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The CRPF "Bad Packing" awards

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

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Thanks.  I have two more bakelite phones on the way, including a Redbar (  I know how fragile those are.


(Again, I added the eBay photo.  So that when the listing disappears we will still see it here)


Sorry about that, Larry.  I know the heartbreak of a crushed phone (as most of us do).  Unless you have another similar Leich that needs parts, I'd ask for a full refund.  Many times, a seller won't even ask for the broken one back, because they know they can't resell it, and shipping it back would be a waste of money.  

Dennis Markham

I think proper packing is even more important now, during the winter.  At least in my neck of the woods it's pretty cold out there.  The box sits in the back of the mail truck for X-amount of time until the postal carrier drops it your porch.  Things are very brittle on a good day.  I always open my boxes and let the phone get to room temperature before I mess with it much.   Dials are slow and the plastic is brittle.

I know in the cargo holds of jets it's probably cold but they're just sitting by that time.  Those boxes take a lot of abuse from point A to point B.

A friend sent me two model 500's this week.  Both in one Large Flat Rate box.  He packed them on their sides.  Both had damage to the front of the phone.  Very thin cracks, but damaged nonetheless.  One from October of 1955 and the other from June of 1952.  Bummer.  


I've luckily never had any damage from transit... knock on wood. My 1232 PBX was damaged, the case had a slight crack, but it works thank God.

This is a forum about rotary phones, no dial-less phone discussion allowed!!1!  ;) ;)


I guess that I need to add a "Do not lay the phone on its side in the box" clause to my packing instructions.  If and when this seller responds to my message, I will ask for a refund and offer to ship back the broken phone for the cost of a flat rate box.  If I end up having to keep it, at least the handset is still in good shape, and it does seem to work, but I did not test the ringer.  The F1 transmitter is dated '47, and the base '48.  It is a real tragedy that a 62 year old phone which was in nearly perfect condition has been broken.


Dennis Markham

You're right Larry.  It made it through life for 62 years and then gets ruined because of carelessness.

Kyle, it's OK to talk about manual (non-dial) phones here.  But touch-tone?  Now you're pushing it! :)

Doug Rose

Larry....nothing is more frustrating than buying a phone and waiting,waiting for it to be delivered. Finally opening the box and finding damage from neglect of the seller. I instruct anyone I buy a phone from, if you don't have bubble, just cram newspaper into the box so it doesn't move. Separate the handset from the cradle of the phone. There is no better box than the Priority Boxes from the Post office. You can stand on them. I have purchased a lot lately from craig's list and people have no idea how to pack. Newspaper, plenty of newpaper. If you shake the box and can feel it move, MORE NEWSPAPER. ...Doug


Quote from: Dennis Markham on January 05, 2010, 07:41:41 PM
But touch-tone?  Now you're pushing it! :)

I think we can make an acception so long as it's a 10 button, or has brass bells, or a G handset/500 based.
I am a lineman for the county and I drive the main roads. Searchin' in the sun for another overload.  I hear you singin' in the wires, I can hear you through the whine, and the Witchita Lineman is still on the line.


The seller has offered to refund my money and pay for return shipping, so I plan to send it back later today.



I just received a green AE80 which I bought a week ago on ebay for $6 plus $11 shipping.  The phone was nothing special, but I like green, and it was fairly cheap.  I asked the seller to pack it carefully so that it would not move around during shipment.  It arrived, wrapped in two sheets of newspaper in a small, flimsy cardboard box which was crushed in spots.  The shell was broken on the bottom in a few places.  I emailed the seller, and he offered to refund my costs.  Here is a picture of part of the damage.  (Warning! graphic content may not be suitable for all viewers!)



Here is a tip I use on all of my purchases, whether Ebay or private.
After the win, or purchase, I contact the seller, and get His/Her guarantee that they will pack according to my specifications. I even offer to pay extra for proper packing....BEFORE I PAY FOR THE ITEM............ I do not pay until they respond.
I had one guy initiate a non pay complaint, which I won, because I showed Ebay he did not respond to my requests.

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson


This has happened to me in the past as well and makes me afraid to spend "big money" on EBAY.  Normally, as soon as I win an auction I send an e-mail asking, no begging the seller to pack carefully and also ensure that the handset is not hung up but rather wrapped separate; I also offer extra cash to ensure a good pack.  Most times they comply but sometimes they just ignore my request.  It[s not bad enough that my money is wasted but the fact that these old phones lived for 50 years in pristine condition only to be destroyed by a cheap or lazy seller breaks my heart.  Case in point, I once bought a 10 button 1554 and "begged" the seller to wrap carefully.  Well it came wrapped in a paper bag and newspaper.  Needless to say it arrived in 1000 pieces  :'( (literally).  I was so angry I took photos and sent them to the seller.  He was like..... I wrapped very well must have been the post office  >:(  NO YOU DID NOT you idiot.  Well at least I have the guts.  That reminds me...anyone have the plastics for a 1554 10 button ?  I'll take it  ;D  

Dennis Markham

Too bad, Larry.  I hate when that happens.  Like it's been said, it is not the money it's the fact that a phone that lived this long had to be damaged because of ignorance. 

I make a comment to the seller like, "forgive me for offering packing tips as I know you're a professional" BUT and then I give my packing tips.  I end it by saying that when the box is shaken, there should be NO movement inside.  If something is moving, then it's not good enough.

I told that to a woman that sent me her phone to be "tuned up".  I gave her specific info and the box (large flat rate) arrived with the phone loosely packed inside and rattling around.  At least she wrapped the handset.  No protection on the body of the (model 500) at all...some newspaper laying on top (not balled up but just laying there) and yet the phone arrived undamaged.  Sometimes people get lucky.


The seller gave me a full refund, and I plan to glue back the pieces that I can after cleaning the shell.  I always include instructions with my payment to pack the phone carefully so that it will not move around and the handset will not come into contact with the base during shipment.  I also explain, that bumping or crushing will likely result in damage.  Most sellers have followed my instructions, a couple of them to the extreme, but some pay little or no attention.  At least this phone was not especially rare or valuable in the first place, so it is not a great loss to mankind.  It is a 1970s vintage AE80.  Had it been an SC 1211 or something like that, I would probably have cried.  I bought it mostly because I really like this color.




Probably with a lot of patience, you can glue it with crazy glue, sand the back panel and polish it to a point where it will be difficult to tell it was broken. I hope you can find all the plastic that broke away.