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This was not a “Spectacular” weekend purchase

By Chris Dawson April 18, 2013 - 11:35 am

I don’t like complaining, but I’m really annoyed with one of the two purchases I made from the eBay Weekend Spectacular sale a few days ago.

Not newWhen buying a new product you expect it to be new and that’s not just the product but also the retail packaging. That wasn’t the case for the garden hose I purchased from the eBay Weekend Spectacular. The box is a cut, shortened, bent over and taped up and certainly it’s now no good as the birthday gift it was intended for.

I can’t be bothered to send it back, the cost was only £11.89 including carriage, I don’t want to argue about who pays the return costs, I don’t even want to argue about whether “new” should include “new” packaging or not. Instead I’ll use the hose myself instead of giving it as a birthday present and remain an unhappy customer.

This isn’t the first time I’ve received products with damaged packaging, I had a similar experience buying from Amazon in December. I’m simply fed up with receiving what I’d consider to be damaged goods or seconds.

The thing is though if this is happening on eBay promoted “Spectacular” weekend just how many times does it happen to other buyers? How many times are buyers receiving goods on eBay which are less than “Spectacular” and unhappy with their purchases? How many times are buyers simply ignoring eBay as a great place to buy online?

If you’re a seller don’t ship sub-standard goods described as “new”. If the goods aren’t new then sell them as distressed or second hand or auction off sub-standard items instead of shipping them as new.

If I was in a shop I’d ask for a discount for goods with damaged packaging or if it was a purchase for a birthday present make sure I’d pick an item without damage. Sellers should give the same service and only ship items as new if they’re pristine.

eBay say that they want to “Bring the best of retail to online shopping” with a great visual experience, fast and flexible delivery options and no chance of any risks or surprises. They’re doing what they can to assist and guide sellers to do this but sellers have to do their bit too.

I have to add… apologies to all the great sellers I know who wouldn’t dream of shipping items as new in ripped, torn or soiled packaging. But shame on the sellers that do as they’re spoiling the marketplace for all the great sellers.

  • Stuart
    4 years ago

    Interesting post….pretty much all the items we sell don’t have packaging as they often come to us mix boxes of say two or three designs. We then pack these up to order in various boxes, from new ones to boxes that we have left over from stock. Does that mean the items we sell are not new?

    I would argue the fact that unless an item specifically says it comes with a ‘product’ box then that perhaps shouldn’t be taken into account?

    For example you wouldn’t go to a shop and expect to buy a garden ornament, that isn’t in a box on display, then expect them to put it in a pretty box for you, would you?

    If I was buying a hose I wouldn’t of even expected it to come in a pretty hose box, just a hose! Isn’t it all about the item you buying and as long as the item arrives on once piece and not faulty in anyway then the transaction is correct?

    • 4 years ago

      As far as I am concerned if it isn’t in the pristine, original packaging it’s intended to come in then it ain’t new and shouldn’t be billed as such.

      By all means note otherwise in the descriptions, but I do think New means flawless gift giving condition whether a hose or a bracelet.

      Chris: dodgy DSRs, I assume?

    • 4 years ago

      I wouldn’t care if it was packaged in an OEM plain cardboard Argos style box or in the original retail packaging. I just expect that if something is new then it’s packaged as new.

      In this case it’s an original retail box and in that case I’d expect the original retail box to be complete, not a cut and chop!

      I should add that the item specific chosen was “New: A brand-new, unused, unopened and undamaged item in original retail packaging (where packaging is applicable). If the item comes direct from a manufacturer, it may be delivered in non-retail packaging, such as a plain or unprinted box or plastic bag. See the seller’s listing for full details.

      The item specific that should have been chosen is “New other (see details) A new, unused item with absolutely no signs of wear. The item may be missing its original packaging, or the original packaging has been opened or is no longer sealed. The item may be a factory second, or a new and unused item with minor defects. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections. and then I wouldn’t have had any of what eBay call “risks or surprises”.

  • board_surfer
    4 years ago

    A hose as a birthday present?

    • 4 years ago

      Well, Board Surfer… I was hoping for something more glam. But Chris works in mysterious ways. ;o)

    • 4 years ago

      No names Dan, but I think you can probably guess who my keen gardening friend is and it’s not you :P

  • 4 years ago

    Well I bought a bale of towels on their spectacular weekend. Yesterday morning I got the dispatch email followed by an email hours later saying they would be out of stock ’till next week.
    Why are they allowed to sell stuff they don’t have?

    • fusion
      4 years ago

      Think it was last year when ebay were running these deals, I remember getting some shorts and for a month an a half got an email saying they were out of stock and would be in soon for dispatch.

