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Epyon396: Looking for advice on eBay seller issue

epyon396epyon396 Member Posts: 268
edited February 2013 in Buying & Selling Topics
I purchased a Black Pearl set for my wife about a week and a half ago.
It arrived last Friday, and the box was mangled. The seller simply wrapped the original box in brown paper, and sent it 1500 miles.
I opened up a case against him, because I feel that this is negligence on his part. He responded saying that he always just uses brown paper, and he's never had an issue before; my problem is with USPS.
I don't feel that this is the case. Do I have ground to stand on here, or am I in the wrong?
Also, he stated the box was sealed, and one of the seals was cut, and then re-taped right beside it. Not a major issue, but still kind of irritating.

edit: The hole in the corner was that size when I received the package. There was a hole that size in the brown paper, too. I didn't alter/expand it.

Comments

  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    Tough call here, and it's hard to say for sure without seeing the listing. My first question would be how the box was described or pictured. I would say that, unless the box was advertised as 'mangled' or 'in poor condition,' it's the seller's responsibility to adequately pack it (even if it is mangled... it should still probably be in a box). But I'd say you have a pretty substantial item not as described case, and to have the seller acknowledge that they just wrapped it in paper will go along way to helping your case.
  • epyon396epyon396 Member Posts: 268
    edited February 2013
    It was listed as mint/sealed with minor shelf wear.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/170984720723?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649
    He didn't say mint in the listing, but he used the term in our discussions.
    The image on the listing is obviously a far cry from what I received.
  • jadedancjadedanc USAMember Posts: 1,303
    I had a similar experience. A seller on eBay had listed a Shuttle Expedition as MISB. It arrived wrapped in brown paper with a big hole on the front of package. I immediately emailed him and asked for my money back. He tried to say that he always mailed items like that and never had an issue. He also tried to say I just had buyer's regret and did the damage myself. I filed a complaint and got my money back. There are always a few bad apples in the bunch.
  • VaioVaio Member Posts: 22
    Are you planning on building it? Is so, why don't you just check to see if the contents are there and not damaged?
    That really sucks and I would flip out if my box arrived like that.
    It anything is damaged, I'm sure you have a case.
  • lulwutlulwut Member Posts: 416
    Item condition description gets thrown out the window when it is shipped with paper bag wrapping.

    Ask for a partial discount if you plan on keeping it, if he doesn't comply, ask for a return. If all else fails, file a dispute.
  • epyon396epyon396 Member Posts: 268
    I went through the contents. Everything seems to be there, and in good shape, expect for the manual and poster. They didn't survive.

    I'm probably just going to pursue a partial refund, because the wife plans on putting it together. The box was one of the main reasons I bid on this auction.
    I'm frustrated, but I understand mistakes happen. I just want a partial refund to cover the cost of the box. Him being stubborn isn't helping his case though. This was part of her birthday present, so Kelly is out for blood XD

    The thing that irritated me the most was when I brought it up to him, he said that I got a retired set for far less than I should have, and I should consider myself lucky. Seriously!?
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,356
    If I'm worried about the box during shipping. I always send a note to the seller that says I will leave negative feedback for poor packing and it works every time.
  • epyon396epyon396 Member Posts: 268
    oldtodd33 said:

    If I'm worried about the box during shipping. I always send a note to the seller that says I will leave negative feedback for poor packing and it works every time.

