eBay transaction gone horribly wrong…Help!

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by cafink, May 7, 2003.

  1. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Well, I might be exaggerating with the "horribly wrong" bit, but today I received a laserdisc I purchased through an eBay auction ("THE WIZARD" with Fred Savage, for those who are curious). The final price was $41. Shipping was $5, and the seller offered optional insurance for $1.30. I chose not to purchase insurance, as I'm a poor student who could barely afford the disc as it was, and I've never had any problems with mailing laserdiscs in the past.

    Anyway, the problem is that the disc has a giant crack in it. It's just about split in half, only barely still in one piece. The packaging was really flimsy. Just a soft mailing envelope and some bubble wrap, no sturdy cardboard or anything. As you can imagine, I'm really upset!

    I just e-mailed the seller, explaining that I'd like a refund, as the item did not arrive in the condition described. Is there anything further I should do? It's been a pretty awful week for me and I don't need $46 to go down the drain on top of it all.

    Thanks for your help.

    Carl
     
  2. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Every broken laser disc I have received was packed in the same manner as yours - it's inexcusible. But they do it. If the disc isn't broken or cracked, then the jacket is bent.

    Whether you bought insurance or not, in this case, does not matter. It is the responsiblity of the seller to package an item adequately to protect it from normal hazards. Yours did not - simple cardboard reinforcement would have made all the difference. In all cases where a laser disc I bought arrived cracked or broken, I asked for and received a refund, including shipping. As proof to the seller, I made a photo of the disc, making certain the title could be seen. You might not need to do this, but it does reinforce your case.

    No matter what, be polite, even if the seller gets snotty. Don't threaten negative feedback - that is implied if you aren't satisfied - you don't want to give him ammunition against you. I have found that laser discs has a higher quality of sellers than most other sections. There are always exceptions, of course.

    So, that's what I would do. If things don't go well, Ebay insures auctions for up to $200 with a $25 deductible. I've never actually heard of anyone collecting on this though. If you paid by credit card, you could try initiating a chargeback.

    A question - The Wizard with Fred Savage is worth $41? I've seen Ralph Balski's Wizards go for that amount and more, but never The Wizard.
     
  3. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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  4. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    You should also contact the shipper if the seller does not cooperate. Some shippers will automatically insure the first $100 of an item. Depending on how it was shipped, it may or may not be covered.
     
  5. Kyle Richardson

    Kyle Richardson Screenwriter

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    The only problem with contacting the shipper is that they will say it was not packaged well enough and they will refuse to pay.
     
  6. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    Kyle, that's certainly possible. That's why I only recommended it if the seller refuses to cooperate. So the seller doesn't cooperate, try the shipper. If the shipper doesn't cooperate, then talk to ebay about getting the money back (less the $25).
     
  7. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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  8. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    I received a reply from the seller this morning, and I have to admit I am pleasantly surprised. I rather expected him to deny any responsibility. With the "optional insurance" and what not, I had the same attitude as Ryan.

    Anway, I am happy to report that he offered to reimburse my cost plus shipping if I return the broken disc to him. It stinks that he didn't package it better but at least he seems to be honest. I'll let you know how things turn out.

    As for the $41 price tag, I'm just a big fan of the movie. I grew up on Nintendo and have always had a soft spot in my heart for the Wizard. I got a laserdisc player in January and have been looking high and low for the title ever since. Only once did it ever show up on eBay in that time, so of course I had to jump on it. I love the movie very much and I'm not embarassed to admit that my maximum bid was actually a little more than twice what it ended up going for.

    That said, I'm really sad that there's now one less Wizard laserdisc in the world, and I'm not especially hopeful for coming across another anytime soon. Any laserdisc afficianados here have a copy of the title with which they'd be willing to part? I will gladly pay you a more than reasonable price.

    Thanks again for all the help.
     
  9. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Screenwriter

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    If you were willing to pay twice what you did for the disc, why didn't you just put in the extra $1.30 for insurance?

