Author Topic: Newbie learns hard lesson on FleaBay  (Read 645 times)

Offline bnaOldPhones

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Newbie learns hard lesson on FleaBay
« on: March 15, 2017, 11:07:44 PM »

Hello from the Music City, Nashville, TN !

Having gotten interested in restoring phones, I decided to buy my first two restoration projects on Ebay -- a North Galion and a WECO 302.  It didn't occur to me that someone would advertise something as a "phone" that actually had no internal parts, working or otherwise.  I should have been more cautious, and demanded pictures of the internals of the phone and handset.

Both "phones" arrived and were basically empty.  Oh, the 302 has a possibly-functional dial (an AE 24, go figure), but no handset internals, no coil, no ringer.  The Galion was a manual phone (I knew that already) which had some kind of internal homebrew gadgetry inside that looked like a crystal radio or maybe a homemade intercom system, but no actual Galion parts aside from the hookswitch.  (The handset is intact, though.)

The Galion case is in good condition, and I'm going to have fun with the it, building a (partially Frankenfone) reconstruction from scratch.  The WECO 302 case is in fairly good condition, but I'm not sure it's worth reconstructing.

Caveat emptor -- always insist on pictures of phone internals.  I've learned my lesson!

Offline TelePlay

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Re: Newbie learns hard lesson on FleaBay
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2017, 01:25:15 AM »
Can you post the eBay listing numbers so we can look over the listing and hopefully help you get your money back, if the seller was that dishonest.

You have protection under eBay including "not as described" to get your money back. First step is let us see the listings and then you may be able to get advice on how to approach the seller for a refund and if that does not work, go through eBay (which the seller will not like).
            John . . .

              

Offline bnaOldPhones

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Re: Newbie learns hard lesson on FleaBay
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2017, 07:44:19 AM »
John,

I've already settled with the Galion seller -- he refunded a portion of the price, and the price I paid was not an unreasonable one for a Galion case, base, and handset in good condition.

The WECO 302, for which I paid substantially more, is item 162412565580.  I just reported its stripped condition to the seller last night; I'll see if I can get any traction with him in terms of a refund.

     http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Art-Deco-Rotary-Telephone-Bell-System-Western-Electric-50s-era-/162412565580

I think it may never occur to people who've never used an actual 1940's desk phone how heavy they are.  I knew I was dealing with empty cases as soon as I pulled these out of the package and realized they were light-as-a-feather.

Brad
« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 07:54:54 AM by TelePlay »

Offline TelePlay

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Re: Newbie learns hard lesson on FleaBay
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2017, 08:24:50 AM »
The WECO 302, for which I paid substantially more, is item 162412565580.  I just reported its stripped condition to the seller last night; I'll see if I can get any traction with him in terms of a refund.

     http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Art-Deco-Rotary-Telephone-Bell-System-Western-Electric-50s-era-/162412565580

I think it may never occur to people who've never used an actual 1940's desk phone how heavy they are.  I knew I was dealing with empty cases as soon as I pulled these out of the package and realized they were light-as-a-feather.

It looks like a plastic housing with a non WE dial on it. The plastic 302s are half the weight of a metal housing phone so missing the insides would make it even lighter. Can you post pictures of that the inside looks like? Seller did not provide any pictures that would have lead to knowing that, the description is short and says nothing about the phone's "condition" and not photos of the bottom.

I bought into a similar but not as bad of a situation as you did. I saw this phone on eBay as a BIN and wanted the chrome AE dial for another phone of mine. Turned out to have the wrong handset and cord and the wrong dial. Cost  more for those 3 parts than the phone cost. It was a good price for the dial, it was the rehab of the phone itself that turned into a bit of a money pit. The seller agreed to pay shipping so it cost me a total of $50 (metal housing, 1939 parts, nice chrome AE dial, good condition).

You can read through that topic that included a lot of good help from other members.

     http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=17474.0
« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 08:34:19 AM by TelePlay »
            John . . .

              

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Newbie learns hard lesson on FleaBay
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2017, 02:21:01 PM »
On eBay,what you see is what you get.  If a seller knows phones, they will open it and show pictures.  If not, you get the outside view. Not all sellers are experts on everything they sell. Some are snakes. My guess is this falls under 1.

I sell on eBay and do have a little knowledge. I try to get them to work, but always show a picture of the insides and give the buyer the info they need. Always ask, do not assume  8)

fleabay hmmmmm  such high praise.


Welcome to the Forum....Doug
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Offline LarryInMichigan

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Re: Newbie learns hard lesson on FleaBay
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2017, 04:09:12 PM »
I would send a message to the sellers stating that what I received was not really a phone but some parts.  I have had things like this happen before, and most sellers have offered to take a return or provide a partial refund since I did not get what the listing stated was being offered.  If you make a deal with a dealer to buy a car and instead get a body with no engine or seats, you didn't get a car, so the deal is invalid.

Larry

Offline Babybearjs

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Re: Newbie learns hard lesson on FleaBay
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2017, 05:41:33 PM »
always look at the pictures. know what you are looking for... pay attention to the details... what you got was probably a 250 phone, or something that someone gutted prior to sale... the 250 was like the 302, except it had no guts and connected to a subset with a magneto. Rural lines....        good luck with future sales.... and parts.... always keep and buy parts... they come in handy when restoring other phones...
John

Offline bnaOldPhones

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Re: Newbie learns hard lesson on FleaBay
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2017, 02:14:31 PM »
An update: the seller agreed to refund my money, and let me keep the case.   I'm going to try to "restore" it (rebuild is more like it) and offer it back to her at a discount (it has sentimental value, apparently).  I think she legitimately didn't know that people bought old telephones to rebuild.

I'm not able to post a picture because of the "security check" bug, but the baseplate of this phone is basically just flat steel with nothing connected to it.    Is it a 250?  Shouldn't a 302 have some brackets riveted to the base for the ringer and coil?

Offline andre_janew

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Re: Newbie learns hard lesson on FleaBay
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2017, 03:26:19 PM »
Yes, it could be a 250.  Keep an eye out for 302 bases as they do come up for sale sometimes. 

Offline Doug Rose

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Re: Newbie learns hard lesson on FleaBay
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2017, 03:30:28 PM »
I have  a lot of 302 bases. What is the date on the shell and I'll try to match one close to your date. PM me....Doug
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Offline Payphone installer

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Re: Newbie learns hard lesson on FleaBay
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2017, 06:42:17 PM »
Buy from collectors or ask them before you buy.