Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Have You Ever Had This Happen?

This wonderful atomic magazine rack arrived yesterday, well packed, but as soon as I cut the box open, I smelled a familiar smell:

Cheap spray paint. (It has a sort of funky smell to it, if you have ever used it).

And as I unwrapped it, I saw that this magazine rack was a perfect flat black.

As I grabbed it by the spring-like wire grip, I saw a hint of gold underneath.

It had recently been sprayed a flat black from it's original gold finish.

This seller sells nothing but mid-century, and had obviously sprayed it themselves. With NO mention in the description.


I'm not sure I mind, exactly, but a mention of it in the auction would have been proper, don't you think?

I hope that funky smell dissipates soon.

I once bought a vintage travel shaving kit in a plastic-like bag, and the seller had wiped it down with pure Lysol, which I cannot STAND! (I think it was musty, and they were trying to cover the bad smell).

It reeked so bad, I put it on the back porch where it continued to reek for months. I finally threw it out.

Ever have something like this happen to you?


  1. Hmm I think everyone has that happen in some form. Some sellers are shiftier than others. If the seller was going to spray over the original and then sell it and not mention it, why choose flat black? Flat paint is blah.

  2. A) Very rarely are those flat black originally. VERY rarely. In fact, I've only ever seen 1 style of magazine rack that is flat black and personally, I'd call it a log rack for by the fireplace before I'd call it a magazine rack.

    B) why do you assume it was the seller who painted it? couldn't they have acquired it and just passed it along? You might say because of the smell but some people are A LOT more sensitive to smell than others. I for one can't detect freshly painted things once dry. Not at all.

    C) Ignorance is rampant. Assume everyone is stupid, and you'll be surprised when they are not. Assume sellers don't necessarily know everything about a piece that you do and 99.9999999% of the time...you're going to be right.

  3. Atomic Mama, I actually like the flat black because it matches the black metal iron atomic particle feet my chairs have lol...

    I see a whole lot of black magazine and log racks on eBay all the time. =) They are usually gold or black.

    Good info Rueby, but I base my assumption that the seller did it themselves because:

    They sell "higher end" mid-century atomic stuff exclusively. To make sure the stuff is "high-end", make it look as good as possible.

    I have bought a table and a lamp at a thrift store that did exactly the same thing. Sprayed the original black so it would hide scuffs, scratches and rust.

    No one is going to spray something black for sale at a yard sale. This is not something that sells for much at a yard sale.

    But resellers DO know things will sell for more if the flaws are hidden.

    And... Just my gut feeling combined with a few + decades buying vintage experience. =)

    But yes, my expectations are realistic, but I don't expect an item to stink lol... I think that is somewhat realistic, as long as it's not an item that might be musty. There is always a chance, a GOOD chance, that paper items and cloth might be musty. But metal should not stink lol...

    Oh and a 1950's phone I bought that was supposed to be Bakelite, but has the stink of puke, and still does to this day. No kidding.

  4. I don't think this is terribly honest of them if they are that type of seller I hope you didn't pay too much?

  5. Nah, Mama, I wouldn't pay a lot for one of these because there are so many for sale all the time lol...

    I love it, don't get me wrong, it's the smell I hope won't remain a problem.

    And, I'm one of those who likes original patena and honest wear. =)

  6. flaws and cover ups should ALWAYS be mentioned!Heck even if I have a tiny tear on a dress that I repaired or had to resew a button I mention it in my listing !

    Honestly HAS to be the best policy if you're an online seller due to the fact that your buyer can't look over the item themselves,they are depending on your photos and description to go on and that is the worst feeling as a buyer,to br excited about an item but then you open the package and are disappointed!

  7. im sure the package was subjected to a TON of heat while being shipped in the back of big rig trucks and being in USPS warehouses. This heat probably re-activiated the spray paint stink. should go away soon.

  8. I agree with you, Art Deco Dame... When I sold vintage, I took a zillion photos and pointed out any and all flaws in the description.

    I think sellers are afraid worn vintage won't sell. But I have bought a huge number of things with small flaws because the prices are so much better, and small/some flaws are no big deal to me! I don't care if a chenille blanket has a tiny hole in the edge, for instance, I'll take it if the price is right because of it.

    But let me know what the flaws are, so I can decide.

    Thanks Keith, yes, it arrived from a hot truck on a hot day lol...

  9. Have you tried dousing it in Chanel #5? That always works for me when I'M stinky.

    Miss me?

  10. I agree. I'd like to know if an item has been painted/changed from the original. Especially as I've been looking out for black metal magazine racks lately and would hate to find out it was painted.
    Hope the smell goes away soon :)

  11. *Perk!* Black wrought iron and atomic particle feet! Mmmm...You've got GOOD taste =D

    Btw... now my mails to ya keep getting returned as unsendable since last week. I thought it only did it once but I found more today =(

  12. Of course we miss you, Christine! =D

    I'm glad I'm not the only one, MoonDoggie.

    Yeah, if it were anything different, or something that I paid more for, I'd have been upset. I almost bought a pair of lamps but the seller "mentioned" they "may have recently been painted black" which caused me to pass them by.

    Black paint tends to chip or scratch easily when painted over other surfaces, you know, like gold magazine racks?

    *pout* Wow that's odd Space Commander. I thought it was maybe my cologne or sumthin' lol...

  13. Too bad... I wrote up some pretty good reading too ;D I don't get it though, never gave me issues before and your mail seems to be getting through to me...

  14. Copy and paste those bad boys right back at me and try the other addy ;) =D

  15. I agree. I don't mind a little flaw or chip, mainly because I USE my stuff! But, a seller needs to let the buyer know and be honest -always the best policy. Zootsuitmama

  16. Did you say anything about it in the end to the seller?

  17. Nahhhhhh after a bit of thought, I'll let this one slide.

    I've had to comment in feedback lately about:

    Lamp base chipped due to insufficient bottom packing.

    Almost destroyed sign to get it out of packing.

    Arrived in one piece despite original THIN box being used to mail item in.

    Shade arrived crushed due to sellers negligent packing.

    And maybe one or two others. Only one of those was a neg, the rest positive, but still, I had problems.

    I really want nothing but good transactions, and to leave glowing feedback, but if we buyers do not put details in feedback, future buyers will not know, so...

  18. Maybe I should have given the seller a positive but mentioned it in feedback.

    Next time.

  19. not so much, but I know Lysol is a killer and so is Febreze....not in my house EVER!!

  20. Yes!!! I love vintage fabrics and linens, and a few months ago I bought some gorgeous vintage barkcloth, which the seller had obviously BATHED in fabric softner. It was so strong, I could hardly breath, and sometimes certain perfume or chemical smells can set off a migraine for me. Ugh! I washed them 3 times, but could still not get out all of the fabric softner smell. I actually like when vintage fabric smells a tiny bit musty. It's the way it should smell when it is genuinely vintage, and one quick little wash in the washing machine with some gentle detergent, and it smells perfect again!


  21. I use Febreeze lol but I cannot stand Lysol *ick*