    I'll probably start doing this, even though it's kind of asinine having to do so.
    I've been selling on the internet since I was 12, and even then I knew to package things properly.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,356
    I don't say it exactly like that. I am polite about it. But obviously some people need that kick in the butt to get motivated enough to do it.
  • epyon396epyon396 Member Posts: 268
    Well obviously I'll be polite :P
    I think the problem is sellers trying to minimize shipping costs to make a little extra profit. Like the seller above charged $15 for shipping, but the tag on the package was only $9. Putting the item in another box means a bigger size, and more weight.
    That extra $6 he got is probably going to cost him a lot more.
  • Hello I am VERY sorry to hear about this. I haven't bought many Lego's on Ebay personally, but one of the last Star Wars sets I bought, the Seller stuck a shipping label on the side of it, and didn't even wrap it. The boxes edges were completely trashed. I hope you get all your money back. I had to keep the damaged Lego set I got from Ebay. If you wife is not going to assemble the set, I would get a full refund, because I feel that set will be a "Disney' collectible one day. There are some good Ebay sellers who do the right thing, then there are others like this who just don't care, and want their money. I think that is classless. But if your wife is going to assemble it still I would get a full refund, minus the shipping cost, and send it back to the, and let them sell it. I don't think it's fair that someone advertises a product one way, and when it ships it become the product of a careless seller who didn't pack it. Sellers should put in these ads: "I will just be sticking a shipping label directly to box, and mailing it with no packaging." But they don't. And then sometimes there is a gray area. Some old lady or older person who doesn't know what the actual item is, could have bought it on sale, then sold it, and not known how to ship it. To older people these are just "toys". That has happened but it's rare. But that would be the only excuse for it.

    I have a "Mint" Lego Black Pearl, I'm trying to part with, if your interested. :) I hope I'm not spamming by saying that. I'm new to "forums" so I'm not up to date on proper forum ettiquette in terms of that stuff. So I apologize Brickset if I'm not supposed offer sets.
  • UKtsumiUKtsumi Member Posts: 622
    Definitely ask for a replacement or a partial refund as it should reach you in "new" condition. The seller is responsible for the item untill it gets to you. Just open a case with ebay "item not as described" and the seller will have to resolve it with you, else ebay will refund you all your money. I've had something like this happen and the seller just ignored the emails. Eventually ebay refunded me all the payment , including the postage. - Its in the sellers interest to work with ebay and refund you an appropriate amount. In future maybe they will state on their listing how they intend to package their items.

    If buying a new item , I always ask in advance of how they will package it.

    good luck .
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    The seller has a responsibility to pack it so it doesn't get damaged. Having said that, you did get a bargain, so I wouldn't complain too much. Are any bits missing?
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259

    Having said that, you did get a bargain, so I wouldn't complain too much. Are any bits missing?

    You need to take that into consideration, if you were to return it for a refund what's it going to cost you to get another one? Is it worth it?
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,874
    Seller's responsibility to deliver exactly as the listing indicates. Even if it's damaged during shipping, getting the package there is the seller's responsibility. He should have insured it. You should pursue a full refund.
  • Gavin83Gavin83 Member Posts: 251
    UKtsumi said:

    Definitely ask for a replacement or a partial refund as it should reach you in "new" condition. The seller is responsible for the item untill it gets to you. Just open a case with ebay "item not as described" and the seller will have to resolve it with you, else ebay will refund you all your money. I've had something like this happen and the seller just ignored the emails. Eventually ebay refunded me all the payment , including the postage. - Its in the sellers interest to work with ebay and refund you an appropriate amount. In future maybe they will state on their listing how they intend to package their items.

    If buying a new item , I always ask in advance of how they will package it.

    good luck .

    Once ebay made the refund did the seller suddenly start replying to your emails?
  • UKtsumiUKtsumi Member Posts: 622
    ^ no didn't respond to any emails, I was happy with a partial refund but ebay refunded fully.

    On another note, I sold a set at christmas (and because it was dirt cheap- 50% off RRP) I sent it in brown paper - the buyer was unhappy as it was supposed to be new! - I refunded him 50%, he was happy with that. -taught me a lesson!

    Just because it was "cheap", doesn't mean he can just bung it in the post and hope for the best. $140 is alot of money, and deserves better packaging , you wouldn't put up with poor packaging from anywhere else!
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    @epyon396 You've gotten good advice on how to best handle this. I've sold a lot on eBay.
    - Contact the seller and see if they will resolve this. Other people are correct, it is the seller's responsibility to get it to you in the same condition as it was in when he shipped it. The 'norm' is for sellers to put LEGOS in a box for shipment. Personally I would assume as much and expect the seller to list in the auction details that the item would just be wrapped in paper, since that is the exception for standard shipment. It's a moot point whether the seller always ships that way. You don't know if they don't tell you, which they didn't do.
    - If the seller isn't willing to work things out eBay/PayPal will, so simply file a claim. It may take a few weeks, but they will most likely send you a 100% refund. (And, may or may not automatically deduct it from the seller. That's up to eBay and no concern of yours.)

