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and very rarely ever needs repairs, once you fix them." - Dan/Panther

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The CRPF "Bad Packing" awards

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

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I also agree on giving the seller a chance to make it right. Soertimes breakage happens even with well packed items. My wife and I have been selling on Ebay for a few years now. We have a 100% positive feedback rating and solid 5 stars in our Detailed Seller Ratings. It has taken a lot of time and effort to get there. I have packed and shipped many fragile items, such as Lladro porcelain, crystal and even Dresden lace all over the world. My feedback is full of praise on great packing. I recently shipped a Ron Lee clown figurine that arrived broken. I packed it with bubble wrap and air pillows and I still do not understand how it could have broken. I gave the buyer a complete refund including return shipping. Should this buyer give me neutral feeback and a zero star? That would ruin our perfect ratings. The DSR's and feedback are more than just numbers, they determine how much we pay on Ebay and also how high our items go on searches so they are invaluable to sellers. I asked the buyer if he could not leave positive feedback and 5 stars to not leave any feedback. So far he has complied. I have received broken items also and the sellers were honest and made things right, I left them positive feedback.
Harry Smith
ATCA 4434

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

Doug Rose

Harry.....I totally agree. Being a seller and well as a buyer on eBay; I can view it from both sides. We strive to be honest and fair. Great Packing is always part of the feedback we receive (Janet is the Queen of packing), BUT things still do get broken in shipment. We always offer a full refund plus shipping. Part of doing business and eBay is a business.  

Remember, the seller is just as upset its broken as you are. All the work to find, list, sell, invoice, box, ship is now a total loss and we are out money. Yes, there are sellers that do not take the time to pack properly. The majority are like Harry and his wife and me and my wife, trying run run a small business as a second job. It ain't easy my friends...Doug

Tom B


Doug Rose

Quote from: Tom B on March 27, 2011, 04:24:40 PM
Amen to that, Doug ;) got the sh*t end of the stick on this transaction!  You are always a true gentleman. I hope you get it repaired to look as new. This was very unfortunate for you, but you reacted with class.....Doug

Tom B

Hey Doug - thanks for that. Sh*t happens and the sun still comes up, and things go on.  ;D. I still only have got one broken phone and it won't be broken for ever


OK, I might have been a bit harsher than harsh back there. 

But look at this combination of factors on EBay:  sellers who are feigning IQs below room temperature with beyond-credible bad spelling ("dile"), sellers blatantly disguising flawed goods via "clever" photography disguised as amateurish photography, and then also some truly crappy packaging that doesn't even prevent objects sliding around and rattling audibly in the box.  At some point there needs to be at least a minimum standard for "doing business." 

Ebay isn't a social forum: it's a marketplace first, and occasionally you meet cool people.  Places like this are social forums: Social first and a bit of trading on the sidelines (Erik I haven't forgotten your AE speakerphone). 

Sure, I cut people plenty of slack when they appear to be operating in good faith.  I might have mentioned a blueish-greenish Tesla phone recently: it arrived with damage to the front right corner of the housing.  But it was reasonably well packed, maybe not quite as ferociously well packed as it might have been, but within reason anyway.  I don't have a problem with that kind of accident, and I'm not going to hold that against the seller.  In fact I did business with them again. 

On the other hand, a few wads of crumpled-up newspaper in a weak cardboard box, that's a different matter.   The limit is smashed goods due to truly beyond belief negligently bad packing.  Negligence is not excusable any more than when someone causes a fender bender: there is a standard for safe driving, and it's enforced by insurance rates as much as by the police.  There needs to be an enforced standard for safe business practices in vast many-to-many markets. 

FYI, the way I run my moral/ethical system in general, goes like this:  There's "good," there's a large gray zone, and there's "bad," and then there's "truly evil."  The gray zone goes sufficiently over the line from "good," that there's wide latitude to forgive, right up to the point where something is truly egregious.  If something is questionable, or excusable, or there's a plausible explanation, or someone made a reasonable effort, I'm more likely to urge forgiveness.  But when something is way way over the line, past any reasonable question, excuse, explanation, or reasonableness, then I tend to favor the harsh treatment as a deterrent to others.   (And when something is in the "truly evil" category, such as remorseless murder for hire, organized child abuse, or wrecking the economy for speculative gain, then as far as I'm concerned that's where life in prison without parole comes in: lock them up and throw away the key.)