    Glad to see it all worked out in the end for you.
     
  10. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, I'm glad it worked out for you. I get alot of stuff off of e-bay and haven't had any problems. The feedback info is the best way to assure a smooth transaction.Sometimes the seller runs into a buyer who's a newbie and impatiently leaves some bad feedback, but you can usually spot those kind of things. I'm sure you'll find another copy of the laserdisc you want. Good luck!
     
  11. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    What he will proabably end up doing is claiming damage to the shipper with your return so he is still not out anything. Completely illegal and of course I am assuming this but a little strange that he didnt even ask you any questions.

    KyleS

    PS Glad to hear that you did end up getting your money back.
     
  12. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    he didnt get it back yet.

    carl i would take many pictures of the packaging and the disc, just in case.
     
  13. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Thanks again for the help, guys. The defective disc is being returned right now so we'll see how it goes.

    In the meantime, I'm afraid I've just encountered another similar situation. Another laserdisc I purchased from another eBay seller arrived today. This one was well packaged, and the disc was actually still sealed in the original shrinkwrap. When I opened it, however, I discovered to my horror that it was cracked!

    It's not a huge, disc-splitting gash like the previous one, but it's not insignificant. On one side of the disc, the crack runs out a few inches from the center of the disc.

    I don't know what to do? Considering that the disc had never even been opened, I'm not sure that I could or should try to get my money back. I only paid $9 for this one (including shipping), so while I'd like that money back, I wouldn't be totally devestated by the loss.

    Again, the worst part is that I now have to do without the disc, as I haven't seen too many copies of it turn up on eBay (there are none right now).

    Thanks for any advice you might have. I haven't contacted the seller yet.
     
  14. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Carl: The one cracked LD I received (also new) that was actually packed very well, the seller offered a refund. But it's a tricky situation - I'd simply inform the seller and let him take it from there.

    What was the title? You never know, I might have it and be willing to sell it.
     
  15. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    If it was factory sealed I'd say the right thing to do it eat the cost. There is no way for the seller to know it had damage.

    Brent
     
  16. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    I understand your love of The Wizard, Carl -- not so much to do with the quality of the film itself, but more to do with the time and place and memory of yourself when you saw the film. It's certainly a relic of that time.

    The only cracked LD I've ever come across was a copy of Commando that was in a pile of LDs I bought in order to get two titles I was after. I didn't care at all about the film, so I said nothing. After all, I paid $50 for a sealed copy of the Star Wars: Special Edition boxed set and Raiders of the Lost Ark, so the other fifteen discs were all gravy.

    Once I tried playing it in one of my old players, just for the heck of it. Seemed to play fine. Of course, I didn't watch the whole film -- it's Commando for crying out loud. [​IMG]

    Good luck with your refund and your search for another copy. Let us know how it turns out.
     
  17. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Thanks for the replies, fellas.

    The disc in question is "Clifford" with Martin Short and Charles Grodin. While I thank Aaron for that wonderful defense of my love of "The Wizard" (very well put, Aaron!), I'm afraid I just don't have an excuse for this one. [​IMG]

    I think I'll just e-mail the seller and explain the situation. If he offers a refund, I'll take it, but I won't press for it like I did last time.

    As with "The Wizard," if anyone here happens to have a copy of "Clifford" with which they'd be willing to part, I'd love to take it off your hands. Just drop me an e-mail at [email protected].

    Thanks again.
     
  18. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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  19. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    To remind myself of how bad the reviews for Clifford were, I wandered over to Ebert's archive on the Chicago Sun-Times website.

     
  20. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Didn't buy Clifford even for 3 bucks because it has the "Formatted To Fit Your Screen" message on it. Lemme know Carl if/when you find another copy of The Wizard though, because I'll keep an eye out for one in the meantime and grab it for you. (I need to get to the bay area again soon; that's one of the best places in CA to look for LDs. The one store in Sacramento that still sells them was drying up last time I went.)
     

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