View Full Version : not a complaint, but a caution & a question...

06-26-2002, 03:16 PM
I received a delivery from the UK today, and I want to mention it, to make sure if any else buys from thie eBay seller, to be sure to ask the right questions and get firm answers before you bid.

This issue was really one of caveat emptor. I should have asked better, more specific questions before buying. I accept responsibility.

Here's the meat & potatoes:
this auction (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1739714585)'s description said the box was "A little worn in places but pretty good."

I'll post a scan of the box. I had to cut the right side off the pic to get the image file within SSG attachment filesize limits, but you can see the worst part.

So, is it just me, or does this meet the seller's - grommit36 - description?

Darth Shifty
06-26-2002, 04:04 PM
Ugh, that box looks a bit more than a "little worn" and the pic on the auction doesn't reflect the actual state of the box. The auction listing was definately misleading, but as you said yourself - caveat emptor. Next time I see an auction that says "a little worn", I'm going to ask the seller for pics of every side of the box. Thanks for posting.

06-26-2002, 04:58 PM

Bummer - I would at least neutral feedback him.

In future, if you want to avoid being ripped off by excessive shipping charges, I would be happy to bid and aquire stuff for you here in the UK (GSJ and myself run the same system).

Also, I know a store about 30 miles from me that has a few Italian AF's - are you collecting them? if so, what do you need.




06-26-2002, 07:04 PM
Well, I would say that it is all relative. To you, a serious collector who wants one of everything in a mint box that box is more than "a little worn in places". To some dude selling "crap" that he bought on clearance somewhere that description is more than accurate because he is not a collector and does not realize how important the description of the item is to potential bidders.

The seller doesn't have any other auctions going so I couldn't tell if they sell a lot of SW stuff. If they do then they are probably aware of the collecability factor but if they don't then they probably don't even know what it is that they were selling. Judging by the auction's title "STAR WARS MICRO MACHINES TIE FIGHTER SET", I would say they don't really know much about the toy. They would have listed it as "Action Fleet" and would have omitted the word "set" from the title had they really known anything. They probably didn't even realize that the toy would be bought for a collection instead of for a kid.

I would say that the seller didn't do anything to mislead you, and that you are right, you should have asked more questions (or assume the worst when a seller says the packaging is damaged to any degree). I've had the exact same thing happen to me before and I realized that it really came down to "I should have asked more questions" or "I should have assumed the worst when there was no photo or condition description".

In the end you are still the owner of a pretty rare AF item and I think that's pretty cool.

06-26-2002, 07:21 PM
re: Darth Shifty's
"Next time I see an auction that says "a little worn", I'm going to ask the seller for pics of every side of the box."
if so, then my post served its purpose! good for you!

re: BC3's
I know a store about 30 miles from me that has a few Italian AF's - are you collecting them? if so, what do you need.
The only AFs I have in the italian boxes are a Rancor & the TIE Interceptor discussed herein. So, realistically I need any except the Rancor. If you do have a source, I'd be interested in any of them but please don't lay out any of your $ for any of them before verifying I have the budget to buy them at the time.

thanks much!

06-27-2002, 01:04 AM

The next time that I am in the town (Blackpool), I will nip in and see what he has (I know he has the T-16 & Mill Falc, but I think that they are about 15 UK).



06-27-2002, 01:10 AM
thanks, BC3! That's about market for a decent boxed falcon. it's a stretch for a T-16, but if the store has them, please let me know. Anything I can ever look for or help you get from here, please let me know.

06-27-2002, 01:29 AM
Crackling toast, Grommit! :eek:

Hmm, I agree that the auction pic looks wayyyy better than the overhead shot you posted. Yet, the auction pic shows some depression on the top of the box . . . it just looks better from that angle.

No, I do not agree the description matches the seller's description. However, the words "good" and "little" are rather vague, so I agree it serves as a caveat for future purchases.

