Monday, October 14, 2013

Is it a Good Idea to Buy, Sell, and Trade on EN*World?

Yesterday EN*World decided to enter into the Buy, Sell, and Trade marketplace. They're doing this through the Panjo Marketplace, which is an interesting idea but brings on a lot of questions from my end as a consumer.

What is Panjo, and is It Reliable?

Panjo is mostly known for being involved in the business of buying, trading, and selling automotive parts - though they are expanding into new markets - through online forums. The idea being that by marketing directly to enthusiasts you are able to provide a marketplace that is not subject to the pitfalls of wider markets. It's been around for about a year now and has raised a lot of capital with the help of Spark Capital. And that sounds like something really freaking rad until you realize that Spark Capital is a venture capital group looking to turn and burn companies so that they can make a quick profit. 

Panjo is an alumnus of Muckerlabs, a group that works to launch internet based companies in Los Angeles, and they're making some bold moves in the marketplace as they attempt to carve out a place for themselves in a niche market. But the company is very new and there is little data available to tell me about what they are currently doing and way too much about their potential growth.

So are they reliable? 

Maybe now, maybe not tomorrow. It all depends on their bottom line and how quickly Spark Capital decides to flip the company.

 How do I Sell, Buy, and Trade on the New Marketplace?

According to the terms of service the site works as follows:
  1. Seller lists item for sale. Price includes shipping and sales tax if applicable. Panjo uses third-party services to verify the identity of the Seller and collects payment remediation information in the case a dispute arises.
  2. Buyer purchases item. Panjo collects and verifies the Buyer’s payment. Panjo emails Seller with Buyer's shipping address. Panjo confirms the item is still available for sale.
  3. Seller confirms item is still available. Panjo transfers the Buyer’s payment to the Seller.
  4. Seller ships item to Buyer.
  5. Buyer receives item.
  6. Buyer has 14 days from purchase to report a problem and seek Panjo's assistance to resolve any issues related to the transaction.

The video makes it seem like buying on Panjo is as safe as buying from Wal-Mart, only unlike Wal-Mart you'll actually be able to find all the stuff you've been looking for. What it doesn't tell you about is the 14 day problem policy. Read that carefully because we're not talking about a return policy here. If you order something from a Panjo partner site and you don't report a problem within 14 days from the date of purchase you eat it. You have no recourse and there is nothing you can do about it. You agreed to the terms and conditions.

So now you have to remember that late night purchases are a bad idea and god help you if you buy at 11:59 pm on a Saturday with a holiday on Monday because there is a real potential that you won't get that product for eleven or twelve days. - And even then you might find that you're not able to report the problem for two or three days which means time has run out and you're boned my friend.

En*World didn't tell me about the 14 day problem policy or about the shipping and sales tax being included in the price listed. Of course they're asking some ridiculous prices on there right now so who the fuck's going to buy from them anyway.

Screen Capture from 10/13/13 at 10:38pm
In case you can't tell some guy is asking $200 ($175 list price + $25 shipping) for the Wilderlands of High Fantasy from the Judges Guild. Which isn't a bad price when you look at Amazon and Ebay where it starts at $220.00 (not including shipping and handling). But why the hell would you ever pay that price when you could just go to used book stores like I do and pick it up for twenty bucks (or online for free if you're an asshole)?

See that's the problem with this sort of marketplace, a collector's marketplace, you're going to pay collector prices. And while I love to collect role-play game products I'm not going to pay more than twenty bucks for anything, no matter the condition.

Selling with Panjo is no different from what I've been able to tell with how things go on other websites. There are a few improvements to help protect both parties that you can find on their Terms and Conditions page, but by and large nothing overly significant.

Does Panjo Report My Sales to the I.R.S?

Yes. Yes, they do.

How Much Does Panjo Make Per Transaction?

According to their website Panjo charges a rate of 3% on all direct checkout transactions. If you choose to use an indirect transaction such as Paypal you're looking at a rate of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.

That means that on that $200.00 Wilderlands of High Fantasy from the Judges Guild up above that Panjo is making $6.00 through their direct checkout and $6.10 on indirect transactions.

What is Morris from EN*World's Take on Every Transaction?

From what I've been able to tell currently he's getting nothing from each transaction. BUT it is clear from the wording that there are plans to charge in the future - and that's something that host sites such as EN*World can do according to the fine print.

Wait, What about the Trade Option? 

There is currently NO WAY TO TRADE USING PANJO. So saying that we can do so is some bullshit that Morris shouldn't have put up there.

So is the EN*World Marketplace for Me?

No, it is not for me; however, it might be for some of you people out there who don't mind this sort of collector price gouging that is going to run rampant on the marketplace. I'm going to take my money to used book stores and actual brick and mortar local gaming stores as often as I can instead.

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