Outcome of eBay auction - comments wanted

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Christian Behrens, Aug 23, 2002.

  1. Christian Behrens

    Christian Behrens Supporting Actor

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    I'd like to get some opinions from the people here in the forum regarding the outcome of an auction.

    About two weeks ago I bought Madonna's infamous book from 1992 in a new, unopened, mint condition. That was the description of the book in the auction. I paid the same night and received an e-mail from the seller saying he'll ship it out right away. Well, that turned out to be 5 days later, but that's beside the point.

    As you may know, this particular book has metal covers. So last Monday I find a package at home, containing the book. It is indeed unopened and 'new', but not mint, as it is actually bent. Not 90°, but visibly bent.

    The way it was shipped was in a padded envelope, as media mail, insured, with "Fragile" stample on it.

    Now, the seller claims he is really sorry about what happened, but basically thinks it's the USPS's fault, as he expected the USPS to handle it with more care.

    He also believes I should be going to the post office and file a claim, as it was insured.

    I am not content with him just blaming the post office.

    Also, I am not inclined to waste my time at the post office, arguing something that goes completely against common sense (at least in my mind), as the rules for a payable claim clearly state:

    "Payable Claims

    The times and circumstances under which indemnity claims are payable are listed below.

    Costs

    a. Cost of repairing a damaged article or the value of a totally damaged article not exceeding actual value of the article at the time of mailing."

    Neither did the item get lost, nor is it totally damaged. It is also not possible to "repair" it. Or if it is, please tell me how.

    Thus, I asked the seller to take back the book (minus shipping) and refund my money, because I did not get the book in mint condition, and I believe it's all due to inadequate packaging.

    What do you all think?

    -Christian
     
  2. Michael Fennessy

    Michael Fennessy Stunt Coordinator

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    Was it shipped the way you would have shipped it? Not saying that means anything but it sounds about the way I would have shipped it.

    Mike
     
  3. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    What you did was right.

    I state in all of my auctions that, should something I sell arrive damaged, I will refund the buyer's money and take the claim up with the shipper myself.

    That is just the right thing to do. Forcing a buyer to deal with the shipper is BS, and if you can't get your money back, warrants negative feedback.
     
  4. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    The guy should have shipped the book wrapped in thick bubblewrap and then place in a sturdy cardboard box. That's how I would have shipped such an item. It does amaze me how people don't really think about packing an item to survive the shipping gauntlet (of UPS/USPS/Fedex/etc).
     
  5. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    I have a feedback rating of 92+ on eBay (1 negative from a now deleted member) and I dismiss all liability with respect to shipping claims. It's not worth my time as a seller to deal with these issues even if it's not fair to the buyer (I'm being very frank here). I sell on eBay as an aside and do not have the resources to deal with complaints.

    There are enough consumers on eBay for me to ignore those that insist on pro-consumer shipping policies. That's my choice as a seller and one that I've never had a problem with. In the hundreds of auctions of shipped, I've had three problems. FedEx denied one (sadly, buyer lost some money) and approved one. Yellow Transportation initially denied and then approved one. It is worth noting that I took care of the entire process for each claim because I felt bad. However, in doing so, I still denied all liability.

    This being said, I always package my shipments well. Generally, I will double-box electronics unless it is cost prohibitive or too difficult to do so.

    This is not going to be what you want to hear but I believe that unless something is specifically mentioned in the terms of the auction, all sales are considered FOB shipping point under the UCC. I am very upfront and have that listed in my terms and conditions but most don't or aren't aware of it. Basically, it means that the title to the shipment passes to the buyer once the package hits the loading dock (e.g., FedEx, UPS, etc.). So, as the owner of the title to the book, you are responsible for filing all claims. The seller can help you, but that is his option.

    I don't know how much you paid for the book but if it's more than $40, definitely file a claim with the USPS. Just draft a 1-2 page letter explaining everything. Also, file a claim with eBay and PayPal if you deem those actions to be warranted.
     
  6. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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  7. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    FOB = Freight on Board or Free on Board and pertains to title (ownership) of goods passing hands.

    UCC = Uniform Commercial Code.

    Various combinations (shamelessly poached from ISU website)...

    FOB Destination: May be seen abbreviated as "D" or may be referred to as FOB Delivered.
    1. Transportation is arranged by shipper.
    2. Title of goods does not pass from shipper to buyer until goods are delivered to buyer’s dock.
    3. Shipper is responsible for filing any claim(s), provided the buyer takes appropriate action upon receipt.
    4. Shipper is responsible for paying all transportation charges.

    FOB Shipping Point: May be seen abbreviated as "SP".

    1. Transportation is customarily arranged by shipper but, at buyer’s request, can be arranged by buyer.
    2. Title of goods passes from shipper to buyer once the goods leave shipper’s dock.
    3. The buyer is responsible for filing any claim(s).
    4. Transportation charges will be paid by the consignee, in this case ISU

    FOB Factory: May be seen abbreviated as "Fact" or may be referred to as FOB Origin.

