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"The internet will never replace seeing the goods yourself." Topic

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27 Mar 2019 10:54 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions boardCrossposted to Wargaming in General board

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian18 Aug 2018 11:33 a.m. PST

True or false?

fantasque18 Aug 2018 11:38 a.m. PST

What century is this?
It already has

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2018 11:49 a.m. PST

I agree. Already has. Mind you, sometimes I'd like to see the goods first, but I don't think the vendors are interested.

Scott MacPhee18 Aug 2018 11:58 a.m. PST

Yes. It already has.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2018 11:58 a.m. PST

True, but as some mention, to a large degree it has in many cases, with the closing of so many hobby shops.

In absentia, high-quality closeup photos are a must, or I don't buy in most cases.

Legion 418 Aug 2018 12:15 p.m. PST

Yeah … it's certainly on the way to that … if it isn't here already …

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2018 12:22 p.m. PST

If the OP is asking if it is better to see something in person rather than buying sight unseen, I agree.

jeffreyw318 Aug 2018 12:59 p.m. PST

Already has--no FLGS in the area.

Zephyr118 Aug 2018 1:22 p.m. PST

There are still hobby sites that don't have pics of their products. (See TMP archives for loads of threads on that topic…)

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2018 1:23 p.m. PST

I think it already has, though I do prefer to purchase from a shop in person. I can spend less $ at one time without losing out on "free shipping". I can spend what is in my pocket instead of planning as if it were a finance situation. But that is just me.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2018 2:21 p.m. PST

Oh, I always buy in a shop when I can. That means paint, brushes and every so often a FOW vehicle on deep discount.

I always buy from a vendor at a convention rather than on-line, too. At Historicon that meant some stray ACW 10mm, some 1/72 WOTR and a flag sheet.

The gap between what I normally paint and play with and what the dealers normally stock seems to be widening, and I'm back where I began, buying direct from manufacturers. Though I'll grant you on line with credit card or paypal is a vast improvement over mail order with check or IMO.

Personal logo Silurian Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2018 3:20 p.m. PST

Pragmatically it has already in most cases, as many have said.

However I much prefer to look at the stuff in real life. And when I have that blister of shiny metal in my hand I'm much more liable to impulsively buy it!

evilgong18 Aug 2018 4:22 p.m. PST

I'm amazed at how many book sellers expect me to buy on the basis of a picture of the cover and a 200 word general marketing blurb.

Show me some sample pages and a chapter index, at least.

David F Brown

Dynaman878918 Aug 2018 4:22 p.m. PST

It already has except for clothes, you can't tell how something fits from a picture but Amazon lets you return things if not acceptable.

saltflats192918 Aug 2018 4:34 p.m. PST

The only thing you can't get on the internet is a manicure, tatoo or karate lesson, and that's about the only thing left in the average American strip mall these days.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian18 Aug 2018 4:38 p.m. PST

Should be able to download tattoo artwork, then have one of these laser engravers burn the pattern into your skin… evil grin

Cyrus the Great18 Aug 2018 4:58 p.m. PST


Winston Smith18 Aug 2018 6:10 p.m. PST

This goes back to ordering directly from Hinchliffe in the 80s.
No pictures. Just trust.
And today you don't have to skoot all over the place to find a bank that would issue a bank draft in pounds sterling. Sometimes the clerk who knew how to do that had the day off.

If I knew what a "typical" figure looked like, and I could trust the manufacturer, it was a little bit easier.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2018 8:44 p.m. PST

Just send an IRC to get a catalogue and a sample figure!

Texas Jack18 Aug 2018 11:09 p.m. PST

If that were the case I would have in my gameroom two boxes of Airfix Eighth Army and a tube of glue.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP19 Aug 2018 2:37 a.m. PST

Very few places left to see the figures except on the internet nowadays.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Aug 2018 4:31 a.m. PST


You have to consider what "seeing" means when we buy. I use Loctite Indoor Industrial Adhesive to base figures. If I'm out and I think I'm close to low, I might pic some up at a store. If I need more, I will order it online because I know it is "in stock". In neither case am a "seeing" (visually, tactilely, etc.) the item and judging my purchase based on interaction.

