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"E-bay purchase - poorly packed" Topic

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Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2020 6:14 p.m. PST

Today I received an E-bay purchase of some old figures. The price was good and there are over 30 figures in the small flat rate box.

Now, when I make a sale each figures is individually wrapped in tissue, the bottom and top of the box has bubble wrap, and any empty space is packed with filler. If you shake the box nothing moves.

I haven't opened the box yet, but, when I took the box out of the mailbox I could hear the figurers rattling around. The seller has a rating 99.2% (5 neural and 2 negative out of 187 reviews) and has been an E-bay member since 2012. He should know how to safely ship figures.

If my fears are proven true, what would you do?

I'll update on the condition after the box is opened tomorrow.

Brian Smaller20 Nov 2020 6:25 p.m. PST

Given it is a private sale there is not much you can do. Does ebay still allow feedback? I have not used them for about fifteen years after getting ripped off twice in a row.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2020 6:53 p.m. PST


You are the buyer and you will always get your money back if you are dissatisfied. You can start by message the seller. If no response start a dispute with e-bay. If he take no action within a week start a dispute with Paypal.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2020 7:16 p.m. PST

In the time it took to make the OP the box could have been opened and the figures examined.

You might still have posted – or you may have found the figures were fine.

(I'd have opened the box by now)

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2020 8:28 p.m. PST

I would love to have opened the box when it arrived, however, household protocol is that all mail is stored in the garage the day it arrives. I will be opening in the morning.

Gray Bear20 Nov 2020 10:39 p.m. PST

Why not quarantine the mail a full 14 days (including the time from when they were shipped) just to be totally safe?

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2020 1:07 a.m. PST

Although Coronavirus can survive for several days on paper, card etc, if you wash your hands with soap and water for 20 secs or so after touching it, and avoid touching your face till that is done, you should be fine.

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2020 6:59 a.m. PST

The box is open. Packing consisted of a all figures in one plastic bag and one very small piece of bubble wrap in the front of the box.

Conditions are as expected. Every single bow and polearm is bent out of shape. Three figures broken off at the base and several others are bent and weaken.

As i said above, it was a good price. I plan to keep the figures and make repairs.

I plan to contact the seller and see what his reaction is.

Still on the fence about leaving negative feedback on EBay.

TBeyer Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2020 7:22 a.m. PST

Just a couple thoughts since I buy and sell quite a few metal figures, both here and on ebay:
1. Ask the seller before you bid how the figures would be packed, or remind them after you win how you would like them packed. Especially on a large number of figures, some sellers are not going to individually wrap them, it just isn't worth their time and may require a larger box. But they may at least put them in a bag (so loose weapons, etc. don't get lost) and wrap the bag in bubble wrap, but at least fill the box with packing peanuts, etc. so they don't fly around.

2. Keep in mind that the seller may not be a collector or expert with small metal figures they may be a relative selling them for someone who passed away, or a friend who another collector donated them too, they may have no idea what the proper procedure for packing them is.

3. A lot of manufacturers (Old Glory comes to mind) sell their figures loose in plastic bags, years ago when I ordered figures from Citadel in the UK they arrived all thrown into a plastic bag, I still have some of the original plastic bags labeled 'C10 Half Orcs' or something, with 20-30 figures tossed into the bag. When I sell those I don't open the bag and wrap them individually, I figure if it is good enough for the original manufacturer that is good enough for me.

4. A couple packing ideas especially for assembled plastic figures (like GW, Fireforge, etc.) I have used egg cartons, I put 1 figure per compartment and then fill it up with packing peanuts, that has worked pretty well and I have even gotten positive comments from the buyer. Otherwise for a lot of metal figures, I lay out a small sheet of bubble wrap, lay 5-6 figures in a row, and roll them up in it. Repeat many times. That also seems to work well.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2020 7:53 a.m. PST

I would love to have opened the box when it arrived, however, household protocol is that all mail is stored in the garage the day it arrives. I will be opening in the morning.

No – that's fair enough. There's no need to take unnecessary risks, and as you said they are old figures so there's hardly a rush. grin

Apologies if I seemed snarky!

Sorry to hear that the figures were damaged. frown

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2020 9:56 a.m. PST

20thmaine, no problem. I might have said the same thing myself.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2020 11:00 a.m. PST

Would you care to share a link of the item purchased? I'd like to see what they looked like in the actual auction picture and compare that to the state you said they arrived in.