Goodness, what is that smudge on the Italian logo - a thumbprint ? :confused:

06-27-2002, 01:36 AM
The mark on the logo is a sort of stress-crinkling of the cardboard. It takes a very strong light, like the one from my scanner, to make it look like it does in the picture I posted. In normal light, it dosn't look quite so much like that smudge or thumbprint.

06-27-2002, 08:02 AM
Britcit: If the T-16 and Falcon are in non-US packaging I'd love to get one of each too. I have about 5 Italian packaged AFs currently. I know I have the Interceptor, Y-Wing, Rancor, and Slave 1. I think I have one other but I'll have to check. Any others I'd really like to have. LMK.


06-27-2002, 09:47 AM

Will bag what I can the next time that I am in the town.

Will contact you both when I have been.



06-28-2002, 11:25 AM

Managed to get to Blackpool today.....

Unfortunately the AF Falcon & T-16 were both UK/USA packaged.

But he does have the following Italian boxed AF's:

TIE Interceptor
TIE Bomber

All are 14.99 UK.




06-28-2002, 02:03 PM
Britcit: Those 4, the Slave 1, and Rancor are all the Italian packaged ones I have. If you see any others please pick them up.


07-02-2002, 05:00 PM
Is a six or eight percent disappointment rate on eBay purchases all that bad? I dunno. If I bought fifty things on a visit to the grocery store, and had to return 3 or 4 for being uncacceptable, I'd be pretty unhappy.

But the real thing I want to say is that it's easy to give good customer service when the item you paid $10 for sells for $60 - $100. The real test of character is how a seller performs when their auction closes at a price where they take a loss.

I won an auction recently for an avon x-wing for 1 cent, but with an $8 shipping charge. As a seller, I'd be not thrilled, but that eight bucks shipping would have taken a big chunk of the sting out of it.

So, what does this seller do? Sticks the avon box into a paper manilla envelope that has a very thin layer of plastic bubbles laminated to the inside, and mails it for about $2.60. No extra protection, just stuck the box in the envelope. Of course, it arrived crushed. The ship is okay, thanks to the avon box's protective insert, but as a boxed collectible - which is what I bought this one for - it is worthless.

I did verify the box condition with the seller prior to bidding. It was mint before shipping. I am contacting the seller, but I'm sure they're going to say to themsleves, "jeeze, the guy pays a penny, and he's complaining?" and they'll say to me, they'll refund my auction price, less shipping & handling. Wow! Thanks!!

Hey, once again Caveat Emptor. I own responsibility for choosing to buy and I guess also for not verifying, before shipment, exactly how the item would be packed. Although, in over fifty purchases, I have never had a seller ship an item in anything other than a sturdy box. And in this seller's last two feedbacks, the buyers praised the well-packed boxes.

And that is the biggest reason I am convinced the seller intentionally acted in a petty manner by going ultra-cheap on the packing for my item. But why is it the buyer's "fault" that an auction closes for one cent? Why should the buyer be punished so pettily and immaturely for bidding under the terms the seller freely opted to list the item?

Maybe this sounds like "sour grapes." Maybe, to an extent it is, on my part. But mostly, I just wanted to share what happened so others will keep it in mind if bidding under similar circumstances of a too-good-to-be-true bid price with a high S&H fee.

07-03-2002, 12:02 AM
No Swaffy, it doesn't sound "sour grapes." :(
For 8 bucks, that thing should have been packed with eggshell cartons, perfumed, and hand delivered.

Disgusting transaction. :mad:

And one more thing, if they aren't willing to sell it for a penny, they shouldn't start it at a penny without reserve. Assuming that the product will reap several bids is an issue for the seller to deal with . . . :mad:

07-03-2002, 02:28 AM
If it's "$8 shipping", then I think the guy has to account for every penny of your money in the shipping process, but if it was "$8 shipping & handling" then I think you're up the creek since handling is a much less specific term and can be applied to the storage costs of the item or the gas or whatever the seller wants. That's why I try to make sure the seller explains the "s&h" breakdown before I win if it doesn't seem to be on the up & up.

Sorry you got burned Swaffy.

