Recently I went through something upsetting. Since this is a Toy blog and it is related to my toys collecting, I will share it here to let this out of my chest.
The story begin almost 8 years ago when my toy collecting passion was rekindled and I was collecting gashapon (capsule toys) and some Japanese toys. I knew a young couple who were selling toys at a fleamarket and their services was sincere. Whenever I visited their booth, we would talk for an hour about Toys. I soon learned that they have a toy shop at Chinatown and since then, I order my toys with them.
We had meals together in a few occasion and our relationship was more to a friendship than a customer and shop owner. He kept his word on the pricing and I kept my word for honoring my pre-order. Although my order came late at times, I was always willing to wait as the pricing was good.
As the years goes by, he shared with me more about his toy business and wanted to move his pre-order model by "top-up" system and since I knew him for a long time, I entrusted and supported him by having some of my money credited to his account for my pre-order. I understand being a shop owner, you need to secure the order for stock with some money. The dealing was trust and honor.
Toward the end of last year, my order came later and later. It came a day I called him up regarding my order and I learned he was hospitalized. I have given my understanding and hope he will recover and maybe sort my orders out as soon as he can.
After another two months, I contacted him regarding my order. This time his reply came even later. He return my call stating that he was trying to secure my order which by that time the toys (Transformers Universe from TakaraTomy) were out in the market for more than one month. He said if he could not get it, he will refund my money to me. If it is other toy seller, I would have demand for the payment but as he is a friend to me, I gave him some patient and understanding since he asked for it.
Another month had past and this time he sent an official email that he will refund our money but he need a month to clear the account and contact us. Closed to one month later, he sent an email stating he is filing for bankruptcy and told us to go through legal way to get our money back. I was left hanging. Some of his customer went down to his shop and discover most his shelves was emptied.
I felt cheated and betrayed. If he had indeed consider me as a friend, he would have told me straight and be honest if he is having financial problem. Even at the point that he could not secure my order, he should have informed me. Since he called for the pact of friendship and I know him for such a long time, I had given him a benefit of doubt but in the end I lost my toys, deposit money and my sincere trust.
Although my amount was not much compare to others whom I heard there are cases which were over two thousands dollars in deposit, I still sympathize some of them especially some of them who are students and had their money stuck which were their saving for orders their pre-order. At the time the seller couldn't secure the order, he still continue to send out email to his customers for future pre-order...
I can missed out toys for my collection, My money? maybe. But my trust as a friend whom we knew for closed to 8 years? *ANGRY!
Now no matter what he will say or do, this cannot erase the fact he had let his customers and his friends down. The only thing that we want now is not justice but have our money back which is the only tangible thing. From here on, nothing else matter.
On the other end, they are others in the toy community laughing at those who have been affected and even in forum giving their insensitive comments which is like scattering salts on victim's wounds. That say something about that local toy community.
PS: As my stand on friendship, I had not name the person or the shop name but I just have to let him know how I felt. The only consolation he can do is to do the right thing to repay us the money.