    A shipper may be acting as a distributor or a retailer for a larger company or manufacturer. This manufacturer markets their product through a network of dealers, distributors, or retailers and does not sell direct to the consumer.

    When purchasing from a business that represents a manufacturer’s product, the business may designate terms of FOB Factory. This means the goods will ship directly from the factory not from the distributor, dealer, or retailer. In this case:

    1. Transportation is customarily arranged by the factory or its representative but, since title passes at the dock, buyer can arrange the carrier.
    2. Title of goods passes to buyer once the goods leave the factory dock.
    3. The buyer is responsible for filing any claim(s).
    4. Transportation charges will be paid by the consignee, in this case ISU.

    FOB Shipping Point Prepaid and Added: May be seen abbreviated as "SP-PPA".

    1. Transportation is arranged by shipper.
    2. Title of goods passes to buyer once the goods leave shipper’s dock.
    3. The buyer is responsible for filing any claim(s).
    4. Shipper prepays carrier for their service and adds the charge of this service to the buyer’s invoice on goods shipped.

    FOB Factory Prepaid and Added (may be seen abbreviated as "Fact-PPA") is interpreted the same as SP-PPA with the exception that the point of shipment comes from the factory or manufacturer and not the distributor, dealer, or retailer from whom purchase was made.

    FOB Shipping Point Freight Collect: May be seen abbreviated as "SPFC".

    1. Transportation is customarily arranged by shipper but can be arranged by buyer.
    2. Title of goods passes to buyer once the goods leave shipper’s dock.
    3. The party who selects the carrier is responsible for filing any claim(s).
    4. Buyer is responsible for paying freight, and carrier will invoice buyer direct for payment.

    FOB Shipping Point Freight Allowed: May be seen abbreviated as "SP-Allow".

    1. Transportation is customarily arranged by shipper but can be arranged by buyer.
    2. Title of goods passes to buyer once the goods leave shipper’s dock.
    3. The party who selects the carrier is responsible for filing any claim(s).
    4. Shipper is responsible for paying the carrier. Buyer does not pay freight charges.

    FOB Destination Freight Collect: May be seen abbreviated as "D-Collect".

    1. Transportation is arranged by shipper.
    2. Title of goods passes to buyer once the goods are delivered to buyer’s dock.
    3. Shipper is responsible for filing any claim(s), unless we specify the carrier.
    4. Buyer pays freight charges.

    FOB Destination Freight Prepaid: May be seen abbreviated as "D-PP".

    1. Transportation is arranged by shipper.
    2. Title of goods passes to buyer once the goods are delivered to buyer’s dock.
    3. Shipper is responsible for filing any claim(s), unless we specify the carrier.
    4. Shipper prepays freight to carrier.

    FOB Destination Freight Collect and Allowed

    1. Transportation is arranged by shipper.
    2. Title of goods passes to buyer once the goods are delivered to buyer’s dock.
    3. Shipper is responsible for filing any claim(s), unless we specify the carrier.
    4. Buyer pays freight but then deducts cost of freight from the invoice when paying seller for product.

    FOB Delivered and Installed

    1. Transportation is arranged by shipper.
    2. Title of goods passes to buyer once the goods are delivered to buyer’s dock.
    3. Shipper is responsible for filing any claim(s), unless we specify the carrier.
    4. Shipper pays freight.
    5. Shipper installs the goods or items at no additional charge to buyer.
     
  8. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    I'm a wealth of knowledge... [​IMG]
    UCC Code:
    U.C.C. Sect. 2-319 F.O.B. and F.A.S. Terms
    (1) Unless otherwise agreed the term F.O.B. (which means "free on board") at a named place, even though used only in connection with the stated price, is a delivery term under which
    (a) when the term is F.O.B. the place of shipment, the seller must at that place ship the goods in the manner provided in this Article (Section 2-504) and bear the expense and risk of putting them into the possession of the carrier; or
    (b) when the term is F.O.B. the place of destination, the seller must at his own expense and risk transport the goods to that place and there tender delivery of them in the manner provided in this Article (Section 2-503);
    (c) when under either (a) or (b) the term is also F.O.B. vessel, car or other vehicle, the seller must in addition at his own expense and risk load the goods on board. If the term is F.O.B. vessel the buyer must name the vessel and in an appropriate case the seller must comply with the provisions of this Article on the form of bill of lading (Section 2-323).
    (2) Unless otherwise agreed the term F.A.S. vessel (which means "free alongside") at a named port, even though used only in connection with the stated price, is a delivery term under which the seller must
    (a) at his own expense and risk deliver the goods alongside the vessel in the manner usual in that port or on a dock designated and provided by the buyer; and
    (b) obtain and tender a receipt for the goods in exchange for which the carrier is under a duty to issue a bill of lading.
    (3) Unless otherwise agreed in any case falling within subsection (1)(a) or (c) or subsection (2) the buyer must seasonably give any needed instructions for making delivery, including when the term is F.A.S. or F.O.B. the loading berth of the vessel and in an appropriate case its name and sailing date. The seller may treat the failure of needed instructions as a failure of cooperation under this Article (Section 2-311). He may also at his option move the goods in any reasonable manner preparatory to delivery or shipment.
    (4) Under the term F.O.B. vessel or F.A.S. unless otherwise agreed the buyer must make payment against tender of the required documents and the seller may not tender nor the buyer demand delivery of the goods in substitution for the documents.
     