    The seller hasn't sold much on eBay so they are probably clueless about the refund process. It is in their best interest to work with you if you are willing to accept a discount, because if it goes to eBay the seller risks having eBay issue a full refund and taking it out of the seller's PayPal account.
    dragonhawkepyon396dougts
  • epyon396epyon396 Member Posts: 268
    I really appreciate all of the responses. I'm relieved to see that I'm not being irrational.
    So my next question is: what would be a fair amount to seek?
  • cardgeniuscardgenius Member Posts: 153
    If your familiar with bricklink, you could see how much a new box shipped would be then ask for that amount to be refunded.
  • emilewskiemilewski CT, USAMember Posts: 475
    I have always shipped on ebay and bricklink sets in sturdy boxes to protect the contents. It never occurred to me that anyone would think to do otherwise! I was actually mildly offended when a buyer reminded me before shipping to ensure that I put it in a box to protect the contents ("well, duh" I thought). Now I am thinking maybe I should specifically state in my listing that it will be well packaged.
    y2josh
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    epyon396 said:

    I really appreciate all of the responses. I'm relieved to see that I'm not being irrational.
    So my next question is: what would be a fair amount to seek?

    In such cases, I usually ask for between 30% and 50% of the item price, depending on why I bought the item.

    Is a BP box worth that much? No, but the seller is clearly not paying attention, no amount of words is going to get their attention, money usually does.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,178
    It is one thing if someone charges only 5 dollars for shipping and someone is amazed that it got shipped so poorly, BUT since this person appears to have charged 15 for shipping like that is inexcusable IMO.
    I look at this this way. The listing said mint, and the item arrived the way it did, also note a picture says a thousand words. The pic in the listing appears to not look like what arrived. eBay should get involved if all the seller is going to do is try to deflect it on you... I say do not let the Seller guilt you for his SNAFU.
    I say let eBay handle it, the guy cannot give you neg feedback anyway.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,178
    emilewski said:

    I have always shipped on ebay and bricklink sets in sturdy boxes to protect the contents. It never occurred to me that anyone would think to do otherwise! I was actually mildly offended when a buyer reminded me before shipping to ensure that I put it in a box to protect the contents ("well, duh" I thought). Now I am thinking maybe I should specifically state in my listing that it will be well packaged.

    I would say to note this.. there are an increasing number of irresponsible sellers that insist on shipping LEGO boxes in brown wrapping paper and you do not want to be lumped in with them.
  • ISDAvengerISDAvenger Member Posts: 201
    I had a similar case as well. I bought a sealed 7666 off a Canadian Bricklink store. The seller, being the wing nut that he was, mailed me the Lego box as is no covering or nothing. I ripped him a new one, and his account was shut down. I was not happy, even more so considering I never received compensation.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    He's got 100% feedback, so your negative would be his first, that's a big deal. I'd ask for $20 if all pieces are intact (since you plan on building it). Asking for anything more than that is imho being greedy and you risk him forcing you to return it, which will be a pain.

    That's easiest, fair, and like others have mentioned, you won't find the set for cheaper.
    mressin
  • emmtwosixemmtwosix Member Posts: 78
    tensor said:

    He's got 100% feedback, so your negative would be his first, that's a big deal. I'd ask for $20 if all pieces are intact (since you plan on building it). Asking for anything more than that is imho being greedy and you risk him forcing you to return it, which will be a pain.

    That's easiest, fair, and like others have mentioned, you won't find the set for cheaper.

    That's always a tough one. I've had a similar thing happen to me on a couple of occasions on eBay. Sets missing pieces, boxes wrapped in brown paper, I even had one set arrive reeking of exhaust, as though it had been closed in a garage with a car running for 2 days.