Same goes for ordering food for delive3ry or being at a restaurant. Even in a buffet, deli, dessert cart, or kaiten-zushi-ya the visual or even smell is not as important in selection as already knowing what I like. However, walking by a restaurant that smells delicious can make the decision for me if I am walking by while out to eat without a specific plan. Ordering food on the Internet without a plan is the same as getting in the car and playing the "Where do you want to eat?" game.

For occasions where we are not already familiar with the product, physical interaction is essential. And sometimes, even that is not enough.

Lucius19 Aug 2018 5:09 a.m. PST

Lol miniMo on International Reply Coupons. I had not thought of them in decades.

My first 3 miniatures came to me sight unseen, by sending $1 USD to Grenadier. They would in turn send you 3 samples of an entire line, i.e. Fantasy, SciFi, Ancients, or Medievals. Then you were free to order from the picture-less catalog, with confidence!

Glengarry519 Aug 2018 5:27 a.m. PST

I live on the West Coast of Canada. While we do have a good number of the more popular figure lines (mostly plastics or metal boxed figure sets which you can't open before buying anyway) available at a local store we don't get to see full spectrum of what is available (no one stocks Bac Ninh Miniatures for example) and we don't get figure manufacturers displaying at our convention except for Pulp Figures. The only Perry's on sale are plastic and while I could order metals through the store it still means I'm buying without seeing the figures in the "flesh" beforehand, so to speak.

Legion 419 Aug 2018 7:14 a.m. PST

Of course for many of the things I need/want for my modeling I can't get locally. So online is the only place I can get it. In many/most cases

Just bought some paint on eBay in the colors I couldn't get locally …

Vigilant19 Aug 2018 9:21 a.m. PST

Different in the UK where there are fewer shops and more shows with lots of traders. Personally I would much prefer to see the model up close rather than on the net before buying. It would have to have lots of really good photos for me to buy from a trader I was not familiar with.

LeonAdler Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Aug 2018 1:11 a.m. PST

The reason we try to get to as many shows as we can is so people can see things 'in the flesh' as it were despite the hassle and costs involved.

Dashetal20 Aug 2018 5:52 a.m. PST

If I can buy and inspect at a shop or from a vendor at a convention I would prefer the relationship. As long as the pricing is relatively close to internet pricing I buy that way. Internet is my fall back method of buying. I think most people buy from people as they say in sales. If the internet company fails to answer questions or fails to responds in a timely manner I walk.

Tumbleweed Supporting Member of TMP20 Aug 2018 8:23 a.m. PST

So the modern trend is for everyone to buy everything on-line, which could explain why there are so many people wearing badly-fitting clothes.

Heisler20 Aug 2018 8:53 a.m. PST

We buy online, yet we will spend hours looking for pictures and reviews of products. Sometimes I think it would be much easier to just hit store than do the research.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP21 Aug 2018 10:57 a.m. PST

If there were still stores to do that in.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2018 7:30 a.m. PST

False, because I cannot travel to all the countries I purchase items from. But I doubt I will ever purchase a car over the internet. I have to see and drive the car before I buy it.

Sgt Slag27 Aug 2018 9:51 a.m. PST

We've been spoiled with the Internet, and modern manufacturing and shipping! I mail-ordered products in the 1970's, and it was always the same: "Shipping will take 6-8 weeks for delivery." And they meant it! It was almost always a full 8 weeks before product arrived. Often times, I had to secure a bank Money Order, for payment, as personal checks were not accepted… Another long process to accomplish, before I could even post my order form.

I don't miss that. At all. Searching for online reviews is, IMO, part of the fun and excitement of shopping online. The gaming products I want, are rarely available in stores, even when I visit one of the largest, The Source, in Minneapolis! There are so many, and varied products available, no single store could even begin to stock them… The majority of my Internet shopping for gaming products, is from the seller, or a shared seller, such as, which is an online electronic warehouse for purely digital products.

I do NOT want to go back to mail-order, and 6-8 (8!…) week deliveries. No thank you! Cheers!

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