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Opinions: How to Handle a Beat-Up Box Received from Bricklink Seller?

nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
edited May 2012 in Buying & Selling Topics
I ordered the pictured 5984 set from a Bricklink seller. Clarified before buying that it was MISB. Set arrived wrapped in paper and looked as if a toddler had stomped on it for an hour. It was only $40 including shipping (MSRP $40), so it's not really worth the time/energy to send back. However, I still feel a little slighted given I didn't really get what I paid for. It's especially annoying, because I go out of my way to pack sets nicely when selling, regardless of the price.

Any suggestions/comments?
Lego.jpg 184.4K

Comments

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,924
    I'd be complaining. A MISB should be MISB when it arrives.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,689
    One of the reasons people pay the undoubted Bricklink premium over the likes of eBay etc. is because the sellers are supposed to be fellow enthusiasts with an appreciation of the needs of AFOLs.

    I'd complain, send the seller the photos, get a refund and return it at the seller's expense.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    did you ask if it was "MISB", or did you actually discuss more specifically what each of you meant by that term?

    Regardless, clearly this is an unacceptable level of packaging, which likely resulted in most or all of the box damage. I'd ask for a refund in line with what a complete used version of the same set goes for.
  • BoiseStateBoiseState Member Posts: 804
    Seems like a shipping issue. Shipping is so expensive when you add in the cost of boxes/tape/wrapping, probably tried to save a few bucks.
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,918
    Ahhh... I hate it when people ship LEGO in flimsy paper.
  • The_Brick_BuilderThe_Brick_Builder Member Posts: 658
    I would contact the seller. One time, I bought a 4956 Creator house off of eBay. The seller claimed mint, and shipped it in brown paper. I contacted him and said I would like a 10% refund. He did end up giving me it.
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,270
    Yeah I'm not sure how people consider shipping LEGO that way as valid. Boxes are free in so many places if you just ask. If you go back to the Store pickup area of any Walmart I'm sure you can get a few boxes easily. Everytime I've picked up something that I've ordered for in store pickup I've been able to get an extra box or 2 from stuff they've had laying out back there.
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719

    Thanks for all the replies. I ended up asking for a refund of the shipping price of $7. We'll see what he does. My guess is nothing, considering he had the lack of consideration to send something like that in the first place. Oh well. Live and learn. I think it'll be all new sets for me from now on anyway.

    To answer your question dougts, no, I simply asked if it was "MISB". He replied and also used the term MISB, indicating he was familiar with the term.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    I'd be disgusted if I were you. That level of packaging for LEGO is beyond unacceptable, and I wouldn't hesitate to leave bad feedback. It's your job to warn other potential buyers that this seller ships with a complete lack of care for their purchases.
  • thorniethornie Member Posts: 245
    edited May 2012
    I would be annoyed and would contact the seller and give them an opportunity to make it right. Wether it be a partial refund, or replacement. If the seller refuses, I would leave negative feedback and hope that the seller learns their lesson and packs more carefully to others in the future.

    I've spent about $150/month this past year on Bricklink and here is my buying criteria...

    - I never buy from anyone with negative feedback within the last year.
    - I never buy from anyone who has less than 100 feedbacks.
    - I never buy from anyone that doesn't take the time to clearly list their store info on their splash page. This includes details on shipping rates, invoicing, and packaging.

    Following these three rules, I have yet to have any problems *knock on wood*. I have bought sets like the one pictured above, but it was clearly stated in the item description that the box was crushed.

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Give the seller a chance to make it right, everyone has a bad day, mistakes happen, you don't know what is going on on the other side.

    I recently purchased several sets on bricklink, advertised as MISB, they arrived similar to your pictures, I contacted the seller, he bent over backward to apologize. He ended up offering a 75% refund on the damaged sets and I could keep them. He promised to ship much better in the future.

    So what did I do? Placed another order with him. That is proper service.

    If the seller tells you to piss off, that is another matter, but I find most are reasonable.
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,101
    Negative feedback can be a death sentence for a seller. If they don't make it right with you then post honest and constructive feedback.
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,270
    edited May 2012
    You should always give the seller a chance to work it out but honestly someone who sells LEGO should know better than to just wrap the box like that. LFT's seller did it right and deserves continued business if he's corrected his shipping problems. If the negative feedback is the honest feedback then it being a death sentence for a seller is justified.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,735
    You could also try a PayPal 'Not as described' claim (ie: it isn't MISB), assuming you get no joy from the seller and you paid with paypal.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    You could also try a PayPal 'Not as described' claim (ie: it isn't MISB), assuming you get no joy from the seller and you paid with paypal.
    The only issue with that is that PayPal will make you return the set, at your expense. Sometimes, that isn't worth the cost or trouble.

    I had a deal out of Germany for a 7734 Cargo plane, arrived all smashed up, one corner looked like it was stepped on. Contacted seller, who told me to get lost. Filed with PayPal, who of course sided with me, however the cost to mail it back to Germany, more than it would be worth doing.