Otherwise Mr. Beyer has very eloquently covered the entire topic. Remember getting your Minifigs order where 10-12 figures with spears were crammed into that tiny box?

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2020 11:32 a.m. PST

I'm less likely to share the link since I'm not sure if I want to name the seller publicly at this point.

I have sent off a message to him expressing my discontent at his packaging and my intent to keep the figures after putting in 3 hours work to bring most of them to a usable state.

Waiting for a response before going forward.

Personal logo Endless Grubs Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2020 3:15 p.m. PST

Similar experience with some very well-painted 28mm plastic Citadel Warhammer goblin wolf-riders from a large re-seller in UK. They were a xmas gift for my son. All 10 or 12 were tossed in a thin plastic sandwich baggy and squeezed into a box. Tails and bows/spears snapped off, paint scraped or chipped off, riders unhorsed, etc. NOTHING easily fixable. Surveying the damage, I figured my time could be better spent prepping and painting a box of new replacement wolf-riders than fixing this mess. I was in complete utter disbelief and left extremely unkind feedback--and was then banned by seller.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2020 5:03 p.m. PST

I do a fair amount of selling painted figures. I make it a point of telling buyers how the figures will be packed. I've been using puffed rice cereal for many years now, since learning of its use from George Johnson, Mr. GAJO. Since I started using it, I've never had an issue with figure damage.
I think it is wise and logical business practice to be up front.

Syrinx021 Nov 2020 7:15 p.m. PST

I would leave negative feedback. It is silly to not wrap up painted figures in at least tp or bubble wrap.

Marcus Brutus21 Nov 2020 7:59 p.m. PST

Before leaving negative feedback I'd give him a chance to make it right. The principle of packing is very simple; make it so that whatever is being shipping cannot move within the box. I had to learn that the hard way once or twice and I have never made that mistake again.

AuttieCat Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2020 8:13 a.m. PST

My $.02 USD,
Not long ago, I won an eBay painted figure auction. When the figures arrived (over 150 of them), the seller mailed them in a very sturdy box. However, he packed them in groupings of about thirty-each. Each 'batch' was just put painted metal to painted metal on top of each other.
Prior to bidding, I inquired as to the number of broken/damaged figures. I was informed that there were maybe one or two. In the first group of thirty-ish, there was at least six without bayonets. Many others were so badly bent, that if they did not break with straightening, they would needed to have been 'touched up'.
I did not bother to look at the rest of them. I shot a eBay P.M. to the seller and stated that I was not happy with them and stated that I would not be 'stuck' with them. I then shot another p.m. to eBay explaining the situation. Regardless as to what the seller intended to do, eBay sided with me an a total refund. I received my refund promptly. It is too bad that the seller did not pack them properly--since if he had, I would have kept them.

So, you might want to contact eBay and explain your situation. No need for you to suffer for the incompetence or laziness of others.

Some sellers just need to learn (the hard way), that proper packaging is 'expected' as part of the sale! Because of this, I have decided to never buy painted figures by mail again. Had eBay decided against me, and/or the seller not refunded me my $$$$, I would have been stuck with something that was not in the condition that I was expecting.

p.s. Like you, mail sets unopened in our garage until the next day.
Tom Semian
Irvine, PA. 16329

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2020 8:15 p.m. PST

eBay almost never sides against a buyer. So I'm not surprised you got your refund.

farnox23 Nov 2020 9:24 a.m. PST

The key is immobilization. Even if in a bag, as long as they cannot move, things don't get broken. However, if you are trying to preserve a paint job, they have to be individually wrapped to prevent any rubbing.

Volleyfire24 Nov 2020 5:08 a.m. PST

I bought two large Anglo Dutch wars fleets of beautifully painted Langton 1/1200 ships from a guy in Poland off eBay. When the box arrived it sounded like a concrete mixer going round with a full load. He'd just put a little bit of bubble wrap round each ship and that was about it IIRC, they were still pretty much free to roam at will. Needless to say there was hardly a ship that wasn't damaged, some more than others. I managed to resurrect about 3/4 of them but the remainder are sitting in a box awaiting the day I find the courage and patience to try and untangle them. I contacted the guy and to be fair he immediately refunded my money, even though I insisted that he needn't do that as 3/4 of them were salvageable.

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