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View Full Version : Don't you hate understated damage on the bay?



blobbottlebob
11-27-2012, 02:36 PM
Of course you do. Who hasn't had it happen though? In many ways, it's predictable. Everyone wants their bottle to sound like the best bottle ever. However, when your bottle has normal damage, nothing but a precise and specifically enumerated and detailed accounting (of the damage) is going to keep the winning bidder happy.

Generally, I try to be nice about it. My first step is usually to decide if the damage is so bad that I don't want it anymore. If it is, obviously, that's a deal breaker - time to get your money back. Second, is the damage so bad that I should try for a partial refund? I've tried this with varying success. Some people say send it back. Others will give you a partial refund. Others will say pound sand. (You can put those last ones into the never-buy-from-again category).

Sometimes, the price was good enough that it's still worth the price even with the (unlisted) damage. In this case, I try to contact the seller and politely inform them that it can cause frustration for buyers to find this kind of damage. In the future being specific might be wise . . .

blobbottlebob
11-27-2012, 02:46 PM
This can be compounded when, for example, you (as a bidder) specifically ask the seller about the damage before you bid.

Basically, (and this is also obvious), anyone who asks the seller very specifically about damage is likely to bid and therefore, may end up as the winning bidder. Nothing but complete honesty will do at this point (for the seller) or they are likely to be caught red handed by the truth.

UncleBruce
11-27-2012, 02:48 PM
It is a real problem. [:@] Using PayPal gives protection as I just send it back. Out the money for that return postage, which is what kills me. [:'(] Pictures of damage are the best. I need info to make a fair bid on my part.

blobbottlebob
11-27-2012, 04:33 PM
Okay. I just spent some fun time reviewing an ebay dilemma I had a few years ago. That was fun. If you want to see that crazy thread, here's a link.
https://www.antique-bottles.net/forum/m-347669/mpage-1/key-/tm.htm

blobbottlebob
11-27-2012, 04:40 PM
I am going to give some facts about the problem I just had - the reason for this thread - but I want you all to do me a huge favor. Do NOT bother the seller of the item that I am referring to. If you want to figure out who it is on ebay, I guess I can't stop you - BUT that is not the point of this thread. I have no intention of harassing this seller. As far as I can tell it is a decent person who just didn't get specific enough on the damage. Perhaps as a non-collector they didn't realize how important the damage is in terms of collectiblity and value , etc... I personally would buy from them again - and that's saying something. So, please please please, don't contact the seller. Don't even post a link to the auction. I really don't want to punish anybody. I just want to start a thread, get some feedback, maybe hear similar stories of damage unreported. Thanks in advance, I appreciate you keeping it civil on this.

blobbottlebob
11-27-2012, 05:24 PM
Okay. So I see a bottle I would really like on the bay. Not a lot of attention given to damage. The seller mentions (and I quote)

It does have a small flake on the top of the bottle . Very hard to even notice just making sure everyone knows it is there. (end quote)

I did see the auction with time to spare, so, I asked specifically about the small flake. The seller kindly informed me that it was maybe 1/4 of an inch.

I thanked them and told them I would be bidding.

blobbottlebob
11-27-2012, 05:29 PM
I do realize that I'm a nut but here goes my thinking. Maybe 1/4 inch means something smaller than 1/4 inch, like for example an 1/8 inch or 3/16ths of an inch. In the worst possible scenario, maybe 1/4 inch means actually 1/4 inch. (However, then why say maybe)?? So, for me, maybe 1/4 inch is something less than 1/4 inch. (I know, that is nutty).

blobbottlebob
11-27-2012, 05:33 PM
The bottle arrives. I unwrap my Christmas present and one glance says 1/2 inch. Uh oh. I grab a measure. Sure enough, it is an 1/2 inch. I continue to check it out and there is another little nasty hub chip. The kind that can affect the value. Additionally, there is inside haze (not bad - but never mentioned) and some weird heavy black sediment on the bottom (like hardened tar or something??)

blobbottlebob
11-27-2012, 05:37 PM
Okay. Time to apply my priciples about unlisted damage.