So as that applies to online selling, if something is in the broad gray zone of reasonable or excusable, it gets excused.  If it's way over the line to the point of willful negligence, it deserves a penalty.

Doug Rose


GG......Do you sell on eBay?....Kidphone


Just received a GPO 713, came in a slender box with a layer of foam padding sandwiched over it, naturally the seller left the handset on the hook, and there was a 1.5cm x 1cm chunk chipped out, I searched the box but it wasn't there, then got angry the seller hadn't told me it was damaged.

Of it wasn't damaged when he "packed" it, and the bit is inside the case, thankfully in one piece, and has a perfect match to the hole, so superglue ahoy, its such a tidy fit you can't see the join much.

Still pissed he packed it in a way that almost guarantees damage.

I shall have to email him when my blood pressure is lower...

"now this should take five minutes, where's me screwdriver went now..?"


Superglue repairs can be made effectively invisible after a repair like that, by this method:   Trace around the edge of the replaced chunk with a line of superglue so it's just a little bit high around the break line, let it harden overnight.  Then use a fine file (not sandpaper) to file down the line so it's flush with the original plastic.  Then buff to high gloss.  The normal reflections of light off the buffed housing will render the repaired crack difficult to impossible to see. 

I recently received a Philips type 43 Monophone (Canadian AE) with GPO slipping-cam dial, that was packed so loosely it slid around in the box.  Fortunately no damage.  Gave the seller high marks all'round but noted in comment that packing needed to be better.  IMHO that's a legit way to deal with feedback in those cases.

Just received a GPO 776 off-white, double-boxed and packed so well that it would have survived a drop out of an airplane.  I'll be giving that seller major praise in comments for doing it right. 

The thing about bad packing that's so maddening is that it's a "stupid" mistake, one that can be remedied by just *thinking* and putting a *little more effort* into it.  Damage caused by stupidity is more frustrating than damage caused by "natural causes" such as "got run over by the Parcels truck." 


GG, Do you have pictures showing your Superglue technique?
Doug Pav


While we're on this painful subject, here's an ebay seller that practices indadquate packing and is proud of it!

The description of the lot of three 500Cs concludes with:

"P.S.these are real phones so IE the freight 14lbs(they do fit in large flat rate box no packing) but you cant break these babys in shipping anyway!!!!!!"

No one bought the phones -- this time.
Visit:         WE  500  Design_Line



Doug: I don't have pictures of in-process repairs yet, but once I get my workbench cleaned off enough (this weekend) that I can take pictures without being embarrassed by the pile, I'll start doing so.   I have a bunch of these to take pictures of.  More to be said about that in a dedicated topic I'll start for that purpose, rather than digressing this topic further.


Here's my latest experience with bad packing.  I bought what appeared to be a great Century Telephone Construction Co. wood wall phone that I was going to restore.  No apparent damage when I purchased it - of course I asked the seller to package properly, etc....  Arrived in a cheap, flimsy cardboard box, which wasn't too bad.  he pushed the transmitter arm all the way up so it rested on the front wood panel between the bells, no padding.  He removed the screw holding the generator in place, and left it unpadded in it's compartment.  All the other loose parts, receiver, mouthpiece, bolts, etc.  he placed in the top compartment, unpadded.  The front door now has a 1/8" deep gouge about 3" long under the bells, the inside of the door has deep gouging from the generator bouncing around, the inside of the generator compartment is damaged, with one wire pulled out.  The coil that was in the top compartment was knocked completely off its mount, removing all 4 wires, plus more scratching.  I was heartbroken when I saw the damage.  What do you do in a case like this.  Not worth the postage to send it back.  A wonderful turn of the century phone that survived over a 100 years, now damaged.  



You have my sympathies.  It never ceases to amaze me how stupidly some people pack items, and this case is one of the worst.  If this was an ebay purchase, I would send a message to the seller explaining (politely) that the packing instructions were not properly followed, describing the resultant damage, and asking for a partial refund.  If the seller has any sense, he/she will realize that it would be in their best interest to refund some of most of your money.  If they refuse, you can hint about bringing the issue to ebay for resolution.  I did this when my smashed GPO 300 arrived, and I got back most of my money.



Not able to work anything out with the seller.  I thought EBay only offered full refunds if you ship the item back - how did you negotiate a partial refund?  He brags in his ad about being a member of ATCA & TCI.  You would think that anyone who has been around these old phones would know how to pack one for shipping.