07-03-2002, 05:30 PM
That's a fair distinction JT, shipping vs. handling.

But even if we assume that the seller was charging $8 shipping & handling, what does "handling" mean? I know it includes the seller's time :rolleyes: to ship the item, but I believe that "handling" also extends to the cost (and time) of packing the product. A thinly padded manilla envelope is pretty cheap . . . after shipping they charged Swaffy $5.40 . . . that alone is worth the time to carefully secure the item.

Ultimately, you are right though, you can't be too careful in holding them to their duties before completing the deal. :(

07-03-2002, 06:18 PM
SWAFMAN, you got screwed! There is no way that seller didn't do that on purpose. They went out of their way to make sure they got money out of the auction and ruined your purchase in the process. I said in an earlier post that I thought it was your responsibility to get a clear answer about condition of any eBay item. I don't think that same statement really applies to shipping method. I have completed over 300 transactions on eBay and never had anybody do such a crappy thing. I've received shoddy boxes but never anything like that. Let me guess, they didn't mention the $8 shipping until after you won the auction, right? What a crock. Definite negative feedback for that seller. It just sucks that you ended up with a ruined item and a bad tase in your mouth.

07-04-2002, 03:01 AM
"Handling" means "I can rip you off sucker!", I think ebay has NO recourse to offer you if you get shafted on handling. Technically, I believe handling charges can include storing the item, gas to deliver the item to the post office, time spent dealing with the item, and the item's shipping package. Basically, handling is an X-factor that can really be the cause of many problems. If you suspect foul play on something you want to win, make sure the S&H they quoted includes postal insurance out of THAT cost rather than extra.

When you see "$8 S&H" on an auction you know wouldn't ship for that much, just assume you're getting ripped off right then an there because 99 times out of 100, you almost certainly are. Eight bucks will get you an insured, trackable UPS groundtrac including the cost of any reasonable shipping container. I think it can also get you Fed Ex trackable, insured 3-day (if they even still offer that) which is REALLY good service, so you have to really watch yourself on that.

Haggie, if they didn't mention the shipping charges in the auction itself or put "Buyer to pay ACTUAL shipping charges", then the seller would indeed be liable for overcharging. But IIRC the seller put "$8 Shipping & Handling" on the auction and chose "See auction for details" for the shipping field, so he's already cleared his behind. This is why ebay sucks IMO, the feedback system doesn't really mean anything when bidders are too afraid to give deserved-negatives in fear of receiving a retaliatory negative from the seller. Ebay doesn't give a crap about feedback and rarely boots sellers with lots of feedback for having some negatives.

I really am sorry SWAFFY got burned, there's no question that the seller screwed him with every intention of doing so. The lesson of the story here cost SWAFMAN $8.01, don't let it cost even more by missing the point. :(

07-04-2002, 10:33 AM
perfectly stated, JT.
Sure, on some subconscious level, one motive for my posting about the purchase was probably to get a "Aw, poor baby..." consolation from sympathetic ears, but as I said in the first post, the real motive was exactly as you said - to hopefully prevent this from happening to others.

here's the auction. (http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2114122702)

the shipping details:
"Buyer pays for all shipping costs, which are provided in the Payment Details section below. Will ship to United States only. See item description for shipping charges."

the Payment Details:
"...shipping and handling will be $8 we prefer paypal however if you would pay in another way please contact us at johnheyuan@hotmail.com"

So, it was my bad. And it could have cost me a lot more than $8.01 to learn it.

BTW, here are two recent feedbacks to that seller:
- Fast Shipping; Good Shipping; Item as Stated; Thanks!!!
- Fast, secure delivery. Thank you!

I was mistaken in my previous post in saying their two most recent feedbacks praised the packing. The first feedback shown above is one of the their two most recent feedbacks, but their most recent one only says the shipping was fast, not well packed. But the seller has ZERO neutrals or negatives.

