enlarge when you hover over them.

    PayPal, so people with a PayPal account can use it, and so that people without a PayPal account can use their credit or debit cards instead.

    Stock levels, if it does not say out of stock when you try to buy it, it is not out of stock.
    (Unless a mould has just suddenly gone all wrong on me, in which case I e-mail the customer to explain and offer alternatives)

    Once you buy and have paid, you get an e-mail from PayPal confirming the order with the PayPal transaction number so you can progress the order through PayPal if you need to.

    I aim to offer a personal e-mail about the order within 24 hours of getting it.
    In this e-mail I suggest or sometimes flat out state, what the shipping date will be.
    If the shipping date is not in what I consider a reasonable time I will offer an explanation as to why and invite a reply.
    If the stated shipping date lapses I will send a further e-mail to explain why.
    I then normally try and follow up with an e-mail saying that it has been shipped, though not always, normally not when the order is sent the same or next working day.

    I do not have an account requirement.
    I offer PayPal.
    You have already made an account with them, so I do not need to take your information again, when you are paying with a system that already has those details.

    I offer a newsletter so that people can get new releases and flavour articles sent direct to their inbox.

    I also have my own forum as part of the site that concentrates on 6mm sci-fi.

    I also try to respond to e-mails the same working day.

    I offer this, as this is what I expect, what do you expect?

    Avatar photoJames Ewins

    The account thing bothers me sometimes, especially when you need to create your account to find out shipping costs…

    Chief Sarcaster at http://www.exmouthwargames.org.uk/
    Assistant Dogsbody at http://legionaryshow.co.uk/

    Avatar photoSpurious

    Just being able to see decent images of the models, preferably unpainted or just given an ink wash to bring out the detail if they’re going to be in camo, should really be mandatory. Whilst not so much just an online thing, basic accuracy in depictions of what’s being sold is also required. To give a specific example I’ve had, it really does matter if the tank in the box is actually a T-80B, T-80U or T-80UK, and the cover/name/image should match the insides and be clear enough to leave no doubt. Having as much information as reasonably possible available when going to buy stuff is important, saves on returns and helps sales.

    Easy payment options. Paypal and equivalents as the default rather than cheques in the mail or card details over the phone.

    If selling complex kits, instructions either with the kit or available online (and actual instructions rather than just WIP images) should really be available.

    And online shopping cart is nice, not mandatory but certainly does do it’s part in influencing my decision to order from somewhere. One of those things that missing it in combination with lack of information on the products is enough to kill a sale, where as having information (with images) but no cart is do-able, though the reverse of that is just peculiar.



    Avatar photoPaul

    Painted and based examples increase the chances of a sale for me. I’m also put off by having to register, and will only pay with PayPal. Upfront postage (even if a rough estimate) is also a big plus, because on any order I place, I typically pay 30% or more on postage (although there are exceptions).

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    Photos for sure. Ideally I find that a simple undercoat rather than “bare metal” works better. Photos of a painted mini as well is a distinct plus but I don’t find it discourages me lacking them.

    Be active and discuss your product. Show me what you are working on and what is coming up. I like buying from people who have some sort of vision and I like to know whether there’s upcoming stuff I can plan for or whether your product is a stand-alone thing.

    Confirmation that I placed the order. Even if it’s just a copy/pasted form letter. I cannot stand ordering something and then hearing nothing for 3 weeks until the mailman delivers it.

    Answer your **** email. It’s 2014. If you can’t respond to a customer enquiry, then don’t run a shop.

    Paypal or similar options a must. It’s not the dark ages, cut it out with the cheques.

    Don’t disparage another company’s product on your site.

    For miniatures, size comparisons or one of those shots with the mini next to a ruler are nice. When figures in the same scale can vary so much, it becomes a hassle.


    And a special pet hate: If I somehow have to have a facebook account to view your stuff or interact with you, I am convinced you are actually Saddam Hussein.



    Avatar photoPaul

    And a special pet hate: If I somehow have to have a facebook account to view your stuff or interact with you, I am convinced you are actually Saddam Hussein.



    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!

    Avatar photoAndy hutchinson

    In no particular order….


    Stock level, if you have this on your site indicate if it is live or a best guess.

    Pics, not a total negative, if I have seen your stuff at shows or images elsewhere and know what I am getting then alls good. First time orders are iffy though.

    Email queries. Even an automated response is better then nothing. I was going to order some items from a couple of companies which I had queries over, they never got back to me, orders went elsewhere.

    Facebook, agreeing on this one. Def not going to deal with you if all you have is a facebook site.

    Paypal…I so don’t give C card details out these days.

    Don’t make me set up an account to check postage.

    Had a discussion with one trader at Border Reiver over web sites. Don’t go all artsy fartsy on us. The site is there to sell me something, not outdo Van Gough. It’s ok if I am on my desktop PC with wired lan connection. But sometimes ( read… a lot of the time) I am using my tablet and accessing some sites is a nightmare.  This doesn’t even have to refer to graphics load, some sites haven’t been designed to take into account mobile devices.


    end of my top 7 🙂


    Just remembered number 8. …… If the only thing on the “contact us” page is a submission form, no email or business address,  I’m def not going to put an order in. I may stand to be corrected here, but I thought if you are a business based in the EU  it’s a legal thing to have your business address listed.




    Avatar photo1 yorks

    I agree with Andy Positively hate having to open an account to buy something, I have enough passwords to remember as it is I have an A4 sheet of paper full of passwords just for my wargames stuff. And no way am I going on use facebook, and in this modern age waiting 3 or 4 days for a reply is not really on. on point 8 I think you’re right.


