Updated: Mar 29, 2020
Of course, it made perfect sense. After all, why wouldn't a supplier of novelty items to truck stops and discount pharmacies want to offer our Christian board game as a possible product offering? True, it did not really fit my vision of how and where to market our game, but if Jesus came today wouldn’t He go to truck stops before mega churches? Wouldn’t He prefer to approach those who choose to shop discount retail rather than national chains?
So when this supplier eagerly reached out to us for a sample product, we shrugged our shoulders, said “why not?” and shipped them a free game. We did check them out. They had been on Shark Tank so of course they were legit. To our credit, we did first ask, “are you sure that a Christian board game would be appropriate for your retail clients?” When they responded in the affirmative, we happily shipped a free sample game to their Florida (Orlando area) location.
While we have had a lot of interest throughout the Bible belt and in the central United States, this is the only game we have ever shipped to anywhere in Florida. We are brand new, and we have a very good handle on where every game has been sent or purchased.
Within a few days after our shipment was received, we received a polite email that our game would not really fit with the typical product offerings of their retailers. We were slightly disappointed, and our first reaction was, “ . . . and this wasn’t obvious before we sent our game?” But we easily let it go and moved on.
And then several weeks later (just a few days ago), as we were finalizing our Amazon campaign, we stumbled across a very interesting Ebay posting for our game. The Ebay post was for a single game at a price more than double what we charge through our website as well as Amazon. The post was from a supplier out of the Orlando metro area, and what was especially interesting was they also have hundreds of other single-item offerings. They have an excellent rating and have been on Ebay since 2004.
Their Ebay post stated that our game was still in its shrink wrap. It had never even been opened! It then dawned on us that at least part of this company’s business model may be to request sample copies of thousands of unique items from all over the U.S., receive them for free, and then immediately place them on Ebay or other sites for resale. Can we prove any of this? No. Can we prove that our game was never seriously considered? No. Is anything here blatantly illegal? No. How do we know that this Orlando metro, Florida Ebay posting is linked to the only game we have ever shipped to anywhere in Florida? We don’t. We can’t prove anything.
My daughter likes to make slime. I have felt lots of slime. And this definitely felt slimy. My reaction was simple: We’ve been slimed!
“If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.”
Luke 6: 29 - 30
Jesus said this two millennia ago during his Sermon on the Mount. We all get scammed at various times. As Christians we have been specifically instructed to “let it go”. This firm may actually be doing us a favor by advertising our game through Ebay. We genuinely hope they sell our game very quickly at their original asking price. We wish them well.