Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Another Damaged Package

I received a package that was stamped "received in damaged condition." This is never good.

The bottom edge of the top of the box, as seen in the above photo, is completely split from left to right. In the below photo, you can see the books inside the package along the left side of the split.

The following photo shows the bottom of the package. Three of the four corners have holes, although only the worst one can be seen in the photo.

This particular lot was offered by a seller with not-so-great feedback. The seller's photo did not show all of the books, and the description listed not all of the books in the lot. I could tell by the seller's photo that the books were most likely in rough shape. I bid low and got the books at a low price, which is good since I did not want more than half of them.

I opened the package, and as expected, the books are in rough shape. At least one book was damaged during shipment, since the spine had come off. Most all of the books are library discards, so you can imagine the condition. I suppose if a lot of old books is going to get abused during shipping, then thankfully it was this particular lot of books.

It was difficult trying to figure out if all of the books arrived. What I received was one fewer book than the number of books the seller stated were in the lot, but the seller's description mentioned two fewer books than that same amount.

The seller gave the weight of the lot in the listing, and the package weighed two pounds less than what he stated. I checked the titles of what I received up against what he listed in the lot. I received two books that were not mentioned in his list, but I also did not receive one book that was in the list.

It seems that I am missing at least one book. I realized that I could find out for sure by checking the postage paid up against the weight of the package. I weighed the box before I opened it, and it weighed 24 pounds. The parcel post postage for a 24 pound package from the seller's zip code to mine is $16.72. The seller paid $17.07 in postage, which is the rate for a 25 pound package.

I weighed one of the books, and it weighs around 12 ounces. It appears that one book is missing. The good news is that I don't care about the missing book one way or the other. Remember that I did not want most of the books. The missing book is one of the books I did not want, which means that I will not mention the missing book to the seller.

The box used for these books has thin cardboard, which is not acceptable for heavy packages. The box split because of the thin cardboard and the fact that the seller did not use any packaging material to fill up the empty space inside the box.

I use Uline's 12 X 12 X 12" cube box for heavier lots of books. The boxes are quite sturdy. Sellers should always use sturdy cardboard boxes for heavier lots. It is also a good idea to reinforce the edges with tape if the box is not very sturdy. If the seller had used more tape on the box, probably all of the books would have remained inside the package.

I want to make one final point. Sellers often state that they have never had a package arrive damaged. Actually, those sellers have never had a buyer report that a package arrived damaged. In this case, I chose not to contact the seller since I received the books that I wanted. The package was damaged.

I have had only one buyer tell me that a book was damaged during shipment. I have mailed out thousands of packages, and I have probably had more than one book arrive damaged. All I know is that one buyer told me about it.


Crystal Blue Attitude said...

That's a pretty sad mess, Jennifer. It makes me glad that I am positively anal about my packaging. When I am boxing up a book, hubby sometimes looks at me like he thinks I am neurotic but I would not want a customer to get their package looking like yours does.

Also, incidents like this are why I quit buying on eBay long ago. While I am sure there are still plenty of good sellers there, too many just don't seem to care anymore. Out of my last 5 purchases there, 4 were not as described; 3 of those were badly packed. The only 1 which was as described and packed well took over 3 weeks to get to me even though sent priority mail. Seller said she "forgot to mail it." :(

stratomiker said...

So what books did you get? That's what we all really want to know.


Coffeegulper said...



Coffeegulper said...

Holy Toledo!
What a TRAVESTY! Famine, earthquakes and tsunamis in various parts of the world, but this earth-shattering experience puts ALL that to shame.
(sarcasm intended)


Paula said...

Richard, why the unfair comment? I appreciate these kind of posts as it brings attention to what happens when people just throw books in a box and send them off. Jennifer also helpfully gives us tips on packing; this time, I made note of the box she uses for large lots. At the very least, we can commiserate, as we all know the disappointment of receiving such a package after paying good money for some old books. ;)

Lian said...

Richard, I enjoy this blog very much and it is informative about many different issues. Some posts I can relate to and some I do not. I would much rather hear your informative comments due to your vast knowledge as a book collector than any sarcastic remarks to Jennifer. It's just not nice.:)