Why you shouldn't try ripping off a publisher

Steven Trustrum Press Release

Last month I was happy to find Hobby Armor Depot because, despite having a questionable-looking website, they offered a variety of 28mm vehicles I needed for Aim for the Head. Lots of variation at great prices, I thought. So, I contacted the site and placed an order for some M1 Abrams tanks, a Bradley, some 2.5 ton trucks, and some humvees. All of this came to a little over $150 after S/H and because I was buying so much, the site owner let me know he’d toss in some free vehicles. Great, I thought!

As always, I used Paypal.

The site owner assured me the models would ship ASAP and that a tracking number would be emailed on May 23rd. The 23rd came and went, but nothing. I emailed HAD five times without getting a single response, so I made a complaint to Paypal. A few days later I upgraded the complaint to a claim for HAD not fulfilling it’s end of the deal. Today, after giving HAD several weeks to respond to the claim, which it did not, Paypal refunded my money.

So, the situation is resolved, right? No, not quite.

After I began to get worried about not getting my stuff, I dug around and found out HAD is a bit underhanded. Not only has my situation happened to other people, but it seems HAD does not make its own sculptures. It uses molds of other people’s models and the like so it can sell its own copies cheaper. That’s simply not cool.

When I bought this stuff I had a bit of a back and forth conversation with the owner, during which I explained that I was a publisher making a wargame and, if he wanted, I was going to be offering advertising options to manufacturers whose stuff I used. One of these was going to be a larger write-up in the section detailing why I use certain supplies and who produces them. Well, clearly he won’t be paying for any advertising after trying to rip me off. That doesn’t mean he won’t be appearing in Aim for the Head, however.

Hobby Armor Depot has earned itself a bit of counter-advertising that will appear in Aim for the Head in the form of a sidebar explaining Misfit Studios’ experiences with them and a suggestion to avoid buying from them, despite how appealing their product may seem as an addition to one’s zombie game.

Pissing off Joe Average Customer who can do little more than post about your misbehavior as a retailer is one thing. Trying to rip off a publisher who can make sure your misdeeds end up on bookshelves is quite another.