And finally, JT, you're also dead-on about the feedback issue. I've so far posted NOTHING to this seller's feedback, as I'm waiting to hear how they reply to my e-mail. But I'm very troubled that I may very well get tagged with some punitive neutral or negative from this seller for merely questioning their shipping on this transaction.

good shot jansen
07-04-2002, 12:02 PM
....and never having done it before, i used a pack & ship store close to my office. (similar but a different one than mail box's etc.), anyway, they boxed it and wrapped it up beautifully, weighrd it, applied postage, and then said, "that'll be $8.70!:eek: , i was completely taken back by it, as i could clearly see that the actual postage cost was $3.49:confused:

when i asked them why so much? they responded by saying that i was paying for the "handling":rolleyes: , true, they had provided the box, and they did do the wrapping of it, but $3.50 for postage, and over $5 for the handling?

live and learn, from that time on, i packed and wrapped on my own, and only dealt directly with the post office.

i know it's not much of a consolation, but perhaps this seller uses pack and ship joints, and is mearly passing on the actual costs (or maybe they got stung like i was before, and thus only charge what it would have been had they used a pack and ship place)

anyway, as the auction you won was for a true collectable that was priced as little as one could hope for, $8.01 is pretty reasonable for an avon x-wing :)

i myself also learned the hard way with ebay, i will only bid on auctions where the shipping and handling is clearly posted, and if the amount plus what i'm willing to spend is acceptable. in your case swaffy, $0.01 + $8.00 would definately fall under the column as acceptable in my book!

07-05-2002, 10:47 AM
. . .so Action is what i took :evil: email i just sent to that seller:

howdy seller,
got my eye on an auction of yours; but as a precautionary measure i've been in touch w/some of your recent bidders, and they say you don't pack items well, even when charging $8 s&h for an item that costs less than $4 to ship. perhaps you can shed some light on these questions before i place a bid. thanx-
vulcantouch on ebay

07-05-2002, 11:41 AM
well, since mine is the only auction in their last 25 with an $8 shipping charge, they'll know for sure you're refering to my transaction.
I'd be interested to hear their reply, especially since they've not yet replied to me.

They also have yet to post me any feedback, punitive or otherwise....

07-06-2002, 03:40 AM
Swaffy, here's one of his with a shipping of $9 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1746788151

And here's a book with an $8 shipping: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1547063093

A BOOK!!! What the hell book has an $8 mailing charge? He sends it in 2 pounds of packing material? This guy is either a crook or a foolish seller by doing what GSJ suggests in using a Mailboxes Etc place. The more I see of his auctions, the more I think it's a little from column A and a little from column B. His shipping prices are all above $4, but it's super random, $4 for one stack of magazines, $8 in "media rate" for another, $5 for one hardcover novel, $8 for another. Maybe he's an idiot AND he's gouging.

07-06-2002, 10:45 AM
The item you've your eye is S&H is set at $3, and the envelope that it will go in cost me almost $2, and with the postal rates having just gone up, I'm sure that won't be overcharging you. The item you refer to in your email, was a miscalculation in shipping, and the member was refunded in full do to that miscalculation, and kept the item that he'd purchased. We have since adjusted all of our S&H, in order to better service our customers in hopes that such and incident as that will never happen again. If you are the winning bidder on the auction and have any specific requests on shipping requirements, we will meet your needs, as we have many other buyers in the past. We also combine shipping for multiple auctions. We also pride our
selves on expiditious handling of the item upon payment, I've bought things from ebay that I've had to wait over a month for in worry of wether or not I was going to receive the item, where as we send the item out the next buisness day after payment, 90% of our items arrive within 3 days of payment. If you are unsatisfied, with our service please let us know, we will promptly rectify the situation.
Thank you for your concerns

ok swaffy, let us know if things turn out as seller claims :)

07-06-2002, 12:35 PM
I'll have to e-mail them again, as I've yet to hear a word from them. Thanks much for sharing that reply.

07-07-2002, 07:56 PM
HA! So that tells us that either he's a liar or he's screwed over several buyers in the recent past. Good luck to you Swaffy.