Saturday, May 22, 2010

Broken Atomic Lamp

Well, how do you like this? =(

Box arrived with $12.48 OWING in postage.

I'd already paid $18.52 in shipping, but the box was over-sized, hence the additional $12.48 postage. I emailed the seller.

She wanted proof, of course I did NOT open the box yet so I could photograph all the shipping info on the top of the box.

She did refund the extra $12.48 I paid. Very cool, I was sorry there was more shipping cost for her.

But when I opened the box, the lamp looked like this.

Broken out around the base, flopping.

The metal part moves up and down freely. And the felt cover on the bottom was torn like someone opened it up.

It didn't look this way in the photos.


I guess I should complain about it to the seller, but damn, already complained about the extra cost of shipping. I know it wasn't her fault, and to be honest, I feel bad contacting her again. I really do. =(

What do you think?

Keep the shade and write it off, leave a negative (which I hate to do!) or contact the seller and see what she says?


  1. Oh no, that sucks!!! What a pickle...

    Is there no way to fix the base? I would at least tell the seller (in a non-stink way) what happened, even if there's nothing to be done about it at this point. I'm so sorry, that is the worst! Thank goodness you got you're shipping back!

  2. I have little patience for this kind of stuff. If it were me, I'd send it back, otherwise you are always going to look at it with disgust.

  3. Who cares if you raise more fuss about it? You can tell the seller they arent packing their stuff well and prevent someone elses stuff from coming all busted up. You over paid for shipping. They should have bought insurance for it then emailed to tell you they over estimated, and refund the money. Thats what an honest person would do. Thats what Id do.

  4. How do people like this stay in business? It is their responsibility to get it to you in the condition you bought it in. It seems like such a bother to go through all the trouble of sending it back. Is there some way to fix it?

  5. I would complain... if they refuse to refund you, you probably have grounds for filing a dispute for item not as described. Maybe there is some way to fix the base? Or at least save the lampshade for a lonely base without a topper?

  6. The lamp was VERY well packed. The box had NO damage.

    I unwrapped it and it was flopping around. Very strange. =(

  7. Oh and I don't think it's fixable. The base is chipping and the cord goes through a small hole on the side, so no way to put the metal part on a new base, nor get this one to work as the glass is breaking around the hole at the base. =(

  8. Strange, it almost sounds like it was broken before it was packed. I would try to get a partial refund from the seller and just keep the shade.I have been selling on Ebay for 12 years and I hate packing lamps more than anything else. That being said I will not ship anything with out insurance at the buyers expense and I will not buy anything off Ebay that is not shipped with insurance

  9. Also the seller seems like real foul ball for sending you a package owing postage.WTH? I have screwed up plenty of shipping estimates before and just sucked it up.

  10. First I would double check the original listing for anything that could explain why this happened. I would also check the feedback to see if anything similar has happened for this seller. After that I would send a message explaining the situation and ask them to remedy it. See what they do first. You might get lucky.

  11. Complain, file a dispute if they don't cooperate...

    Other than that it can still be fixed back to a nice lamp, though I'm afraid that broken base has had it :/ Got any spare lamps you can cannabalize for replacment parts?

  12. =( Thats really too bad because the lamp is cute. From the sounds of it maybe it was like that before even being sent out to you, I read you wrote it was packed very well.
    I would surely let the seller know how you received their auction item.

  13. Yeah I think you should talk to the seller-- not due to the $ but to ensure compliance with the ethics of selling stuff online. If you want to succeed as an online seller, and esp. in resale, you need to be trustworthy and consistent--ie act like a professional. Not sure if you've had other interactions with the seller before, but it sounds like maybe she has not yet adopted a fully professional attitude about this, either b/c she's not detail oriented (yet) or maybe not totally ethical (not judging since I don't know her). Either way, I think it would only be to HER benefit to hear this from you, even if you don't ask for a refund due to the mess it entails. She needs to know that regularly adopting this kind of carelessness will not help her online business thrive. I know that sounds harsh, and I don't know the full situation, but this interaction would leave me feeling super untrusting of the seller permanently.

  14. Personally, I'd write the seller, explain the situation, and see what happens. If the items aren't being packed well enough, the seller needs to pay more attention, and buyers need to be aware. If the seller isn't willing to compensate (and some do say they're not responsible for breakage), then give feedback accordingly. Make sure you state that the item wasn't packaged well. Accidents happen, but a seller also has to take every precaution to make sure that their merchandise arrives in the condition it was represented.

    I purchased a vintage camera off of eBay some time back, and was appalled when it arrived moldy. So moldy that there was a thick white layer on the camera, the bag, and all the parts. It had been featured as being 'in excellent condition'.

    I wrote the seller, and was reimbursed, but based on what I was told I doubt the seller ever saw the item, just listed it for someone else.

  15. I just caught that you said it was packed well. It sounds as if it was broken before being packed, possibly being misrepresented.

    At any rate, I'd still contact the seller.

  16. Oh that's a shame.
    I know how you feel not wanting to complain (AGAIN) but you probably should.

  17. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.

    I wrote her back, included photos of the lamp top and bottom.

    After careful inspection, it looks like whatever small gasket was around the base of the metal rod has "punched through" the glass base. I have no idea how this happened except maybe since the lamp top was at an angle against the bottom of the box, just the normal jouncing of the box made it break.

    I asked if she could resolve it, I DON'T want to pay for return shipping because then I'd be out round trip shipping ($40!), so we'll see what she says... =(

  18. I'd have to see the orginal listing, the sellers feedback, and the condition of the box to make a determination. If there is no visible damage on the box, then I think it would be safe to assume the item was damaged before packaging.

    You've already had issues with the seller regarding additional postage. Take a look at their feedback to see if this seller has had issues before.

    eBay states that if an item arrives (either not as described or damaged, which is the same thing) try to work it out with the seller. When you do this, be nice, polite, and professional especially since eBay and PayPal have access to these messages.

    If the seller does not wish to work things out, or says they are not responsible for USPS, remind them of several things. First, the did the seller offer insurance? If the box was not damaged, then its better proof that the item was damaged when it was packaged. Even if the item was damaged in transit, the seller is still responsible for the item until it reaches the buyer, per eBay.

    If the seller does not want to work out anything, then you have one or two options.
    The first is to file a dispute via eBay in their Resolution Center. The second is to file via PayPal (basically the same as eBay).

  19. I don't understand why the seller owed you for shipping? You bought the item correct? I would think you would be responsible for all shipping costs.

    As for the poor packaging, that is the sellers fault.