I've been an eBayer since 2005 I believe, although at this point I can't really remember. Recently, I began buying old SNES games due to the fact that I had a lot of them when I was a kid. Ebay to me seems like the natural place to buy them, due to their prevalence and ease of access. It turns out I've made (and continue to make) a terrible mistake.
I've recently bought 15 games from various sellers, and run into issues from of them.
First - Bought a copy of Contra III, advertised as "Very Good" condition, the front of the cart was, the back of the cart had scratches and stains on it, and was a different color than the front. The seller stated it was his/her sons, and refunded my cash. I offerred to mail it back, and they said no, so I offerred to at least cover shipping so they wouldn't lose money on it. They told me the total was $4, I paid them $7 I believe, to cover shipping and the listing fees. Left positive feedback.
Second - Got a copy of Judge Dredd, advertised as Very Good condition, long story short it wasn't. Label was trashed, game was scratched and dirty. Exchanged with the seller, and I paid return shipping out of my pocket.
Third - Bought a copy of Super Star Wars for SNES, advertised as "Very Good". The front of the cart was, the back of the cart was a lighter color, and had stains from ink all over it. For the first time in my seven years on eBay, I left my first non-positive feedback (Neutral), because I was tired of having to contact sellers about returns. I thought at this point in time that it would be the last time I would have to do so.
Fourth - I purchased a copy of Wayne Gretzkey's "All star hockey" for SNES, supposedly in VG condition. I was shocked when I opened the package, only to dicover I'd received a very dirty GENESIS copy of the same game. I told the seller I didn't want to have to pay out of pocket to mail it back, and received a reply saying they wanted it back before they'd ship me a replacement, but they effectively ignored the part about me refusing to pay for their mistake. I'm going to give them another day, leave negative feedback, and trash this cart. Probably end up buying one from a local flea market.
Fifth - The lastest one was an copy of Earthworm Jim 2, advertised as "Very Good" condition. I got the cart today, which should be pictured if the attachments worked, and the label was all but trashed. There was a cm-ish long gouge in the front of the cart, as well as scuffs on both the front and the back. I've just contacted the seller about it, so I don't know how this will turn out.
I don't get it. Whenever I've sold items on eBay, I've listed in painstaking detail everything that was wrong with it, and I've never had a problem. Hell, I've never had a problem with non-video game stuff for the most part, but these big retailers hawking used vintage games so far have a failure rate of 1 to 3, which equates to 33%. What makes matters worse is that I contacted eBay about a week ago about various games I'd seen pictures on eBay advertised as "Very Good" condition that clearly weren't, like a copy of Metal Warriors that was entirely missing its label. I kept checking it every day or so to see if it had been removed, and it never was. I'm assuming it just ran out of time and wasn't relisted.
The problem has to be one of a couple things:
1: eBay doesn't have clearly defined condition listings for their vintage games. I think this option is the least likely of the three. I've never had a problem understanding this.
2. eBay can't enforce or police it's own condition rules, which is supported by the fact that the person I talked to on the phone basically said as much.
3. People are mass listing items and not paying attention to what they ship to people.
Maybe I'm making a big deal out of nothing, but I always believed that the customer always comes first. The first two times this happened to me, I chalked it up to human error and let it go. The third time I was annoyed. The fourth time I was mad. The fifth I'm freaking enraged.