Won Laserdisc on Ebay, Arrived Damaged

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott Calvert, Jan 7, 2002.

  1. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Supporting Actor

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    I recently won an auction for a factory sealed laserdisc of Raiders of the Lost Ark. When it arrived (almost 2 weeks after I paid via paypal) I found it to be packaged in a flattened priority box with no protection of any kind. As a result, the disc has one large crack spanning the entire second side of the disc. Here's the kicker: I didn't specify to seller to add insurance.

    Am I stuck with a very expensive paper weight or should I ask the seller for a refund due to the totally lame-ass packaging?
     
  2. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I'd complain to the seller, but if you specifically asked for no insurance, you may be SOL. Depending on the seller's response, you would be within your rights to leave negative feedback for the lame shipping package, though other than that I don't know what you could do other than dispute the charge if you put it on a credit card.
     
  3. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Supporting Actor

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    Well, I didn't tell the seller to NOT add insurance. It just never came up. Live and learn I guess.

    I'm gonna ask for a refund anyway. This doofus shoulda known that an LD packaged like that and shipped across the country is a recipe for disaster.
     
  4. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Shipping LDs is a crap-shoot. It seems you almost have to double-box them, else run the risk of someone stepping on the box and cracking the LD (or just have the weight of another package hit the box just right and causing the LD to crack). But no one wants to pay for the added $1-$2 for the right shipping job.

    I've been the recipient of a cracked LD (use the amount as credit toward another LD purchase which arrived okay), and one of the LDs I shipped was cracked/broken in shipment (I refunded the total purchase price ASAP, and the buyer assisted in making an insurance claim). It makes me shy away from shipping/receiving LDs in the mail all together.

    The problem with insurance is being able to establish a "retail" price for the amount insured. This is hard for LDs because they aren't really sold, and most are on clearance on the few online stores blowing them out, and many don't like prices for the hard-to-find LDs that aren't on DVD yet.

    The post office just doesn't take your word that the LD was worth such-and-such amount, even if both you and the seller agreed to the selling price. They need documented proof I I wound up using a foreign website that listed prices for some of their LDs last year, which I printed out and made a submission to the post office insurance claims department).
     
  5. Scott Strang

    Scott Strang Screenwriter

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    I've bought a few LD's (14) on ebay and all of them with one exception was sent in a large, thick container with bubble packing. They were in perfect shape. One of them was in a Mickey Mouse container that was about as effective as wrapping the disc in tissue paper. Luckily, it was fine and had, ironically, no external damage.

    I bought a few from Evolution Audio & Video and they where shipped in what looked like original inventory boxes. They Mitsubishi Plastics and Laserdisc on the sides.

    If having that stuff written on the sides of the boxes doesn't encourage destruction of the package, I don't know what does.
     
  6. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Supporting Actor

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    The thing is, an LD should be fine in a priority box that is correctly "constructed", for lack of a better term. This guy flattened the box (like when you break down a square cardboard box for disposal to save space), and slipped the LD in like he was shipping a coloring book or something. I can't imagine why anyone would do this. I mean crap, I paid 5 bucks for shipping.
     
  7. Trevor H

    Trevor H Second Unit

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    Scott,

    It must be a "Raiders" curse, awhile back I won a "used but mint" copy of ROTLA on ebay, when I got my disc it wasn't shipped in a box it was in a big courier bag, the disc was still mint but the LD jacket was totally ripped apart from flying around inside the bag. I was really pissed so I emailed the seller and complained (and gave him a lesson on how to pack a LD for shipping) I was going to give him negative feedback but he apologized and promised to ship his discs in padded boxes from then on, so I just didn't leave any feedback. So from now on I ask the seller how he is going to pack the discs and if he isn't going to do it the way I want I tell him to do it or lose the sale.
     
  8. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Poor packing almost drove me away from Ebay and it still drives me nuts. Virtually no one does it right, even after I make polite suggestions as to how it should be done (I'm one of the few who knows what I'm doing and will take the time to do it right - I get a lot of compliments). What really annoys me, when I complain to the seller, is the response "I've always done it this way and I've never had any complaints". One guy just rattled me when he shipped a valuable LD in a priority box without even crushed newspaper (which I just hate) as a filler and berated me for not knowing how to properly pack LDs! Good thing he wasn't within arms length.

    In your case you have every right to ask for a refund from the seller. I have done so several times in similar cases and have never been refused, insurance or no. Flattened priority boxes is a common packing technique that I abhor for reasons you have found out, and for another - the LD often sticks to the glue on the priority box! When this happens, it's hell trying to unstick the jacket without damaging it.

    Now, the above is not to say that flat packing is bad. Done right, particularly if packing made for that purpose is used, it's an excellent way to ship LDs. It's just not done right often enough.
     
  9. Scott Strang

    Scott Strang Screenwriter

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    I worked with a lady who's husband works for the post office. He told me about a class they went to where they were told to do just that sort of thing; flatten boxes, bend stiff packages to fit into mail boxes, etc.

    He told them that the whole reason FedEx and UPS exist is because of stuff like that.

    Luckily the post office that my mail seems originate from seldom demolishes packages.

    BTW, UPS likes to kill packeges too and leave them at the wrong residences.
     
  10. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Bad luck [​IMG]
    FWIW, I have bought many LD on eBay (including an entire set of ST:TNG, boy, paying for that one made me nervous!) with nary a problem. Every single one has been packaged with some kind of protection. But insurance on any disc worth more than $20 is probably a good idea.
     

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