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The CRPF "Bad Packing" awards

Started by Dan, March 01, 2009, 04:54:43 PM

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I sell on Ebay from time to time. Last year I sold a portable Singer sewing machine to a guy in Texas (I'm from Quebec). I Packaged the machine before the auction started and thought it was very well packaged. After the auction ended the buyer sent instructions on how to package it properly. He mentioned that a certain arm and a few other things had to be secured and wrapped securely. I had to unpackage the whole machine and repack it properly. I was glad to do it right and even happier when he received it and said it was the best packaging he had seen. I like it when collectors send info on how to package a certain item.... as they usually know what they are talking about. Sellers who don't follow instructions even when your money is refunded should be let with a big fat NEGATIVE. Jiggerman

Dave F

Quote from: brenthyatt on January 21, 2011, 11:57:38 PM
<snip>....It's a d*mn shame to see a collectible survive the best part of a century, only to be destroyed by careless packing.
This, of course, is the saddest part.  We have all lamented endlessly about this very thing.  The money, while certainly important, is secondary.  The unnecessary loss of a beautiful artifact which had survived for ages is a tragedy.

An update on the Leich Beehive phone:

I sent the seller a message in which I just barely contained my rage and outrage.  I guess the tone of my message got through.  He refunded my money, including the shipping, but did not reply in any other way.  Since he didn't ask for the phone back (probably because I told him that HE would have to pay the return postage), I assume that I am free to do with it what I will.  I recovered all but the tiniest of Bakelite fragments from the box, and I may try some repair later.  This makes 5 or 6 items I have which were ruined by crappy packing.  Maybe I'll line them all up in one place and post a picture -- sort of a Rogue's Gallery of careless incompetence.

Dennis Markham

Dave, that was nice that you got your investment back.  As you said, the money is secondary.

We had a thread going once with photos that collectors posted of their damaged phones.  May be time to start another.

Dave F

Quote from: Dennis Markham on January 22, 2011, 04:02:16 PM
<snip>...We had a thread going once with photos that collectors posted of their damaged phones.  May be time to start another.
If you do, maybe I'll offer Tums and Maalox at a discount in the "Classifieds" category, as you will surely be inviting many queasy stomachs.  (Nothing like trying to turn lemons into lemonade!)


That is such a shame about the Leich phone--I can empathize completely.  I recently received a BEAUTIFUL, blue, early 702B Princess phone--along with three other phones, all in one lot.  It was a good deal so I won it on eBay.  When I received the four phones (all in one box), guess what was used as packing?  Crumbled newspapers and an old bath towel!  I would have laughed, but during the jumble, a crack--not a MAJOR one, but annoying, nonetheless--was noticeable on the back casing of my phone.  All of that could have been avoided if she had packed it properly.  I ended up receiving a $10 refund, and she was very apologetic, but I really do hope that she learns a lesson on packing in general on things that could crack, break, or scratch in transit.

The near-tragedy of all time was the time I won a 10-digit Trimline (very elusive--I have a very knowledgeable friend on all things Western Electric who wasn't even initially aware that they even made this variety of Trimline) for a mere $66!  Not too shabby--however, when it arrived, it was in a box, with only newspaper (bad enough and not much of it) and the handset and base were placed TOGETHER!!!  I couldn't believe it!  Sadly, a hairline crack appeared on the side of the handset opposite the keypad.  Fortunately though, there were no additional cracks or chips.  I ended up getting half of my money back, but I would have rather paid the full price and had the phone in the advertised condition. 

I do like you do now--I always include a ridiculously specific message (which sounds like I'm telling a total moron how to pack a phone) with my order.  It's a shame it only works for some sellers.  Good luck, man.


For the member who first posted this thread, I have found another "beehive" bakelite crank wall phone on eBay.
It's ebay item #170595305522
The auction ends February 1st at about 10:10 pm EST and it's currently at $8.95 w/no bids.
It's in excellent condition.
Just thought I would pass this along on this thread-Thanks

Dave F

Thank you for your message.  Actually, there are (amazingly) three currently on eBay, and I'm paying attention to all of them.



After reading the tales of woe that some of us have experienced this past month due to bad packing and rough shipping, it occurred to me that, in nearly two years since I started buying phones off the internet again, I have been extremely fortunate to not have a sad shipping story to share.  That all changed last Saturday as I opened the box that this light biege Kellogg 554 was packed in.  As has been discussed elsewhere, this model of wallphone is rather delicate at the corners and will not ship well if badly packed.  This item was placed directly on the bottom of the box, handset right next to it, with about six crumpled pages from a newspaper sales circular stuffed around & on top of the phone.  Even the handset didn't survive the trip.  The final insult, of course, was in the very bottom of the box-- three pieces of rodent droppings!


Here's the auction listing and some of the seller's photos showing the effected areas before it was shipped.


Wow! That is a real shame. I was told that sets with both Kellogg & ITT markings were only produced for a year so they are hard to find.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434

"There is no try,
there is only
do or do not"

Dennis Markham

What a shame.  I remember seeing that auction.  That was a great price for that phone too.  Sorry to hear about Murphy catching up to you Stephen.  Let's hope this all the dues you have to pay.  Which is enough.


It was not only a great price, but uncommon enough I considered nominating it for "Find of the Month" before I opened the box.

Harry, the one year time frame for the Kellogg/ITT name is probably a reference to how long they made soft plastics with that badge.  They continued using that name for a few years after that, but the plastics had changed to ABS by then.  I have a Kellogg/ITT wallphone from 1962 that is nearly identical to this one-- badging and all.


Even though it was fairly low priced, it is probably one of a kind, which makes it priceless. Sorry about the bad news Stephen.  :( :( :(


Stephen, I'm sorry to see the damage. You sure did get a good deal on the price, but the seller needs to be informed about the damage. I have a pink ITT-Kellogg 554 like this that was packed similarly and the housing had large chunks out of it by the time it arrived. It was also very faded, so I just used it for parts. I've had other wall phones damaged in shipping too, but I've never seen a handset broken in two like that. It must have gotten an incredible hit to break in two.

ITT-Kelloggs were made for much longer than a year. From about 1957 to 1965, I think, and the plastics did change sometime in the 60s, but I don't know exactly when. They aren't as full of dates as WE phones, and aren't as plentiful, so I haven't seen enough to know for sure. I think they made them in soft plastic longer than WE, and for at least three or four years before making them in ABS. Their handsets are different than WE, with curved edges at the top and bottom.

Stephen, is this 554 soft or hard plastic? Are there any dates on it? I guess if it can't be a showpiece, at least it can help define the history of ITT-Kellogg 554s.