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Smitty

US Dept. Homeland Security Destroys Shrink-wrapped Games

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I'm pretty sure it's Venezuelan customs that does this to the packages. Never had it happen elsewhere. And almost none of mine that were messed up have had US Customs tape.

 

I have bought from Venezuela maybe 8 times and had this happen twice. Last order literally was postmarked 10/15 and it arrived about a week ago in good condition. It's the risk you take, and you have to try to stick to honest resellers. It's hard because they seem to change names every few months.

 

My understanding is that a distributor dumped their stock and a company in Venezuela bought it en masse. It has been leaking out from the storage unit down there ever since, probably with some of it being sold by resellers down there cheaply enough to be resold yet again on eBay. It's some pretty sweet stuff.

 

Sad how much is destroyed by customs. They make our morons look like moron geniuses.

 

Good riddens to Chavez.

 

Why would honest sellers need to keep changing their usernames? :?

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Dropping feedback ratings because of delays and instrusive customs practices.

 

Nevermind, you already answered. :)

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Well, I decided to take the plunge and order some stuff. Five Commodore 64 & VIC-20 games arrived today from Venezuela and everything is fine. Along with my payment, I included a note to the seller to carefully remove the shrinkwrap from the boxes before shipping the games (figuring that customs would be a be lot less likely to haphazardly rip or cut open an unsealed box) but I'm not sure if the seller actually complied.

 

There was no U.S. Customs tape on the box, but the items were partially opened by someone (possibly the seller). One box was completely unwrapped and appeared to have been searched, but nothing was damaged or missing. Two other boxes had the shrinkwrap partially removed, but they did not appear to be opened (flaps are undamaged with absolutely no creases). Of the remaining boxes, one was still factory wrapped and the other was not sealed to begin with.

 

These items were purchased from liwer2006 and sent via FedEx (shipped 3/14, arrived today). So perhaps using a private carrier will produce better results than standard mail. It was certainly a lot faster. :!:

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These items were purchased from liwer2006 and sent via FedEx (shipped 3/15. arrived today). So perhaps using a private carrier will produce better results than standard mail. It was certainly a lot faster. :!:

 

Great news that your stuff arrived unmolested. I just looked up the seller... those FedEx shipping charges are not cheap ($30 for one item). DId he combine and reduce shipping fees? What was the total cost for FedEx shipping and for how many carts total?

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Great news that your stuff arrived unmolested. I just looked up the seller... those FedEx shipping charges are not cheap ($30 for one item). DId he combine and reduce shipping fees? What was the total cost for FedEx shipping and for how many carts total?

 

Where do you see $30 for one item? Looks like he has different prices listed for different items. It definitely shouldn't cost anywhere near that much. :?

 

The items I purchased had shipping listed at $13 for one item. He ended up charging me $25 shipping for five CIB games. Pricey but worth it, since I only paid around $10-$15 per game and they're titles you can't get readily anywhere else.

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On the items I looked at, $13 was for "Economy Shipping" and $30 for upgrade to FedEx. But $25 for 5 games shipped internationally is a good deal, let alone shipped via FedEx.

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Yes...it's a great deal... The package comes in quickly via FedEx, but like I posted earlier...both packages I received were man-handled. liwer2006 is a very good seller, in my second shippment he included two shrinkwrapped games, because customs jacked two of them up in the first shipment (he didn't have to do that, it wasn't his fault).

 

Maybe my packages are getting opened because of my name, Will Smith...LOL

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I was going to suggest along the lines as PingVinBlueJeans's post above to have the seller open any shrink wrapped games, and also have the seller flatten boxes. Regardless of how they are shipped there will always be a possibility of damages, but I was thinking by flattening them out at least if they do open something, they will find flat pieces of cardboard. Easy enough to see right through them if they did pick one up. However I know this wouldn't work on all box types but may help limit some damages.

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I had a bad experience with an international shipment (that turned out good in the end). I do not know if it had to do with DHS or some other part of the customs process. Mega kudos to the publishers of Retro Gamer magazine!! :thumbsup:

 

I had place a fairly big order of some of their back issues including the new "Atari 40th Anniversay Book" (I wish there weren't so many typos, but that's okay).

 

The order came in two shipments; each package (bubble envelope) had 5 magazines in it. The first half arrived, but the bubble envelope was cut open, just enough to see the contents. However, no attempt was made to even seal up this cut. Fortunately, the cut was small enough such that the shipment made it to me fine.

 

However, the second half of the order arrived in an "I'm sorry" bag from the USPS stating they received it without any contents. In this case there was not a small cut, but the entire length of the bubble envelope was cut open! Again, no attempt was made to seal this massive gash so of course the contents would spill out somewhere. See pictures below. The massive cut was not even necessary as it appears the corner was already cut open to inspect the contents. I can only guess as to why the entire back was opened and everything went missing.

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In the end the Retro Gamer people sent me a new order and it got here just fine with any cuts at all. Go figure.

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Man i get annoyed if the shipping box has gotten damaged in transit, so i can only imagine how annoyed you'd be if your stuff ends up slashed.

 

Im suprised to read that depreciation etc is taken into account, over here if you provide proof of cost and its inside the insurance limit they refund that cost.

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Nah, the USPS workers just took the magazines home to read them :D

 

We used to have a PO box and my wife had subscriptions to chick mags like Martha Stewart and Oprah. We always received those magazines weeks late, worn, and even dog eared.