      It is a bit of a joke for ebay to allow sellers to do this. Is it allowed normally?

  • 4 years ago

    I wonder what a Hose would normally be packed in. I doubt if anybody would pack it in a “Happy Birthday” type packaging. However it might just have a piece of string or binder to keep it together. However at the most extreme perhaps it comes in a large plastic bag.(If you want a large plastic bag capable of containing a hose I probably have a few).

    So how would we pack it to send it through the post? Obviously it would need a great deal more than just a bit of string or binder. A plastic bag would not be robust enough. So the seller probably made a decision to send it out in a cardboard box(where it had never previously had a cardboard box). Although from the description it would appear as if he did not make a good job of the box.

    Over the months and years there has been many discussions on Tamebay about Packaging. Some argue for “Armour Plating” every parcel. Some like myself argue for packaging suitable for the item being shipped. However it is important that whatever packaging you use that it is presentable. So tatty bits of cardboard and masses of tape probably does not qualify.

    • 4 years ago

      Look at the picture! It’s retail packaging that’s had the end cut off!

      In the seller’s defence they’d popped the retail packaged box into a mailing sack which was perfectly adequate – just a shame the retail box was chopped about before it went into the mailing sack.

    • A+
      4 years ago

      Has the shortened box got anything to do with Royal Mail’s new parcel sizes?

    • 4 years ago

      Honestly don’t know, don’t care from a buyer perspective. If it was deliberate to save post costs that’s even worse than shipping damaged goods!

      Possibly more likely cut to fit in their plastic mailer, but whatever the reason it’s unacceptable and there are plenty of other delivery services where size wouldn’t be an issue (and could possibly be cheaper than the second class PPI used) or two plastic mailers would do.

  • 4 years ago

    “I can’t be bothered to send it back”

    Open a case, make it available for collection.

    We buy stock with damaged packaging from time to time, it’s obviously cheaper so we don’t sell it as new at a premium price.

    • 4 years ago

      To be honest Whirly I can’t even be bothered to stick it back into the mailing sack and have the inconvenience of waiting in for a courier to collect. A spare hose is always useful to have around, it was a good price, it’s just an annoyance as I’ve now got to go out and buy another gift!

    • 4 years ago

      I know what you mean, I’ve done the same.

    • 4 years ago

      Mind you… I don’t dare leave the seller poor feedback, I might get sued like the seller in this story! :D

    • 4 years ago

      I just read that, blimey. :D

      The wife got negged today, she nearly had a breakdown haha, funny how some folk react.

  • Bemused
    4 years ago

    Try somewhere like John Lewis, I’m sure they have hose pipes at treble the price.

    The box will even be perfect so that’s cracking value.

  • John pemberton
    4 years ago

    Chris,
    Life’s too short to be hung up with these things ;-)

  • Steve
    4 years ago

    Bet that was a nightmare for the seller; every box having to be cut and taped before packing , poor sod. I think all these daily deal, spectacular jobbies are ordered after the Deal completes. Had a nightmare and a half with the hut over a hoodie- not improved by the constant marketing emails inviting me to thier webstore. Also bought a little cheap socket set, which arrived very late, but had been sent first recorded instead of economy- now there was a seller trying to dig him/herself out of the mire methinks.

  • 4 years ago

    Ebay does seem to be a magnet for both sub-standard buyers and sellers. Personally gave up on it (for both buying and selling) 3 years ago and have never regretted it for a moment.

    It’s been Amazon or Play.com all the way for me and my family ever since.

  • admiralhardinge
    4 years ago

    Sub standard and should have been described and reduced. Certainly doesn’t qualify as new under ebay rules.

    However, ebay are partly to blame. My categories don’t have the New (Other) condition stated above. It’s either New or Used which is ridiculous. There needs to be a condition category for seconds. I have lots of perfect product which has a minor defect to the retail packaging – nothing like as bad as the hose. I always describe any less than perfect item and reduce it against the perfect product, but should I sell it as New (wrongly) or Used, which it definitely is not?

  • Rickyk
    4 years ago

    Sorry not sure whether I have missed it or not, but how much postage did you pay?

    Was it the cheapest available.

    If you break the costs down, I assume that it weighed over a kilo, so that is a couple of quid postage,If you also take the fees (eBay/Paypal). Then you have time to package and the cost of the actual item.

    I would say that he is probably making a a quid at best. He is now getting slated for poor packing and poor service.

    eBay/Paypal/Royal Mail pricing is getting so cut throat that people are pushed into doing things which they are uncomfortable with.

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