Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Tale of Postal Woes (and then a Holiday Treat)!

A few weeks ago, I sold a card on eBay for a fairly large amount (by my standards).  I shipped the card off to the buyer.  About a week later, the buyer wrote to me and asked for the tracking number because the card never arrived.  

Fair enough I thought, so I dug out the tracking number and sent it to him.  After looking at the information, it was clear the package somehow got lost between Lancaster, PA and Memphis, TN.

About a week after that email, the buyer reported the package was delivered to house.

I thought that was good news - a tale of the Post Office doing something right (after somehow losing the package for a week).  Unfortunately, the buyer only got the envelope...  According to the buyer, the envelope had a huge hole in it and the card I sold was completely absent.

The buyer opened a case up with eBay (which I would have to if I were him).  

Long story short, eBay said it was my fault.  

Obviously, I disagree in the sense that it was clearly the Post Office's fault - all the information is there for all to see.  But, no matter, eBay didn't care and so I was out the card (and the money).

After getting over my initial anger - and realizing that eBay probably isn't responsible for what the Post Office does (though I did think eBay had some sort of seller protection, I guess I was wrong), anyhow, after getting over my initial anger I decided to call the post office to see if I could locate the missing card.

I figured there was no chance, but it was still worth a shot since I was already out the card and the cash.

I called the Lancaster Post Office since that appeared to be where the problem originated.  Unfortunately, after having to wait on hold for five minutes, the lady on the phone told me that there wasn't anything matching a baseball card in their lost and found.  She told me to file a claim online.

I tried.  But, for reasons that are still unknown to me, I had to file via physically mailing my receipt and other information to the postal claims center.

That brings us to now.  Unfortunately, I don't have the next chapter of the saga quite yet.  I'm hopeful (but not optimistic) that I'll be refunded the price of the goods that the post office clearly lost, destroyed, or perhaps stole (one can never be sure).

The whole thing made me mad though - and so I swore that I'd stay off eBay until I got my money back.

True to my word, I haven't been on eBay since (though I did get an automated email from eBay saying that "my buyers give me high star ratings" or some such crap).

Instead, I've been trying to spend more time over at Listia again.

Lista is a strange world - it's much more "yard sale" like than eBay - but that means you can often find stuff for a good price - and sometimes you can get rid of your own stuff for a good price as well!

I ended up making one purchase - an unopened LEGO Collectible Series 11 Minifigure.

Over at my LEGO blog, I did a quick review of the newest minifigure set.  I hadn't seen any of the blind packages in my local Wal*Mart so I had to resort to buying from Listia.  Since I didn't have any of the figures, it didn't matter to me if the buyer "knew" which figure they were sending me or not - you can usually tell what's inside if you fondle the bags enough.  

I fully expected to get one of the common figures but I ended up being surprised when I opened the bag.

It's an uncommon figure!  The Christmas (or Holiday as LEGO calls it) Elf.  I really hoped for the Yeti, Bavarian Girl, or the Welder - but the Elf is a nice figure too.  I like the fact that you get a present (with a printed bow piece) and a teddy bear.  It makes the figure seem a bit more special than it might otherwise.

The present is actually two pieces (the bottom is a standard 2x2 red brick).  There's something wholesome about getting a LEGO package that includes the classic 2x2 brick!  The teddy bear also has a printed bow on it - which makes it feel like a present even more than it might otherwise - another nice touch by LEGO!

The only thing that I don't like about the figure is that his legs are a much lighter green than the rest of his torso.  I also find the ears attached to the hat a bit creepy, but at least I can understand why LEGO had to do that.  There's no excuse for the mismatched green leg and body pieces however.

As you can see, me staying away from eBay hasn't entirely precluded me from getting new stuff for my collection.  I should also have a new Barry Larkin card (also from Lista) heading my way this week.  If only I could find some time to list some more cards on Listia...I'm running low on credits!


The Baseball Card Snob said...

I've pretty much had it with the post office. Lately, every PWE that I send out arrives damaged. I always use a toploader and I've taken to placing cardboard around it. I've received a bunch damaged as well

Wilson said...

I didn't say anything at the time, and maybe I should have, but the Allen and Ginter set you sent me took forever to get here. I was about to email you, hoping you just forgot to send it, when it arrived. I think it was something like 15-20 days after the postmark, so it wasn't you, it was the Post Office. That may or may not mean the delay was with your local office, but I thought you should know now that I see you had an additional issue.

Corky said...

I had a similar situation with a damaged envelope. I bought a UD Fossil card and when I got the padded envelope the back had been ripped across the back and the card was hanging out. Fortunately the card was fine but it would have sucked just getting an envelope. Hopefully the USPS covers your loss,

The Big Kahuna said...

Ahhh yes.....That GOD &^$% USPS. They tried to screw me over here a few weeks ago when I sent a card out to Missouri. 18 days for it to get there from PA. Went on a trip to ohio then to michigan and then down to indiana before it finally arrived in St. Louis. Thankfully the seller saw the same thing I did and was very understanding. In the immortal words of Bill Clinton..."I feel your pain."

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