    I'm much more selective about overseas deals now because of that.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    edited May 2012
    I understand the sentiment to "make it right" - and the seller just may yet do that for nkx1. I still feel strongly that it's your job to be an ambassador for other potential buyers and let everyone know what happened in this sale. In my mind, "bad seller" is clearly the label this person deserves. It was not due to a bad day. They don't take care when shipping. They are either thoughtless, or trying to reduce their own out-of-pocket costs at your expense. The exception here would be if the seller and the buyer both agreed that the LEGO box was of no importance in this transaction and keeping shipping costs down was the priority.

    I convey these opinions as someone who does an equal share of both buying and selling. When selling, I like to think that I go the extra mile each and every time by shipping properly with bubble wrap and within a sturdy box. Because it's how I would want to receive any item that I purchase through the mail.

    If I were in the buyer's shoes, the only thing that would prevent me from leaving poor feedback would be if both:

    1) the seller compensated me in some way (refund + return postage costs, or partial refund, etc.)

    and

    2) the seller agreed to not ship a boxed LEGO set in that manner again

  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,270
    I'd be interested in knowing the user/store so I can add a note for their store in case I end up there on a future purchase.
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    Thanks all for the additional responses. I'll note the seller's account name after I am able to resolve the issue.

    The weird thing is, the guy has 800+ positive feedbacks and only 12 neutral and 3 complaints. I thought I would be pretty safe. Ah well.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    I still feel strongly that it's your job to be an ambassador for other potential buyers and let everyone know what happened in this sale. In my mind, "bad seller" is clearly the label this person deserves. It was not due to a bad day. They don't take care when shipping. They are either thoughtless, or trying to reduce their own out-of-pocket costs at your expense.
    Lets think of a reason...

    The seller is in the hospital, car accident lets say... Asks his/her spouse to "take care of my orders please", so the spouse who isn't a AFOL goes home and does his/her best to box up the orders and ship them out. Not knowing any better, the spouse sends the package in the condition shown.

    Fast forward a week later, seller is better and at home, gets an e-mail from the buyer saying, "what the heck!!!"

    He can explain his situation and make it right.

    That is not a bad seller, it is just a bad situation. I buy and sell, sometimes things happen, you will never, ever have perfection 100% of the time, it is how you handle yourself after the fact that matters.

    My 2 cents worth anyway...
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    With 100% honesty, as I lie in my hospital bed I would take the five extra seconds needed to instruct to my spouse, "...and pack it well please in one of those boxes and bubble wrap you see laying around my office." I would be genuinely paranoid to let her pack/ship my LEGO.

    That's an extreme circumstance, LFT. But point taken.
  • mountebankmountebank Member Posts: 1,237
    edited May 2012
    The main thing to understand about these examples is that although you're able to divorce your wife, you'll never get back your 100% positive feedback.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,735
    ^ :o)
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    ^

    And thus, ladies and gentlemen... the Truthboat has sailed.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    The main thing to understand about these examples is that although you're able to divorce your wife, you'll never get back your 100% positive feedback.
    Darn it, now you owe me a new keyboard!!! Mine now has coffee all over it!!! :)

    Oh lord, I've got to tell my wife that one, she'll have a good *eye roll*. :)
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    That's an extreme circumstance, LFT. But point taken.
    Quite right, that is very extreme, all I was trying to say is that I think every seller deserves a chance.

    In my real life business, outside of Lego, I sell and support computers, networks, and printers. I had a customer that we shipped a $60 order to, however the parts didn't work when they arrived. I sent a replacement order overnight to her, that didn't work either. Turns out her entire system was having problems, she sent me a rather long e-mail about how she took to to a local shop to be looked at, turns out it needs more work.

    That is not our fault, but we refunded her money anyway and paid return shipping for the parts.

    We now have a customer for life, for very little cost.

    Of course, doing this for a living, I can absorb that, it happens and you move on. Wish more sellers had that attitude.
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    LFT - your views on this are appreciated. I recently had a tough time and a couple of bricklink orders and a few custom minifig orders came in before I had chance to shut down my store (it wasn't high on my priorities list). Thankfully everyone was happy to wait till I was able to get back on track, even though it took me a few days to even get as far as emailing them. In different circumstances I could imagine asking my husband to send things out for me and him cocking it up. so yeah, this stuff happens. it's probably not even that unusual. real life sucks and gets in the way sometimes.
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    edited May 2012
    Update: The seller refunded me for the paltry $7 I asked for. He did not bother responding to my e-mail; he only refunded the money. I would probably not buy from this person again.

    I was going to post the Bricklink store name here, but I just don't feel comfortable doing that. Feel free to message me and I'll provide the store name.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    What a shame, a simple email from the seller saying, "I'm very sorry, I will refund your $7 you asked for, I will do a better job shipping in the future, please give me another chance to do it right next time."

    I bet if he had done that, you would consider buying from him again. I would anyway... :)
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    ^Possibly, but I think I was so put off by the bad shipping that I would probably not take the risk of buying from him again either way (unless he had a really really good excuse). The pics I took make the box look better than it is- it's a lot worse than that in person. I have a feeling the box was pretty beat up before he even shipped it.
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