    I never know what to do, especially when everything else was okay with the set, but it is annoying to have it described one way and arrive in another. I usually just describe the issue and ask for a small refund, then go from there. I've simply come to the conclusion that eBay can be riskier than Bricklink, so if the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks, go for it. If it's not worth it, stick with Bricklink, or buy retail.

    Good luck!
  • dk1007dk1007 Member Posts: 49
    There is always two side of the story, I charge more than normal on shipping, but always ship with external brown box on new and retired set. Yet some buyer email me to say, shipping rip off, highway robbery etc.. You can't satisfy every customer. Just have to be precise on the box description. If you win something cheap, expect something is wrong. Or just do buy it now instead.
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    I would ask for a partial refund like others have mentioned. I would decide what I would be comfortable with, and ask for that (or maybe a little more if I thought he might negotiate it down). I bought an inexpensive set on Brickset a while back, and it arrived in a very similar condition to yours. I asked for the shipping to be refunded, and the seller did it. I was satisfied with that. In your case, I might ask for a bit more, since the shipping was not that much relative to the item price.

    Clearly, the item did not arrive to you in a condition commensurate with the picture in the listing or the description of the item. The reason it did not arrive in such a condition is because of negligence on the part of the seller. If s/he rebuffs your request for a partial refund, I would initiate an ebay claim to obtain a refund. Of course, you'll probably have to send the item back to the seller, and I'm sure he'll pass it off to the next unsuspecting buyer.

    I also noticed a few people here commenting that sellers over charge for shipping to make extra money. It should be noted that you don't make much, if anything, extra by doing that, since ebay takes a cut of the shipping fee too.
  • ColoradoBricksColoradoBricks Denver, CO, USAMember Posts: 1,640
    A bit before Christmas, I sold a boxed set and ship it with the appropriate protection, unfortunately the box was left in the rain at some point in the transit, it ruined the LEGO box, instructions and stickers. The buyer bought it as a present to put under the tree so a partial refund would not do. With the buyer agreement, I bought a set of instructions, a box and a sticker sheet on BL, have them mailed directly to the buyer.
    You may want to ask your seller to do the same, that is the minimum in my book... However, I was insured for my shipment, and got a $37 settlement (covering all my expenses).

    @dk1007 To avoid those issues, on the packing slip, I always detail my shipping costs, such as:
    USPS Postage: $11.13, Insurance $2.1, Box $1.90, other shipping materials: $0.40. While they see $11.13 on the label, they still give 4-5* for the shipping cost (I include the paypal and eBay fees from shipping into the item price itself as it is harder for people to grasp...)
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,112
    ^ i use calculated shipping with no add-on charges. I always feel like ebay should give you automatic 5-star for that, or at least not count others ratings at all. Sure, I get a slight discount on that for commercial shipping rates, but that discount is more than eaten up by packaging costs, insurance, and ebay fees on shipping cost.

    How can a buyer give me a poor rating for shipping cost when A) I am charging them the actual calculated cost - not something I made up, and B) They can plainly see the cost BEFORE they buy.
  • Thanos75Thanos75 Member Posts: 1,117
    Watch out for another scam....I sold a set that the box was in good shape other then a little spot where a price sticker was. When the buyer got it he filed a claim saying the box was damaged really bad. I told him to send it back and I would refund him. The box for the set he returned was opened and damaged ....but upon closer inspection there was no damage from where I pulled off the sticker. He sent me a different set back with a messed up box and kept the good one. I have also had to deal with that scam a lot when selling comics.
  • epyon396epyon396 Member Posts: 268
    I haven't heard any response in a about a day and a half, after about six messages back and forth.
    It looks like this will be up to eBay.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Thanos75 said:

    Watch out for another scam....I sold a set that the box was in good shape other then a little spot where a price sticker was. When the buyer got it he filed a claim saying the box was damaged really bad. I told him to send it back and I would refund him. The box for the set he returned was opened and damaged ....but upon closer inspection there was no damage from where I pulled off the sticker. He sent me a different set back with a messed up box and kept the good one. I have also had to deal with that scam a lot when selling comics.

    http://www.amazon.com/Sharpie-Type-Invisible-Marking-Marker/dp/B000UH0MZG

    Simple solution, works well for expensive sets... Sign your name, or eBay store name, or something else constant on the UPC of each expensive set.