 

I'm sure someone in a USPS employee bathroom is enjoying your $100 worth of Retro Gamer back issues :D

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The worse part is, the time your package sits and goes through customs causes a time delay as well.

 

Yep.. my sister in law baked a bunch of special "Humpty Dumpty" cookies for my son when he was 3 (since he loved Humpty Dumpty). Welp.. of course it got into Customs despite the contents being accurately and completely described. Not only was every cookie broken and rifled through but they delayed the arrival of the carefully timed baked package so it arrived after my son's birthday and would have been useless anyway. THANKS CUSTOMS.. HOPE YOU ENJOYED THEM COOKIES.

Edited by NE146

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i received some stuff from my relatives in argentina. they sent me some rare packaged gi joe figures and there was food sent along with it. well, they sent some flour, herbs and spices and they thought the flour was coke and the herbs and spices pot, i guess. i tried making a claim but it fell on deaf ears. they have the right to do anything.

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I received another package from Venezuela shipped via FedEx, and this one had tape on it indicating that it was opened by the Venezuelan National Guard. This package was clearly searched and one of the games was destroyed, as pictured below.

 

Yars' Revenge was perfect. Crater Raider was unsealed and had some box damage, but was purchased that way. Phoenix was ripped open and literally bent in half as if someone had rammed it into the shipping box using a trash compactor. Luckily, this game is easily replaced.

 

Naysayers can't blame U.S. Customs for this one, so I'll stress again what I said earlier...most if not all of these parcels are probably being searched and damaged before they leave South America.

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Naysayers can't blame U.S. Customs for this one, so I'll stress again what I said earlier...most if not all of these parcels are probably being searched and damaged before they leave South America.

 

I don't agree--you've shown us one example of a package with "Venezuela" tape, whereas most of the other opened packages in this thread have had US Customs tape.

 

..Al

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Just to chime in on a related subject - - our U.S. mail is frequently opened / resealed by somebody. There are thieves working in the US postal service.

  • My cousin send me a fancy thank-you card w/photo, for the wedding gift we gave him - the envelope arrived opened with no card or anything else inside.
  • My son's teacher sent him specially designed pencils as a prize/reward - 3 times and all three times the package came opened & empty. (this was a few years ago)
  • often, when we get any type of 'card' sent to us from farther away than locally, it seems like it is damaged or maybe opened/resealed - probably people looking for gift cards/money.

It makes me disgusted. I don't recall any problems with Fed Ex or UPS packages.

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I don't agree--you've shown us one example of a package with "Venezuela" tape, whereas most of the other opened packages in this thread have had US Customs tape.

 

..Al

 

Ok, but why does it matter? The point is that even with the new FedEx shipping, games are being destroyed. As such, anyone buying from Venezuela is taking a huge risk and the fact that these sellers keep changing names makes it very difficult to get a refund or replacement.

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Ok, but why does it matter? The point is that even with the new FedEx shipping, games are being destroyed. As such, anyone buying from Venezuela is taking a huge risk and the fact that these sellers keep changing names makes it very difficult to get a refund or replacement.

 

I agree, it doesn't matter, and given the large number of examples in this thread, buying from Venezuela does seem to be a bit of a gamble.

 

..Al

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I bought 5200 Gremlins from liwer2006 in December and was pleasantly surprised when it arrived in only 3 weeks instead of the advertised 4-6 weeks.

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Just to chime in on a related subject - - our U.S. mail is frequently opened / resealed by somebody. There are thieves working in the US postal service.

  • My cousin send me a fancy thank-you card w/photo, for the wedding gift we gave him - the envelope arrived opened with no card or anything else inside.
  • My son's teacher sent him specially designed pencils as a prize/reward - 3 times and all three times the package came opened & empty. (this was a few years ago)
  • often, when we get any type of 'card' sent to us from farther away than locally, it seems like it is damaged or maybe opened/resealed - probably people looking for gift cards/money.

It makes me disgusted. I don't recall any problems with Fed Ex or UPS packages.

 

Man, that's lame. And I thought my dad was being paranoid, whenever he sends a card - and then sends a check in a separate standard-looking envelope. He never includes a gift in a card. I see why.

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Congratulation to the German customs. I thought only the US customs are a bunch of violent idiots but it seems they are all the same. I had lots of shipments from Venezuela and everything was always fine but today I struck me:

 

Drelbs -> Shrinkwrap removed, box violent torn open, top flap gone

Suicide Strike -> Still shrinkwrapped but totally crushed

Divex -> Shrinkwrap removed, outer box completly destroyed with a cutting knife

Dunjonquest -> Shrinkwrap removed, backside box ripped open with a cutting knife

Story Machine -> Shrinkwrap removed, cartridge violently crushed open, board removed...

 

I can throw away the whole shipment. And there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO. The customs are allowed to check everything, even if it destroys your items. It's your fault in the first, you shouldn't have ordered from Venezuela...

 

Many thanks...

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Did you have to go to customs and pick up the items there? Did they give you an explanation? Didn't you ask why the didn't use sniffer dogs?

 

I don't believe that they allowed to destroy the items, imagine you're being sent a Picasso or such and they cut it to bits.

 

I'd still go to the police and press charges, see what happens, after all this is Germany, paranoia rules.

Edited by high voltage

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Did you have to go to customs and pick up the items there? Did they give you an explanation? Didn't you ask why the didn't use sniffer dogs?

 

I'd still go to the police and press charges, see what happens, after all this is Germany, paranoia rules.

 

Nope, was delivered by the Deutsche Post. If it has happened at my local customs office I would have make them listen...

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