Is it so bad I don't want it? -No.

Do I think the damage is bad enough to lower the value? - Maybe. That is, I think if the seller had listed it, I would have won it for a lesser amount.

I really do like it, but honestly, I was hoping for a little better condition based on the seller's representations. Not the end of the world - and I WOULD have still bid if he had been thorough in the listing. (I would have bid a bit lower).

blobbottlebob
11-27-2012, 05:45 PM
So, ultimately, here's what I want your opinion on. I sent the following message. What do you think?

I got the bottle and I like it. I really appreciate the running around you did to accommodate me on the shipping. I also like that you have kept in touch with me during the process. I will post positive feedback for you and I would appreciate the same. However, just being honest, I was a little disappointed in the condition of the bottle. I am not saying this for effect or to complain. I am just giving you my honest impression. The condition matters. A bottle that is flawless may be worth ten times that of a damaged example. So, as a collector, you have to factor in the damage (if you will) to figure out what you should pay for something. It is not science for sure. Anyway, I had asked you before bidding about the flake chip off the top. As you know, you said 'maybe 1/4 inch'. When I saw it, I could see that it was bigger. It actually measures 1/2 inch. This was the only damage you listed. However, there is another chip on the front hub - like an impact chip with the beginnings of a crack on it. It's damage that is bad enough to affect the value. Additionally, there is some heavy black residue on the bottom. I'm not blaming you for this damage. I know you didn't do it. However, as a seller, you do need to be very specific about all of the damage you can find. I know it sounds crazy and it may wind up that an item would sell for less, but at least your buyers could brag that you were entirely honest about the condition and that they got exactly what was promised. Like I said, I am not blaming you for any of this. However, I think it would be smart to be very very specific about the condition so that potential problems can be avoided in the future. I think it would also be smart to post more pictures under various lighting conditions so that any potential issues might better be seen beforehand. Please let me know what you think. Thanks in advance, Bob

epackage
11-27-2012, 06:01 PM
If I spent that kind of money on that hutch I would expect it to be near perfect with the only damage being the small flake he mentioned, I would have asked for a partial refund along with letting him know that condition is everything when it comes to bottles...

Sir.Bottles
11-27-2012, 06:06 PM
Well, did he responding to your massage?? If he a good seller he will be nice to you & thankful, if he...seller he might be hostile! or maybe simply ignore your massage.

botlguy
11-27-2012, 07:25 PM
I believe you handled and stated it correctly. As the seller I would have offered, with additional damage verification, a return including postage both ways or partial refund. It has happened very rarely but I have overlooked damage and this is what I have done and had done for me.

I have found that being very specific about flaws or damage on eBay effects selling price substatially but that is part of the deal. The same item sold in person would probably be effected less.

blobbottlebob
11-27-2012, 09:47 PM
Thanks E. I do like the bottle and it is pretty rare. Condition is important, but I don't recall ever seeing one available for sale before. I'm okay with it which is partially why I tried to be so nice. (I generally try to be a decent guy anyway).

Sir. I have not yet heard back - which is a bit disconcerting. I sent the message a few days ago. I'm still hoping for at least a reply. If they offered a small partial refund, I'd be ecstatic.

Thanks Botlguy. I'm fairly confident that the person did not overlook the damage but just wasn't aware of its importance. Not a bottle expert by any means. The nice thing about buying and selling in person is that you can study the bottle yourself (as a buyer) and not simply trust a few far away pics and a description. On the other hand, I've never seen anyone with one of these at local shows. Too rare maybe?

blobbottlebob
12-04-2012, 12:26 AM
Update. All winds up okay. We both left nice feedback for each other. I do like the bottle and hopefully, he'll be more aware of damage issues in the future.

epackage
12-04-2012, 04:59 AM
Good to hear Bob[;)]