    Take a picture under a blacklight showing a dozen sets lined up all marked the same, then take a picture of what is returned, showing the lack of such marking, you should win the PayPal case with that evidence if you can show you do it all the time.
    epyon396Thanos75roxiomressinjadeirene
  • If they are new, the things is this, I've only sold a few collectibles on Ebay, I'm not a vendor. Ebay is a sham to me, because for a seller, they get so many fees out of the item, and even shipping it's impossible to sell for a fair price. I'm not going to generate their revenue for them. I don't have gold mines of collectibles, nothing is more angering than collecting something for 25 years for it's value, then you try and sell it off only so some company can get a nice chunk out of it. I'm not a huge Ebay fan as a Seller, or Buyer. Ebay is NOT the savior of the shopping world by any means. I had an ebay, and sold several things, but noone would ever leave feedback, and the biggest prob I had were kids playing on their computers, or so their Parent's claimed. I got a Htf Star Wars set, and when I contacted the Seller about it, they were just like "be glad you got it" type attitude. I don't expect the world of some Sellers, some buyers do. But I consider myself a collector. If I purchase anything, it should be in the same condition I buy it from. Like if I special order a statue from a comic store, the statue arrives to the store broken. Do I have to take it when I have a choice to refuse it, and get what was paid for? Amount of the item is Irrelevant I feel. If someone sells a $2.00 minifigures, or $2,000 Set. The item should be as described, some accidents do happen. But when you purchase something from a store they "pack" the item.
  • But in the defense of Ebay sellers who do the right thing, the few things I did buy I got from very honest sellers, and minus one Set, everyone else were professional, and packed the items, and were in the condition described. I have most older sets, cause I'm old lol! x) jk I collect mostly minifigures now, insanity is selling a minifigure for $45.00 and the set cost $65.00! lol x) Another prob I had, I bought an Alfred from the Batman series, the seller eventually got so much bad feedback they closed their account. The seller on this occasion posted a different pic of the item I bought! They took several weeks late, almost 3, then when it arrived the head on the Alfred had a marker smudge on it, I still have it. Or some kind of misprint, which I seriously doubt it is. I got stuck with that item too! I bought a few beat up Batman sets years ago, some were missing the figures, so I bought the missing ones off Ebay. This is when the Alfred figures were selling for $80 to 100! I got it for $24.00. Ad said: The most perfect figure you will ever see!" before this I bought one figure from this seller, and had no prob. Around the holiday season alot of people put up Ebay accounts to make extra money. They have no intentions on being long time sellers, thats why they are irresponsible. Some people can't handle responsibility, and I've bought from Sellers like that.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    edited February 2013
    My head hurts. O.o
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Bandit said:

    My head hurts. O.o

    Yes, the Enter key was invented for a reason. :)
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,235

    epyon396 said:

    I really appreciate all of the responses. I'm relieved to see that I'm not being irrational.
    So my next question is: what would be a fair amount to seek?

    In such cases, I usually ask for between 30% and 50% of the item price, depending on why I bought the item.

    Is a BP box worth that much? No, but the seller is clearly not paying attention, no amount of words is going to get their attention, money usually does.
    At least you got a box ;)

    y2josh
  • UKtsumiUKtsumi Member Posts: 622
    @epyon396 did you get your refund?
  • epyon396epyon396 Member Posts: 268
    Thanks for checking up :3

    He was being a stubborn ass, so I took it to eBay. In my case I told them that I was just seeking a partial refund to get a new box, so naturally they wanted me to ship it back -_-
    I purchased a replacement box on BL, and sent him a screenshot of the invoice. He covered the cost of the new box, I canceled the case, and we went on our ways.
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