Periodically, collectors post photos of bad packaging online. Sometimes, the books arrive fine without damage. This usually results in at least one person making a comment like, "What's the problem? The books arrived fine."
That kind of response is curious. I have seen it rather often on message boards frequented primarily by sellers. I have also seen it quoted as a response given by a seller when a buyer has contacted the seller to complain about bad packaging. The seller further annoys the buyer by making that kind of response.
When someone makes this kind of reply in a message thread, I assume that they are a seller who packs badly. They take the view that as long as the books arrive okay most of the time, then there is not a problem. This is why contacting these sellers to complain about the packaging is not going to help. They won't change, because they don't care.
I also think it's a bit rude for a seller who doesn't care to butt into a message thread about badly packaged books and make a statement in disagreement. A few months back [back from March 2019], it happened in a thread in one of the Facebook groups. This one person seemed to want to dispute whether the package really arrived damaged or whether it had been opened for inspection, possibly by customs. Sigh.
The package was a media mail package, which is used by United States sellers to send to United States buyers. It didn't go through customs. The package also wasn't opened for inspection since the postage service always stamps those packages with a message stating that the package was opened.
It's just really strange how some people don't want to believe that packages ever arrive damaged.
The package was international and went to the United Kingdom. The comics were bagged and boarded. I wrapped the stack of 12 comics in plastic and mailed them inside of a 12" x 9" x 3" sturdy Uline box with padding. I was perplexed when the buyer contacted me, so I asked for additional information.
The box was not damaged. The buyer said that it looked like one side of the box might have been very slightly dented inwards but that the box didn't look damaged. The box had not been opened by customs, and the comics were still wrapped in the stretch wrap.
I was having trouble wrapping my mind around how the comics were damaged while the outer box was fine. I really pondered this. Finally, I realized that the comics did not have enough support with the backing boards. The stack of comics was heavy enough that it was likely to shift inside the package while the package got thrown around. The stack must have shifted up against the side of the box. The box was probably thrown hard where a flat edge hit a surface straight on so as not to be dented inwards. The corner of the stack of comics probably hit against that side of the box, and the corners were damaged.
I can see where I went wrong. The comics probably would have been okay if mailed to a United States address via priority mail. I did not pack well enough for international, and I did not even necessarily pack well enough for domestic.
I should have placed heavy cardboard (perhaps even a double layer) on the bottom of the stack to support the comics. I also should have placed heavy cardboard on the top of the stack as well. Furthermore, I should have made certain that the stack of comics could move not at all within the box. I think that I didn't use enough paper to pad the stack of comics. This was definitely my fault.
Yes, the international postal system was rough with the package, but better packing could have prevented the damage. Therefore, I fully refunded the buyer's purchase. I apologized and remarked that while I was refunding the purchase that I could not truly make it right. The comics were to be a Christmas present, and there was no time left for the buyer to purchase a replacement that would arrive on time.
Some of you might think I was scammed, since the outer box was not damaged. No, I can read people pretty well. I know when someone is pulling something and when they are telling the truth. I was provided pictures of the comics, and they were definitely damaged. This person was genuinely regretful and disappointed about the damage since it was to be a present. When they first contacted me, they said that the comics should have been secured better inside the box and that they would not have purchased the comics if they had known how they would be packed. The buyer made no demands in that initial message or at any point. I asked for more information, and then I refunded the purchase with my apologies. I remain quite chagrined about it.
That package was delivered two days ago. I haven't heard from the buyer, so the comics are probably fine.