Saturday, September 30, 2017

A Purchase Not as Described

I usually do not purchase books when I see signs of water damage, but in a moment of weakness, I chose to take a risk on a lot of Hardy Boys books. I saw visible water stains on the dust jackets. This was the only photo provided by the seller.

I have seen many books in good condition with similar water stains to the jackets. Since the seller's description stated that the pages were in very good condition, I figured that the books were fine. That was my mistake.

The books arrived. I discovered that the entire stack of books was stuck together except for one place where the stack had come apart. The books smelled strongly of mold and mildew and had that grimy, seemingly moist texture to the outside that books with severe water damage always have. The next photo shows the damage from where the stack had separated.

I often keep books when not exactly as described, but this case was too significantly not as described for me to consider keeping the books.  I was quite disgusted and annoyed.  How can a seller think it okay to sell a stack of books that is stuck together and not mention that rather significant problem

I immediately asked to return the books, despite the fact that the seller's terms indicated no returns.  I happen to know that eBay sellers who don't offer returns actually do offer returns.  They just don't know it.  By this I mean that eBay will make the seller accept a return when an item is significantly not as described.

I was pleasantly surprised when the seller immediately accepted the return.  I had to get the books packed again, and the seller's packaging was too skimpy for me to be able to use it after having cut it open.  I found a box.  I kept the seller's packaging around the books and placed it all inside the box.  I got it sealed and ready to send.

I then got to thinking about how I was pretty sure I had just packed seven books.  However, the seller's picture showed eight books.  Hmm.  I pulled the books back out of the package and checked the situation.  There were seven books.  I looked around, making sure I hadn't somehow laid one book on a table or in an odd location.  I couldn't find an eighth book.  This concerned me, since there were supposed to be eight books.  If I had received eight books, then I had to make certain that all eight books were returned to the seller.

I investigated the packaging.  The seller's packaging consisted of a large white plastic envelope that had been wrapped tightly around the books with lots of tape on it.  At first I thought that an eighth book would have fit inside and that I needed to look around some more.

I weighed the package, finding that it weighed 4 pounds, 7 ounces.  I looked at the seller's address label.  The seller paid for postage for 3 pounds.  So the seller defrauded the post office.  I guess that makes sense, considering that the books were not as described.

I then checked the package again.  I had to pull tight to get the shipping label to come together where I had cut open the package, so I concluded that an eighth book could not have fit inside the package.

I packed the seven books up again and sent them back to the seller.  I have now received my refund.

I find it interesting that the seller did not disclose the severe water damage, did not send all eight books, and even defrauded the post office.  I consider myself fortunate that I got out of this one without taking a loss, aside from the time lost while messing with the return.

1 comment:

A Candle to Read By said...

Sorry you had such a time with this situation. Glad you got those things out of the house! They can cause so much damage just "being" in the environment with other books.