  9. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    Thanks, Don. I've never seen them referred to any of the auctions I've been involved in.
     
  10. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    Oh, it's exciting stuff! [​IMG]
     
  11. Eric Kahn

    Eric Kahn Guest

    So far I have been lucky, never had anything I bought on ebay damaged in shipping but I attribute that to good packing since I work for the post office and see how the packages are treated
    if you are shipping packages, assume that they are going to be handled by the gorilla that used to do the samsonite luggage commercials, although he might be considered to gentle on the packages.
    if you ever wondered why small things come in big boxes full of styrofoam peanuts, you should now understand and pack accordingly

    On your book, you should immediately file a claim since it has been irreparably "damaged" because its value is now about nothing and I do not think it can be bent back straight without showing signs of the damage
     
  12. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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    I think you did the right thing. Bottom line is the item wasn't packed properly. As a seller myself, I view packing as the sellers responsibility. The seller can't control how a package is handled once it leaves his hands, but he can control how it is packed. This guy did a lousy job, and bears responsibility for that.
     
  13. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    since you're not the shipper, I'm not sure USPS will even hear you on a claim, With UPS the shipper has to handle it, the receiver is powerless. I think you have a better shot with USPS than you would with UPS or fedex, I have yet to see them pay a ligitimate claim for something they damaged.
    it amazes me how people ship things. I bought a monitor once that the guy literally took it and set it in a box, and taped the box shut, nothing else, no packaging in the box. Of course that monitor worked great when it arrived [​IMG]
     
  14. Christian Behrens

    Christian Behrens Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for all the replies so far.

    Philip,

    The USPS website says it's the receiver who has to file the claim, as the item plus packaging has to be presented (as well as receipt or something that shows the value). I have no problem with doing that in principle.

    Why I am so reluctant to file a claim is that there is no damage to the envelope, so how do you even begin to argue that the USPS didn't handle it correctly or with care?

    It just wasn't packed appropriately to withstand normal handling. Or do people really expect the USPS to hand deliver items from A to B, just because it's insured and has "fragile" written on it?

    When you drive around with your windows down, do you blame someone else if you catch a cold? It just seems silly to me.

    Eric,

    With what I just wrote, do you really think filing a claim is advised? What will the process look like after I presented the book and the envelope? I don't feel like wasting (my and their) time at the post office, only to hear that's all due to bad packaging.

    -Christian
     
  15. Brent Cantrell

    Brent Cantrell Stunt Coordinator

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    Why don't you take advantage of what's available? The seller insured the package, the onus falls upon you to utilize that insurance. (I'm not flaming anyone, but I don't understand the problem). Maybe the seller did ship a bad product out to you, maybe not. It all comes down to your faith in our fellow man. But if all you've got to do is file a claim, go file it! If they deny it, THEN talk to the seller again, see if you can work something out first.
     
  16. Aurel Savin

    Aurel Savin Supporting Actor

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    yes ... as the receiver of the goods you have to file a claim that the package was damaged, since it is in your posession and you have the "evidence" so to speak.

    I have over 700 sales on Ebay, and have had problems with packaging before on fragile items, but I usually took them back (they were houseware items) and repalced them for the buyer. In your case where it was a one of a kind collectible it is a little tricky.

    How much was the item, by the way?
     
  17. Ben Menix

    Ben Menix Stunt Coordinator

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    I recently filed a claim on a LD that I received damaged from an eBay auction. The packaging was undamaged, but it was inadequate to prevent direct pressure being applied to the LD, resulting in a crack. The seller refunded my money, filled out and sent a USPS claim form which I completed and turned in. As far as I know, USPS refunded the seller directly about 6 weeks later.
    Technically, with USPS the buyer/receiver has to file the claim, but to file it expediently and sucessfully it helps to have the sellers full cooperation; i.e. copies of his/her shipping receipts, etc.
    Ben Menix
    [email protected]
     
  18. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Actually, I filed a claim with USPS and I was the shipper. UPS also allows for the shipper to initiate the claim on a damaged package.
     
  19. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Second Unit

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    We at one time sold the same book on eBay. We had the intelligence to wrap it in bubble wrap so thick it was a big puff! The seller should have clearly seen how delicate this book was (sheet aluminum cover) and taken the time to do it right. Especially considering this is a very expensive book, I would ask for a refund on this matter. As a seller, I would refund the money. I'd like to know how this ends up.
     
  20. Christian Behrens

    Christian Behrens Supporting Actor

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    Double post
     

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