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a DISTURBING new trend ....

While most eBay sellers take care and pride in their packaging, especially of fragile objects, there are a growing number who skimp in an effort to save money on the actual postage cost and add to their profits.

Personally I collect Clarecraft Discworld items, and during the last six months of 2007 I seem to have had more and more of these fragile items arriving damaged and broken - and while most sellers are willing to refund  for this, there are a growing number who either ignore communications or blame the postal services.

what can YOU do?

So, what can you do if a seller only offers a 'standard' postal charge and does not offer any additional insurance?  You can contact them as request the extra service - but there is no guarantee that they will agree to this. 

Now, what about those sellers who inflate their postal charge, then send it by the cheapest route with inadequate packaging - and then will not refund?  Well, there are several things you can do - firstly, if the usual forms of contact have been ignored, report them via the Dispute Console.  If you have paid via PayPal then you should be able to get at least some of your lost costs back again.  But be careful, there is a time limit on claiming (especially for PayPal).

If all else has failed you can leave a negative feedback. It is little compensation for the disappointment of a bad buying experience - but at least it warns other buyers of the possible dangers that lurk there!

a few precautions ...

Always check a sellers feedback score before buying .... but be warned, as I discovered last Christmas, sometimes a seller can appear to have good feedback - then something happens and they  are no longer offering the excellent service they used to ... I went back to check when a damaged parcel arrived only to  discover that a few days after I purchased an item from this seller a number of serious negatives and neutrals had appeared.

So sellers - please, please, please make sure you package those fragile items properly - better more packaging and a slightly higher postage cost including insurance (either 'signed for' or 'next day' or '24/48 hour' delivery etc) than skimp and have collectable items arrive in a few more pieces than they were meant to be. 

And buyers - dont try to get the postage so cheap that it is just asking for trouble, ask for insurance and be prepared to pay a reasonable rate to ensure that fragile items arrive safely.  If postal insurance or an insured route isnt offered it does no harm to ask!







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