Many of my pens come from eBay. It’s a good source and many of its former faults have been addressed. The one remaining fault, from my point of view, is not one that they can easily resolve: the bad seller. By that I don’t mean the seller with lots of negatives. They can be avoided. What annoys me is the sneaky seller who tries to sell broken pens.
Nearly half of the pens I bought last week have to be returned. One pen had an obvious, large, L-shaped crack in a black hard rubber cap lip. Not repairable. Not mentioned in the description nor shown in the photos. Then there was a group of two Swans from the same seller. The same type of cap crack in one and a cracked nib in the other. These were not hairlines or things you could miss. Strangely, neither damage was photographed though there was a photo of the good nib in the pen with the lip crack. That’s all the evidence I need that the seller knew about the damage but somehow hoped I would accept the pens!
Why do they send out such awful pens? They must know no one will accept these scrap pens. By time they get their pens back they have lost money, having had to pay return postage. Serve them right!
What can be done about it? I don’t have any answers. I could give them a negative but the transaction disappears as soon as a return is accepted. Probably there’s a way of hunting that down but that would be even more of my scarce time wasted. I could name and shame here and elsewhere but that wouldn’t be right, too excessive. I suppose all I can do is streamline my returns routine.
There is another associated problem. eBay has brought out its own delivery and return system, called Collect Plus. No one here accepts packages for that system. The nearest shop that does is 23 miles away. A 46 mile round trip for returns is out of the question.
Why is eBay bringing out this delivery system when it has not been properly put in place? Of course I know the answer – it is more money for them and less for poor old Royal Mail. It will doubtless be cheaper so sellers are buying into it. How long can our universal mail system last in the face of such competition?
The main problem for me is the time that it wastes. I already work longer every day than I ever did as an employee. These bad sellers are time robbers.