    Painted and bare pics

    say if its out of stock

    if you say it will ship within a week, or it goes two weeks without me hearing or seeing anything. I will go to paypal, not to you- you have already failed customer service.

    Painter from 6mm all the way up! contact me if you want some work done!

    Also working on learning sculpting and plan to open my own lines late this year/early next

    website: http://catalystminipainting.weebly.com/

    Avatar photoMike

    .. it’s a legal thing to have your business address listed.

    Yes, and if you are a sole trader then your name too.

    Avatar photoNick the Lemming

    I prefer grey undercoated figures – you can see the definition more clearly that way. Unpainted figures don’t always show the detail, painted figures can obscure detail (I’ve seen some badly painted figures on some sites), or not give you a clear idea of the minis, especially at smaller scales.

    Avatar photoFernando Darlington

    Photos of all the products. I hate buying blind when just a reference is posted and no photos.

    I also buy with good painted models. I have bought nearly all the superheroes  range of Knight Models just for the first paintjobs I saw. Similarily I have avoided Dixon in the past because they show very mediocre paintjobs of their minis and few photos, I had to buy a few minis I needed to find they were not as bad as I thought.

    Avatar photoShecky


    i wish all online retailers lived up to your standards.

    While I prefer photos, I will buy from a site with limited to no photos if I’ve dealt with them before (Pendraken).

    Paypal is a must but I will use a CC if they don’t offer that option.

    I know it sounds funny, but it must have an online ordering capability. There is one manufacturer out there who doesn’t have a shopping cart and requires you to email them your order. Needless to say, I didn’t order from them.



    Avatar photowillz

    All of the above.

    Also when I contact a firm and they tell me they are so busy getting ready for a war-game show that it will take several weeks to complete my order and they only post orders out once a week maybe.  Don’t be surprised when the phone goes dead, your e-mail is not replied too and no order is forth coming.

    Avatar photoCP Models

    A very interesting topic Michael

    I am also very interested in the wargame buyers perspective on this



    Avatar photoshelldrake

    I want photos, and photos that actually enlarge when you click on them.

    Paypal to pay with.

    Postage rates that are realistic.


    And… when I pay for packs of figures, I don’t want to wait three months for half of my order because the shop sold them after taking my money and hasn’t got any restock in.  Actually, it will be four months come October, and the shop has stopped replying to my once a month, yet polite and calm email asking if they have new stocks in yet that they could send me the remainder of my order.  (rant over)


    Avatar photokyoteblue

    For me it’s having to use paypal or a credit card as I don’t have them and have no wish to have them. So if a company will not take a personal check or money order I can’t buy any thing from them…Yes I know I’m a Dino but I’m old now !!!!


    You damn kids get the hell off my lawn !!!!!

    Avatar photoJohn Watts

    All of the above that make life easier, plus easy dialogue with the manufacturer – which is why Irregular Miniatures gets a lot of my custom.

    Avatar photoJames Ewins

    Oddly, irregular’s lack of cart and online payment us why they don’t get as much of mine as I’d sometimes  like….

    Chief Sarcaster at http://www.exmouthwargames.org.uk/
    Assistant Dogsbody at http://legionaryshow.co.uk/

    Avatar photoShandy

    I like photos. However, I’ve ordered stuff from companies that have no photos (& sometimes was in for a surprise (sometimes pleasant & sometimes not so)).

    I understand that most of the companies I order from are small one-man shows, so I’m pretty understanding about delivery times etc. – usually, I’m in no hurry, the lead pile is big enough to keep me occupied…  And I have had very pleasant shopping experiences with companies that are rather old-school in their approach to the shopping experience, like Hovels.

    However, if there is one thing I don’t like it’s not answering emails. Sometimes, I have a question about a product (especially if there are no photos) and I’d really like to get an answer. It doesn’t have to be immediately and it may even be “I don’t know”, but getting an answer is nice.

    Avatar photoTwoGunBob

    I think everyone summed it up nicely. I’ve had the joy of dealing with most operations running much as Angel Barracks does and I do love them for it. Dinosaurs such as say… warweb.com that operates like it’s 1980 will get none of my business as they are slow and completely ignore any communication altogether. I’ll pay more than deal with them as their customer service is deplorable on all fronts. Fortunately 99% of the companies I deal with do follow most of the above and leave me a happy consumer.

    Avatar photoEtranger

    Interesting topic AB. Your online site is a good one.

    Photos are a big help. I’ll give a pass to those companies with a large pre-existing  range because it takes time to do eg 2,000 items. In any case I’m likely to have a fair idea as to the quality (or otherwise) for long established companies. For new releases though, please do so.  New companies really do need to establish themselves.

    Metal figures look good unpainted but given a blackwash to lift the detail.


    Oh, and Facebook? Just say no….

    Avatar photogrizzlymc

    ET +2

    Avatar photoPiyan Glupak

    I tend to agree with a lot of the above comments.

    Photographs give you an idea of what to expect if you are not already familiar with the product.  Painted can be very good, as can unpainted, undercoated or treated with a dark wash.  Lack of photos are likely to deter me from buying.

    The ability to order online makes things a lot easier.  I don’t say that I won’t order from a company without online ordering facilities, but the lack does tend to deter me, and make me think carefully whether I *REALLY* want what I am considering ordering.

    Some clarity on postage rates for people outside the UK is extremely desirable for me.

    I would be very wary of dealing with a company that I didn’t know extremely well that didn’t have appropriate contact details (physical address and telephone number).

    I don’t do Facebook or Twitter, and don’t want to.  If a Facebook page is the only site, as far as I am concerned, there isn’t one that I can access.

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