Buying off eBay can be fun and exciting. And with some discipline, it can be a fairly (cough) inexpensive means of acquiring items that you want, especially those that are no longer readily available in stores. Like my Fiesta dishes. And my violet china. And my Christmas village pieces.
But as the saying goes, occasionally, there’s a fly in the ointment. And this past year, I had two ointment incidents – and my guess is they were equally frustrating for the sellers. The first involved my “lucky #7 red bowl.” Well, it wasn’t so lucky. When the USPS driver handed the box to me, it rattled. I told him it shouldn’t rattle. We opened it then and there, to find shards and chips rattling around what was left of the cracked bowl. The seller graciously and promptly refunded my money, but that meant I was – and am – still short the seventh bowl. One of these days, another one in good quality at a good price will come up and I’ll snag it, but sometimes you’re ready for the hunt to be over, and I was at that point.
More recently, the UPS driver left a box at my door that also rattled ominously when I picked it up. It was supposed to be the Granville house from “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Well, apparently UPS’ aim was better than George’s – they not only broke out a window, but busted up the whole place. All the kings horses and men couldn’t put this thing back together again. Like the Fiesta bowl, it’s disappointing for all concerned. In the big scheme of things, it’s a minor tempest in a tiny little teacup, but once again, I’m left without the item that I had really hoped to have and display.
So why am I writing this? To vent, yes. And to caution sellers of one-of-a-kind items to take extra precautions when preparing them for shipment. An extra layer or two of bubble wrap, snugged up nice and tight, can mean the difference between a successful transaction and one that leaves everyone feeling the pain.
I’d lump in the drivers and package sorters into my little list of transgressors, but to be honest, those guys do a tremendous job, day in and day out. I can’t expect them to treat every package like they’re carrying afternoon tea to the Queen.
And I guess I will make it a point from here on out to remind/plead for extra-careful packaging on any future eBay wins. Then cross my fingers that the box doesn’t make a clink when it shouldn’t.