Selecting and buying a lightsaber can be challenging. Let’s talk about the four biggest lightsaber buying mistakes to avoid.
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1. Ignoring Buyer Protections for Lightsaber Purchases
If a lightsaber order goes as planned, you send a seller your money, the seller sends you your order within an agreed upon time frame, and then you receive the lightsaber safely and in the condition described in the listing. Many lightsaber orders do go as planned. That said, problems happen all the time as well. Knowing about your buyer protections before you need them is a critical precaution for someone considering purchasing a lightsaber.
Each payment method offers its own level of protection. Concealed cash in the mail is high risk because it offers basically no buy protections in the event of a problem. Paypal, on the other hand, offers very strong buyer protections on ‘Goods and Services’ payments. Paypal provides the buyer an opportunity to open a claim in the Resolution Center within 180 days of a Goods and Services payment. Only pay sellers with a ‘Goods and Services’ payment–DO NOT pay a seller via a ‘Friends and Family’ payment. Some sellers may entice buyers with a discount because sellers incur no payment fees from ‘Friends and Family’ payments. ‘Friends and Family’ payments do have ANY buyer protections, however.
Even well-known and established sellers in the lightsaber community have occasionally ended up ‘ghosting’ without returning customer money, so positive seller reputation is not enough of a reason to risk sending a ‘Friends and Family’ payment.
Even if you do send a Goods and Services payment, you need to open a claim if there’s a problem within 180 days of the payment. Some sellers, especially on commissioned projects, may delay the project beyond 180 days. Understand buyer that on the 181st day, your opportunity to open a claim disappears.
Credit cards also have strong buyer protects–check with you credit card company for. If you do pay by cash or check in the mail, understand you really have almost no buyer protection in the event of a problem.
2. Disregarding the Risks of Pre-Ordering a Lightsaber
Many custom saber companies begin accepting pre-orders on a new lightsaber months before the lightsaber is planned to be released. The reason why many individuals and companies offer pre-orders in the first place is they want to use your money and other people’s money in order to fund the lightsaber run. In other words, the lightsaber isn’t finished yet. In some cases, the design may not even be completed yet.
Pre-orders can suffer any of a number of delays. The manufacturers could make a defective batch, a parts shortage could delay assembly, or any of a number of other R&D related problems could pop up at any moment during production. Sometimes the company says they will ship the new lightsaber in April and don’t ship the lightsaber until May due to production delays.
Additionally, since pre-ordered products haven’t been released yet, the product has no reviews. Reviews are often and invaluable research tool to consider before purchasing a lightsaber.
3. Expecting Cheap Lightsaber to Be As Good as High-End Lightsabers
A cheap lightsaber is a cheap lightsaber and a high-end lightsaber is a high-end lightsaber. Each serves a purpose. A cheap lightsaber that costs around a $100 or less could light up, make lightsaber sounds, and use a metal hilt. But the soundboard will be cheap, the hilt design will be plain, the features will be limited and the LED may be dimmer than pricier models. Sometimes people are looking for a simple and inexpensive lightsaber and that’s fine. Just don’t expect a cheap lightsaber to be as good as a high-end $500+ lightsaber. You get what you pay for, to some extent.
4. Assuming Lightsaber Companies Will Ship Orders On Time
Shipping delays could happen with any company, however, many companies within the custom saber community at large ship orders later than originally stated. Shipping delays are especially common in November, December, May (Star Wars Day is on May 4th), and around the time of a new Star Wars movie release.
You can’t put your full an unequivocal trust in the shipping window provided by the seller. Some companies in particular have a bad reputation for shipping slowly, but the shipping speed itself isn’t usually the problem, but rather the accuracy of the shipping estimate. If I pay for something and I know in advance it’s going to take three months for the company to ship my order, then by making a purchase I agree to the three month shipping time frame. If a company says it’s going to ship in two week the order keeps getting delayed, with little to no communication from the seller, then that is unacceptable, especially if the delay is a recurring problem.
Shipping delays happen. I get it. But some companies are notorious for providing grossly inaccurate shipping estimates. As a buyer, assume it’s possible your order will get delayed or you can try asking the seller in advance if the shipping window is accurate.
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What do you think are some of the biggest lightsaber buying mistakes?